Category Archives: Uncategorized

At Daytrotter Ben Lee instead of singing reads only that small part from “The Balloon” I was talking about. Only!

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Two things that aren’t all that related and that I want to talk about but only tangentially

1) “Neuroses can be explained as fake-meaning creation. When the lives of some people get overly secure and lack in danger or primary survival goals, they will start to make up pseudo-dangerous environments that have to be fought with strange self-made rituals.” Koert van Essan, Therapist

2) In an article about fetishes I recently read, the woman being profiled said that if you take whatever you hated most about yourself growing up, that’s your fetish persona. 


A few months ago I started wearing a rubberband on my wrist that was supposed to help me not be negative: also my blood type  every time something negative came in my head I had to switch it to the other wrist. This is brilliant, I’m not kidding. It’s an automatic refresh. You are now expecting this post to go one of two ways:


2) But…

It’s the second one. After a few weeks of this I missed a flight, and I noticed I was also missing the rubberband on my arm. So I went out and bought a giant bag of rubberbands (in Chicago, where I was grounded. From a indeterminate Asian store, that was very very messy. It took a while to find them, but I had nothing to do). So then I wore a new rubberband and everything was sort of awesome for a while. And THEN, I got sick, and my rubberband was missing again! So I put on a new one. And then my friend got sick, really sick, and whatdoyouknow, it was missing again. So then I just had to call it quits, and stop wearing the thing, because it was becoming more of a totem and less of a newage-lifechanging-device. 

So really this is about rabbit’s feet. FACT: it isn’t supposed to be any rabbit’s foot: the rabbit needs to be shot in a cemetery. So good luck with that. But actually, it’s about how I wish I knew how many rituals every person I know goes through in a day. There are three kinds of people with neuroses: 

1). OCD-types, the serious kind that is most likely due to a chemical imbalance but that I don’t know very much about and feel very, very pained for.

2) The quiet-types, that accept their tiny life-rituals or obsessions and then move on

3) Livejournal-havers, though that’s kind of mean (I’m not wearing a rubberbandddd). These people cherish their neuroses, and cultivate them, and enjoy talking about them. 

Don’t think that just cuz I got my own domain name I’m excluding myself from this last category. Though that’s what so hard about this: I find it hugely fascinating but feel like a jerk when I talk about because it’s like a want to show off my tiny-obsessions to the world like some boys do with their sneakers (what is with that). So here you have it.

In high school I spent enormous amounts of time trying to think the opposite of what I wanted to actually happen because I believed that’s the only way it would come true. Sort of like anti-magical thinking, sort of like this. I’m fairly certain everyone does this to some degree because of how strongly we believe in our own bad luck sometimes. However, if you read every third page of my high school journal it would be something like “Thinking things does not make them either happen or not happen” over and over again. It is, actually, completely debilitating and not something I would ever want to relive. It is, really, something I hated most about myself.

And it isn’t something I’ve completely curbed, though mostly now it’s just meaningless correlations and the occasional refusal to get really excited about something if I really want it to happen. Sometimes I assume at some point in my future it will go away entirely, because I will have real-life things to obsess over. But sometimes I don’t know. People have been carrying around rabbit’s feet for ages. 

Anyway. My life’s been pretty rad since that new Beyonce song came out.  

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Speaking of which


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McSweeney’s is doing a really wonderful thing right now. This word selfish comes up in suicides like the word devoted does in eulogies: selfishness on the part of the suicide, selfishness on the part of the survivors for feeling personally injured, selfishness on the part of the survivors for feeling guilty about the selfishness instead of feeling grief or for simply remembering, selfishness as a kind of hopeless response in general. That human beings sometimes just have to sit in one place and, like, hurt (IJ 203). In public figures this is multiplied by thousands as the word selfish binds onto the news, leading to a feeling of selfishness that this word could even come up, as though it is some right of the public to claim selfish without a real, personal relationship or any kind of understanding of what suicide really means. All the kind of horrible cycle of selfishness and self-awareness that Wallace, better than anyone, could articulate.

The McSweeney’s page is something else. Wallace’s generosity made apparent in all of these words by friends and by strangers on the site is beautiful. Selfish isn’t the question: admiration, inspiration, love, is. This is mine:

The night I saw him read was alarming. The absolute compulsion to read “Good Old Neon” twice in one afternoon was alarming and so, too, was my real, physical reaction to Infinite Jest. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable (204). More than anything else it’s the alarm of someone finding you out, calling you out. David Foster Wallace has meant Truth to me the way nothing else has ever meant Truth, in all the beautiful, complicated, and truly alarming ways he looked after it. Reading Wallace meant underlining every single fear and anxiety while simultaneously proving they couldn’t be possible, because reading his books proved, above all, that I had the capacity to really, truly feel.

This grief, too, has been alarming. I don’t know what we will do without him.

I don’t know.

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