If you love this post you'll hate the next one since it includes a huge awful paper that I wrote for Biopsych.
Once more unto the breach!!
Now I said I would expand on my discriminating groups, and so I shall after clarifying something. These are not groups of people, they are types of people not to be confused with cliques or cohorts. Stamps, and indeed any of these other groups can be of either sex, do any job and intelligence is not the prime factor. Direction and Intensity are the primary distinguishers.
Some of you may even be wondering if I think you a stamp. If you even questioned yourself then you most likely are. Heigh ho, here we go.
Blips. I am sure you have met a few of these types. Typically male, these are people that I would also consider ‘failed atheists.’ To put it bluntly, they can’t handle the truth. Rather than embrace the freedom that comes with being Godless they just feel lonely, morose, depressed and worst of all the share their despair with everyone.
The name comes from the idea that we are just a miniscule lump of protein stranded on a slime covered sphere of rock a few billion light years from anything important. If the universe is so damned big, I must be so damned small. Well fuck that.
Consider this comparison. There are about 30,000 people at state in some form of attendance. That is more people than you could get to know even if the same group stayed all 4 years together. Hell the 7,000 or so of the freshman class I started from are whittled to only about 5,000 (though that’s hearsay so don’t call me on it.)
You might think, if you had never met a human, that more people means more friends for everyone right? Hell no. It means even people that were once great in their groups in high school are confronted with the statistical inevitability of mediocrity. People are lonely as hell all the time at state, even though there are people everywhere.
Without delving into the who’s and how’s, this is just a bunch of sad bastards with no reason to get out of bed, so they probably shouldn’t. Behavior ranges from near ascetic apathy to desperate hedonism.
Monos (I now call them Eps) are the next bunch and are easily identified, labeled and avoided by the following paragraph.
Any person that defines their entire existence based around one principle or small cluster of principles, usually religious or moral, is an Ep. Eps just can’t see the world without a comforting blanket of experience to lay their learning upon.
Hailey is a good example with her religious beliefs confining her thinking to that universe. But so is pretty much anyone with ‘expert’ knowledge. I hate to say it, but Mom is a psychologist and you couldn’t pry it out of her personality with a pitchfork. She could be dissuaded into becoming solely a horse person later I think.
Consider what an expert is. They know shit that other people cannot even dream about. I would love to be inside the brains of the best market analysts, political leaders and advisors. With that kind of range you’d know exactly what the world is really like right?
Wrong. Someone who studies biology becomes accustomed to it. Their brain, and brain plasticity is pretty damn well supported) devotes itself to cell structures and functions. Ask them to solve a people problem and they will probably resort to some physiological problem. A psychologist immediately considers the individual’s mind. The communication major goes to lunch and then the play ground.
People that can’t be separated from their occupations (think military mentality) are Eps. And they can either be fascinating or just suck the life out of you.
The name, which I am sure you’re curious about, comes from the Epstein-barr disease which causes mono nucleosis and burkitt’s lymphoma.
There is another group I feel the need to comment on after this morning’s bus ride. This guy, this fucking dude would not leave his girlfriend alone for 5 seconds. It was bad enough that he had his arm all up in her shit but he kept kissing her when she was trying to talk. In Colorado at the Imax theatre there was a similar guy who, despite glaring body language opposed to it, would just not stop fucking with this girl. I wanted to punch him. He was and Arg.
Arg’s are a bunch that piss me off more effectively than anything except for Wade in his heyday. There are countless examples, here are some of my favorites.
Weak game does not fly with me. If you’re going to go for a girl you don’t know then you better have your balls slung over your shoulder. Half-assing this sort of…well flirtation doesn’t cover it, if you’re trying to fuck a bitch you gotta go all out.
The stinky dude in the purple dodge stratus…and perfect target! Olfactory repugnance aside, this dude bites nuts. First, while I was dating Bunn one time he said ‘yes maam.’ She thought he was so nice and polite, but having known to many Shane’s and Lane’s I knew better. A few weeks later I was working alone, and he called for an escort. It was within 30 minutes of the shift end and man I just didn’t feel like talking. It was good I wasn’t in the mood, because the fuck head was on his cell phone the whole time. That alone pissed me off. If you could hear the conversation though…here’s the part that caught my ear.
He’s talking to some girl, who is loud and I can almost hear her. So he breaks this out…
Dude: I didn’t know you wanted me to be there. I went with someone else.
Girl: (something angry sounding)
Dude: What, you know you ain’t the only girl in my lil black book…you know…you know what I’m saying don’t you.
Holy crap if there was ever a time not to hesitate that kind of bold statement is IT! Be nice or fucking let her have it, there is no wiggle room for pussies.
Speaking of pussies, no I’m not going to get Chinese, let me just comment on English majors/art students/musicians. These fucks, more often then not, are irritating as hell. Not to personally talk to, but having to hear shit they say to girls and others among themselves is torture.
