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Someone smarter than me wrote a book, and someone else smarter than me wrote about that book.¹ Twice, actually.² This book hits a little close to home. In any case, what I can’t get away from is that even assuming my graphomania is an actual pathology, I don’t know what the cure looks like.
I’ve tried going cold turkey, and that for sure ain’t it.
So, here we are. My hope is that I can do some combination of getting things off my chest and sorting out my own issues, although without the adolescent courage (or foolhardiness — it’s hard to tell most of the time) that involves a lot of personal detail. I will be honest enough to say that on some level I wish I were an Important Writer that people would tweet about, even while hating Twitter and everything it stands for. Whether this is a pathology or just a sign of the times remains an open question.
Because my brain works the way it does, I have a tendency to address problems from the wrong end. So for example, I have a really hard time getting worked up by politics, because to me it’s all a distraction from the really obvious stuff: be less terrible to other people, that kind of thing. I’m convinced that all the rest: the alleged political “science,” the polling, the punditry, is just a way to abstract away basic morality so that we don’t have to do it. We’ve taken the Enlightenment and fed it a bunch of steroids so that it can go around beating people up (mostly the poor).
But of course, once you argue against a framework, you’ve only reinforced that framework; it’s the old “don’t think of an elephant” problem. So I’m back to square one, which is mostly me just sitting in a corner being annoyed at the dog-and-pony show while also feeling vaguely left out of most adult conversations.
A poet I really like said at one point that God sends us the occasional extraordinary person to tell us to behave ourselves, but that in general He knows us so doesn’t really worry about it. I’ve always found this to be somewhat unsatisfactory, but then Nick Cave said something similar in a song once and now I don’t know what to think.
For all this, I keep coming back to writing about what I think, and it’s proved impossible to totally separate myself from those around me (although God knows I’ve tried). I still don’t know why this compulsion exists, but that no longer seems answerable. Maybe it does ultimately come down to ego, but more than that I think it comes to looking for connection. I’m afraid of just sitting with myself, and so am looking for some company.
As for what you should expect going forward, I think this post is a fair example. My daily life is as prosaic as they come, for good or ill, with little beyond a sprinkling of mental illness to add zest. I can’t escape this desire for something else, even if it’s not wholly clear what that something else is. Maybe we’ll find it.
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