blackswanevent: (The most accurate dolldevine)
[personal profile] blackswanevent


You ask how this can be.
I only know that it is true
And bitter agony.

-Cattulus

Yesterday I went to the doctor. This isn’t an unusual occurrence. While I may not have been to see a people doctor recently I go to see head doctors pretty regularly. I know I’m not alone in this, although google is vague as far as weather visits have risen or fallen in the past few years but it seems that people are focused on turning inward.

I am at least. I’m young. I’m 25. While there is the rare individual who knows who they are at 25 overwhelming experience seems to indicate that most people don’t become secure until 27 when the stars magically align for individuals in my group of friends and they are suddenly successful productive adults who have jobs and who work and who are functional. I’d say from about 25 to 27 the people who I have encountered straighten up, fly right, and join the sea of salmon swimming upstream to procreate.

I addressed some pretty major problems I’ve been having with said shrink. Stress and worry that my job which I’ve gradually come to loathe is going to come to an end. The ever present looming sense of homelessness which I am amazed does not haunt more productive adults. Feelings of sheer inadequacy as I approach my 25th birthday compared to my friends who are in this magical three year milestone or have passed said milestone and seem to be sane either by sheer stroke of luck or passing through the alleyway of death.

The majority of the visit was spent assuaging my fears about being homeless. I don’t go into detail about it. What you need to know is that for two months I was. It was bad. Bad enough to make me want t o belittle other people’s problems. Bad enough to make me want to take a sign and wave it in everyone’s faces. I mix that with my desire to not only live but thrive, and the world becomes a pretty severely bleak and depressing place.

I was told a number of things about my state of affairs and I took them to heart and promised to engage in research to teach me better coping skills about all of this to help me survive without homicide until I reach the magical 27 but I wanted to take a moment to comment on something that has contributed to these feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and burning rage.

Social Networks.

Before we dive into the point I wanted to make, I’ll share with you a brief personal story. Once upon a time there was a teenage girl.
Pretty normal right?

Anyway she may have acted like a teenager but she had a set of really immature parents and through lack of a desire to succeed and a desire to keep expectations low she brought herself to a place where she was looking for a ticket on the night train to the big sleep. Her desire to take this train was less motivated by pain and more motivated by a desire to cause others pain. Locked in a situational depression spiral she wanted everyone to pay for their lives being filled with sunshine and rainbows. She announced this desire publically, and was promptly accosted by three police officers and paramedics when she returned home to purchase her train to the big sleep.

For some reason, people seemed to want to keep her around. Either for amusement or dancing shenanigans or for lack of a prancing pony in their lives or because they believed the right to sunshine and rainbows was a fundamental one for every human being.

It remains a mystery.

Research indicates that livejournal-where her admonishment about other people being happy was posted-was founded in 1999. Further research points to facebook being launched in 2004. The prevalence of social networking has spread and it is regularly used by others who not only want to share what is positive in their lives with their fellow humans but also those who perhaps want to announce their sorrows and suffering. It is uniting mankind, nay saving mankind.

In sitting there and talking to my shrink yesterday I was reminded of the good that social networks had done and have done about connecting other people to the world and giving people who may not have a social outlet “In reality”. Yet here I was regularly accosted by images of parties that I was not attending, friends who I was not spending time with, items that I was not owning, regular updates on the status of work, school, and friendship from other human beings.

The very tool which had prevented that lonely angry teenager from riding the night train to the big sleep, buying the farm, taking a dirt nap seemed to have turned on others. How is it possible to compete with someone who’s life seemingly exists to spiral endlessly upward? Or endlessly downward? Either way you are measuring yourself against someone you may never meet. Someone who might be an internet pedophile or a federal agent looking for internet pedophiles by pretending to like naruto or Disney princesses-am I right?

About halfway through our conversation about this yesterday I yelled out-“Why the fuck can’t people just do it instead of asking for ass pats? Instead of asking for affirmation that they are accomplishing what they are accomplishing? Today I got up, brushed my teeth, took a shit, and then went out and drew an amazing picture. Do you want a medal?”

I was perhaps angry that I was not able to post constant statuses about costumes I was building or things that I was doing online but my shrink said “I agree.”

I considered asking myself what this might be a deeper symptom of. Generations before us would relay social networking style information to human beings personally. We encouraged physical interaction as opposed to constant updating on facebook. What had we degenerated into that humanity had become this drooling machine unable to function without telling everybody every detail of their life? What had I become? I wanted to change the world, I did not want to alert everyone to everything that I was doing but I lived in burning firey envy of every social thing that everyone else was doing?