I cannot relate the plethora of inane shit and over use of big words that I have been subjected to in Tompkins. These fuck heads are the same kind of guys that write open form poetry and think they’re original, or they play a bunch of dave matthews songs and never learn anything original.
Sadly, the artsy guy can and does get the girl. There was an episode of 6 feet under where Claire was talking to a guy about art school. He said something like ‘I hate having to learn about all these other guys and ‘technical’ stuff, I just wanna write great music.’
Well there is certainly a lot of dreaming and not much talent going around inside these programs. Exceptions exist and I applaud everyone that spends time on their writing or art or music and wants to learn rather than just wants to be famous. If you think about it, popularity is all people want. Other people’s approval is super critical unless you’re a drugged out freak or even more cynical than I am.
Now I applaud Steinbeck’s East of Eden as one of the best books I have ever read. He also has one of my favorite quotes which I could not find but can improvise.
“When you wish for a thing, focus solely on the means to get it.” Ick, its much nicer in his words, but the spirit is the same. Write more, read more music, practice painting or whatever you do.
You don’t really think this here web log is anything but a selfish exercise to practice writing and splat out my opinions in the hopes of increasing my rough draft conveyance of ideas onto paper do you?
I hope not.
posted by Seth # 11:43 AM
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003 10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003 11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003 12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
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Searching for subtlety...
So everyone else has a stupid live/dead journal or some kind of weblog... but they all suck, and mine will be a grandiose departure from the norm. I think, so you don't have to. Email me if you feel the urge to comment or something. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Man I hate reading other people's blogs and hearing their descriptions of life and art and all that fun stuff.
I hate it because they usually have nothing positive to say and the negatives get so old and tiresome before long. Worse, I hate to read what other writers say about writing and their own methodology. Odds are anyone who compares their own writing as some sort of story with a hint of this influenced by a smear of that is not trying hard enough to be original. I have a whole page of short story ideas that, to my knowledge, have no precedent in western literature.
And I am 21.
Granted, its good to see where your ideas are coming from, but drawing to heavily from one source is not making something new, its called making a remix. Copy even more and its just a cover. I predict one day all music will consist of covers and remixes. The one hope is that music will occupy such an amount of data that you could spend your whole life listening to it and never find out you're just listening to the same ol' crap in a new package.
But I think to that idea that there are no original thoughts, only slight extrapolations based in reality. That's kind of an intimidating prospect when you drag it out to a conclusion. If everything comes from something previous...then all life and culture must hearken back to a single ideal or urge. You could argue for God, and many do using JUST that reasoning, but I stick to the realm of the natural.
What could it be? What do the get up kids share in common with the most primitive lifeforms to ever come into existence? This may be a philisophical disappointment, but its 'irritation.'
Even the simplest bacteria and microbes can respond to unpleasant stimuli by moving away and pleasent stimuli by moving towards it. Plants are different since they just gobble whatever bumps into them, but for animals I think this may hold some practical truth. Almost an entire billion years of life spanning the history of Earth and the same is true today as it was in 1,000,000,000 BC. Irritation = motivation.
Later, multicellular life formed circa 270,000,000 years BC. Then we get to add another factor, coordination! After all, one cell is fine for little things, but many of them can work together and do much better. This holds true in the present also, after all, one human is many billions and trillions of cells all working in crazy harmony. If every cell had to worry about feeding itself we couldn't have higher order life.
Such must be the future of mankind. If individual cells break down then we start to have issues with the group organism. But why would individual cells break down and start acting of their own accord rather than for the group benefit. Because OTHER cells do it. That's what society boils down to. Everyone's working together sure, but we're working for ourselves for the most part. That's division of labor though, everything does one function well and if all functions are addressed we ALL benefit.
If dumbass cells can do it, why not people? Oh you could say we do it because we're smart, but that also equates intelligence with greed. A little intelligence can let you see 'hey I can get more if the rest get less" but apply it further and you see "If I get more, someone else suffers."
Such is the way of all things. Slavery makes work cheap and allows stuff like pyramids and mausoleams to get built. It also wrecks and shortens the lives of those doing the work. Machinery is better because it doesn't promote suffering of the machine, but those that own them grow rich while those using them don't do so well. Think of a water-wheel powered saw mill back in the early days of the country. The guy that owned it got fat on money people would pay to saw boards. Sure it allowed them to get work done they could not have without it, but the owner got rich.
Hollywood forgets that bullets and people don't always hit something to stop them. They don't always go away, the just go somewhere else and not always in a good way. Every time an American gets something good, someone else, somewhere else gets fucked for it. Its not a happy situation, but is there a solution?
