Stream of Consciousness Theatre presents: Friday the 13th

Happy Monday!

I’ve always been fond of the day Friday in general.  For example, I was born on a Sunny Friday just past 12noon. Growing up I had an interest in norse and greek mythology and since then I’ve discovered an interest for etymology(1) which has since lead me to appreciate Friday more as the day was named after the Norse Goddess Frigga

Friday (n.)
sixth day of the week, Old English frigedæg “Friday, Frigga’s day,” from Frige, genitive of *Frigu (see Frigg), Germanic goddess of married love. The day name is a West Germanic translation of Latin dies Veneris “day of (the planet) Venus,” which itself translated Greek Aphrodites hemera. Source: “Friday” Etymology Online

 

I’ve always, also, been fond of the number 13 in general.  For example, the number 13 is a “happy number” mathematically(2) but also it makes me happy because it’s the baker’s dozen (there’s gotta be a “test pastry” for the baker, right?).  Fin and Louie also like pastries. 

Copy of Wanted Western Themed Party Invitation Flyer Template   

Given the sum of the parts Friday, a day celebrating love and beauty, and 13 being a number with such happy connotations, Friday the 13th should be a good day.  And it is depending on what you’re taking into consideration.  

friday-the-13th-movies

Given how well this movie franchise has done, I’m starting to question how much Americans actually dislike Friday the 13th


Despite, or rather because, the fact that so many Americans have a stigma for Friday the 13th, it’s one of the best days for driving because the superstitious are less likely to be on the road leaving the rest of us sociopathic vehicle operators which sounds like an amusing day on the road.  However in reality, I couldn’t find statically significant data proving whether it’s a safer day for driving or robbing a bank or anything.  

The main reason this day has any “significance” is because of various rumours and pieces of propaganda throughout history involving legendary figures like Knights Templar and King Harold II and their demise, none of which has any significant historical basis other than in the Christian tradition of demonising non-Christian symbols, mythologies, and deities in a quest for spiritual world dominance (which does have a significant, and rather bloody at that, historical basis).  

These pieces of sensationalist legend about Friday the 13th being a satanically evil day can be called conspiracy theories or propaganda but since they lack any significant factual basis there’s a more modern term appropriate for it: Fake News.  Don’t let people others tell you how you should feel about a specific day because that’s submitting to a form of mind control.  I’m serious.

One of the key challenges for me on a regular basis, and I know that I’m  not the only one who struggles with this, is knowing when and to what extent to question myself and my beliefs.  Over the course of the last 5 years I’ve been forced to examine, dissect, and reassemble almost every aspect of my life (it all started when I turned 24 and I took my first solo trip cross country and realised a few weeks in “What’s my end game here?”).  Welcome to The Quarter-Life Crisis: The Millennial Generation’s individual and collective struggle to find meaning.  

quarter-life-e-card

2 real 4 me

I’ve always been a worker but I haven’t always sought meaningful work.  For the first 5 years of my working life I did whatever made me money and I used to pull in(3).  Then I went off to my second music festival and I came home dirty broke, beautiful, free, and in the mood to quit my job and become a hobo (find work that took me traveling) because despite my new found feelings of freedom I was still trapped just in a cage of a new making.  

The process took years to fully manifest and for me to become deeply aware of what it was that was driving my incessant need to escape.  My first reading of the book Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace was like a light that caught the bars of cage in just a way that sparked my sense of self-awareness.  I began the book 4 months before I decided to stop drinking (for a long while at minimum)(4) and finished it after 3 months sober(5).  One of the motifs in Infinite Jest (IJ) is this concept of “The Cage”.  

