A bit of time-traveling was necessary to post this blog, as it just didn’t fit with the rest of the politicised blogs of 29/12/2010, and it fitted better amongst the more self-pitying blogs around 29/12/2009. So, I have sent this blog back one year, for the sake of the continuity of the blog and also because I am ashamed to still be the wreck that I am from time to time; there seems to be an expectation to grow out of discontent, leave it in youth as we begin our professional lives – I have achieved neither. So, lets pretend that this is 2009 and not 2010.
Contrary to the common assumption that depression is a distortion of reality – a stupor in a room of illusions – depression, to me, is a crystal clear understanding of the predicament of the world and ones own placing within that world (especially now, at this very moment – 14:30, 29th December 2010). This is why it is so immensely frustrating that in these desperate moments the motivation to write about this crystal clear connection with what you really think and feel is ultimately lacking, and only returns at the moment when there is an hint of an exit from the severely down state of mind. The motivation is lacking in these spells because futility stretches like an eternity, and everything that’s been and gone (despite the happiness level one was at at the time of the events) is testament to this. One feels like the world is crushing them from all sides, and anything written/said will be scoffed at/attacked to the point where it really isn’t worth the energy used dispensing it.
Only when I have perked up ever-so-slightly can I begin to contemplate resuming my futile gulag against the ruling ideology, and the only reason that I can do so is because any state of mind above official depression is a deluded state for me – keeping me going until the next drop into the clarity of depression, from where I see the truth of what I am: a stick mark scratch in the indifferent landscape of the ruling ideology (and that stick mark scratch quickly heals and fills with auto-suggestions to ‘be more positive’, to ‘picture where I want to be in 10 years time’ – from which I can never describe my true apocalyptic predictions).
My life just doesn’t fit into the ruling ideology’s mantra and I have to hope that this may be the truth with all those in the modern world who suffer from depression. It shouldn’t be a ‘silent’ issue from which we are expected to quietly suffer, helped along by ‘magic tablets’ sold to us by the huge pharmaceutical companies; there needs to be a fight to prove that it is this system, which erodes all ability to perceive a better future and twists, distorts and re-brands all hopes, which is destroying the lives of all those who do not simply just refuse to, but actually cannot live in a world like this.
The environmental threats loom. Everyone senses this presence. Many know full well that proceeding in the ‘business as usual’ manner will possibly have wiped most of the human race off the planet by the end of the century. How the hell are we expected to function properly with this common knowledge? Surely it isn’t far-fetched to believe that there is probably a link between the hedonistic-binge-drink-your-head-off-till-the-world-seems-irrelevant- culture, the alarming increase of cases of obsessive compulsive disorders, and the knowledge of a future hurtling out of control, into probable disaster?
My creative output is the only defiance against this world which is both controlling and hurtling out of control at the same time, and it is only defiance, it is never ammunition with which to retaliate with. It is the only thing I can make relatively long-term plans towards (some exhibition ideas/pieces of work may take more than 6 months) anything else I just cannot comprehend without feeling immensely worthless in comparison with those who seem capable of planning long-term within this ‘framework’.
But I do wish this weren’t so. I wish I could claim to be building a family/have responsibility, I wish I could feel like a ‘proper’ man at the age of 26/27, but this simply isn’t the case and my creative output is the only thing which makes me feel enough self-worth to be able to stand up straight and not cower in dark corners like a Morlock. You see, I’d love to live in this world if it 1: actually had substance to the promises it makes to us from the day we were born, and 2: if it could last and be sustainable instead of doing the opposite; eating us out of a home, destroying everything.
Inescapable concern becomes a ceaseless shift between ranting and paranoia-leading-to-massive-comedown, and as the area in my mind penning-in my hopes and dreams gets crushed into a smaller and smaller place (which, in visual, would look quite similar to Israel’s crushing of Palestine) the intensity of this becomes greater and greater, until I have no bafflement as to why fewer and fewer people call me up, or go out of their way to talk to me in bars/pubs. I cannot help becoming a less socially-compatible individual and feeling more isolated – which is great for the ruling ideology; it loves the discontent isolated individual, who spends, spends, spends, to cover up his emptiness.