The obvious answer to this line of reasoning is “It’s my social networking site, how dare you sensor what I’m trying to say, I’ll talk about whatever the fuck I want and besides you’re backing up nothing that you say with facts-just the butthurt meanderings of somebody who rather then make their life like mine and as awesome as mine is trying to make me feel worse again.”
I don’t blame you for thinking that way and yeah, probably if our situations were reversed in terms of me feeling like I need activity I’d feel that way.

Go with me on this though. All of these statuses indicate a desire for more people to pay attention to someone’s daily activities. Updates of “I am doing this now” and “I am doing this. I am outside I just had a great meal.”

Why do I need to know what you ate? Why do I need to know that you just aced a thing at work or got an A at school? Am I happy for you? Of course but a daily status post indicative of your successes for the day should be enough as opposed to constant updates on your activities shouldn’t it? How am I supposed to find the things that are really going on with you if I am drowning in a sea of "Today I did.."? I want to hear about the dangerous things so that I know to offer support and sympathy-not drowning in "Today this happened."

Or is it even enough? Should I even read what you’re trying to say or should I want to seek you out and ask you? That’s how people did it in the old days. If something exciting happened then you would go to someone and ask them about it. That’s why while I have social networking sites I prefer IM.

Or even, honestly a good old fashioned phone call. Not because I don’t care about what you have to say, but I care enough to ask you as opposed to you having to tell me.

I sat there and listened to the shrink and realized that is the heart of the dilemma of my generation. We feel like nobody cares.

My heart broke a little then and I wondered if it was a sense of transference or if it was an actual understanding that my generation seems stuck on nobody caring. We stand on the shoulders of geniuses, on the shoulders of parents and grandparents and talented people who shaped a world for us and we feel so utterly broken and useless that we are shouting into the mindless void of the internet, screaming, begging someone to take an interest in our daily activities.

I wouldn’t even be as sad about this if it were just work and school achievements. “I am going out for dinner, I am going to do this, I am going to do this.” It is a stream of never ending lack of acknowledgement.
“I am going to see the avengers, for the love of god let me tell you what I think. Perhaps no one in my party listened to me about my opinion.”

“Listen to me.”

“Love me. Tell me my opinion mattered.”

“For the love of god love me because I don’t know what else I can do.”

I acknowledged that my motivations were that. That I would eagerly check places where I had posted things hoping for opinions because my own insecurities contributed to feeling unloved. The internet loved me. Even if they thought I was childish, the internet loves me
Heartbreak turned to anger. How dare the generation with the greatest access to skills, the most tools, and the most knowledge be reduced to a bunch of mewling morons pounding helplessly at the world begging to be heard even on the smallest opinion?

Anger turned to indifference, as seems to be the norm and the acknowledgement that “well if I had exciting stuff going on would I really be thinking about this?”

Maybe it’s the three years that I spent living in a luddite household and being forced to by pure economic position to continue existing as a luddite, but it’s a thought. Outside the sun is beautiful and shining and there are things that individuals CAN accomplish. I don’t need to tell everyone every single sordid detail of my experiences. It’s enough that I had them and that having had them I am made stronger by them.

What is to prevent other people from studying the things that they have done and acknowledging that what they do is engrossing and incredible and that yes, it matters? That rather than asking other people to believe in themselves that they believe in themselves and simply live for the joy of what they’re doing?

That evening I went up to a wrap-party for a friend’s film in Hollywood. I sat back and listened to people and what encouraged me to believe that the people involved in this movie would be successful was the fact that they missed being on set. They didn’t care about the film they wanted to be on set. They wanted to be working. It’s the same attitude that I saw during Repo, the same attitude that drove two guys and a couple of girls in a mini-van across the country. If you are happy in who you are you do not need approval for the things you do
The great tragedy is, by the number of tweets and the number of plurks and the number of facebooks statuses encouraging me “please like this” “Tell me what you think” it seems like the majority of us are not happy and secure.

Simply by achieving a tool we have succeeded as people.

And yet the talent that people have and the things that people have written show a generation of men and women who have great depth and personal feeling who if they do not journey outward as our ancestors have done they could journey inward and create great things. They could build a house with the tools that they have and it would be the most beautiful house in the world. It would be a monument to power and prestige and the human spirit.