“The Cage” as I understand it can be summed up in a joke one of the side characters tells Don Gately, a main character

“Bob Death smiles coolly (South Shore bikers are required to be extremely cool in everything they do) and manipulates a wooden match with his lip and says No, not that fish-one. He has to assume a kind of bar-shout to clear the noise of his idling hawg. He leans in more toward Gately and shouts that the one he was talking about was: This wise old whiskery fish swims up to three young fish and goes, ‘Morning, boys, how’s the water?’ and swims away; and the three young fish watch him swim away and look at each other and go, ‘What the fuck is water?’ and swim away.  The young biker leans back and smiles at Gately and gives an affable shrug and blatts away, a halter top’s tits smashed against his back.” (445)

The way I understand The Cage is not only the physical presence of the water, in this situation I am a fish, but also becoming aware of it’s overwhelming presence and what to do about it.  

IMG_20171009_081240

A fish sticks joke AND a Ghost in the Shell joke? hahaha…I crack me up anyway


Once I became aware of the scope of The Cage, it became very clear to me that I would have to begin the long process of finding what “meaningful work” means to me and then once I’ve defined it, beginning the journey to find (or more likely create) that job.  This blog is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for helping to be apart of that journey.  

Tune in Wednesday for a Hellbound Special Edition of Rewind Wednesday (returning for a limited time, future posting unclear).

-fin       

 

Footnotes:

  1. I can pinpoint the precise moment when I became intrigued by the concept of etymology, of which I had a blithe indifference towards prior, and how a precisely chosen word can  add to the flavour of a text. October 2006, the first time I read House of Leaves and I got to page 114. I posted about it on Labour day a few weeks ago on Instagram.
  2. And this is why I love math and wikipedia: “A happy number is a number defined by the following process: Starting with any positive integer, replace the number by the sum of the squares of its digits in base-ten, and repeat the process until the number either equals 1 (where it will stay), or it loops endlessly in a cycle that does not include 1. Those numbers for which this process ends in 1 are happy numbers, while those that do not end in 1 are unhappy numbers (or sad numbers).[1]

    Or applied to our example:

    13 is happy
    1^2 + 3^2 = 10
    1^2 + 0^2 =  1

    Also, thankfully, the proof for 13 being happy is much shorter than the proof for 7 being happy (I was hoping it wouldn’t be…)

    IMG_20171009_064303

    I gave up after 9 steps. 9 is an unhappy number.

    For more information, see the WolfRam page on  Happy Numbers.

  3. I used to work in speciality retail on commissions and despite my love for the word “fuck”, I made a pretty fucking good salesman (consistently top in the company for the 2 years I worked there).
  4. In spirit of transparency, I was sober collectively for 12 of 14 months and just before returning home to the US I decided I had cleared my head enough to suss out some deeper concerns and now I do have a few beers some times.  I still don’t really do hard liquor except on special occasions.      
  5. Now that I’m thinking about it (this is all strange coincidence) I started Infinite Jest a second time because after reading it for the first time whilst trying to go sober, whilst working full time, whilst going to school full time (English Lit, reading a lot for class), whilst trying to get paperwork and self (mentally, emotionally, physically) ready to travel abroad for a year or so, whilst dealing with an expiring lease and trying to work out couch surfing plans for the month before I left the country whilst trying to think about organising a birthday/going away party at the end of the summer before I left (birthday: 23rd September; fly: 1st October) whilst starting a new blog, I had a lot on my mind.  So after the first time finishing it, most people I’ve spoken to who have finished it think “…what the fuck, man?”, I couldn’t even manage that.  I was pretty sure I had missed literal chunks of the narrative from drunk-over or sleep deprived reading.  I decided to start reading the book again the day I flew (or intended to) and finished it for the second time just after getting home (which was around the same time I same time I decided to crack a cold one with the boys, after getting home that is not finishing the book despite the ending).  
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Stream of Consciousness Theatre Presents: Letting go

Happy Monday!

Letting go is something I think about frequently, mostly because I have such an issue with letting go (or so I’m told by just about everyone I know).  Shoes are an excellent example.  I’ve never been much of a driver, I briefly had a car(1) for about a year between the ages of 19 and 20, and after I got kicked off my school bus at the tender age

shoes

These shoes have seen hundreds of ran miles, 1000’s of walked miles, 10’s of bicycling miles, 3 countries, 4 states, and countless hours of work at two different jobs since July 2016. 

of eight for fighting too much(2) I became an avid walker and later bicyclist.  However when you walk and ride literally everywhere, coupled with an on-and-off running habit, you chew through some shoes.