Apart from the ability to invest in artistic endeavours, life is just played out in whims of irrational pursuits and apathetic surrendering. For example, I just lapsed into a pursuit to buy Pink Floyd’s The Wall (my old copy fell to bits). I couldn’t find it in Barnsley so I thought “hey, I’ll jump on this train to Wakefield – see if any shops there have it”. But I quickly fell into an apathetic mindset; “why? what’s the point? why are you filling your days with such pointless things?” So, I simply sat down in the station, as I do so often when I can’t put one foot in front of the other, and began writing this particular part of this blog (all-be-it in purple felt-tip in my sketchbook). The whim was mainly inspired by a chance that some further diversion may be found on this endeavour; such as bumping into someone who I’d like to bump into, to find some purpose, such as love, hope, life, or merely a way of making another day pass quicker.
Of course it is futile, which is why when I’m not wedged into my artistic production routine I spend most days trying to find diversions only to finally surrender to another ‘failed day’ at some point in the afternoon. The only real option is to take one step at a time, back into the pointlessness that is destined to land you back in depression at some point in the future. An alternative to this? I really cannot perceive one. At the worst points, when ones mind feels like it is being crushed from all angles, ending ones life does appear to be one of the only open doorways. However, as much as it may appear to be the ultimate statement, the affect of it on others’ life’s, as well as being terrible, would completely defeat the point of anything one may have wished for/believed to be right. Non-existence in a world which may become unbearable to watch may also make ending ones life appealing, but it is simply not the right answer (although the idea of it being ‘a selfish thing to do’ is widely missing the mark); It most certainly sets a bad example for someone who still, somehow, believes that the humans race needs to remain in existence on this planet, and still hopes it can sustain a future worth living for.
I feel so sad at work at times. Not because the place is a bad place to work, but because I work with a transient work-force of young people who are (generally) ‘going places’, know what they want do with their lives (career-wise) and approach life with positivity and excitement – whilst I watch them travel past me, as I am clueless to the pathways of career and life opportunities. and I am left behind, devoid of the tools to pave my own way.
I’ll tell you what brings this all home the most; the young-20’s pretty girls, brainy, deep, good morals – one’s I’d be happy to marry – this hurts the most, when they find handsome confident boyfriends who know how to ‘exist’ in this kind of world. I want one, (one of these girls that is, not one of their boyfriends) but who’d want to settle down with a man who’s’ brain approaches jobs and careers like it would approach a foreign-language instruction manual? I’m so stuck as I enter a new decade and I don’t know what path to tread next – I can’t even see a path.
I can put up NO strong case as to why I feel so clue-less as to what to do with my life, I cannot find anything to utilise my rickety soul which might spurr me on to do something – now that I am at a confidence and ideas brick wall with my ‘noughties motor’; My artwork production. Fucking hell, I’ve even reversed my great efforts I made last year; I’m back on Facebook (the social networking site) meekly trying to grab the attention of any ‘other’ as they fly past me in life.
People may say that I’m “not trying to move forward” or “there’s plenty of stuff that you could be doing” but I’ve come to a point where my mind is in something similar to a ‘winter fog’ – cold, nothing growing, and I can’t see anything in front of me, anything at all.
The 2010’s cannot proceed like the 00’s – it isn’t possible for me to carry on down this route, not mentally, physically or financially. I have bent over backwards for the benefit of my creative productiveness in this decade but, minus a few individuals, I feel humiliated and inferior in the position I have found myself in as a 26 year old man – on low income pay, still living with his parents, and has never been in a relationship.
In a different era, duty or necessity may have made me into a more rounded human being, but in this post-thatcher Britain I have felt alien towards the things that were expected of me – and my creative pursuits (like a bloke with a gun who barricades himself in from the police) were my only resistance to this alien feeling and feelings of inadequacy; but I have whittled-down these ‘fruits’ and I am currently empty of new ideas.
Through my almost once-a-month drops into depression in the ‘noughties’, I have developed political views and morals of which I am pleased about developing; my alienation from the consumer society and a general Thatcherite ethos (even spouted by those who should know better, i.e., ex-miners) has landed me at a place from where I really want to be part of something different. Something opposed to the world of the ‘glazed-eyed consumer kids’, opposed to ‘a nation of car-owners’ – and also something which encourages a new way of living which our climate change-threatened planet may just grant us.
So far I am not really part of anything of this sort, because I still don’t know how to penetrate the membrane of my home town (Barnsley) with my ideas and creations – and, as much as I’d like it (Barnsley) to take notice, I feel like I have been exhibiting my work inside a small cupboard in a room in which only I enter. Perhaps I’ll have to give up trying within my home town in the ‘2010s’ because it is really not helping the person whom I cannot help but be. But the thing is, I cannot currently see any path – through my ‘mental winter fog’ – mental or physical, which can offer me a way out of Kexborough (a small council estate village on the edge of Barnsley). I’m stuck for plans for my life, I’m stuck for new artworks, I’m stuck in Barnsley and I’m stuck being a loner.
