Once in a Lifetime

 

I’ve never made friends quickly. You all should know that by now. At my previous job, my boss told me that I seemed to have put up a shell around myself. That’s not entirely true, but he meant well. I heard recently that he walked out of the store he’d been transferred to because the district manager is a total bitch. I flatter myself that I might have started a bit of a trend by walking out when I did. I wasn’t the first person to walk out, but still. They started a dangerous precedent by pushing good people out, and anyway, I didn’t come here to gloat. I’ve learned by now that what they say about living well being the best revenge is true. It doesn’t mean that the bad guy always gets his comeuppance. Oftentimes, they kinda just drift away. Most of the time, they never learn their lesson. They go on being shitty, and the most you can hope for is that the people around them realize what shits they are and keep their distance. But they don’t ever just go away.

It was a big decision when I decided to be a blogger instead of a vlogger or whatever. I have a very animated speaking style and a rather distinctive voice, but I would prefer not to go on camera. I don’t like having my picture taken. Sometimes I think I might have fit right in in one of those cultures where they believe that having your picture taken robs you of your soul or something like that. Then again, maybe not. I’m not a Luddite (it’s actually a common myth that the Luddites were anti-technology, but never mind); I just try to resist the temptation of going with trends. That’s why I’ve always felt so out of my own time. I know that we all like to think of ourselves as special snowflakes, and that’s great. But there are a lot of people out there who don’t think of themselves as ordinary who, to my eyes, appear rather conventional. I don’t believe that’s entirely subjective. I think that most people are boring, and that interesting people come in all shapes and sizes. There’s nothing wrong with being boring, I suppose. It’s all in what you want out of life.

cybermenIt’s frustrating, working in a medium that doesn’t provide you with any immediate gauge as to what people think. Actually, I think that might be a strength. Facebook has the “like” button, and actually, so does this blog. But it’s not like there are message boards where people discuss my stuff at length. If they did, I probably wouldn’t read it because I need my headspace. That’s the problem with the internet: it’s all just nerds with opinions. I still don’t understand why so many Whovians hate “Nightmare in Silver” so much. I remain convinced that it’s the best Cybermen storyline since “Earthshock”, not that the competition is particularly steep. It’s definitely overstuffed and yeah, the kids are kind of annoying, but it also has some arresting visuals, a great performance by Matt Smith, and some of the snappiest dialogue the show ever produced. (“I trust the Doctor.” “Are you saying he knows what he’s doing?” “I’m not sure I’d go that far.”) For once, the Cybermen act like Cybermen (sort of proto-Borg, although I don’t know if there’s any truth to the rumor that they inspired the Borg) rather than substitute Daleks. Go Gaiman.

There’s nobody I agree with 100% of the time. This leads me to believe that nobody is right 100% of the time except for me. But seriously, I do believe that there is such a thing as absolute truth. I believe in subjectivity as well; I just think that while most human beings might, on some level, be more or less the same, that doesn’t mean you have to get along with everyone, and it’s okay to think somebody’s a shithead if they’ve wronged you. I guarantee that there are folks out there who think I’m a shithead, although I think most of them are shitheads too, so I guess it kind of evens out. There’s no bigger waste of time, in my opinion, than trying to make friends with everyone. A lot of my idols probably wouldn’t have much to say to me if they met me. Then again, maybe they would and I just need to get a little bit better at making overtures.

I’ve always believed that endings aren’t bad so long as you get to end things on your own terms. I talked to an asshole on an online dating site just now who couldn’t believe that I choose to work in retail and customer service jobs despite having degrees from two of the best universities in the world. Well, I am a smart motherfucker. Right now, I need my headspace, that’s all. You can’t get back at everyone who has hurt you. Robert, the near-sociopath who screwed me out of my living situation about two years ago, is probably living quite comfortably now. Whether or not he’s happy is debatable. I’m not very happy, but it’s all in how you define happiness, isn’t it?

