So, I’ve been wanting to write for a while. Held up by tiredness and the fact the walls are so thin in bugs my neighbors. Such is Japan, where everything you do can be heard by neighbors. It keeps me up late at night when my neighbors watch TV.
I usually get drunk on Sunday night when I have no work the next day, most people here are more able to function the next morning after drinking than I can. The fortunes of people better able to hold booze. When I drink I begin to get nostalgic, and as nostalgia goes, it returns back to the times when we are young and defined ourselves by our era, in my case, the 90s.
There’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about how bad the 90s were, a hellhole of PC, and self-righteousness; I don’t see it. If anything the trademark cynicism of the time harkens to an innocence about ourselves and the world around us that I don’t find disgusting, but instead a hallmark of hope, that we could believe in the ability of our individual striving to create a more genuine world by our actions. Today, defined by our knowledge about the predestination of the individual spirit writ in our genes and our class, I don’t find comfort, but hopelessness and pride. Perhaps I am smart and given to contemplation by my genes, but still I desire to transcend my flaws by going beyond my own inheirant nature into something new. Nowadays with it’s proclaimations of predestination wrought unto ourselves I find no pride, but a simple laziness, an excuse to not be better than we are, but to excuse our pettiness as simple human nature, not be overcome but embraced and indulged in.
I write this as an atheist with no notions of a divine or secular plan for mankind.
In my cups I sit and smoke and remenisce of a better time when there was striving instead of surrender and posing.
I remember the the things that made me feel like I had a chance to escape the more loathsome aspects of myself and human nature and move on to something new and grand. I remember all the pop cultural eminations that told me my hope wrapped in cynicism and disdain was not false. Perhaps it was all for naught.
It’s a nice thing to be in Japan. In the madness of long workdays and forced smiles I see now the past clearer than it’s appeared before. I do not reject the empirical, I simply hold faith in the better nature of human kind to slowly and surely claw its way to something better. It’s dispiriting to see so many good minds kneel before an altar of posturing and group definitions.
I read blogs telling me the arts of today are false and pretentious. I don’t disagree with their estimations, but even with two liters of beer in me, I know that the goal was something good even if the means became twisted and most horrifically dull. The books and arts of today are arcane in a way that bespeaks a lack of hope. We’ve lost our guiding voices, no we’ve ignored them for acclaim.
I think now of David Foster Wallace’s suicide. Books, written in an obscurantist manner, for a narrow audience. Good ends with means lost in translation. The irony is the satirical suicide note written on a webpage long before the hanging. Pages detailing for laughter how the message was lost. The hope remains, we’ve just lost the way to tell it effectively.
I think now of unsuccessful ideas from the decade that formed me, I watch Daria and Mission Hill on http://www.surfthechannel.com in my drunkeness and remember. My twin poles of nerd and hipster merge and diverge like a child’s Kalidescope twirling pieces of glass aimed at the light.
I care yet I don’t care. I speak into the void, like so many others and hope for some echo back, it doesn’t matter if it agrees or disagrees. All that matters is that they’ve been someplace and had their doubts. Nothing will put the fire out within me, even as I quietly carry it in sober moments. I won’t meet expectations, I will confound. There is nothing better than to be confounding, to not meet expectations, to be so many things in one life and in one body. As I sit drunken in my shoebox apartment I will say “I did not plan for any of this, it happened, purely random and ultimately as my times and events would have them”.
To say you believe one thing and say it as a statement binding you like chains, I don’t want that. I want to dance and sing, even alone in my shower. I want the sounds of cacophony to melt and emerge into a brand new song of the moment. I want the old and new to come together, I want, I want…
I’m a creature of my times. I say “fuck you” to the universe and it is my prayer. It was never for naught.
Laugh. Laugh, sing and dance for no reason other than as it moves you. It is my dogma.