November 2, 2006


I’ve been thinking about something mentioned in the Daniel Pinchbeck interview linked a few posts ago. As I mentioned in my Cesar Torres interview, Pinchbeck’s my favorite writer. He takes the most chances, even if he doesn’t write fiction (though I’m sure many find his POV fiction). I’ve been reading some bad blood about him lately, not sure why. Maybe that’s what happens when you get successful—jealousy and judgment.

Him and the interviewers talk about how we’ve got a skewed value system in America. How money is the main barometer of a thing’s worth. I’ve done the same thing in my life. I should be prouder about what I’ve accomplished, but I have very little money to show for it. I was also thinking about housewives, how taking care of children is not considered real work, even by some feminists. What’s better—a woman who takes care of children, or a woman who gets an executive position for a plastics manufacturer that pollutes the environment. There’s a lot more that goes into a value system than money. Same goes for a husband, the breadwinner, who works a mostly pointless job—as many jobs are mostly pointless, except to keep the economy going. Do there really need to be 50 different brands of paint? Not really. So the man goes out, brings in money working a pointless job, the homemaker stays home taking care of the kids. Who’s more important?

I saw March of the Penguins the other night. Depressed me, mostly because I was already depressed. Life is hard. Those animals suffer so hard to raise their kids. That’s what life is about—creation, either procreation or creating something else. Forcing women into subservience is one thing, but there should be no problem with taking care of children. Perhaps reading Natalia Antonova’s blog has got me thinking about feminism.

Today a Jackson Pollack painting sold for 140 million dollars, which is really fucking retarded, an insult to anyone who’s starving. Our value system makes no sense.

Another part of the value system: a blog is only as good as the number of comments. Though there’s actually is some truth to that because a blog should be a conversation, not a monologue. This blog peaked a while back, as most blogs seem to. I used the blog to help me believe in myself as a writer again, after too much rejection. I don’t need that as much anymore, especially now that I’m writing more consistently. I was always writing, but not how I have been recently. Maybe people can sense that.

In another Viking Youth Power Hour show, they talk about the singularity—when technology overtakes us in both a negative and positive way, the tech apocalypse. It’s already happening. I may not have any cyber implants, but this computer is as part of me as my brain. Information that I’ve discovered online, people I’ve met, have altered the trajectory of my life. I write on the computer, I published a book on the computer. I am part robot. In a positive way, for the most part, because I’ve learned a lot.

Blogging is tied up in this. To take a PK Dick line of thought: blogging is a form of schizophrenia, a separate, independent personality, an approximation of me, but still a part of me. A blog has less distance than fiction, even if the fiction is autobiographical. Something about there being a three-dimensional object of a book and paper, rather than residing within the strange mind of the Internet. Cybernetic again, part of my mind is trapped online, in robot form. A negative spin, because part of my personality has also really grown online. All in all, it’s a pretty heavy relationship, especially to someone who takes writing ultra (too) seriously. Makes me want to stop it. Again.


Emil Michelle said...

Good post, Henry, and I know how you feel. That's partly why I don't blog anymore. I felt alienated from myself, like I was one of the Borg from Star Trek.

You're a talented writer, just like PKD and Pinchbeck. Inevitably people will become jealous of you, too. I actually know people who are jealous of me, and I'm a felon. They're not jealous of my talent, they're jealous because I had the imagination to fuck up my life. Can you believe that shit?

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