 

I need new shoes.  It’s not a problem of money (I do okay between my day job and side work), it’s not a problem of transportation (my relaxed crusing speed is  about 20mph, I like to go fast), and as much as I may bitch about time that’s not it either (I work an average of 40 hours, have a very active social life, and the blog eats up another 15 hours) the problem is: letting go.  For me I develop this ambivalence of disgust and endearment the more beat up and torn and generally wreked my shoes get.

I mentioned getting new shoes to my boss and he said “What’s wrong with you?! Those shoes complete this ‘hobo-chic’ look you got going on.” (3) I still don’t know if he was being sarcastic.(4)  Comments like this don’t help motivate me to get new shoes because I feel like I hold on to things (not just material objects, honestly not even most stuff I hold on to are material(5)) and people and emotions and stories I tell about my self and the things I’ve done and the people I’ve met and known as a way to some how solidify my identity.

I’ve always lived by phrases like “You are what you do” (I work, I am a worker; I write, I am a writer; I create, I am a creator) and “You can tell a lot about a person based on the company they keep”(6), and my favourite “You can learn a lot about a person based on their shoes”.  Sure they’re cliche but I feel like they’re bits of wisdom that resonate with how I shape my identity.

I work for a living and my shoes reflect that.  I’m not bothered with material possessions and my shoes reflect that.  I rather be underestimated so I can surprise people and my shoes reflect that.

Logically I know I’ve well gotten my money’s worth from this pair(7) and I also know that winter is coming.

winter is coming

The idea of Jon Snow shoveling my sidewalk is as funny as it is hot.

Soon my shoes will be new and so they will say different things about me.  I’m pretty adaptable and don’t usually resist change but letting go of some things like old shoes, old friends, incompatible partners, toxic feelings, and all the other things we feel we deserve mostly because we’ve invested so much time and effort in them is hard even if we consciously recognise their less than productive effects.

The one thing I’ve struggled with the most in this regard, referring to letting go, is recognising that time invested does not equate to quality of investment whether that be relationships (friends, family, partners, etc) or literal investments of things (such as shoes).  I am learning to let go, slowly, because I believe it’s going to become a critical skill to my future as an entrepreneur and a generally healthy human being.

Speaking of letting go, tune in next Monday when I post my review of “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro.

-Fin

 

Footnotes:

  1. 1988 Corsica, she was a beast.  Lived for a solid 20 years before she got too decapitated due to, honestly, poor upkeep from both my father then me which is the story of how I bought a car for $1 once.
  2. I got bullied a lot (surprise surprise) and I don’t take shit (chat shit, get hit).
  3. I’ve had more than a few partners tell me “I don’t know why but you have this kinda dirty look about you that’s really fucking hot even though I feel like it shouldn’t be”.  I don’t know how I feel about all that but I have kinda embraced the whole hobo (not to be mixed up with a bum, hobo’s work for a living but they travel where the work takes them) thing over the years.
  4. I struggle with sarcasm for some reason which was another layer of culture adjustment when I was in the UK (Little known fact: Sarcasm, not English, is the primary spoken language in the UK).
  5. I’m a practicing minimalist.
  6. I’m actually in the process of re building my social life to surround myself with people who are ambitious and self motivated, as I am, and aspire to be bigger than them selves (being in and contributing to a community, starting a community, etc) because one think I remember reading from some hokey “self-help” books was that you will only be as successful (on average) as your most successful acquaintance.  If you surround yourself with lazy bastards, you may resist but you’ll never get full support.  Surround yourself with like minded ambitious and motivated peoples and you’ll find inspiration and support everywhere.  Then whilst you grow, then you’re able to give back support and bring in new young people in the fold.  Rising waters raises all ships.
  7. I have to buy nice hiking shoes (like $100 minimum) due to my active life style otherwise I will eat through 2-5 pairs a year depending on quality (nicer shoes, maybe 2 pair; cheapy shoes, closer to 5) and it over all comes out to the same price however if I spend a bit upfront, I make one shoe run a year, if I go cheapy I will be running to the damn store ever few months and I will always feel like my shoes are always fucking falling apart.

