sábado, 13 de noviembre de 2010

The Glass Was Imaginary To Begin With!

("Traduttore, tradittore".  Le pido perdón a quienes no hablen inglés, pero quería publicar este texto tal y como lo concebí.  Prometo una traducción pronto.  Gracias.)

I've been thinking about this for a while and, the more thought I put into it, the less I understand our culture.  To many, this might be taken as my ultimate declaration of curmudgeonness.  Maybe some of you will link this to the fact that I'm going to be 29 in a few days.  Some of my closest friends might infere (and not without reason) that I need to get laid more often, since the subsequent liberation of endorphines and blood irrigation around my crotch area might help me with my male PMS.  Former love interests will ratify that I'm a drama queen and that this is my last attempt to attract attention towards myself.

However, even if ALL of the previous reasons were true (at the same time, sequentially, intermitently or at random), I think there is some truth in it.  Something to investigate or to ponder on nights like these.  So, please, even if you think that these ideas are a sophisticated system of whining, give me a chance.  Your prejudice won't let go that easily, so it is okay to think with a tilted logic about all this.  It's fine, you'd do the same for me. So, with no further ado, here's the thing:

We really need to put this whole happiness thing under control.

I don't understand when the hell happiness became less of a feeling and more of a value.  All of a sudden, there is something wrong with you if you're not happy with your life.  I think that this senseless pursue of endless joy is lowering our standards.  "Well, as long as he/she is happy..." is a lifetime (or even a death) sentence because it confines any possibility of joy to really limited scenarios and it relieves us from any responsibility we might have with others, letting them maim and mutilate their expectations in order to fit a smaller frame.  If he is happy and she is happy, we should let them at it... right?

Wrong!  There is a point in our lives on which we compromise what is really sacred to us. Being the best real estate agent beats being a rock star?  Being a rockstar beats being an astronaut?  Shit... being what you always wanted to be beats being what others expect you to be?

It starts in our childhood, when each bruise, scar, bump, papercut, boil and infection reminds us that maybe we are not well-suited to be Batman, so we settle for the next best thing.  Then, social interaction and hormonal imbalance (the two pillars of teenage life) give us a new perspective of what we can do: pretty much have orgasms, get intoxicated and have a better body.

Social interaction with a restored hormonal status and the end of all our academic endeavors force us to shift to a new paradigm: acquisitive power.  Principles and hopes aside, we expect to attain tons of money with as little as we can do.  But this minimum of effort is not enough, so we have to embellish our job with all sorts of appealing, moral, creative, altruistic, noble values.

Even our own lives become an endeavor to ourselves because we have to fill the gaps that our career won't cover with all sorts of glittery badges and buttons.  You know (or, at least, you hope) you are not completely selfish and materialistic, outdated, aloof.  You still give a fuck, right?

"...can't be Batman, can't be a rockstar, can't be a roadie... but, damn, I can be one fuckin' cool accountant and have an organic stash of tomatoes!", right?

In that process, you renounced to the basic conditions of your happiness. You are living a lie.  You have found something else, something that will keep you entertained so you don't have to think of that amazing being you were back then, something so little that you have to lower the bar a few notches to make it fit tight.  You became your balding head, your saggy tits, the greenish circles under your eyes.  You're your power suit, your diploma, your car, your children.  You'll kill and buttfuck the laundry clerk for the stain they didn't remove, you will blame your college loan for the rut you're into, you will shoot that asshole in front of his kids because he hit your bumper (newsflash, genius: that's what a bumper's for), you will ignore and neglect your kids because you HAVE, you HAVE, you SO HAVE to pursue your own happiness because the clock is running and you only have a couple of minutes before it's over.  You will lie to keep your couple by your side, you will fake orgasms to keep his interest, you will fake interest to keep the orgasms coming (to keep coming...), you will lie to your friends so they don't smell the weak urine-like scent of a life completely fucked up, you will lie to yourself and you will say that you're happy, happier than you'll ever be.  You will lie to the mirror, naked and drenched in lukewarm water, craving for that first cup of coffee, hiding that urge to end it all right there.

