“You get less time for stealing a car – I remember thinking as I heard my own record in a bar.”
Do we have any responsibility for these things? Are we insecure rambling malcontents? Are we artists? Do artists have any responsibility for the impact of their work on society? Does anybody but artists give a shit about this stuff?
Doonesbury has recently had a nice run of cute little cartoons about blogging. These observations are pretty funny if somewhat obvious: “Oh my gosh! Nuts get on the Web and lie to each other!” No shit.
Despite myself, these strips have got me thinking again about why I bother doing this. What is that urge we have to communicate with strangers? Why do we record the mundane details of our thoughts and lives? What kind of ego does it take to think anyone will care what I had for lunch last Tuesday? I feel like blogs need to be about something – need real content. The trouble is, one person’s ‘content’ is another’s ‘boring crap’.
Lou has a nice point above about how a fairly simple thought – a few lines of poetry – could haunt you. How many of us write something and then come back 10 years later and wonder what the fuck we were thinking? Lou has had “Walk on the Wild Side” clinging to him for over 20 years now. I often wonder if anything I’ve put down here will come back and bit me on the ass years from now.
You know what? – why don’t you go look at some porn instead…that’s what the Web’s really for.
Relationships are a tricky business aren’t they? No matter what our intentions – how apparently selfless or noble we imagine ourselves – we cut a swath of emotional destruction through this life. There are so many mistakes that we make that cause someone else pain. There’s no map for avoiding these traps either, is there? We all do it. It’s the nature of the beast isn’t it?
Paul Auster’s City of Glass turned around and became brilliant on me when I read this:
“Baudelaire: Il me semble que je serais toujours bien là où je ne suis pas. In other words: It seems to me that I will always be happy in the place where I am not. Or, more bluntly: Wherever I am not. Or, more bluntly: Wherever I am not is the place where I am myself. Or else, taking the bull by the horns: Anywhere out of the world.”
Traditionally, my tactic for dealing with pain is withdrawal. ‘Wherever I am not’ is a refuge from making those mistakes born of perceived inadequacy. I will hole up in my basement apartment and the world will be far away. Neither of us will have to feel the inevitable scars of engagement.
I’m beginning to think this is possibly the stupidest way I can live this life.