Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back Inaction

This is your periodic reminder that I’m not posting that much on this blog or writing that much in general.  I wish I could say that this was because there was a project brewing or that this was by choice, but unfortunately it’s more of the same as the lifestyle designates. The rest of that top 100 of the naughts list is still forthcoming, but it’s slow-going.  When there was only one kid and before that, free time was easier to allocate, inspiration easier to come by and priorities a little less to manage.  At some point, music left me wanting for things to say.  That hasn’t entirely been the case during my long silence.  There are periodic displacements that I think warrant the matrimony of words to tones (PC Music, FKA Twigs/Arca, Opal Tapes, Mike Will Made It productions), and I’ve even felt I have unique things to add to the already dense conversations being had around me by folks more in the know, more accustomed to riding the tide (“losing my edge/…kids coming up from behind/ blah blah blah”). 

However, my work life usually afforded a little bit of wiggle room to pontificate, gather thoughts, and come up with brief outlines to pop out reviews, screeds, thinkpieces, thoughtless pieces, et al. after I got home and put the kids to bed.  Now, I just don’t have that kind of spare work time to think, scribble, muse.  Like so many, I’ve taken on a number of extra responsibilities that at one point could have been folded into about 3 different jobs.  Unlike others, I have a decent wage (more than I would have ever made as a freelancer), benefits, union protections, vacation & sick days, and some scheduling flexibility.  So, please don’t think I’m complaining, unreasonable universe that punishes so many for…you know, wanting to eat and stuff.

But I’m still exhausted, constantly.  Much to my dismay, I’ve even found myself yearning at times for media that doesn’t require brain power.  Though I still get frustrated by poor narrative, conventional editing, and a lack of originality (moreso in Hollywood than the small screen it seems these days), I can sympathize way more now with people who take pleasure in these things (of course, most of the time the intrinsic ideology of these things does the thinking for you).  I get lost in the internet’s hypertext so often that I’ve barely picked up a book in a year.  Whenever I try to really zone in on music and ignore all other stimuli, something either demands my attention (screaming baby, broken household item, frustrating email, et al.) or I fall asleep.  The life of leisure corporations and situationists alike promised us is a myth (first world problems, yeah, but they do make a difference). 

I’ve thought about whether switching to a tumblr model of more abbreviated posts- longer than tweets, shorter than blogs- is the more appropriate way to fade off into dad-dom, suffocated adulthood, growing irrelevance to the changing cultural landscape.   Even tumbling though still seems to require some kind of mystical ability to manifest a constant rotation of fresh content.  I’m as guilty as any of perpetuating this cycle, but it’s kind of madness, isn’t it? Does anything even stick with you if you are just moving on to the next thing at all hours of every day?  At some point, won’t the buzz begin to feed itself?

It’s hard not to think back with fondness to high school when I had a solid 100 or so CDs, ten or so favorite books I’d read a couple times through each, and watched about three shows regularly (The Simpsons, The X-Files, Flying Circus reruns on PBS).  The rest of the time uncommitted and free to meander, rest, regroup, reconsider, strategize next steps.  In my constant now, the kids are exhausting, the work is exhausting, the constant need for content is exhausting, dealing with the shitty red tape of every service provider or transaction or health care bill is exhausting, the calendar of incoming blows is exhausting. And on top of it all, the most pressing thing I should be doing is getting some exercise every now and then.  Jesus, that sounds exhausting.

Maybe I’m just excessively whiny.  Maybe I need to spend a year in a monastery.  Maybe I just put all my projects to bed and start fresh. 

This has been your periodic reminder that I’m still horrible at making decisions.

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