"Well, if they're happy" my ass.  You betrayed yourself. That's why you're a happiness junkie.

Happiness should never be a goal.  Happiness is there to make our lives easier, more bearable.  It comes in small doses, just like any other emotion. That's what makes joy so special: you can only experienc this much of it.  There are greater goals and challenges other than "finding yourself".  There are bigger questions to ask and greater deeds to be done.  There are songs to be written, books to be read, problems to solve and I think it is selfish if you choose to sit with your thumb up your ass wondering why are we here.  There's no reason.  Not everyone is going to be the next JFK or the next Alex Chilton (but let me tell you this: if you don't know who Alex Chilton was, your life is worthless).  That's the difference between therapy and addiction, that's why you can't have a pill of Ecstasy with your pick-me-up coffee every day: happiness is scarce and it wears off quickly.

The world is chaotic and our brain works to make it remotely understandable to us.  The world has no emotional investment on your feelings, it won't grant you that Ferrari Testarossa and the twin redhead Asian bisexual girls if you really realy really really wish for it. The universe doesn't give a fuck about you.  Not because you're worthless, mind you: it just can't.  The universe is not self-aware nor sentient.  It just is.  There are a few rules we compiled (science, art) and, other than those rules, you're pretty much free to do and believe whatever you want.  If you want my opinion, I would encourage you to spend less time worrying about God (it's more than likely that He doesn't exist) and try to spend more time with your family, have a few laughs with your friends, make mad love to that person you love, have a hearty meal and sleep as much as you can.

Mind you:  I'm not telling you that there is anything wrong with being happy.  Heck... if you can, do it now!  All I'm saying is that, since there's no exact science behind it, stop chasing it .  There is no formula, no secret, no prayer, secret handshake, password, code, method, pill, supository, douche, energy drink, job offer that will guarantee you won't feel the blues ever again.  So knock it off!   All you're doing is burying that amazing person you were when you were younger (sometimes you're an awesome kid, sometimes you're an awesome teen, sometimes you're both...) under layers and layers of bullshit you wouldn't buy back then.  You used to be funny.  Everyone used to.  Everyone had a set of goals and values that were plausible.  You used to.

Stop comforming, stop having small dreams.  No one will care if you were the best in your field.  We will all die and all this stress about meaningless things will be time we didn't spend daydreaming, time we didn't spend watching sunsets, time we didn't spend laughing, time we didn't spend making love or thinking of the name for that dog our future children will rescue from the streets.  There is no time to be lonely.  There is no time to accumulate tons of cash, there's no time to inherit our parents' business, there is no time to find out who's got the biggest cock, there is no time to develop an addiction to opiates, there is no time to get bigger tits, there is no time to get a bigger car.  There is no time for a false sense of superiority when everyone looks like a pawn.  There's no time to please mommy and daddy.  There's no time to have a fanclub that will make you feel better about yourself when your life's a trainwreck.  There's no time to pretend being mystical when you know you wouldn't buy the bullshit you're selling.  No time to be a fraud, no time to pretend, no time to fake.

I just don't have the time to live an empty life.

I know I will never be completely happy.  I miss and crave way too many things.  I am incomplete and that's why I can't be bothered with all the pretense many others deal with on daily basis.  I am angry at the world and full of weltschmerz.    I've been happy, I will surely be happy... I don't expect fulfillment.  I would probably jump from a cliff if I were completely happy:  that would mean I lowered my own standards.  I'm broken, but...

... does that mean that I should not be loved or respected or even trusted?  Does that mean that I am unable to experience empathy?  Does that mean that I advocate suffering and cruelty?  Does that mean that my children will be born with tails and hooves?  That I will steal your babies in the middle of the night to make candles with their fat?  That I will be hung from a tree by angry therapists?  Nah.  I just know that there is nothing worth standing in awe right here, right now.  No need to hold your breath, guys...

