Friday, May 3, 2013

Who Are You?

I used to sing along with The Who as a pre-teen.  I never really knew what the lyrics meant, except that they held a type of aggressive in your face brand of introspection, or supposed introspection, the kind that elders certainly must be incapable of, and that only folks under a certain age would find intoxicating, precisely because they could tap into it.  (There's another way to read this divide, as with all divides, and it is not that the brand of introspection pushed out of my speakers as a 12 year old was only accessible to those under a certain age, but that instead it was only listenable, that is, bearable, by those under a certain age, because at its core was something selfish and ugly and utterly hormonal, instead of any genuine question--i.e. a question that isn't afraid of an answer -this was, instead, perhaps, a question asked with a specific answer already in mind; a question asked only for the sake of the answer.  And the answer was a kind of fuck you.)  And anyway, the song is basically a bender of a song anyway!  Or it is a love song.  Or it is both.

Anyway, I think the brand of introspection there was still very romantic, or idealistic, in that it tried to perhaps strip the layers of normalcy and socialization, the pressures that we all feel are so static and staid and true and never change as we learn about them, and which are actually quite fluid perhaps.  And alcohol is a nice foil, i.e. it is convenient to feel that alcohol provides access to this truth, this core stuff, but the real truth is that we have to deal with all sorts of stuff that incentivizes our behavior every single day, whether enforcing it or punishing it, and that's what makes humans so fantastic and miserable.  And love is a similarly nice foil, to say that we love someone else and that person loves us makes our lives true and meaningful.

But we still have to deal with a lot of little piddly shit that isn't related directly to the raw pure emotion of love or drunkeness or anything like that, which, collectively, is sort of what being an adult is all about, since those pure things are there, mostly, well, all the time, and yet cannot necessarily be talked about explicitly.

Which brings me to my larger point.  In any given situation, you kind of have to have an idea of what you prefer, who you are, and not necessarily be driven by other people's strategies/perspectives on your behavior.  Yes, to some extent, obviously, you must adjust based on other people's adjustments, sure, but if that flexibility could be quantified into a number, that number shouldn't really rise higher than some threshold only you can figure out (i.e. only us individually), and we have to do that, figure it out, that is, in order to live and be consistent with ourselves, and we have to also make sure to doubt our own motivations and our own need to tell stories that are flattering to our perspectives at the same time, etc.

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