to: Reply to Comment <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date: Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 9:43 PM
…too much is just too much…ugly or beautiful.
“This is your moderation speaking, please fasten your seat belts.”
Temperance, forbearance, judiciousness in thought and expression…these are not always strengths of mine.
This comment, ironically, is becoming a fine example of the tendency.
It’s strange though, in the sub/mixed culture that I live in – where most everyone is in some phase of liberation or repression (yeah, that’s basically everybody) – there are these conflicted lines where celebration of expression is valued to the point of fetishization (meaning that being affirmed in one’s expressive capacity and the modes thereof become, like, viscerally admired and desirable, especially to oneself…because it just feels good to be yourself…and yet to not be yourself sometimes also feels good?)
…and yet that revelry in expression is actually really challenging to people (including the self) when it crosses paths with the constraints of social etiquette and norms of interaction. We walk around all these little communicative rules that we don’t even know the origin of within our lives, they’re just random little rules about what is and is not okay…and we have these (BIG FREE LIVES/VOICES/HEARTS) inside and, jeez, it just gets so tangled and weird sometimes.
This is especially true in the Bermuda Triangle of motherhood, madness, and occupational roles.
It’s like, what do you do, play it safe and hedge your truth? “My truth is nobody else’s business.” That’s a handy slogan to remember.
Except it’s a total rip-off, because sometimes our truths are other people’s business. (<~ that could be said in terms of right-to-interest or in terms of taxable economy meaning that, yes, sometimes our truths are involved with other people’s lives…in ways both good, bad, and – yeah – ugly and beautiful, too.)
So, how do you find the balance between foisting your truth on the world (because it deserves it, for some reason or another – again, the range of potential reasons is all encompassing. 1) to prove your right to your truth 2) to show its beauty in a world that has told you it’s ugly 3) to prove that you can 4) to experiment with being honest 5) to test the contextual validity of your truth in the sub/objective world – meaning the subjective reality that everyone seems to assume is somehow objective.
(I guess #5 is sort of long, huh?)
We redefine reality on the basis of our reactions, begin to think of people in ways that may not be remotely representative of their form and content. Uh, oh…usually when I begin to talk about people in terms of form and content, it means I’m getting a little too structure-function, call-response.
Nothing is so simple. I wonder sometimes if the “real” us is closer to the character the hangs between
self-view ~> / <~ other-view.
No, we are what we say we are. Not what whom anybody else says we are. Except other people’s perceptions affect our lives in some pretty measurable ways. Are we poor? Are we scorned? Are we exploited. Etc. Etc.?
(Note re: wegoism, use of the “royal” We in speaking of a group of people, yeah, I’m talking about hypothetical-all-people-in-general.)
So, it’s not like it “doesn’t matter what they think.” it does matter. How they think shapes your life?
Oh, yeah, wait…this is a facebook comment. Well, that’s okay. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve said too much on facebook. It’s actually a bit of a gimmick (more of an ongoing conceptual art piece about dimensionality and communication and reflection. I’ve been writing informal essays on facebook for quite some time now. This is what happens when you stop watching television and start laughing at yourself instead.)
In closing, yup, sometimes I say too much…but a lot of it pretty good stuff. Besides, given that this is “my” facebook wall, shouldn’t I say whatever I want here?
It seems to me that facebook is for people to post things that other people might like. It’s actually a really big distortion of social/self integrity in a lot of ways. This is not true in all cases, nor for all people. There are a lot of remarkable people that just say whatever they want whenever and don’t think a thing about it. Others think really hard about it, but don’t realize they are doing it.
I’ve actually thought about the social culture on facebook, which feels a little like tv sometimes…scrolling on this little screen. Two 1/2 bored minutes here, two 1/2 interested minutes there…
facebook has been making me feel hopeless lately. The same thing happened with television, that’s why I stopped watching it, right after 09/11.
Keep in mind that though the illusion that may be offered by this long comment could be one of me at a computer, staring at facebook, that’s not the case. I do most of this from my phone. Yes, I typed all these words with just my two thumbs.
I’m sitting on the wood floor and the fan is on. I am half-thinking about how much I need to give the dog a bath and shift some of this verbosity toward an outreach letter to psychology professors in New York City or working on something otherwise constructive.
People have been really coming down on me later for what they call my “postmodern relativism” – which basically means the rules and codes are always different and always changing, to the extent that meaning can be distorted and galvanizing or dissolute, depending on one’s experience. There is this associated thought/belief that maybe there is no right or wrong way, that each person’s subjective experience be upheld as legitimate.
Except, we know that in many cases, subjective experience is often not legitimate. Ours nor our thinking about what others’ subjective experience may entail. Yes, I just rendered the first portion of that statement null.
(Obviously, some ideas are just really terrible, like supremacy, for example, in the usual sense of the word. That’s a really disgusting idea. It should be below other ideas. So, yes, there is an odd moralist hierarchy that happens in the thinking about belief, meaning and integrity.) Nonetheless, the big value of flexible meaning is that you can make things mean whatever you want them to mean, so long as you know that people aren’t things, nor is anything else that is alive.
Relativism helps you to see things from other perspectives, which is important and fun.
This facebook comment could be a brilliant essay that will one day be published in Harpers or the Paris Review. This could also be utter obnoxious, self-indulgent h*rseshit.
So, yes, it could definitely be art.
Or it could be therapy?
Mine or yours?
Sweet. Self-narrative therapy on facebook.
(I don’t know.)
Have a great night.