That doesn't mean that I will never be happy or that I've never been happy at all.

You know what would make me happier than anything?  To dream these amazing dreams I had when I was 9.  I dreamed of the most beautiful city landscapes that would hide temples within buildings.  On those temples I would find this girl I had a crush on, rescue her and flee to another beautiful city drenched in golden light.  I would be happy if the Vatican was dismantled and Israel abandoned Jerusalem - that'd be a load off of everyone's back.  I'd be really happy if gray Iran became a vibrant Persia again, full of stories and music and art and science.  I'd be happy to find the Dalai Lama having a smoke behind a booth.  I would be happier if the UN would drop boxes of condoms all over the African continent.  I would be happy if I could find Ana Milena (the girl who took me under her kind wing on my first days of school) and tell her that she embedded a seed of hope in me.  I would be happy to find every girl I was too shy to talk to and tell each and every one of them the exact moment thay made my day or my night.  I would be happy if Johnny Marr were to play a tune with Robert Smith.

Until then, fuck it.  I'm a curmudgeon.  My dreams will never be small and that's why it hurts so much to wake up every morning.  My memories of the amazing people you were are, if not intact, well-preserved and it offends me that you are this watered version of the people I met.  I will never give up or give in to whatever money I make: you can't cash my dreams, you can't buy my approval.  I might be heading towards a miserable existance but some of us have to carry the weight of the world upon our shoulders.

The glass was never half-full or half-empty.  The glass was imaginary to begin with.

1 comentario:

  1. Apreciado compañero:
    Me temo que usted es un paranoide... También yo. En eso nos entendemos.
    En la época de mi vida en la que me dediqué a leer postpunk, la novela que más escalofríos me dio fue "Un mundo feliz" de Aldous Huxley. Bien es sabido que este autor es como el mayor pesimista de los pesimistas, pero lo que hace su pesimismo tan escalofriante, es que es absolutamente comprobable. Y desde entonces, he visto pasar el tiempo(no han pasado ni 10 años) pero me sorprende la rapidez y eficacia con la que sus presagios empiezan a tener lugar en el mundo real. Usted escribe como un libro con capítulos. El gran problema de la felicidad es cuando se vende como única opción, lo que garantiza, sin duda, la homogenización.
    En la edad media era horrible, o uno se casaba, o era puta o monja... Pero habían opciones... Como mujer, siento que ahora no las hay. Estoy condenada a ser una freak en secreto o ser "estupidamente feliz"...
    Lo que más miedo da esa felicidad es la absoluta... "difuminación" de los bordes de la persona, pero supongo que es cómodo para algunos. Se nos ha enseñado que el dolor es malo. Llevo una semana discutiendo con mi hermano, médico con intenciones de casarse, tener una familia y un SUV, acerca de la importancia del dolor como una experiencia más de estar vivo. Las moscas, el olor y la pudredumbre están ahí donde hay flores, vacas y caca de estas... Es estúpido querer separar las unas de las otras. Pero inventaron los analgésicos, la televisión estúpida y próximamente el soma... Al igual que el protagonista de la historia, los que no queremos estar felizmente drogados somos raros, cascarrabias y a nadie le gusta estar con nosotros. Deberíamos ver "protagonistas de nuestra tele"(creeps) más a menudo para poder reproducirnos con mayor facilidad o sino, por lo menos engañar a la naturaleza(a menudo he tenido esa duda.... el sexo es bueno sí, la naturaleza nos trae por las huevas, también, pero ¿en serio vale la pena ver protagonistas de nuestra tele para poder hablar con alguien más?)

    Lo entiendo compañero. Me negué a tomar antidepresivos cuando mi cabeza casi me mata porque me acordé de Huxley... Es preferible una vida dolorosa y nauseabunda en una montaña rusa que una agonía lenta y aburrida en una cama viendo tv.

    Mi asesora de seminario dice que me siento mejor cuando me extiendo escribiendo. Usted me perdonará de nuevo.

    Un abrazo.