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Sociopathic Tendencies

Posted on 1 min read 9 views

Most of my life, many of my closest friends have been sociopaths. 

No. That’s too harsh: a large amount of my good friends have had sociopathic tendencies. They weren’t bad people, emotions just didn’t manifest naturally to the same degree that it does for others. Which is probably why they found someone that is often overwhelmed by their emotions interesting. You’re both off, and even though that doesn’t translate to empathy, you can relate to the confusion of not being able to trust yourself.

It also teaches you that emotions are not morality. From a distance, you would have been hard pressed to say who was who. My feelings and emotions often making me more unpredictable and noxious then my friends. 

At this point in my life, my closeness with people develops around the ability to understand and be understood. It seems the people that understand you best are the ones that are the most similar or the most different, and all the rest get lost in the static of normalcy.

And so I have to ask myself, where am I failing people when they need to be understood?

Flawed Characters

Posted on 1 min read 62 views

Everybody wants to like a seriously flawed character. But only as long as they are seriously flawed in a way that appeals to their emotions and personal beliefs. Today this is the cliché unbounded hard living renegade anti-hero.

Without their own personal beliefs (which inevitably exist within a larger societal context), you’re just the villain. Mix up these personal beliefs and see how quickly the constructs change. 

Human

Posted on 3 min read 9 views

On the way to Amsterdam I watch a movie called My Generation. It’s a movie that I simultaneously love, and that twists me into mental knots, because of the narrator: Michael Caine.  

On the way to Amsterdam I watch a movie called My Generation. It’s a movie that I simultaneously love, and that twists me into mental knots, because of the narrator: Michael Caine.  

In the absence of flesh and blood role models growing up, he was one of the replacements. I used to watch and analyze his movie scenes: how he would move through a room, where his eyes would go, and the words he would use. It probably didn’t build good life long habits.

Because that’s the nature of behavior. They’re products of their place and time. Long before the recent reckoning of male chauvinism, watching Alfie would make me cringe (which Michael tries to acknowledge by apologizing for calling women ‘birds’). 

But that’s also why Alfie is a good movie. Because it doesn’t give a shit about the cultural perception you have when watching it. And as repulsive as you might find it, something will resonate. And then you’ll have to reconcile what you’re drawn to in a personality that is in such direct conflict with your sensibilities.

I struggle to keep pace with the cultural changes. The parameters of guilt are determined at the time of judgement, not action. As a result, if I’m not guilty today, I will almost certainly be tomorrow. 

That’s the risk and the fear in working on a book for over a decade. It becomes a time piece, when you really just want it to be human. 

In the absence of flesh and blood role models growing up, he was one of the replacements. I used to watch and analyze his movie scenes: how he would move through a room, where his eyes would go, and the words he would use. It probably didn’t build good life long habits.

Because that’s the nature of behavior. They’re products of their place and time. Even before the recent reckoning of 90’s and 00’s male chauvinism, watching Alfie would make me cringe (which Michael acknowledges by apologizing for calling women ‘birds’). 

But that’s also why Alfie is a good movie. Because it doesn’t give a shit about the cultural perception you have when watching it. And as repulsive as you mind find it, something will resonate. And then you’ll have to reconcile what you’re drawn to in a personality that is in such direct conflict with your sensibilities.

I struggle to keep pace with the cultural changes. The parameters of guilt are determined at the time of judgement, not action. If I’m not guilty today, I will almost certainly be tomorrow. 

That’s the risk and the fear in working on a book for over a decade. It becomes a time piece, when you really just want it to be human. 

Gravity Fails

Posted on 1 min read 59 views

I’m at a coffee shop in RiNo. Looking up from my notebook I notice half the room is taking a picture. The room loses gravity.

I’m slipping through the air. They’re not even here, these people who are more concerned with how they look than what they’re doing. It’s like some sick Instagram satire that I’m unwillingly a part of. I look left and right for the cameras.

Come to Denver, take pictures, and then leave. Beyond the picture, it’s not clear why they wanted to be here in the first place. They don’t seem to realize that someday the servers will go down and whatever permanence it seems to provide will also disappear.

It took being gone for a couple of months to realize how much less grounded the atmosphere is here. Everyone is more beautiful than I remember. Certainly less flannel. Feels like LA without the beach. Are these the people that couldn’t cut it in SF and New York?

They can still be a big fish in a small pond here.

Modern Protestantism

Posted on 1 min read 37 views

I thought the culture I was raised in was a five-hundred-year-old version of Protestant restraint and silence, which at the best of times can be described as deeply personal. For all the baggage I drag around, I did often like it, as it was decidedly non-formulaic. But now I wonder how much of that culture is actually a modern version of Nietzche in which we are constantly trying to overcome ourselves (and when it gets ugly, a bastardized version in which we try to overcome others). I thought the Catholics were supposed to be the ones wrestling with guilt?

Southern Plains

Posted on 1 min read 52 views

I’ve always had a fascination with windmills. Including the modern ones. I don’t find them eye sores or obtrusive. They seem gorgeous and eerie to me, solemn signs of human progress. When you enter Minnesota on I-90 there is a massive swath of them. Two hundred or more. The pattern isn’t apparent, but there must be one. Perhaps from the air I could see it.