Commentary on excessive commentary
I began this blog with the desire to write about something.
But I felt cautious. I didn’t post this first entry for 3 weeks after I wrote it.
I am hesitant to assume that my thoughts are so unique and beautiful that people would actually want to read them.
I am aware that everyone is popping up with their own blog, and coupled with the graphic onslaught of information I see explode all over my facebook newsfeed everyday, I am a little troubled.
In the words of Mr Griffith, “I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought… but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds.”
I have been trying to cut down my online posting of late; I don’t want to document my life, I want to live it.
I sometimes get upset when people snapchat me important and beautiful moments of their life.. like their favourite song at a gig, or the moment a soufflé opens and spills chocolate, or their friend walk through the arrival gate at the airport, or a delicious looking breakfast.
It makes me sad because I think of them getting out their phone and carefully positioning it, capturing the moment through their lens and not really seeing the moment themselves. They are looking at a digital screen and missing what’s really happening. But, I’m aware of an accomplice in the robbery of experience; me, watching.
There’s a moment in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that articulates this:
Sean: They call the snow leopard the ghost cat. Never lets itself be seen.
Mitty: Ghost cat.
Sean: Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.
Walter: When are you going to take it?
Sean: Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.
Walter: Stay in it?
Sean: Yeah. Right there. Right here.
There is a place for photography and sharing, definitely. I love a good photograph, I love that sunset you watched last night, and those big smiles at that event you went to. But there is something missed when we don’t completely absorb in the wonderful moment in which we are are living without feeling the need to document and share it.
Photography has lost its privacy; it’s subtly. People don’t store away private photo albums for close friends when they come over for tea. They share them digitally for 1000+ friends to look at; alone in their own time, without the commentary and laughter that goes with the back story, the explanation from the photographer.
Also, noted by many people and increasingly becoming an interesting area for research is the rise of narcissistic traits with social media.
Research from California State University has shown that excessive use of social networking may well be linked to heaps of psychiatric problems, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, depression, voyeurism and obsessive-compulsive disorder to name a few.
Those who are very active on Facebook and Twitter have been shown to often have narcissistic or insecure personalities, according to credible studies. As any person who uses social media is aware, but also backed by research, is that those who frequently update Facebook statuses or post Tweets are doing it to glorify themselves. The addiction to ‘likes’ stems from that part of our brain that is pleasure seeking and goes back for more of what lit it up. The likes can become for many, a source of security and approval; a basis for identity.
So my first blog post seems.. ironic? hypocritical?
I am sharing my private thoughts in a public online forum on how obsessed our generation is with sharing private thoughts on online forums, to the detriment of both their full enjoyment of the moment, and their ongoing mental health.
I was getting to another point that I’ll leave for a later blog. But for now, I’ll just say, I have called this blog a Commentary. A commentary on things I want to write about. And I’ll attempt to stay away from narcism where possible.
What to wear?
How frustrating that I am told what to wear because men have certain desires or ‘needs’.
I have decided that I don’t want to dress for men.
I don’t want to dress for men’s pleasure nor enjoyment.
I don’t want to dress for the affirmation of a man’s opinion that I am an object.
I don’t want to dress to show off parts of my body that might impress a man.
Nor do I want to dress to protect a man’s wandering eyes.
I don’t want to be thinking about caring for the man who cannot respect me as a human unless I cover up parts of my body that he views as objects of his pleasure.
I don’t want to dress in a way that in any way treats men like they are a different species to me.
I am not going to show parts of myself for men, nor will I cover parts of myself for men.
I will dress as a human. As a human who likes certain clothes, and doesn’t like other clothes.
Thank you for understanding.
George Stroumboulopoulos: There’s one thing that’s interesting about your books. I noticed that you write women really well and really different. Where does that come from?
George R.R. Martin: You know, I’ve always considered women to be people.
A solution for the wrong?
There is something so wrong with everything.
So infected is every soul; every action tainted by the wrong, even the subconscious, and the mistakes, the natural workings of weather and illness… there are many names for this wrong - sexism, racism, war, greed, power, disease, disaster, poverty… but ultimately it is bigger than those things. It is an inherent flaw that is in the fabric of matter; it is the necessity of the human experience.
