Why it's all so sad
We live in a world where all of us are addicts to many, many things.
I've been reading this play by Tennessee Williams called Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and it aims to understand concepts such as superficiality, sexual desire, death, and "mendacity"—meaning "lies or the act of lying". I think that one of the hard truths that we should all own up to ourselves about is that we constantly lie to ourselves. We lie to ourselves about things such as being smart, being happy, being normal or nice. We also lie to ourselves about addictions and personal flaws. We lie to make it easier to live with ourselves, because it's all so sad realizing the true fact that we don't live perfect lives, we're actually quite bland, and we're addicts to certain cultural crutches that distract us from thinking too much.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof does not have much to do with this societal addiction thing, but instead reveals characters as themselves in a pitiful way. One character, Margaret, is addicted to superficial wealth and lying. The son and husband of Margaret, Brick, is addicted to drinking after his buddy dies: he numbs himself to dissipate some of the guilt, and hears a *click* noise when he reaches the level of drunk that allows him to cope with the world. Big Mama is addicted to laughter, because it's a distraction from the hurtful jokes that Big Daddy makes about her. And Big Daddy is addicted to living life recklessly after confronting death. These addictions are concrete and visible, we pick up on them because Tennessee Williams puts them into words in the play. We see the characters saying ugly words about each other, acting pathetic, and being disgustingly superficial.
I see it more in phones and gossip nowadays. Teenagers and adults alike, staring heavily into their phones for the next jumpstart of dopamine from a snap or text or notification. I don't want this to be one of those rants where I talk about nature and flowers, but I want to go more in depth about it. One quote I used in the last article was from My Dinner with Andre, and it talked about a "world totalitarian government based on money". Our attention is now the richest form of currency, and so the consumerist market is able to sell us entertainment. But can it sell us happiness? Is there an addiction that is beneficial towards achieving happiness?
Personally for me, It's been white noise. There are so many colors of noise; White, Red, Blue, Brown, Pink, Grey, Violet, etc. Then there are deep noises, which takes it down a few octaves. Color of noise are essentially different levels of the "power spectrum for noise", which means that static is put in or taken out producing different kinds of white noise. I personally like the colors pink, brown, and red noise, because they elicit different ideas from me while I listen to them. The reason why it's an addiction is because I constantly tune out the world around me so that I can operate and think at a higher capacity. My distraction is tuning out other distractions, ironically. But is it a bad addiction to have? Certainly I'm addicted to the internet, coffee, recognition, etc., but where do I draw the line between good and bad addictions?
It's all so sad. Recently I've had hours more time to do whatever since theatre has ended, but I decide to do nothing instead. I'm compelled to procrastinate. There's a quote by Jean Paul Sartre about it
I feel like a small, fluffy mouse in the mix with tons of other mice, those who I know and don't know, and we're all in this glass box with our little hamster wheels and dishes of food. It's like I'm trapped behind the glass, and all the other mice are content with living in this box. They've already either given up on trying to escape or see no reason to even want to, and I'm pawing at the glass.
It's 11:29pm, the Patriots have won the Super Bowl against my city, I have just finished reading Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I have spent the entire weekend planning out when to write, playing video games, working on homework for hours, playing video games, and then passing out without writing. I haven't had so much free time since before winter break, and I'm questioning whether or not I've been spending it wrong.
I haven't cried about David Foster Wallace yet. Over this over-ly unproductive extended weekend I have chosen to watch the movie Frank. This movie tore me to bits emotionally, and really captured the essence of losing faith in a hero. Here's a short summary of what the movie is about:
And so on and so on. Frank is a true genius. He's unique because he's so sane—like a modern version of Thoreau except with exceptional musical talent. Frank finds the beauty in the odd and overlooked, though often times it can come off as overly optimistic or naive. I love Frank. The person in the movie as well as the movie itself.
I have not cried about David Foster Wallace yet because I haven't read any of his books. I'm interested in his suicide because I want to be like him so much. Just as in the movie Frank—where the naive young protagonist wants to be like his hero—I feel a drive to create literature as good or better than that of David Foster Wallace.
I also watched this video on music from this youtube channel I recently found
It got me thinking about what makes music good, what makes literature good, what makes life good. And all that jazz. This article is headed nowhere.. . .
It's sad because I'm not yet sure how to be happy, and seeing other people in the same position as me, failing, is really depressing. Am I going to dedicate my life towards pursuing literature—creating inspiring works of art for others to see and marvel at? Or should it be towards better society? I'd much rather do something like this, like Frank, like Thoreau, going out and seeing the beauty in nature or music or creation. It seems as though many connections I have are that of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, where the characters use one another to get what they want, and every real connection is quickly cut by distraction.
I guess I'll end it on a positive ish note. There's another youtube channel I love watching. He has around 23 videos where he does nothing but work on personal projects in the woods (building fires, making forts, making pottery, etc.) and recording it. He does not talk in any of the videos. We see into his interesting, fulfilling life without jealous eyes. There are no mean comments on his videos, only raving support for his works of creation.
I'll be publishing an article on words next week, so stay tuned.
Also, I'm going to start reading The Pale King and I'M NOT REMOTELY READY FOR IT BUT NOBODY IS, SO I'M GOING TO READ IT ANYWAYS!