The Skin I Live In

The more I write, the more helpful I find it to think about the audience as little as possible. My output has dropped gradually over the past few years, and I consider that a good thing. It’s not because I hate doing this so much as that I can’t seem to find the intersection between this and the other areas of my life. For the longest time, my knee-jerk response to something shitty happening has been, “Oh, I guess I’ll write a bitchy blog post about it.” That really needs to stop. I’m still not quite sure what the difference is between something that you want to do and something that you have to do, I know only that while writing this thing is sometimes fun, it all too often feels like something I’m doing just so that I’ll be able to sleep at night. I should not have to spend all day following my mind into weird corners. Or if I do, I could at least learn to enjoy it.

It’s a bad idea to do things just so that you can have done them. Neil Gaiman said that for him, the hardest part of being a writer was letting go and enjoying the ride. (More broadly, he was talking about life, of course.) I guess I’m just trying to figure out what I am besides a blogger. What other avenues for self-expression are there? I keep meaning to travel the world. I have some buried desire to study machines and engineering (in a strictly informal capacity, as it is too late to go back to school). Maybe I should start watching Cosmos. There is a part of my brain that continues to obsess over past wrongs, to turn every instance of dissatisfaction into a reminiscence about that one guy who was mean to me that one time and what I wish I’d said back to him. I’m trying to overcome that, but it’s not as simple as force of will. Why did I turn and walk away rather than slugging Person X? The obvious answer would be, “Well, because you’re nice”, but so what? There are few things I enjoy more than tackling bigots. I guess I just have to pick and choose my battles.

People spend far too much of their time searching for closure. They reflect on how imperfect something was, and want to relive it so they can make it perfect again. This, again, indicates my dissatisfaction with so much of the LGBT community. I’m generally averse to far-ranging statements about how “We in the gay community…” as if our problems are really that different from anyone else’s. Sometimes a birthday is just a birthday. And anyone who says that bisexuality is a more evolved form of monosexuality is full of shit. Gay people and straight people are not less than you just because we care about what set of genitals our romantic and sexual partners have. Bisexuals care too, they just have more diverse tastes.

Maybe the reason I hesitate to say that I like something is that I’m worried that if I become too dependent on it, it will slip away. Some things last forever, but they aren’t exactly tangible. I’m a pretty big fan of animation. I like Studio Ghibli. I liked Pixar for a while, although they haven’t made a great film in years and don’t have a film coming out this summer for the first time in a long time. It’s been said by many before me that animation is a medium, not a genre, so it’s important to remember that not only do animated films not have to be family-friendly, their whole point is to tell stories that don’t work in a live-action context. I’ve had Mary & Max in my Netflix queue for a while now (Philip Seymour Hoffman was not only supremely talented, but prolific and possessing of an almost unlimited range), I started watching several foreign animated or partially animated films a few days ago before being distracted, and I recommend ParaNorman to anyone who likes a kids’ story with some legitimately scary moments. It also has a lovely moment of cultural inclusion at the end that not only defies stereotypes, but is funny as hell to boot.

You might believe something consciously, but it can take a while for it to trickle down through your subconscious. Give it time, or at least try to. I don’t believe that we can ever truly overcome all of our problems, only that we can get good enough at fighting them that they don’t threaten to overwhelm us. What separates good from evil isn’t method or even intent, but short-sightedness. Moriarty will stop at nothing to take down Sherlock. The Master’s greatest fear is the Doctor. But the Doctor realized that there is a whole lot more to the universe than just the one pesky fellow Time Lord who keeps getting in his way, and Sherlock, as much as he hates Moriarty, recognizes that some sacrifices will make any victory a Pyrrhic one. Essentially, you have to be willing to let a little something go. I’m trying to figure out what I have control over and what I don’t. There doesn’t seem to be all that much in the former category. It’s a good thing that I’m not obsessed with it.

Before I go, let me just say that this whole “open carry” thing that gun nuts are doing is the stupidest, most counterproductive load of nonsense that I have seen in a good long time. If you want to make people feel at ease with guns, take them out to the shooting range or something. (Provided that they want to, of course. You really don’t want to be dragging them along at, um, gunpoint.) Chipotle and all those other restaurants were right to ban this idiotic practice, and The Daily Show was right to see a racial element to it. Essentially, a bunch of scared old white men are unable to let go of their penises guns, and they need to learn that even their constitutional rights are not completely limitless. You are not the guardians of democracy. You are not protecting anyone. All you are showing people is that you lack a sense of discretion. There’s an old saying about that and how it relates to valor. Look it up.


One thought on “The Skin I Live In

  1. “let me just say that this whole “open carry” thing that gun nuts are doing is the stupidest, most counterproductive load of nonsense that I have seen in a good long time.”

    It might make a little more sense if you actually understood what they are protesting for. Yes, what they are doing is a political protest. Yes, what they are doing is clueless in terms of achieving what they want.

    Basically open carry of _handguns_ has been _illegal_ in Texas since the 1870s (yep, wrap that around your idea of Texas and the wild, wild west). They want open carry of handguns legal in Texas. They can’t legally carry handguns in public to protest to they tried it with long guns which is technically legal.

    Again I agree with you that their idea of protest is pretty tone deaf, especially if you know how the media typically operates. Guess they thought the reporters would ask them what they were about and they would at least get that acknowledged in the reporting. Pretty stupid of them, don’t you think?

    “The Daily Show was right to see a racial element to it.”

    The Daily Show if often full of shit, funny shit sometimes, but still shit.

    “Essentially, a bunch of scared old white men are unable to let go of their penises guns”

    I saw a lot of the protests and I wouldn’t describe a lot of them as “old” men. And it is disappointing that you repeat these sexual slurs. How about if we talk of women being natural born sluts, would that offend you (and it should)? Then why do you think it is all right to make those kind of offensive slurs about men?

    ” All you are showing people is that you lack a sense of discretion.”

    You are right on that. Their plan to protest was not well calculated or informed by knowledge of how the media (or The Daily Show) operates.



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