And yet the human mind knows something is wrong.
That seems incredible to me; that the wrong that is so present, so universal, so impossible to avoid… is also completely unacceptable to the healthy conscience.
This year i’ve seen more wrong in me and in others.. i won’t say more than in other years, but perhaps just the furthering of an accumulation of my awareness of more wrong on top of the wrong I already knew.
I’m so easily tired.. by emotions and by the assaults against me by this world and its inhabitants and happenings.
God does not grow weary.
I am so easily wounded, hurt, offended, angered.
Love does not take offence. God is not easily angered.
People are utterly disappointing.
Hope does not disappoint. He has poured out his great love into our hearts.
The world is gendered, ridden with power imbalance and inequality, ruled by monopolies of resources, and ultimately unsafe and unjust.
I have struggled with the concept of sin before. But seeing it as the sickness that our planet cannot shake.. the sickness that at least gives name to the evils that manifest in the abuse of power, in the infliction of abuse, murder, rape, theft, and destruction… makes more sense of the word ‘sin’ and why the gospel is a story for all of humanity.
God gives a solution to the wrong in everything. I’m trying to get my head around that solution.
"Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence."
"Believing in God is as much like falling in love as it is like making a decision. Love is both something that happens to you and something you decide upon… I have come to think belief is something that happens to us too. Sure, there is some data involved, but mostly it is this deep,deep conviction.. this idea that life is about this thing, and it really isn’t an option for it to be about something else."
Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
Sometimes I think I’m so sad, that I can’t see all the things and people there are to love. I don’t even think love exists at all.
But love, while not void of sadness, is the richest way to feel alive. To love something and appreciate it’s beauty just because it exists, can give sadness the meaning it needs to be a worthy feeling.. if that makes sense.
Today I am revelling in the submersion of love, for beautiful colours and shapes, ideas and imaginings, sounds and movements.
Existing can be poetry. And I love poetry.
I am extremely anxious today.
The pressure of life seems way too much for any human to bear, and yet so many people are coping.
I hate feeling like I’m always trying to keep up.
For a few weeks now I’ve felt like I’m up the front of the pack, keeping up the race, and at a pace that seems sustainable.
But suddenly, something gives, and my whole perspective shifts. I feel the pressure heavy in my chest.. except its not heavy, it’s just fast and spinning and spinning; a thousand strings tie themselves around the nerves of my heart, pull in different directions all at once and I struggle to breathe.
The things that stress me aren’t huge. They are everyday life things. But they seem so big.
It started with these assessments - I keep putting them off and the anxiety just gets worse as they get later and later. The health and finances of my family is constantly worrying me - not just because of the current situation, but because I think of what it means for every family struggling to cope in a capitalist system..( and what does that mean for me when I move out? and how would i cope without my parents?) Then my car failed its test and it looks like I won’t have a car anymore… a lot of my life, including my work, relies on me being able to drive this car. Without it, I feel immobilised. And I can not afford another car.
I suddenly realise then, how little I work and earn. Then I realise how dependent I am on a family that allows me to still live at home, on money that they let me borrow or just take to survive on, and on friends who pander to my childlike whinging and lack of independence. I am so dependent on everyone around me. Why can’t I work more and earn more? Am I unemployable? (I have 3 jobs.. what am I talking about? Why am I not able to pay for my own life?)
Then I think about finishing uni, which seems impossible.. and as much as I want to finish, I also don’t want to finish. What if there is no job waiting for me on the other side?
What if there is but I hate it?
What if I’m not employable? What if i can’t cope with a full time job?
What if what if what if
And with all of this.. I take shortcuts, I cheat, I gossip, I lash out on other people.. am I a good person? Do I have integrity? Am I a good friend? Will I ever have a life partner and a family?
All this pressure builds up in me and I want to hide under a rock.. but preferably a beach hut on an island, and live off fruit (until I remember I have a broken organ and I won’t last a day.. where is my sugar level? Is the stress caused by a high sugar or will all this stress just push up my sugar levels? I had a a hypo this morning.. and a hyper.. what is happening body??!)
Under pressure! (cue Queen riff)