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Sun, May. 17th, 2015, 11:07 pm

I heard a funny thing about people who suffer from unknown illnesses. They tend to blame their ailment on food allergies, often developing elaborate diets consisting of what not to eat, and when, and in what combination. By the time they see a doctor they're living off raw carrots and bottled water. Truth is, yes, the milk, chocolate, or whatever they avoid may in fact give them headaches, but it's not the cause. It's just aggravating the condition that's always there regardless of what they eat. That's kind of like me and my depression. I blame it on all kinds of things: lack of sleep, alcohol, drugs, loneliness, living situation, and so on. And while these certainly bring out horrible feelings of hopelessness and so on, they're not the cause. Like the food obsessed people living off carrots, I'm very careful about what I do, avoiding people, challenging situations, careers, taking risks, and live like a hermit instead.

Sun, Apr. 6th, 2014, 01:06 am

As a twenty something the thing that makes you valuable is your amount of pent up, repressed creativity. It's all about unrealized potential.

Emphasis is on a life of limited experience. The more suburban the better. White people secretly capitalize on their cultural naïveté. They deserve derision.

Mon, Mar. 24th, 2014, 10:54 pm

I googled "haunted by embarrassing memories" and came up with forums of people in the same boat. It's a symptom of social anxiety. The thoughts, even through based on inconsequential events, are not harmless. They shape personality. Tonight while on a Tinder date I was told point blank how reserved I am. It's an observation I've heard many times before. I am the product of self criticism.

Thu, Feb. 27th, 2014, 02:40 pm
and now I live in California

This journal was meant to document progress toward moving to Hong Kong. While this is still very likely, I've taken a slight detour, and am now exploring some possibilities in the United States, specifically San Francisco where I might be able to find a job, and a life that's healthier in the long run.

See, it seems very likely that moving abroad could perpetuate this whole not-having-a-life thing that I'm so good at. Moving to Asia may in fact take me further down that rabbit hole. On the other hand, it seems counterintuitive to try to live in San Francisco. It's way too expensive; but most importantly, the very thing that sustains most people, a social life, sex, friends, etc, is something I just can't muster here, or anywhere really. Without this stuff, the only thing that makes life interesting and worth the hassle is living in an extremely stimulating environment. Foreign cities do this for me simply due to the fact they are so unfamiliar. Being an expat switches me on.

My impulse is to get out of here, find a teaching position in Asia, Russia, or Turkey, and start feeling like a person again. But before I go I thought I'd try banging my head against the wall that is trying to live a respectable existence. Perhaps I'll document this here in the form of OkCupid/tinder stories.

Tue, Feb. 11th, 2014, 05:09 pm
Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot's great, but I think their cause is reenforcing a myth: Russian government = oppressive, America = land of the free. I'd say public opinion is just as controlled, if not more, in the USA than it is in Russia. The only difference is that here it's way more subtle. Instead of government cracking down on protesters and throwing them in jail, America's corporate run media present the public with news that's fit to print -according to corporate elite. It's so subtle in fact that no one, not even members of the media itself recognize their own reporting reflect corporate interests. This makes it even more dangerous.

The myth that we have complete access to all sides of an issue makes our ignorance all the more potent. There's this great Chomsky quote in which he talks about how a word search of all print media from the 1960's and 70's comes up with no results for "invasion + USA + Vietnam". That says it all. In Russia everyone knows that the media is state run. People know they're being fed propaganda. Here we don't. Maybe Russia is in fact more of a free society. Discuss. 

Fri, Jan. 31st, 2014, 02:10 pm

Politicians get elected by stoking fear of minorities, then compete to be the candidate who will pass the most brutal laws. The harshest gets elected, and follows through by supporting police to do whatever it takes.

Implementing laws that force police to wear cameras on their uniform, or hold them accountable for beating the shit out of people would be political suicide, especially in today's economy where white middle class voters feel threatened by upward mobility of the poor, and any policy that would help this happen. (reasonable drug laws, universal healthcare, police accountability)

Wed, Jan. 15th, 2014, 05:43 pm
Fun in the Sun

I've been looking at American culture in a dark new light recently. This began after watching some Chomsky lectures that explain the history of America as follows. Leading up to WWI the USA was a far more socialist and democratic country with progressive, and community-minded politics dominating policy and culture in general. For Monied interests this was a threat, especially isolationist sentiment that wouldn't allow for American involvement in the war, a war that threatened business. To change public opinion, propagandists and intellectuals working on behalf of the business sector designed a campaign that basically reframed the very way we look at the world. Instead of people versus exploitive businesses, propaganda campaigns painted a different picture. It was foreigners and minorities who we need to fear. It succeeded, and this is the narrative/framework through which our present day culture views the world. And this is why I believe America is fundamentally corrupt, not just in policy. I think this manufactured dichotomy influences everything from pop culture to urban design, all of it very anti social. Compared to other countries that didn't undergo a similar campaign, the united states is a cold and inhospitable place, designed to discourage community cohesiveness for those who make less than 100k a year. So I don't think destructive policy exists in the abstract. It affects every aspect of our being. 

Wed, Jan. 1st, 2014, 01:48 am

My premiss, the fundamental idea that guides my politics and worldview is that human life is most important. The ultimate objective of any and all policy is to increase likelihood all citizens will have opportunity to exercise their immense creativity. This doesn't differentiate between classes. So it's about delivering this opportunity to the greatest number of people. And that's that.

Also, to back up the idea that

Tue, Dec. 31st, 2013, 10:43 pm

Find a large spring. Put computer on top. Film screen that's playing video while tapping spring on each bass drum hit.

Thu, Dec. 19th, 2013, 05:40 pm

                        Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 7.50.11 PM => Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 7.51.57 PM

Modern society provides us very safe infrastructure. No one loses arms or legs simply by walking down the street anymore, unfortunately. As a result people have developed a distorted sense of danger. We're squeamish and grossed out by silly things, which in many cases are simply part of life, e.g. childbirth, old age, etc, stuff that before the industrial revolution didn't even make people blink.

I suspect Marina Abramovic and similar artists of the 1970's were challenging audiences to confront these distorted fears, getting us to think clearly about what it means to be a human being. At least that's what I get out of watching these performances. Artists crawl naked across broken glass, and stand in front of a fully cocked bow and arrow. It's hard to watch, but ultimately leaves me with a healthier, and more accurate perspective on the limits of the human body, danger, and our vulnerability in this world.

                          Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 6.05.01 PM @   Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 6.06.45 PM          

I think this is why Jackass premiered at the Museum of Modern Art. Perhaps it was thought that the film accomplished something similar.

                          Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 4.39.16 PM ≠   Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 4.44.57 PM
Then there are shows like Tosh.0 that could be seen in this same light, but I think that would be a mistake. Tosh.0 does the opposite. It reaffirms our hypersensitive gag reflex. He uses freakish examples of grotesque injury, and masochism that are so out of the ordinary, they belong more in the realm of our distorted and inaccurate fear of the world. I don't walk away from episodes enlightened, just even more warped than before. 

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