August 29th, 2002

pod

So hard to keep my own head

I'm back in New York City where the food's overpriced and the air tastes gritty.

My last couple days in Maine were full and enjoyable ones for the most part. Until the ride home...but I'll get to that.

Tuesday was absolutely glorious in terms of weather. The sun was shining in a clear blue sky, turning the lake into a dappled sparkly sheet of saphire. There was a good wind blowing preventing the air from settling and becoming opressive, but not so harsh that it blew things about or made boating inconvenient.

There was biking (involving very little speed but lots of beauty in the form of trees and rivers and a baby deer that bounded past) There was floating in a little rubber raft that is the most comfortable object in the world and finishing of a bad book (not to mention sunburn.)

There was some irritating hearing my mother and some other person talk about various things while I was helpless in my little raft...but that wasn't too horrible.

Then we went to dinner at a very nice restaurant with the same old people we spent time with the first night. There was great conversation, INCREDIBLE lobster, and a maple creme brulee that could make you appreciate at least ONE thing that the French invented. I really enjoyed talking to Julian and the others one more time, and I held my own pretty well. The check came to $239 which wasn't bad for the food we had and we left a big tip because we thought we'd made the waitress uncomfortable with our table's consensus that religion is an elegant crock of shit.

It took me 15 minutes to convince Julian of the elegant part.

Wednesday the sun was even brighter and the lake was unbelievable, still, warm, inviting, and mocking. I managed to get some kayaking and swimming in before we had to leave but it's still kind of irritating that on THE most beautiful day there we had to pack up and head back to the city, where neither of us wants to be.

Of course during the packing my mother exploded at me out of anxiety insisting that I had misplaced the bread knife. I finally found it out on the porch where she had put it, but that's to be expected.

The ride back started out well. We finished the Spenser for hire book, saw a mother and baby moose on the road, and made great time. We also started the John Grisham book which moved so slowly that more than half way through it barely feels like it started. The Summons is the name of it. If you ever want to read a book that perfectly recreates the experience of watching paint dry...I recommend it.

Naturally the trip couldn't stay peaceful for long and eventually my mother exploded again when she discovered that I had led us astray in my navegation. I was called all manner of names and a massive fight broke out where she threatened to kill us both and I offered to leap from the car. Nothing new I'm afraid. The fight finally abated when we arrived at the junction I'd claimed was the right one and she'd insisted was all wrong only to find that...of course it was the right junction. There were apologies and that crap but it's nothing new. I hate the dynamic I have with my mother...it puts the dis in dysfunctional.

The rest of the ride was nothing special...just an anxious irritating trip home. We did pick up the cat though...so that was good.

Overall I enjoyed my time in Maine...it was enjoyable and relaxing only marred by my continually strained relationship with my mom. It's never going to work and I've accepted that...but it's still annoying when things blow up as they do from time to time, usually over some inconsequential thing that is almost immediatly forgotton.

I have more to say but it's late and I should get some shut eye because I have a lot of chores to get done so I'll leave the rest of it for tomorrow.

Yeah, I know that nobody cares, but it's not good form to just stop as if there was
  • Current Music
    Guns N Roses - Use Your Illusion II
pod

I don't know what I can't see.

I'm drifting now.

It's strange…according to many conventional standards I should be at least somewhat satisfied with the way things are going. I'm at a top college, getting top notch grades (to the point where I can be disapointed by failing to get an A+) doing well in pretty much all the other aspects of my life that matter to me, and have a future that should seem brighter and brighter by the day.

The thing is…I don't care. I really don't. It sort of surprised me when I realized it but now that I have it explains a lot of other stuff. Like my inability to choose a direction in my life…I'm apathetic not ambivalent. Or my lack of satisfaction in work or volunteerism. It's hard to be satisfied when you don't care.

Of course I do care…it's more a matter of having given up hope.

I've given up hope that I could effect change in any field that I chose to enter…and if I can't effect change then what's the point? Why bother? For me there's no internal joy without external consequences. I want to achieve not "enjoy the process." I've also given up hope that our society will turn itself around and stop sliding into an amoral feminized pit of simplicity and meaninglessness. I've given up hope that we will jar ourselves out of this malise.

I think that all of this was brought about by the death of the complicated idea. Think about it…when was the last time you heard someone say "It's complicated" as something other than a dismisal of the subject? The soundbite age is about simplicity and universality and it doesn't work at all. Sometimes I feel that my scholarly success is purely based on the fact that I understand that not all things have a single cause or a single solution, or even a single essential aspect/facet. It's possible to view a text from both a classic and deconstructionalist perspective. Sometimes a drug problem is related to other stuff and sometimes it's just a drug problem. There are at least two simple ways to determine statistical significance (confidence interval, Z/T test).

These days it's all about latching on to a single, usually not bad, idea and riding it into the dirt until all sorts of horrible and illogical conclusions are reached and then hung on to.

Even COMPLEXITY has been simplified. It used to be that certain things were viewed in a two dimensional black and white context. Now we know better…however now we look at things from so MANY damned perspectives that they lose all meaning. 16 dimensions is WORSE than two.

I am caught in the wrong time, the wrong generation. I don't belong here. I can't fix things…the disease is too deeply entrenched for one man to make any significant progress against it.

Maybe I'm not drifting. Maybe I'm just standing on the shore watching helplessly as the greatest society in earth's history goes hurtling over the waterfall.

Whatever it is it sucks.
  • Current Music
    Hootie and the Blowfish- Fairweather Johnson.