Stream of Consciousness Theatre presents: First Try

Happy Monday!

life

I’m often plagued with the phrase “If you can’t find the time to do it right the first time, when will you find the time to do it a second time?” reinforced by Jack Kerouac’s philosophy of “first thought, best thought”

“By not revising what you’ve already written you simply give the reader the actual workings of your mind during the writing itself: you confess your thoughts about events in your own unchangeable way. Well, look, did you ever hear a guy telling a long wild tale to a bunch of men in a bar and all are listening and smiling, did you ever hear that guy stop to revise himself, go back to a previous sentence to improve it, to defray its rhythmic thought impact? If he pauses to blow his nose, isn’t he planning his next sentence? And when he lets that next sentence loose, isn’t it once and for all the way he wanted to say it? Doesn’t he depart from the thought of that sentence and, as Shakespeare says, ‘forever holds his tongue’ on the subject, since he’s passed over it like a part of a river that flows over a rock once and for all and never returns and can never flow any other way in time? Incidentally, as for my bug against periods, that was for the prose in October in the Railroad Earth – very experimental, intended to clack along all the way like a steam engine pulling a one-hundred-car freight with a talky caboose at the end. That was my way at the time and it still can be done if the thinking during the swift writing is confessional and pure and all excited with the life of it. And be sure of this, I spent my entire youth writing slowly with revisions and endless rehashing speculation and deleting and it got so I was writing one sentence a day and the sentence had no feeling. Goddamn it, feeling is what I like in art; not craftiness and the hiding of feelings.”

-Kerouac on “first though, best though” Source: I Fear Brooklyn

and legendary achievements such as the SF short story “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” which was not only written in one sitting/one draft but also went on to win a Hugo Award.  My experience as a cook hasn’t taught me any different, “You have to be perfect the first time, every time because we don’t have time for a second chance” as many of my chefs have told me over the years which became something I came to resent about the industry but made an imprint on how I shape my self as a creator.

I frequently feel like a man running out of time, being out of step with people of my generation and off the beaten path for what constitutes a reasonable existence, approaching thirty with next to nothing to show for myself other than a collection of scar tissue and a creative interpretation on the conventions of grammar and syntax.

I think frequently though about Kerouac’s process, regardless of his claim to write On the Road in one draft, more specifically one 120 foot long scroll he constructed to feed into his typewriter so he could write continuously, but his process was longer than that.  Longer than 120 feet and longer than the three weeks it took him to cover that roll in ink.

His idea was to capture the improvisation of the jazz musician, to create something so raw but right that the first time it comes into being it’s presentable. As Wachowaik criticizes in her dissertation Speed Limits: The Formation, Dissemination, and Dissolution of the Counterculture in American Literature 1951-1972.”

Though Kerouac projected the belief that both great writing and great jazz improvisations should be “simply realized without the thought process of the creator intervening,” he conveniently glossed over the process of the jazz musician, which involves years of study, rehearsal, and revision to produce effective “improvisation” (Elteren 87). In reality, Kerouac spent years perfecting his “spontaneous” tone, often jotting down personality sketches and stock phrases in his notebook that would find their way into his books (87).

Source

She highlights how Kerouac, like the skilled jazz improvisation artist, practiced and conceptualized his art long before ingesting eye ball vibrating amounts of coffee and speed in April 1951.  In this way, it can be said he drafted for seven years while rambling the country the same way a musician can said to be practicing even when they’re just tip-tapping.  A healthy regimen of regular writing and reading keeps the mind sharp so that when the time comes to write, it can be done with clear efficiency.