Some might suggest no, but I know a thing or two that may prove useful. I can't really write them down yet, but as I work on the story that I am doing it'll turn out better. I promise I will update this at some point.
posted by Seth # 9:38 PM
Ever notice that when someone does something shitty and you have no respect for them it doesn't anger you...it offends you. It's not rage but contempt that bubbles up and leaks out in harsh words and harsher fantasies. It's dismissal if you really don't care. I suppose contempt only comes from people we wish we were detached from. Only the most persistent nagging emotions really drag that one out. But if you love someone and they fuck you, gently or harshly, it hurts the most.
If you're a stranger reading this, for whatever reason, and pass judgement it is meaningless. Now we can shrug off someone who doesn't know shit calling you crap, that's nothing. But how many people really and truly can shake off affection when they know its false or undeserved? Sometimes it doesn't matter, sometimes just a stranger not being a fuckhead can make your day, but that doesn't make them anything else. A kind word doesn't erase the real shit that people carry around inside their heads.
Emotion, techically its a damned good evolutionary idea. People with damaged fear and emotional response to fear centers have terrible judgement. Consequence gives us something concrete to base our judgements on. Intellectually anyone knows its a bad thing if say a cheetah eats your hand. Now telling someone that they don't want to get their hand bitten off and actually feeling the pain of teeth sinking into your flesh is not the same thing. Pain is an inevitable consequence of life on earth (assuming your substance P levels are all intact). Its just another reinforcer to push us in the right direction to continuously eat, sleep and fuck our species into the future.
But we're losing something in the process. Life gets more technical and less personal everyday for every american. Having emotions, feelings, vulnerabilities doesn't register well to any company or tax form. Bureacracy depends on you being a robot for at least part of your life. Some people are better than others at doing this. It disgusts me to fill out paper work, to be stamped down by a number and identified by a fucking card in my wallet. This planet is in serious danger of becoming a fucking disgrace.
And why? So guys can try to convince themselves and others that they are badass and so bitches can have more than their bitchy friends. That's human history in a sentence, psychotic vanity at the expense of the weak and poor. Michael Jackson spent a few million dollars on a shopping trip, they showed it on the TV. He got some antiques and ain't taht grand. Eight million dollars...that could support me for the rest of my life, and that's including getting a family started and doing nothing but write myself into oblivion.
It's tempting to say how much food or shelter or medicine that much money could buy for poor people. But it's also fucking stupid to think people will be satisfied at that. They won't, it just doesn't happen for most people. Everyone thinks 'if i just has this then i'd be happy, oh but if i had that i could almost have this other thing and THEN i would REALLY be happy.'
My half friend thomas personified this and he was probably the saddest person in the whole fucking world. No sympathy though, he didn't listen and he didn't try or stick with his friends when he needed to. He had a nice car, tons of shit and lots of fun things to play with. He liked making other people happy by having parties and kickin' around with the council. There were times i had hope that he'd turn out ok. He didn't.
Hard to blame him though, after all, his parents kind of fucked up his expectations. Logically enough you could extrapolate that to mean everyone's stuck to their past and it determines...everything. I used to do the same thing. Mom told me when i was a kid, like an infant you see, that I cried a lot. Mom would try and hold and comfort me and all that fun mom shit but it really didn't always work. So she'd stuff a bottle in my face and that always shut me the hell up. Hey presto, 21 years later a perfectly plausible explanation for why i've been a chubby fellow most of life.
20 years...its not fair to blame though. She's only human and probably needed the sleep. But at what an expense, a challenge that i have constantly warred against and failed for all but maybe 3 years. 1/7th of my life i was pretty fit, but at the expense of both my social life and my intellectual development. Even now as i sip on my sundrop and try to ease the massive caffiene headache that's strung me out and fucked with my head the last 11 days is a symptom of that losing battle. Its a sad thought when you realize you have a problem, and making a resolve to do something about it makes you feel better, but if you fail enough you begin to plan for it. And that's despair.
There doesn't seem any sort of way out either. I can't do it alone without shirking most of my other responsibilities and even then i wasn't much of a happy guy. I look back on highschool and pick out the part when I was confident and strong and cocky as hell. It wasn't being fit that did it, it was not being fucked with and having good friends around that made the council and hanging out with Flojo so good. Now those times seem so alien and far gone.
Everything seems distant, people that I have known for years seem like perfect strangers. Strangers all seem like characters from major league 3. They are all pretty stock except there is one quirk or identifier that sets them apart. What a fucking world, yeah?
Probably the worst part of despair is when you're just about to recover and think to yourself 'look at this shithole planet, look at these losers that think they matter, what a bunch of clowns.' At least there is one little bastion of sanity tucked away behind my eyes and between my ears. That little chuck of gray is just fine. Consider it, wouldn't that be a nice thought...but its not. If that were true the world might be able to dust itself off and change shit around so that reason would have a better footing than greed and power.
Until then, sundrop and swimming it is.
posted by Seth # 4:38 PM