In case it’s not obvious, I’m signing off here. I’ve cranked out these last few posts in what could be considered a binge (albeit the tamest binge in the entire history of the word) because sometimes, you just want to get it over with. Oh no, don’t take that the wrong way. I’m glad I did this shit. I used to think that you needed to have all your shit figured out before you ended something, but it turns out you don’t. Is death the only part where that happens? I don’t know. But it’s not as scary as it looks. Not that I plan on doing it anytime soon.

I’ll leave you with something silly. I’m still kind of a funnyman despite spending most of my time here sharing Deep Thoughts. See ya around.

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Enough

A friend told me I remind him of Doctor Doom. I’ll take that as a compliment. Back in high school, someone else told me that I seem like a real-life James Bond villain. If my raging contempt for lesser mortals and superior intellect makes some people perceive me as evil, who am I to dispute them? It will all work out for the best when I take over the world. Since I’m right about everything, why not let me make all the decisions? I’ll be a much more benevolent and competent dictator than Kim Jong-Il, I guarantee you. He was interested in only one thing: glorifying himself. I’m interested in seeking glory. There’s a difference.

I’ve been having trouble adjusting to life as a grad student, as some of you may know. However, something occurred to me not too long ago: I’m going to fucking rock out. During orientation, there was a panel discussion with recent graduates who assured all of us that we would be fine. Somehow, that didn’t sink in. That’s when I realized that “fine” is not good enough for me. I’m going to get enough sleep, have plenty of leisure time, and graduate near the top of my class. Any questions? Call me a megalomaniac if you must, but many of my classmates seem to have accepted that pulling all-nighters and eating granola bars for lunch is the only way to survive something this hectic. If that works for them, fine. But I want more than success. I want to succeed and have fun while doing it. I want to make it look easy. And when that’s done, I WANT TO CONQUER THE FUCKING WORLD! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

(For added effect, read that last part while watching this clip.)

There is not enough time in the world to do everything that I want to do. I want to read every good book, see every good movie, visit every interesting spot on the map, have all sorts of memorable encounters with peoples of various backgrounds and lifestyles, and go home to my currently-nonexistent boyfriend at the end of the day. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live any other way. When I was in the early days of my cinematic education, I made the mistake of thinking that I could see enough movies. I kept telling myself that if I just saw one more Satyajit Ray film or cult movie from the 80s, I would officially be able to say that I was educated about movies. I am educated. But it’s folly to think that the answer lies in seeing/watching/reading that one that you still haven’t gotten around to. I recently discovered that Columbia’s Media Center has about a hundred obscure/art house movies that I haven’t been able to get through Netflix, iTunes, or the public library. Immediately, I knew what the first two or three that I would see would be. But after that, I have no idea. There are so many stars in the sky. Who am I to say which one is the most beautiful?

I still remember what my yearbook quote was for my senior year of high school: “When you can’t run anymore, you crawl, and when you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.” It’s from Firefly. Every year, someone uses that stupid Ferris Bueller quote about life moving so fast that if you don’t stop and look around, you might miss it. True, but trite. I don’t go for quotes about the meaning of life. On a basic level, it’s nothing more than a chemical reaction. If you’re religious or spiritual, you can believe that some part of us lives on after we die, but generally, I think that death is nothing more than the cessation of all activity. I believe in passing on what we know. I’m not sure what point life could possibly have if not to teach others and learn from them. Even if the world crumbles around us like in The Road, nothing will ever matter more than being a good person.

I’m still trying to figure out why this post has gotten such persistent traffic. It’s been over a month since I published it, and it’s still getting views. Do people honestly think I know the meaning of life? Or does one guy have it bookmarked and just keep reading it over and over like I do with this article? Most of what I write stops getting hits within the week, if it gets any hits at all. I guess people like hearing me riff on what I think makes for good comedy.

I have a lab due tomorrow. Like most of my assignments, it’s a group project, which means that by waiting to get around to it, I’m inconveniencing everyone. Or am I? Maybe they need to take a deep breath and get some perspective. The work will get done. In the meantime, I still haven’t watched last night’sDaily Show.

A friend suggested I stop writing exclusively for myself and ask the question as to who my intended audience is. Well, I think I’ve figured it out. The question is: are they ready for me?