My Brain at Midnight

I keep meaning to write about Ramfest. Honestly. But I can’t seem to work up the energy or the interest anymore. So here’s another of these stream of consciousness, word association things, like the one from last night. Some people publicize their lives in “reality” TV shows. Some people publicize their lives in books. Blogs are kind of founded on the idea that we want to tell the entire world (or just the 3 billion-strong internet users) all about ‘us’.

Sometimes I think I should beat back that desire to share the ‘me’ stuff everywhere, because I’m caving to my vanity and letting loose my overinflated ego and sense of self-importance. But then, a lot of the best stuff in life – like the nutritional stuff in food – comes from sharing yourself with others. You don’t always find people responding positively to all the real, random expressions of your identity that you can throw at them, but would you rather be that person or the guy who spends all night posing, hoping people will remember how cool he was by next Thursday?

Thursday nights are a strange thing, aren’t they? I’m not sure when exactly I realized that they were a time to go out and party, but I suppose it coincided with my discovery of what a real party was. I’m not going to define it for you. Everyone knows it when they see it, because it’s somehow exactly the same and the complete opposite of that repetitive thing you do every Thursday night.

One of my best friends was telling me the other day that he’s afraid we’re all losing touch. Not, like, all of us… just some of our friends. It’s a really painful thing to consider; the fact that you may be growing apart from the people you’re most used to interacting with. It happens, though. Social evolution, where the fittest aren’t necessarily going to get anywhere better than the rest, but they’ll at least clump together with the people most like them for security. I used to say I hated the people who were most like me. At times instinct kicks in and I’m automatically mean to people who I perceive are, somehow through all the bullshit, very similar to me. Lately, though, I’ve had to acknowledge that maybe that’s at least partially a load of crap, and it’s just the superficial shit I like reacting to in as simple a fashion as I can; like a big bad caveman with sarcasm where my club should be. Really, being human is about seeing through the ego-driven carapace on the outside and trying to make contact with the construct of ideas that calls itself a person on the inside (wherever that is). It’s more than just accepting that a person is ‘annoying’ or ‘always so happy’ or whatever, but about figuring out why and then deciding what to make of them.

You might wave your finger at me disapprovingly and say that that’s just as presumptuous of me, because without the person telling you the facts and details of their lives, you can’t make any assumptions about why they are the way they are. To this I’d say “sure”, but then cry “horseshit” (because I’ve already typed ‘bullshit’ in this entry). You make assumptions about people all the time. They don’t have to be right for you to believe them. What you need to be able to do is recognize that maybe your assumptions are right, and maybe they’re wrong; that they are nothing more than your construct of that person. Maybe she’s Satan’s spawn or maybe she’s just lonely and needs a little human contact. Preferably from adults.

Truman Capote’s novel “In Cold Blood” sat on my shelf for months before I got down to reading it. It’s the true story of the Clutter family murder case that happened in Kansas back in 1959. Capote reworks his journalistic research into the novel to tell the story of the victims, their friends and neighbours, but most importantly to shed some light onto the lives of their killers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. It’s an interesting look at the way we often tend to oversimplify people, their motives and their behaviour based on the way they look or on one seemingly significant act. For the people from Holcomb, Kansas, where the Clutter family are from, the killers are obviously bastards who deserve to be executed. For the reader, while we can’t always sympathize with them, we at least understand that their lives were long and tragic, leading up to the murders. You don’t leave the novel necessarily feeling like justice has been served by their capture or anything that follows it, because you know too much about them now. You understand them. It can be unsettling, but really, it’s sort of refreshing.

That book was lent to me by my friend Matthew, who is, I guess, another grand construct of my imagination as much as he is his own person.

The last time I saw Matthew was at Ramfest. Before then, it’d probably been months.

Ramfest. I keep meaning to write about Ramfest…but who cares about Ramfest anyway?


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