I'm here again for a moment. I miss doing this. I keep saying it, don't do it, though.
At some point in the past, you would come to this website and see, underneath "Airport Through The Trees", "To Suffer As A Genius Without The Genius". It was just, you know, a bit of a dig at myself, lighthearted, really, to just, you know, relax. I think I've written about this before, maybe not, but I think I stopped writing the more people cared that I wrote because the expectations of others causes me to feel a very intense anxiety and to lose myself and my voice. It's not just in writing. Music, too, or really anything. It's not just anxiety, though. I seem to gain my best insights into the world in solitude, and so, even the readers I began to imagine as a handful of you began to give a shit oh so many years ago, would begin to impinge upon the reverie so necessary to bringing forth whatever it is (it's not your fault, keep reading, it's my problem!). Which is the whole point of "to suffer...". It's not like I'm the smartest motherfucker of all motherfuckers and so it's a bit silly, this portentous distancing, this, I dunno, like, Moses going to the mountain and bringing back a takeout menu for a Chinese restaurant. God hath spoken, and the General Tso's chicken shall be $8.95 at dinnertime, including white rice, whilst being only $6.75 before 4pm, including both white rice and an egg roll, in what our Lord hath decreed be known as a combination special. Delivery fee two dollars.
I don't know that I have much to say because I don't know that the world has changed sufficiently for me to add anything to what I have already said.
We need a word for this shit. Neoliberalism isn't right. We're certainly past postmodernity because postmodernity was very contingent on modernity, right? Like the sense of rupture no longer has a subversive charge when signifier and signified are detached a priori and it's annoying that I even am vaguely referencing Baudrillard, who I probably haven't read in a decade or so, as if. As IF! Now it's all normal.
It's a weird time in my life, a bleak one, but not bad. My return to New York has been a total dud. I was pretty inspired when I came back, but I feel like I've been running my head into a wall for a year now, and all the mental energy that I should be expending on caring about art or music or literature or whatever, well, I'm desperately hunting for a new apartment and a new job and a new computer monitor and staring at my bank account flush with cash, or at least, well, flush isn't the right word. I've upgraded, though. I went from being a starving artist to a lower-middle-class service worker with enough money to take a nice vacation and then spend a year replenishing. I won't be taking that vacation, though. I'm middle-aged. Time to start thinking about retirement (ten years ago). Woo.
It's just such a weird time. Once, I could romanticize my struggles.
Once nothing can happen, what does one do?
I wrote, a million years ago, seemingly, that the problem with EDM (remember that shit?) was that it justified the conservatism of the purist end of the house and techno world. Somehow, my experience with Trump is the same. Nobody really has any idea of what to do with their lives besides being middle-class, and the ones who want it the most, and who don't have it, are the "radicals". It's odd to hear people, the kids, that I work with, to diss on capitalism, to mention capitalism, as the thing to blame, but it's obvious the right books haven't been read, the point has been missed, somehow.
I miss Mark Fisher.
Because it's maybe, I dunno, the weirdest iteration of Capitalist Realism possible, now: the critique of capitalism is that it no longer provides people the means to be selfish bourgeois individualists. So it (capitalism) has to be abolished. In the name of, uhh, wait what? The extension of hyper-individualist subjectivity to more people?
It's really a common thing, though, to be invested in the solution to a personal problem as a societal prescription. I remember reading some interview with some let's say indie 1.0 hero, and he was talking about how anyone could form a band and it was inspiring but also, like, wouldn't society fall apart if everyone just played guitar in an indie rock band all the time or whatever?
Leave those dead end jobs in those dead-end cities and come innovate fast casual concepts.
College should be free but until we have some better idea of what to do with it all then, you know, career, then, uh? I work with people with Ivy League degrees. One just quit. He's taking a 50% pay cut to do something more noble. Because his parents can pay the rent.
That's a change, something new, isn't it?
(By the way, that super-educated guy was one of those classic, as opposed to classical, liberals who had all sorts of high-minded, State-Department-approved, ideas about how to disembowel random people halfway around the world for the sole purpose of feeding an abstract notion so maybe it's better if less people go to college, really.)
I was pretty angry, years ago, when I realized that certain careers were off the table due to having to start off unpaid. But now there are jobs that actually pay and require serious degrees from serious schools, but don't even cover the cost of living. I guess, probably, it's always been this way, to a certain extent.
I like ranting like this.
I don't know what to do next. I might have a lead on a new job, and a new apartment to go with it. A little more space, a little more money, or rather, the same amount of money, made on less hours, more hours to tackle the books that keep piling up.
I keep thinking I'm cynical, but I'm not. I used to read, a lot, I think, because I wanted to make sure I knew what the fuck it was I was talking about when the time came, finally, for me to be someone who might affect the world around me. Not, you know, all of it, but, maybe, some. Now I know it probably won't happen. But I keep buying the damn things.
To suffer as a genius without the genius is to hear people talking and know:
all their efforts at trying to come to terms with the world have yielded antiquated cliches that, somehow, they consider to be their own thoughts
that they lack the self awareness to know this
that their ideas have already been proven worthless
that I have read the books that prove those ideas worthless
that those books, and the ideas contained within them, are cliche as well
that my ideas are cliches, too
So there's a double loneliness, of neither being recognized for being smarter (i.e. subscribing to better cliches) nor for not being recognized as a fraud (because the better cliches are still cliches).
Most people are not smart enough to both know that they are full of shit and that I am, too. That's the suffering. You have to be THIS SMART to know I am not, and you aren't. But not you, of course.