So I’ve been missing in action. Yeah. Gone. Mentally. Out to brunch. Living under a frock. Head buried in the flan. And other things. Sorry about that. But there was good reason. Well, there were reasons.
I’ve been depressed, dejected, and generally horrified. What can I say? I’m weak. And ashamed about it, too. Paralyzed by nihilism. Probably a little lazy. And the drugs don’t help. They may not hurt, but they do not help. I don’t know, exactly, but I’ve been in an existential funk, haunted by imminent futility—mine, yours, political, journalistic, comedic, artistic, humanistic. Is that a word? I don’t care. That’s a good sign. I think.
Once you spiral down that spiral of shameful lethargy, it’s hard to stop spiraling. But I need to start doing my job, sad as it may be. I’m going to imagine that I’m a fat guy in a movie (the fat isn’t hard to imagine), who’s doing a training montage. And, hopefully, by the end of this essay, I’ll be ready to defeat the villain with muscly skill. Or. Shut up. The first bit of the montage is always pathetic. Sweaty. Grotesque. It looks like the guy’s going to keel over and die. I should be so lucky.
Anyway, the species is speeding off a carbon dioxide cliff, and all the press cares about is which corporate bastard is slightly less of a corporate bastard than the other corporate bastard. And they don’t actually care about that. They care about pretending that this election, like, really matters. It’s a close, exciting contest between two diametrically opposed governing philosophies, worthy of endless, baseless speculation, and not at all a sickening burlesque meant to ratchet up ad-rates for everything you can possibly make out of corn. This bothers me. It baffles me, to be honest, that people aren’t out in the streets freaking the fuck out. I’m also embarrassed that I care. Maybe I shouldn’t. The hope is that on the other side of the existential tunnel, there’s a certain freedom. An unburdening. Not quite sure what will motivate me if I don’t care. But I’m going to keep doing situps and running on the beach with uptempo accompaniment.
That’s the structure. News is big business. It has a mind of its own. There’s a bottom-line algorithm functioning at every turn—ing “reporters” and pundits into cells, forced to internalized the corporate values (of one of the 8 massive media conglomerates who own basically every news outlet) or be sloughed off like so much detritus. Shit. Maybe this whole way of looking at things is what has me down. Religions, politics, corporate governance, etc, etc by their very organization, and our roles in those organizations, rob us of our freedom—our free will. And it doesn’t actually matter if we have true free will. It’s about how we feel. I don’t want to get sidetracked with philosophical masturbation.
Maybe that’s just how I feel. Trapped. After my drunken step dad beat up on my disabled mother, I had to be the good son. I live here now—with her. This was around the time I was being convicted of videotaping a cop. They changed that charge, but the jury couldn’t get over the photo of me holding a giant dildophone. So, yeah. Community service, breaking my back. Depression. And nearly everyone I wrote about during the trial hates my guts now. Is that the price of brutal honesty? Or am I just a dick?
I’ve only managed some 15 hours of the 75 hour sentence, too, which I’m supposed to have done by this Friday, so I’m probably going to jail for two weeks. Aside from the sheer physical pain of scraping, spackling, and painting with a slipped disk or whatever the hell I have (not health insurance), I may have flaked on the responsibility because two weeks away from my mother sounds like an incredible vacation.
My life has become an endless string of chores. Coffee and breakfast, laundry, lunch, coffee, shopping, go here, do that, fix this, plunge that. You get the picture. It’s relentless. And just fucking depressing. There’s little solace in knowing, or imagining, that I’m doing a good thing here. In my dreams, I have enough money for a proper caregiver—one not overflowing with resentment and thoughts of sweet, sweet suicide. My figurative dreams. I don’t actually dream anymore. I’m not sure if I even have goals anymore. I’ve been crushed by the world. I’m a failure. My only notable achievement is a long-forgotten prank phone call, which achieved nothing. I gotta say, the Wisconsin recall was disheartening, and it greatly contributed to the feeling that nothing I do matters. At all.
I used to think you could do something to change people’s minds. I’m now certain that that’s a very rare thing. More often than not, people just cherry-pick new information to confirm their own biases. One example is “liberal” indifference to Obama’s Drone War. If Bush had a Kill List, the left would’ve been livid. Out of their goddamn minds with righteous indignation. But. Meh. Whatever. Kill thousands of innocent people with flying robots. On the upside, drones don’t rape our female soldiers, so Forward!
$4 billion has been spent so far in this presidential election. $4 billion. That’s fucking insane. When it’s all said and cliched, it’ll be about the same amount that Planned Parenthood will receive in federal funding over the next 16 years! Roughly. That outrages some idiots, for some reason (idiocy), but the some $1.5 trillion annual military budget is a perfectly fine murderous expenditure. I do not understand “pro-life” people. Do they know that the only way to lower the abortion rate is through raising living standards and educating people? No? Why isn’t someone telling them? I just don’t get it. None of it.
This $1.5 trillion (and growing) is half of the entire federal budget (ditto). Half of everything. We’re told that this election represents a stark choice between two diametrically opposed governing philosophies, but this massive amount of money isn’t part of the debate. Meanwhile, the roughly $200 billion spent on food stamps is a centerpiece of conservative rhetoric. Why? Because they’re—likely racist—assholes. Welfare means black. It doesn’t matter that food stamps are an awesome example of Keynesian economics. For every dollar the feds spend, about $1.60 is put back into the economy. Humane often equals smart, and, if we were either, we’d all be on food stamps. You know why you never hear the phrase “demand-side economics”? Because it’s fucking redundant!
So we’re well into the montage at this point. I’m probably sparring or some shit. Boxing myself. Aren’t we all? Consciousness seems to be a constant battle between the individual and the whole. Again, philosophical masturbation, so sorry. But allow me this digression…amid a series of digressions from nothing at all. Consciousness is some very weird business. Each of our brains is a infinitesimal bit of the universe (multiverse?) that can conceive of itself—poorly, but still. It’s amazing. Our thoughts, the way we think, the mechanism, the meat-puter is just this inanimate stuff organized in such a way that it can think about the organization of the inanimate stuff that makes thoughts. No one understands exactly how this works. The stuff doesn’t understand the stuff. It just does its thing. Its thing is to physically, chemically, electrically reacting to stimulus. That’s it. Fire bad.
And we’re not much fancier than that. Fire Bad could be Romney’s campaign slogan. Why not? It may as well have been. The dude kicked off his campaign in Iowa describing the debt as a prairie fire that was going to burn our children alive. Seriously. Fire bad.
So, yeah, Obama’s the lesser evil. The head of a diseased tic sucking its host dry. If you’re conservative, whatever the hell that means, you may imagine the host as the taxpayer. Nah. I mean the world. It’s finite, you know. And, yes, I know: this whole bleeding heart routine is pathetic. Call me old fashioned, but I think fire bad. Blah. We’re fucked.
OK then. Montage. Situps. Pushups. Questions. Answers. Meaning. There’s no point to any of this thing called life. I mean, there’s no inherent, objective point. Your point can be whatever you want it to be. It’s a pedestrian observation, of course, but this is a montage! Montages are not profound. They jump around, fast forward, and go exactly where they’re supposed to go. The idea is that at the end of the depressed, nihilistic tunnel is some sort of freedom. There doesn’t need to be a point. It doesn’t matter that everything I do is futile. It’s more about…not knowing what the fuck you’re doing and being okay with that. Right? Why the fuck am I asking you? I don’t care what you think, which is a necessity when ranting about nothing. I think. What do you think? Shit.
So that really was a bit of a screed. But you have to start crawling back somewhere. I’ll try to be more coherent and topical in the future. And that’s how this ends.