There is also an ethic to this approach, the school of minimal editing, in that the less drafts a piece takes, just like perfect plating the first time, the more warmth there is left in the final product.  My personal goal, someday, is to write a novel in the first try (in a 5×5 quad composition notebook, black ink, hand written) however I imagine it’ll go something like this:

 

Stream of Consciousness Theatre Presents: Bubbles

Happy Mystery Monday!

NOTE: I’m really sorry, I was trying to get this up while it was still Monday in my timezone (London time) but today has been one long piss take though I guess that’s what I can expect from the first day of the term.  Anyway…

Bubblegum and rice.

Some time in the last month I remember i was having a bout of insomnia and a derby of racing thoughts and in the lower left hand corner of my head-space a small window of bubbles opened up, clear and black lit by a bright reflection and a grey backdrop. Like a scene in the cutting room the bubbles were cut into or rather imposed on the middle of the film. I read a mediation on rocks or pebbles and I thought about bubbles. Empty, temporary, lively.

When I want to clear my mind, the bubbles come bubbling up in my brain like cherry cola into my nose though these bubbles don’t tickle into my scalp up to my hair.  Hair is something that lives on and in my head or rather on my head and mind. I always believed  you could tell more about a person by the hair on their head than the shoes they wear. Hair can be smooth and thick indicating healthy and happy hair. Thin and brittle on the contrast.  Colour from natural redheads to out of the box. Colours, styles, and cuts.  Length, combed, out and down or up and about. Everything says something about the person from plats(1) to pins. Shoes can say how someone walks and where.  It can indicate status or wealth. Hygiene and age.  However what can shoes say about a person that hair can’t equally articulate?

Fizz is something miss(ed) about beer. I like soda and tonic for the same reason. I remembered a lot of things after detoxing in May: I love candy.(2)  Bubble gum and taffy, and the jokes. I have a joke I want to submit to Laffy Taffy: “What did the dog say to the book? Nice Tale.”  😀 <—this is my favourite emoji, it is the ridiculous face that I like to make when I make a funny.

Laughter and anger bubble and boil. The Buddha said “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

Found a bobble(3) of wood beads in front of the management building. Matches well with my green Pendle jumper(4). Black watch, forest green jumper, brown wood beads(5). I feel reasonably balanced in my ensemble. I wear the same stuff so often it becomes like a brand or a uniform. “Switch up” theme party(6) 2009 C, a previous flame, and I interpreted it as “cross dress night” and i wore one of her dresses and she wore my outfit which at that time was a forest green t-shirt, a loop style buckle brown cloth belt, and faded blue jeans to which G said, while our childhood friend got stoned for the first time “wow…that is the ‘Fin outfit'”.

water-bubbles

 

Footnotes:

  1. Braids.
  2. A common symptom of alcohol detox is sugar cravings, something I learned but sort of remembered via a study I read in a class I took at Mizzou “sociology of deviant behavior” saying that candy is really popular in prison because it’s a natural mood stimulant, likely in demand due to detox and poor situations.
  3. Elastic band, usually used for hair ties.
  4. Hoodie, can also be used in reference to a sweater.
  5. My flatmate said “these are like rosary beads“.
  6. A couple of brothers who used to throw great themed parties used to have themed all the time with themes like “ugly sweater party”, “wine and cheese”, “bring someone famous” (we supposedly had a [former?] cardnals baseball player [no idea who] which give the size and extroverted social scope of the core party hosts and guests, it didn’t surprise me).

Stream of Consciousness Thearte presents: Cold

Happy Monday.

It’s gotten cold here in England.  Which is an interesting thing this time around because normally I don’t like the cold and the rain and have spent a lot of time avoiding it while I lived in St Louis particularly when it was doing both at the same time. However here I don’t seem to get as cold easily nor the rain bother me.  I’m not entirely sure if it’s just because it gets so much colder in St Louis or if it is a shift in my personal body chemistry however one thing that has changed is my level of social interactions which has grown much warmer since leaving.

