Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oh how fun!

Over the past two days I have done some intense navel-gazing. What have I found in there? Not lint. If only it were simply lint.

For those of you not in the know (those mythical few who will encounter this blog through random searches and etc), in the past ten years I have not spent more than 11 months in the same place, and often less than that. I nearly cried when mounting my new razor holder in the shower because it's the first time I've known I would spend more than 12 months (I've been in this apartment for 7 months, and have 13 more guaranteed) in the same place since I was a child. Ten years ago I was sixteen and leaving, now I am nearing 26, and planning to stay for a while.

I've invested time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears to convince myself that I am portable and self-sustaining. At any time I can pack up my belongings, friendships, emotions, and just leave. Wherever I am I can make my own way (dammit!!). I can take care of myself and no one else need apply.

Though it looks good on the luggage tag, this philosophy doesn't actually work well for me! Sure, in limited doses this plan is fine. But I do need people I can entirely trust with myself and my stories. I do need regular hugging. I do need someone to cry on/with. I need to be needed. It is a pain in the ass to start from scratch every time I go somewhere. A friendship cannot live on email alone. Being brave, controlled, self sufficient is a wonderful habit to be in-but it is also tiring. I can't do that 100% 99% 89% of the time! And I can only do it if I know I have backup. If I am the last line of defense I'm screwed.

Now, I've had wonderful friends, people who have called me long-distance, sent me money, let me know they were thinking of me, I love these people! But I have come to a time in my life where I don't want to be in desperation before finding the means to reach out to my friends. I want to pursue friendships in one place (not ditching those of you who are scattered throughout the globe, I can't do it without you). I want to stay in one place for a while. I want to make myself a home and a long-term plan. I want to retire the duffle-bags and suitcase on wheels. I want to be a "normal" person.

You'd think this would be a positive, normal thought to think. And you'd be right. But it scares the shit out of me. What? Need people? That means I am lonely if there are no people around! That means I want something that I don't necessarily have the power to provide or guarantee! That means I can't just pack my things and go in search of greener pastures! That requires commitment, tenacity, and a willingness to let myself be vulnerable. (noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!)

Edit: And now I recall perhaps the best point I intended to make, but had forgotten in the heat of the moment.

Back in my last two years of highschool and first two years of college I was coasting on the A/B meridian. I didn't really study, I wrote papers at the last minute, and I knew I could and would get away with it. When I finally decided to address the topic with myself I noticed that it boiled down to fear. My guiding fear is that people will one day discover that I am stupid. So if I was getting grades below my potential, it was due to the fact that I "wasn't really trying." I challenged myself to an experiment: TRY. See what happens.

My grades rose. Dramatically.

Ah yes. The extended metaphor. The Allusion. The Theme, Motif, Moral.

Same goes for life honey. I can coast through, dissatisfied, but discount it as "well, I would have done better, but I wasn't really trying." But that's bullshit. I call bullshit on myself. I challenge myself to TRY.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. John F. Kennedy

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. John F. Kennedy

Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource. John F. Kennedy


So here we go.

Today I was listening to "
Democracy Now," as I do every now and then. It's all an experiment in being more politically aware, in approaching a variety of sources in order to learn enough backstory that my own opinions have half a leg, or possibly a few toes to stand upon.

And just a few moments I was checking my everfriendly gmail and noticed the JFK Quote of the day there, which led me to a site of
JFK quotes, several of which complimented my current train of thought (and are now reproduced above, of course).

The interviewee of the day, a journalist from the UK, strongly voiced his opinion that US media is conformist and lazy (my words, not his). Journalists borrow from one another, build plastic pearls on imaginary grains of sand, toe the line. Repeating the same message insures an audience, we think "I heard something about _____ the other day/week, maybe tonight's news will explain the story to me." A dissenting voice is easily drowned beneath the united front of "national news" organizations.

Yes, the internet allows us to pick and choose, but isn't it easier to look at (and weigh in on)
Oscars fashion? No backstory necessary! Just pretty colours! Hell yeah I'm guilty, and I don't intend to give up, I just intend to eat more vegetables with my chocolate.

Lengthly, lengthly....

To ramble back to my original thread of thinking. The interviews on todays DN raised an interesting question, directly related to
quote II, above: How much information is enough? and how much is too much?

I understand the value of classifying information, there are certain things that ought not to be distributed throughout the public... but for some reason my leetle brains haven't spent much time thinking about who decides what is classified, and why. And who decides the exceptions? Just how much information is needed in order to form an opinion of merit? What if in the haste to distribute as much new information as possible we're overwhelmed with infospam? How the hell could information be moderated in a moderate manner? In the context of the DN interviews today the answers to these questions have greater interest to me than they did before. As the username implies, I'm a rambler,
today's rambles may line tomorrow's wastepaper bins. Or they might make interesting sculpture. Hrm.

I come to
quote-the-third, if people are not educated to question, and requestion, and question-again-a-little-bit-later, and think of new questions to ask, or old questions to ask but now in a silly voice... we're doomed. If as a community, nation, roundy-thing-floating-in-space, we do not learn to analyze the answers to these questions, we're doomed. Maybe not in a fire from the sky end of everything RIGHT NOW scenario, but we gradually are instead educating ourselves to be lazy, boring sheeplemmings.


And who in their right mind wants to be a sheeplemming? Even if you are one who knows just what you would wear to the Academy Awards.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A first post just to check things out around here.... After attempting to retrieve my password eleven times last night I think I finally made it through. Here's checking.