When I was in my twenties, I had a huge crush on Carl Steadman. We had an occasional, on-off correspondence. We were actually perfectly suited for each other: short bursts of overwhelming intimacy followed by long bouts of quiet. And there was fanservice, too: I remember chatting with him about Ready Steadman Go before it launched and, best ever, he sent me the prototypes for a postal-mail sequel to “Two Solitudes,” a project he eventually abandoned. In exchange, I tried to be frank and critical, but I was a total fan and there was no getting around it. I mean, the guy was so good at mood.
One time, after a particularly intense bout of email-adoration, he offered to take me out when I was in town for some event of some kind, honestly I can’t even remember. But I remember the dinner and how we walked for miles in the dark parts of the city, talking. He was lovely and just the way he ought to be, and I came out of it pleased that we were not at all attracted to each other.
As a good friend said to me recently, “Sometimes I wish there’d been an obvious way to save Carl from Carl.”
I seriously wonder about him, more than I do all those other boys who mattered so much at the time.
Distraction (on plane, listening to Frontline, watching The Office on monitor, impossible to focus on one) things that are “bad” for us but feel good. Evolution is going to happen — rather than outlawing or criticizing those who txt while driving, address the root cause, what’s the need /pleasure. The factor of being overwhelmed. If the Internet exists, who needs to retain information? Super, but what information needs to be retained? Frontline: when we went from oral tradition to print, there were skills we lost, such as memory. When everyone is able to produce their own content, there will be more demand for consumers (see: 14th c. Bubonic plagues changes population, kills feudalism), or will we all become creatirs AND consumers aka collaborators? Working/collaborating with people rather than simply knowing them creates a reason/discipline to spend hours together regularly and forms bonds far stronger than when the relationship revolves around consumption. Like raising a barn. Collaboration on projects you care about - whether it’s art or killing a dragon on World of Warcraft - is much easier online, which doesn’t require inconvenience of travel and can seemingly be squeezed into a multi-task life without paying a price. In RL, you have to join a club.
What do I want to be? And why don’t I want to be what everyone else thinks is awesome? Why is it sooo important that I be different and individual, and why are normal people so boring and tiresome?
The Internet has created this great confession (or is it just my friends?) where suddenly we’re all allowed to admit that we hate the telephone. Some may prefer the convenience of being able to socialize when we want to (the way email and letters allow) but I think that the adoption rate of txting proves that there’s more to the story. Why do I hate voices? Because it’s tone of voice that carries condemnation, annoyance, reactions? Why are so many of my interactions defensive? Or maybe disembodied voice are just plain creepy.
Idea: Self-portrait Wednesday. Like GPOYW but more deliberate.
What is more valid/relevant? Developing oneself as an artist (external focus) or developing oneself (alienation)?
Damn. I’m getting some pretty incredible Asks. This one was so good that I’ll only quote the pertinent part, so that the rest can stay a secret just between us two. I’ll respond to the other part later, in my way. But for now, the question:
Regardless…the better you are at fantasy, the loftier ‘goals’ you set, and the more dissatisfied you end up being with your current situation. How does one build achievable fantasies like you do; ones ripped from reality and then kissed with fantasy like gin kissing a martini?
Optimism and greed.
First of all, the idea that my fantasies are more achievable than anyone else’s is highly debatable; after all, what I want more than anything in my life right now is unattainable. But that hasn’t prevented me from structuring my life around it. I spend inordinate time protecting and nurturing my hope for it. The impossibility of it doesn’t change how I feel in the slightest, nor my certainty that my desire will never change, never waver.
In the end, I will either die pining away in some dusty apartment alone with my cats, or I will figure out how to put together some semblance of a life to distract me from what might have been. I don’t know if the outcome matters that much. What matters is that my optimism will never allow me to let it go. I put it next to my dreams of creative realization, immortality and sudden wealth. The optimism is simply that it could happen. It could happen. It could happen. Someday.