When I was in the lou, I was left isolated socially, mostly my fault the longer I look at whether due to poor life choices or poor decisions in friends.  Social isolation is something that leaves my heart cold, less caring.  However here being in a communal living situation I’ve been introduced to the fact of living with lots of people over night.  I’ve been living away from my parents for over 10 years and have grown accustom to a wide variety of social living conditions from living in a one bedroom house alone, to living with 5 other guys in a massive house and lots of things in between but none of it was as communal as this is.  Everyday I see the same people, 7 of us inc me, share 1 kitchen and 2 bathrooms, and everyday we share the same struggles of acceptance, school work, cultural adjustment, money, and seeking out our place.  Living in this close proximity to strangers is both a wonderful and challenging experience that has left me feeling exhilarated and exhausted, loved and hated, apart of a bigger community and isolated depending on the day.  Communal living has been a wild ride so far but it’s left me anything but feeling cold.

I have been listening to this album on repeat the last few weeks, Soon It Will Be Cold Enough by Emancipator.  I don’t remember how I found it, somewhere through the youtubes. It’s a strange and funny and a little bit sad music experience.  I will write about it more in depth at a later point on a Wednesday but it has left me feeling the want for real snow.  It’s only rained here.  Maybe it’ll snow over winter holiday.

Continue reading

Stream of Consciousness Theatre presents: Minimalism

As usual when Sunday night comes, right about 11pm, I begin thinking (read: panicking) about, “What subject am I going to write about tomorrow?” which usually leads to several several hours of research (read: procrastination rituals) which ranges from chipping away at my night stand book, youtube video essays, and reddit comment threads all in pursuit of the weekly question.

This almost never works. Almost.

Last night I viewed (re-viewed? I can’t remember after a while) an early video essay by the brilliant nerdwriter called “The Diderot Effect”.

The Diderot Effect –  a social phenomenon related to consumer goods that comprises two ideas. The first posits that goods purchased by consumers will be cohesive to their sense of identity, and as a result, will be complementary to one another. The second states that the introduction of a new possession that is deviant from the consumer’s current complementary goods can result in a process of spiraling consumption.

Source: Wikipedia

Being a minimalist, I was chuckling along through the video thinking “you consumer suckers, identifying with the things you own, what are you, new?” and then my ego smacked me across the face when I began thinking more deeply about what minimalism means to me.

Minimalism, for me, has been a reaction to an extreme event.  A very very bad day.   Kind of like the Joker’s monologue explaining his origin in “The Killing Joke”

the killing joke one bad day

Source: The Killing Joke Graphic Novel

It reminded me that I am not free from identifying with my possessions and maybe even more so given the things I’ve chosen to hold onto.

The minimalist as an art movement has been around since Goethe’s sculpture Alter of Good Fortune

However it didn’t take a hold of the literary world until 1913 just before the outbreak of The Great War as a characteristic of the Modernist movement and would remain influential across art mediums into our modern age.  This reduction of all distracting elements in the arts feels like a collective psychological reaction to a world changing at an increasing rate,  in the case of the modernists it was a reaction to a increasingly geo-political hostile environment.  Again in our modern age, in the information age where we’re bombarded with overwhelming amounts of information from our screens.  In an age where everyone has equal access to be heard and the individual is paraded as a hero for being an individual the only way a person can actually get attention is to make extremely precise and minimalistic pieces, the minimal amount of information presented stands as a stark contrast to the confusing array of incoming data.

A fellow wordpress blogger commented on this phenomena

Today, writing seems to be following along the lines of “saying more in fewer words.” The idea of conciseness has entered new levels, and it can be seen in both positive and negative lights. On one hand, the concept could encourage writers to pump their sentences with concise, skillful imagery that does its job well, thereby eliminating unnecessary fluff. After all, a minimalistic approach is rarely a bad one. On the other hand, long, thought-out pieces of writing are discarded more often than not, and great pieces of work are looked over without a second thought. Is the evolution of formatting worth the consequence?

