Self-loathing is here. She’s so uncommon in these parts that I barely recognize her, but this being the dissertation year(s), I should expect that symptom to arise now and again. It’s just an emotional state, an emotional state, an emotional state: don’t reify it, girl. You don’t need that shit.
But GAWD. She—the symptom—showed up in the night and bashed me and beat me with anxiety dreams. In one, I was in the most amazing airport-of-the-future, with old friends, headed toward an interplanetary flight. I dropped my “documents” (could the subconscious be any more obvious?) down a death-star-like shaft, but thought I could get through the boarding process fine on my finesse. Always one to work the system. But as the line grew shorter, and shorter, and shorter, panic and self-loathing drew me down. Imposter! God it was horrible.
Marry years of fire-and-brimstone sermons (the terrible parable of the 5 foolish virgins is great for such torture) to a Philip K. Dick aesthetic and the possibilities for anxiety-narratives are horrid. I applied direct sunlight to my body, dragged myself to the studio for an excellent late-morning flow, then talked it all out with the Editor (which he semi-appreciated—it’s so rare I have the patience to discuss my work), and spent the afternoon in books. (Just an emotional state, yes: but one related to practical actions: oh the damn moral games writers play.)
Then we went reverse-slumming for our afternoon walk (Brentwood—our route takes us past the façade featured in the old opening sequence for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and some people in a silver SUV cruised by and pelted us with eggs. Actually, they missed—though one that splatted a pole came close. My eff-you reflex fired instantly (spoiled kids, go find yourselves some real effing danger!), but now I’m delighted about it. Considering the neighborhood, they could have been assaulting People of Consequence. Brave. The Editor’s fumes didn’t start up until later and now he’s real mad. That’s the trouble with being uber-nostalgia-man: the past’s effects increase with time. Hell, I’ll take comic over cosmic egg-pelting anytime. Real egg in the face would have been a nice release, and cleaned up so easily.
Anyway, since it’s still a semi-ease-up Saturday, a few links before returning to the lit-review writing.
? You don’t say? They’re jacking the numbers about “offshore” (including uber-sweatshop) production? Straightforward discussion in Business Week to put yesterday’s widely-hailed drop on the US trade deficit in perspective.
? Cult of the Amateur out this week. Andrew Keen, who has equated the democracy of Web 2.0 with Marxism (the horror), decries the death of “our cultural standards and moral values” as hierarchies in information-provision are flattened and we learn more from each other. Awwww. Keep at it, little bloggers.
? Most intense astangi I know sent over this vision of nuclear holocaust. Flash is annoying, but it’s hilarious. Even though the artist forgot South Africa and North Korea.
? In honor of the egg-pelters, this is a crazy NYT Mag short film on kids and money in Los Angeles.
? Richard Rorty, post-pragmatist and the “most talked-about philosopher” of our time, is dead at 75.