7. Global Warming
Unless you’re a ginormous fuckhole, you’ve probably noticed not only that the world seems to be getting warmer, but accepted that human beings are contributing to it. That’s not what I’m going to talk about here. Really, it’s just one aspect of climate change that’s driving me up the wall: namely, that since we’re now getting so much heat from the gases trapped in the atmosphere and not just from the sun, it doesn’t get cooler at night. Think about that. This past week has been better, but before that, temperatures hovered in the mid-to-high nineties in New York. That’s not so bad. I spent the first seven years of my life in Michigan, so heat and humidity are no strangers to me. But when I was a child, summers were at least a bit more comfortable at night. Now, I leave my house at six to go to a party and bring a jacket along just in case. When I leave at eleven, the temperature hasn’t dropped at all. That’s wrong, and it needs to change. I’m not sure what can be done about that. Maybe someone can build an enormous air conditioner and install it in the sky over Manhattan? There are times when I seriously wonder if blowing up the sun or at least shifting our orbit a degree or to to take us farther away from it might help a little. If there are any scientists reading this who would like to explain to me why blowing up the sun would be detrimental to life on Earth, go fuck yourselves. For now, I’ll just live with the fantasy.
I read a surprisingly touching story not too long ago. Some of you might remember Jonathan Krohn, the obnoxious little shit who annoyed everyone with his speech at CPAC in 2009. At the time, he looked like a conservative pundit in the making–smug, overbearing, and good at nothing aside from substituting talking points for rational discussion. Then I read this. Krohn, it seems, has renounced many of his former beliefs, much to the consternation of those who touted him as a right-wing up-and-comer. “I want to be Jonathan Krohn,” he says. “And I’m tired of being an ideology, and it’s not fun and it gets boring and it’s not who we are as individuals.” Jesus, I want to hug this kid. He still won’t call himself a liberal, despite supporting a great many liberal beliefs, and I have no problem with that. He’s doing the most important thing any human being can do: thinking for himself. Some of the comments under that article are condescending, pointing out that if he didn’t know very much at 13, how much can he really know at 17? That’s not the point. Nobody knows very much, because we’re all human, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. Modern conservatism wants nothing more than to quash curiosity and independent thought by appealing to emotions over reason. I’m not a liberal because I like the label, but because I think liberalism is correct on most issues. It’s the same reason I wear these shoes: they fit.
I’ve harped on this one a lot before, but it’s still bugging me. Actually, it’s not homophobia so much as heteronormativity. Speaking of which…
Those of you who have just stumbled upon this blog might be wondering what it’s all about. Don’t let my personal statement fool you: I don’t really intend to build a race of sentient-but-fiercely-loyal robots who will help me rid the world of everyone who displeases me. It’s just that, well, haven’t you ever wished you could do that? Even if it’s just for a moment? Maybe you’re late for work and the person at the front of the line at Starbucks is taking too long deciding how much whipped cream they want on their hot chocolate. I mean, sure, they’ve had plenty of time to decide given the ten minutes they’ve been waiting in line and sure, there are ten more people in line behind them, but that doesn’t matter so long as they get to have that cocoa just the way they like it. And even though you’re a God-fearing person who donates a portion of your disposable income to charity and always waits for the “Walk” sign even when there’s no traffic in sight, you can’t help, for just one minute, fantasizing about ripping out that person’s eyes, hanging them from their ears, then dangling them from the nearest traffic light by their own intestines. Come on, we’ve all been there.
What does this have to do with heteronormativity? I’m sick of it. If I had to decide whether I hated heteronormativity or Starbucks more, I’d probably choose heteronormativity, but it’s a close call. Heteronormativity is evil, but Starbucks is just so annoying.
3. Facebook Posts Beginning With “That Awkward Moment When…”
Am I just getting tired of Internet memes in general? Or Facebook? I definitely don’t use it as often as I used to. All I know is that a while back, we had that “What my father/mother/friends/stalker thinks I do vs. What I actually do” meme that I laughed at once, maybe twice, and now, I’m just getting tired of the Internet. Author Stephen Elliott tried going without the Internet for a month and remarked, “I could feel my attention span lengthening.” Unfortunately, it would be completely impossible for me to still do the work I do without the Internet, so I guess I just have to accept that it’s a necessary evil. I really hate it, though.
2. Never Having Hard Copies of Anything
In my grad program, we do everything on the computer. Everything. It’s required that every student have a laptop, and just about everyone brings theirs to class every day. Some people use theirs to take notes during lecture, others dick around on Facebook. I take notes by hand. Why? Because someday, an electromagnetic pulse will wipe out all devices that use a silicon chip and I, being one of those weird people who still buys hard copies of books along with CDs and DVDs (Would the EMP affect those? Shit, maybe I should rethink this.) will be the king of the motherfucking world. Honestly, when was the last time you wrote anyone a letter? Can you even remember? I can. I’m not just talking about the tactile sensation of holding something in one’s hands; there are practical uses to having a hard copy. Mark my words, when the apocalypse comes, I’ll be very glad that I have canned food rather than some fancy thing you can download on your iPhone. (They have an app for that, right?)
1. Living Inside My Head
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s rather cluttered inside my head. I’ve been blogging for almost five months now, and have yet to post less than two articles in one week. Early on, I wrote four or five. I write only one draft of each, not because I don’t believe in the power of revision, but because my brain won’t slow down long enough to let me rethink anything. Folks, it’s pretty fucking crazy up here. Earlier today, I watched Drowning By Numbers, an avant-garde film from the 1980s by uncompromising auteur Peter Greenaway. For those of you who’ve never heard of him, Greenaway makes movies with dense, elegant visuals in which the plots and characters are usually little more than stand-ins for whatever allegorical idea he is trying to convey. They are rich intellectual experiences, but tend to leave the viewer scratching their head and wondering what the point of all that was. I’ve been trying to see this movie for a year now, but since it’s unavailable on DVD, the only way I could watch it was to request the VHS from my school library, then watch it in the media center because I don’t own a VCR. That seems like an awful lot of work for something I wasn’t expecting to enjoy, doesn’t it? The movie was okay. Not great, because Greenaway’s conviction that films should be more experimental and less narrative than I like them makes him as puzzling as he is talented, but okay. And I’m pretty sure I’m not through with him yet.
Check back with me in a year. Maybe by then, the dogs in my head will stop barking.
I swear to God I will move mountains someday.