Source: Formatting your Writing: A Matter of Life or Death by Hannah at 2bornot2bwritingtips

Her concern is extremely valid, especially when we consider the “headlines phenomena” we see increasingly in the media where sound bites make or break a politician, convey the importance of a tragic event or not, and my favourite (one I am occasionally guilty of) the reddit titles for articles being taken for face value rather than reading the entire article.  This phenomena is even commented on by today’s xkcd comic “Honey Pyramids”.

I think it’s an important subject to be aware of, something that is never far from my mind, but I’m extremely interested to hear from you.  How do you feel about The Diderot Effect? How guilty of the “headline phenomena” are you? What are your thoughts on the newest minimalism movement?

Please leave a comment below if you have thoughts on the subject and if you liked this post, please share and follow.  For more on the subject of personal minimalism, check out the book “The More of Less: Finding the Life you want Under Everything you Own” by Joshua Becker.

Stream of Consciousness Theatre presents: Pride

When I’m faced with writer’s block I frequently turn to a classic mode of writing “Stream of Consciousness” to help process what I’m looking to say or to say what I want sans auto-judgment and being Pride Month(1) and with St Louis Pride just passed it felt like a good time to present my first SoCT post.

I discovered this style years ago when reading a wiki page about Finnegans Wake for which I’m pretty sure I was following up a lead in my on-and-off again House of Leaves analysis project(2) and again I ran across it when I met a friend of a friend over facebook (we never met in real life but we spent lots and lots of time talking in the year 2010, he was one of the few writer friends I’ve managed to make a connection with, unfortunately it wasn’t quite over our mutual enjoyment of language rather it was a bonding over a woman(3).  However he used to write these really long (1000+ word) SoCT soliloquies that were a real joy to read. Most of the time.

Then I got into a situation this spring where I was reading both Mrs. Dalloway and Infinite Jest at the same time and I got a real taste for the past and present of the style.  For those of you who haven’t read Mrs. Dalloway: it’s a challenge.  Its a story about a lady, Mrs. Dalloway, planning to throw a party and the general going ons of her day.  The fun part is that Woolf jumps from narration to internal monologue to a new pov character to a different part of town and back and back again without paragraph breaks or other indicators to tell the reader “HEY I’M CHANGING GEARS NOW”.  On the other hand Infinite Jest is much more clear with formatting choices but it has its fun too with its 100 or so pages of footnotes and subsidized time both act as deeply disengaging elements to the story, if I remember right DFW mentioned he liked using these elements to keep the reader just one the outside of the story like a frequent reminder that the reader is engaging in a story that is uneven and sometimes non-linear similarly to how stories form in life rather than a polished beginning to end narrative that can be consumed with a lack of discernment challenging the reader to question what the story is about which I began to interpret less like DFW challenging the reader and more DFW asking the reader for help to discover the actual meaning of the story.  Whether it was a story about the pursuit of happiness in America or an examination of consumer culture or a eco-political statement about how we as a species handle pleasure.

I really don’t have a good conclusion for this one this week folks.  However I do have a few  announcements:

If you liked this remember to subscribe and share.  If you have book recommendations, feelings (strong or weak, your choice) on Stream of Consciousness style, or just want to tell me about the really strange thing your cat did this weekend, please leave a comment.  I really enjoy audience participation and look forward to reading and replying to your comments.  Thanks and remember: Never be afraid to have pride in who and what you are.

-Fin

Footnotes & Errata:

  1. Etymologically speaking, June is an interesting month to be Pride since it comes from the word “lunonis” meaning “of June” in reference to the Roman Goddess Juno who is mother protector of community, youth, vigour, combat, &c.
  2. Of those who know about the project, I am still working on it albeit slowly still no ETA on completion though.  However the major setbacks of that project have been addressed (women, whiskey, and worries).
  3. These sort of “heartbreak bro-mance” relationships seem to be a common thread over the years with me.  At least three guys I’ve made friends with was due to the mutual acquaintance of a woman whom has broken both of our hearts to different degrees.  None of these relationships have lasted longer than a year.  Just like the rest of my relationships.  How do I relationship?

Picture source: Dream Theater – Train of Thought