I spend a lot of time thinking about love, and what I’m about to discuss here is in the vein of love. But a love for cohesiveness, a love that desires modalities in cooperation rather than competition. Certainly, it took the very pessimistic concepts around Baudrillard’s philosophy to engender my thoughts on this subject. But without Baudrillard I would’ve never reached this conclusive ending: competition is a mere copy of a copy. I hear you asking “So then what’s the original source?” My answer: inspiration.
This article is a confession to my gurus. Well, maybe more of an apology. Or a humble request for forgiveness. Okay, it’s a mixture of all three. Sometimes I can be an asshole. More so when I was younger and before life kicked my sorry brown ass into submission. People say they love writers who have had the life beaten out of them. That’ll be my remaining solace in this whole matter: I’m only likable after bruises on the side of the face and a gash near the hairline.
There I am, like you, and so many writers, sitting at my computer and starting a new writing project. I’m drawing up characters because this story has been running through mind for years and it’s finally ready to go onto a page. Since I already have a working idea of who my main character is and her antagonist, I now need to weigh her against Karpman’s drama triangle. What is her good, bad, and ugly? This is how I’ve drawn multidimensional characters for over 10 years. But then two other creative forms changed my approach: Evolutionary astrology and Stanislavski’s method acting.
#WritersLife was the first thought I had when I woke. But I couldn’t shake the deep depression taking control of me. I felt an immense sadness. It felt like I was so inadequate that I didn’t matter to anyone. My life was so pointless and meaningless that no one would ever want to connect with me enough to care about my life. My mind kept circling around about how shitty a human being I was and how it didn’t matter what I thought or felt. My chest was heavy, shoulders sunken, and I could feel the length of my jaw pulling downward. I had little energy. Just enough to zombie through the last two days.
Someone tells you, “There’s nobody on that piece of land,” and you’re invited to stake a claim to it, build a home, move your family, and grow crops. Start a new life for yourself. That was the narrative fed to early European settlers and is commonly referred to as “The Pristine Myth,” meaning the wilderness is untouched and open for the taking. Then you arrive and find that not only are there people, but they’ve been there for thousands of years. I’m going to ask you one question: Has modern day academia created the same siphon?
I hiked into the Grand Canyon. I must’ve been in my late twenties, maybe early thirties. It started out as a walk to look over the rim. I had camped the night before in a tent at one of the sites and woke early (probably about 5am). I was there with a friend and she was still asleep. As the sun rose out of the east, I decided to follow the paved roads toward the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Like clipping and pruning back branches on a bonsai tree. Then we wire and train those branches to spread in the appearance of organic design reflective of the natural environment, taking careful consideration and steady hands. We have to make the right decisions. I’ve been revising Unsettled Between over the last two months and it’s been a transformative process not only for the novel but for me as well.
What I’m about to say is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially an older generation who built their identity on the backs of a sovereignty based in contention between governments. But ultimately a shift occurred while many were sleeping, and this wasn’t something the younger generation brought about. We were simply swept away in the waters and learned to swim for fear of drowning.
Suppose you’re at a coffee shop and you’re telling your best friend about your workday. You’re saying so-and-so is building a case to take to human resources and will file a lawsuit soon. So-and-so has evidence of coercion and retaliation. Maybe it’s based on gender. Maybe it’s based on race. So-and-so will also file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a federal employee complaint due to implicit biases at work. Then you notice someone at the next table staring and listening with interest at all the juicy details.
No one believes themselves to be like Azrael. If we had to choose between the cat and Gargamel, we’d all choose Gargamel–if push came to shove. We’d rather be neither, or think of ourselves as neither. But we’re one or the other in someone’s eyes. This article is an examination of how the “underling” can allow himself to be abused. And maybe we can resolve: Why we allow people in power to control us.
We’re tweeting and sharing and posting. We touch on a politically sensitive subject. And we don’t hesitate to engage in a friendly dialogue amongst community members. This is how folks learn. The back and forth sway. As we all know, a simple text exchange can quickly turn a meal of delicacies into a food fight.
Often I sit here in front of this computer and think about how to capture the voice of a narrator. Voice is the darkness around the thief, his soft footsteps, and his choice of victim. There is nothing innocent about what we writers do. We’re persuasive colonizers seeking to intrude on your sensibilities. We’re convincing–softly so.