Thursday, May 08, 2008

Part of a Pattern? (Mark II)

Apparently, the first version of this post rang all kinds of alarm bells (the full version will appear unedited at the end of this explanation). To start--no, I'm not depressed--no, I'm not having relationship problems--no, I'm not especially engaged in second-guessing. The idea of the post was to discuss the inner critic and the trap of subjectivity that seems to plague me and many people that I know. On a completely pragmatic level, I know that the world isn't some vast conspiracy for my benefit, but it doesn't stop the thought from occasionally popping into my head, just as I almost always sleep with my feet pointed down to minimize the exposure of my achilles tendon to attacks from any ravenous animals that might try to rip them out and prevent me from running away. The process of maturation seems to me to be less about shedding these nagging thoughts as learning to ignore them, and I get better and better as life goes on.

Chalk it up to my skeptical nature--given sufficient idle time, everything will be cast into doubt. This includes my own motives and self-image, and therein is the problem of which I speak. Whenever I see a jackass or a yahoo yammering on endlessly unaware of the social discomfort he or she is creating and oblivious to his or her obvious jackassery, I get really uncomfortable. What if I do the same thing? What if I always do it? What if I'm doing it right now? (and, yes, I'm currently wondering if this selfsame post is a prime example of such--I'm sure I will be made aware of it). I can't be the only one, and I was hoping to start a discussion of this idea--that's all. No cry for help, no need for an artistic kick in the pants.

Without further discussion, below is what seems to be one of my all-time failures at rhetorical communication:

It seems like Walrus and I have had a series of minor wakeup calls and unpleasant realizations. He stumbled me something today that was another twist of the knife. It seems as though ideas that I've been kind of kicking around casually are in some way profound--this sounds horrible, I know, but it really raises a question that has plagued me for as long as I've had ideas, I have to confess that I'm no closer to figuring a way around it.

I don't have any way to look at an idea, project, attitude, or relationship and know whether I'm doing something right or screwing up. A corollary of this is that it's hard to tell whether compliments are based out of reality, pity, or some Truman-Show-esque conspiracy to keep me from finding out that I'm retarded. Add on to this that I can't even really tell when I'm blowing smoke up my own ass.

I have to wonder if this is the zeitgeist or just me (obviously, I can't tell).


  1. Anonymous7:30 PM

    So if I understand you correctly, you feel you do better with a deadline? If that is the case I am giving you 2 months to finish what ever story/play/screenplay you happen to be working on, so chop chop.

    Also you kinda of do drag you feet about some things, you keep saying that you want to find a job that is more fulfilling, but you seem content with the jobs you have. If you are actually serious you need to actively look for a better job not just drop an application or two.

    You had a big plan on taking a year off and working on your writing, what ever happened with that? You are very good at making plans, however you are a procrastinator when it comes to working them though.

    I wish you luck in working through these issues you are feeling, best of luck

  2. Anonymous9:27 PM

    Hey, it's Jeff are you ok? I'm worried about you.