Yet we are rendered so utterly insecure by some unseen crippling force that we cry out to the heavens doubting that which we have in our hands. I talk about the magical three years where people seem to straighten up and fly right yet if the situation was encouraged they too need to announce their every move to the world. You guys are sane. You guys are normal, you guys are everything in life that I want to be why are you so stuck on telling me about it?
Another potential question you might ask me is say
“well. Ramen, Carolyn, why haven’t you pointed out the potential vindictiveness in this? You seem firmly bent on trying to point out humanity’s failings as a whole, perhaps we’re all doing this simply to rub people like you in the dirt. Ever hear of shadenfreude?”

I discussed that possibility WITH the shrink and came to the same conclusion that I always do when faced with a potential human failing.

No matter what anyone might think about mankind even in the race’s darkest moments mankind is fundamentally good.

Now, I’m not going to make an argument that we’re not stupid. We are. We as a species are possibly the dumbest species ever to crawl out of the water. We’re bigoted, we’re foul, we’re racist, we’re rapists, we’re violent, we’re cruel, we are just plain nasty. Despite this, we are fundamentally good.

Here’s what counts as fundamentally good for me. Even motivated by selfish desires we want people to succeed. We want people to have the sunshine and rainbows. We may be the most bigoted racist hyper religious monkeys to ever ooze anywhere but the basic rights of what it takes to live we find reprehensible. Even if it takes time we will oust people who feel that way. It might take time, but if there is one thing my generation HAS done it’s called attention to the sins of the past and asked for reparation. Simply sometimes by being indifferent-we're positive!

Weather we do this out of fundamental pureness of heart or simply to make ourselves feel better it’s still a pretty decent thing to do. Even if it takes years the notion that “hey this is not okay” to sink into humanity it WILL sink in.

Even if it’s motivated by buying a place in heaven at this point given the things that we’ve done I’ll take whatever I can get.

The long and the short of it is, Is it vindictive? That’s between you and yourself. This isn’t about judging people, it’s simply something that I’ve observed. People make these constant status updates and facebook posts and plurks and tweets and while I was initially annoyed and then angry all I want to do is hug them just as much as I can.

I may be totally wrong about all of this. I may be barking up the wrong tree, but the potential remains. And so. An open letter to my generation.

Dear My Generation,

…When in the course of human events great technological progress is reached and we are left in the clutches of great devices it becomes important to remind one another of the following. Great progress has been made by the generations before us and we are left on a plateau of accomplishment.

It is only natural to feel that perhaps there is nothing else for us to do or any places to go. With this progress we have been making it is painful to admit that perhaps there might be nowhere to go. With this progress we are forced to confront that we are a whole as opposed to the individual. The more people who arrive the less we might perhaps feel valued.

I urge you to consider what I have said. When the chips are down, when you are at the lowest of the low, there will always be people who will be reaching for you and asking you to reach up. I ask you, I beg you to consider the potential that people might have more faith in you then you realize. You do not need to hammer helplessly at any activity and beg people to acknowledge you.

Take it from someone who has seen a depth that humanity can reach. Someone who, through seeing it can imagine just how awful things can get without even seeing the other depths that people could potentially suffer.

The thing that keeps me going, the thing that should keep you going is that you do matter. Let us matter more together . Give me your hands, members of my generation. Give me your hands and I swear on everything holy that my life is yours and I will fight for you if in return you will fight for me. But do me the courtesy of believing enough in yourself not to beg for my attention. Even if you hate me, even if you disagree you are mine and I am yours. My faith is yours, my will to fight is yours.

It is yours from the outset. Yours from the beginning. It was always yours. Call me a Hufflepuff forever but every day when I see what we as a species have done I am moved to tears. And the notion that such greatness, such potential lives in each and every single one of us is awe inspiring and beautiful. I beg you.

Love yourself as much as I love you.

To quote a popular movie of mine (because it wouldn’t be a blog without a popular movie quote) “Yeah, well, they may be inbred, violent, sociopathic sadistic misogynistic monsters.” But you’re my inbred violent sociopathic sadistic misogynistic monsters and no matter how hard I want to stop believing in humanity I just can’t.

Don’t let my belief go to waste. I can't be alone in this.

Sincerely yours,
A humanity fan.

Of course I might completely invalidate this post by putting it up in public places and asking people to take a look at it.

It doesn’t matter. I still we’re pretty awesome. And I can tell this because I just want to tell people that I love them as opposed to screaming for attention. At least I swallowed my sense of annoyance and frustration at “Like my status” in facebook. It seems like we could use the love more. There is too much hurt in this world to doubt who we are.

Look at it this way. I could love you and pour out my feelings and my sorrow at the conclusion I arrived at or I could simply say "Quit clogging my timeline with useless posts when I want to hear the serious stuff."
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blackswanevent: (Default)
And that is why that girl is called a tease.

April 2014

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