the safe thing

i should add, you know, that of course i too am selling something. i’m selling my services. i’m selling my time. i’m selling myself. i think i have to.

and i’m just torn, you know? because on the one hand you have to present this professional persona to the world, to, basically, anyone who might hire you. (that’s a very specific subset of the world, i know.) and on the other hand you have to stay true to yourself, your ideals, and, hopefully, stand for something.

the normal(?), natural(?) (safe?) thing to do seems to be to just keep it all hidden. keep your past hidden, your mistakes hidden, and press on each day as if you were a new person in the world. those things that happened to you when you were a kid, the trouble you got into down at the bar, that’s just like, your *personal* life. nobody needs to know about it. right?

certainly you don’t want the world to know about it. you don’t want the people who *might* hire you to know about your mistakes. right?

because the fear is, the fear is that *everyone* will find out *everything* about you, and there you’ll be, flat broke, shivering, on the street. because you’re not perfect, and you made mistakes you wish you hadn’t, and now nobody wants you. (replace all those “you”s with “I”s and “me”.)

but what if they — and by “they” i mean *everyone* — did know everything? and this is the trouble with the surveillance state. it takes the personal and privateĀ  and makes it public. and so hardly anything makes sense anymore. it’s a mindfuck.

you might think, well, i mean, it’s just a *blog*. if this guy (me) wants to shoot himself in the foot by mixing his personal and public life, sure, give him enough rope to hang himself with. but i’m just trying to get to the other side of this thing. this situation. this river.

because i don’t want to live two lives. i don’t want to have a “phone voice”. i want to be a whole person. and i want to bring that whole, singular person to bear on the tasks i undertake, the jobs i do. and i want the people i meet to know that they’re dealing with a straight-up, honest (and yes, *flawed*) person. and if there was any doubt of that, they’d just say, “well, did you see what he wrote on his blog?” (and hopefully not, “yeah, they’re probably going to kill him.”)

i think i’ve been living this life as if i could go back, fix what was wrong, whatever happened, whatever i did, and then everything would be okay. but i can’t. i can’t fix my past. this isn’t Quantum Leap.

so i’m tired. tired of thinking like that — thinking like that has made me tired. and the words you’re reading now are just my own. my own tired words. and when you’re talking to yourself, and to everyone, and you’re sorry, and you’re trying to be honest, this is what it sounds like.

so! tomorow! tomorrow i’ll wake up, i’ll press on, and i’ll be a new person in the world again. because at this point — let’s face it — there’s no going back.

not a monk

of course if i were an actual monk, i would have access to the infrastructure and financial support of some religious institution. the books i would be transcribing would be well-cared-for and sheltered behind brick and mortar.

needless to say, i am not a monk. i grew up in front of the television, watching ducktales and playing excitebike and dragon warrior. i went to elementary school and got punched in the stomach and walked home crying. like, daily. (that’s an exaggeration.)

sometimes i used to wish i was a monk. or maybe i just wished to belong to a culture other than my own. or maybe just to belong. i mean, it’s not like i never got laid. i did, and that helped. and eventually some kind folks took me in, and treated me kindly. but was it because they recognized a fellow freak? or was it just that my freakishness was useful to them? for a while? who knows.

no i’m not a monk. most likely i’ll never be a monk. because i have to pay the rent, and i have responsibilities to my family, and my community. and my culture. and i can’t just run away. though i do think about it. like, daily.

so here i sit in the modern police surveillance state. still. afraid to speak truth to power, now. afraid to express my true self, but fighting like hell to do so. it’s funny how a little veiled threat against your life can shut a person up real quick. but not funny ha-ha. funny sad.

one to many

what to say? when you can speak to millions of people in one moment? this new art form that lacks any sense of time or process. it’s just immediate. thoughts move from mind to fingers tapping at the keyboard and out into space. how does it look? how does it sound? like a keyboard. like a mouse click.

some use it to say something. but most (most?) use it to sell something. and if you had something to say, other than, “for sale”, what would that be?

would you say anything worthwhile? worth remembering? if you were a monk and a keeper of knowledge, would you pass it on? i imagine you would. i imagine you would spend years of your life transcribing book after book, keeping the knowledge alive, and adding to it.

and now? information overload. next up: mona lisa overdrive. next?

it goes like this: “those who know do not speak, those who speak do not know.” if there’s any truth to that, then surely everyone here must know nothing, for here we are all speaking.

[*hits “publish”*]

the early web (omg!)

hey! do you guys remember the early web? where you could see all kinds of shit? where people were like, actually cursing on their “blogs”?

i’m talking like, 1995, 96, 97? Do you remember the first time you read somebody’s “web log”???? Like, someone who was writing a private journal, but on a public URL? And you felt all weird because you were getting this weird *private* look into someone’s life, but at the same time they were just like, *putting it out there*, for anyone (well, anyone with an internet connection) to see?

Only, all the sites were all funky-style, with creative backgrounds and expressive fonts and spinning gifs of envelopes and planets and just, crazy, crazy shit, man.

and you felt like some of the people on there were just, like, talking to you, like you would talk to a friend, and they weren’t really, like, holding anything back?

and that maybe made you feel a little better about what you were doing on there. like there were people out there that you could actually relate to.

and maybe THAT made you feel just a little more at home. maybe.

and did you ever think ever? ever that it would turn into this?