I remember at the start of the year 2000 that there was much optimism – in society in general. I’d recently, in the spring of 1999, begun building my perpetual walls, but I was still to realise what damage they’d do and how long standing they would be. I was still relatively full of youthfully-sentimental feeling towards life (which would remain, more or less, until 2001/2002). I day-dreamed whilst listening to the Stone Roses; I’d yet to become glued to more serious and sobering music of bands such as ‘The The’, ‘Radiohead’, ‘Pink Floyd’ and ‘Joy Division’, and I’d yet to become so worried about the stability of humanity upon our planet. Maybe the abundance of day-dreams I had during the 1990’s made me inadequate to deal with the becoming of an adult person in the 00’s, but one thing’s for sure; I don’t day-dream any more, I just worry about things.
The 1990’s seemed to be quite a joyous and optimistic period to me anyway. I was too young to experience them properly, but I certainly picked up on a positivity. For me, the 00’s have been sobering, and I think they may have been too for most people who are concerned about things enough to see through the ‘consumer-veneer’ which as been so shiny in the 00’s. But that’s just it; not many people, especially amongst the youth, seem to be concerned about the health of our society in the 00’s – they don’t seem to be able to look further than the aisles of the shopping Centre. For me the 00’s were coated in a ‘veneer of Consumer confidence’ covering the underlying pessimism; people of all incomes, more than in any other decade, have been able to drape themselves in a veneer that gives off an aura of prosperity and happiness, which has formed a shallow crust over a deep-seated fear and anxiety about the world in the 21st century – a truth that is wedging itself ever-nearer to the surface due to circumstances towards the end of this decade. Sometimes I wish I didn’t worry about the ‘underlying volcanoes’ as I think that this has contributed to the stifling of me, in terms of everything apart from being a artist who makes (apparently) ‘disturbing imagery’ – I wish I had women woe’s instead of world woe’s banging in my head.
At the moment nobody in my family seems to be having a great time either. Sharing this house is putting extra pressure on us all – hardly a scene I’d have imagined at the start of the 00’s. I feel that both me and my sister are under enormous pressure to become something we eternally cannot be, a pressure to wane our principles to the unbending force of Thatcherite Britain, before it finally breaks us. The extra humiliation of a 26 year old who still cannot ‘pay his way’ is acting on me like a spike stuck to the seat on which I sometimes want to sit with my hands over my face, but this is certainly no Hollywood depiction of one’s dismay; no song accommodates ones emotions in reality and no happy ending is waiting already, in the script.
Last night there was a show on TV named ‘the best shows of the 00’s’. I have hardly watched any of this stuff – I’ve head very little of the music which may have been classed as ‘the music of the decade’ either. As well as it being an artistically productive decade for me it has also been a very lost decade – I knew so many of the ‘best bands’ and ‘best shows’ of the 1990’s and they are still the one’s which I reference back to now. Partly, I think I have a leg to stand on when saying that pop culture, including new ‘alternative music’ had degenerated greatly in the 00’s – as the ‘alternative music’ has been so packaged and commodified, on a much more commercially advanced level, that much of it is like pulped chicken meat. However, this would be diverting from the main reasons for my loss of experience of ‘the arts’ in the 00’s I’ve basically lost enjoyment of things because I’m so stuck in my routines and worries that I can find no time time to listen to, and appreciate, new films, drama’s, music. The bad thing is; it gives me little refreshing small-talk for which to use with others s – I mean!, where the hell would I even take a girl for a date? the only thing I know to do, which isn’t routine based, is to blast my perpetual walls with alcohol.
If I made a resolution for 2009, it was to pull down these barriers that are ruling my life; but it didn’t work so I’m going to have to try this resolution for 2010 too – give it another go. It is crucial that I separate my life from this wall, so that I can distinguish between what problems have been my own and what problems are the result of external forces. This ‘blurring’ is apparent throughout all my writing in 2009 and, hopefully, the previous chapter (using ‘the arts’ as an example) has made a step towards understanding this; that some of my problems are not the fault of ‘Consumerism’, ‘Capitalism’ etc, and are my own – then I might be better equipped to strangle them. This would be of help if I want to do what I say I want to do, and help the world; as I would no longer be using battles with my own made demons and blaming them on the world.
I wish, and hope, that I can be strong for the 2010’s because I fear that they are going to be the start of a turbulent time for humans, upon this planet. I am deeply concerned that the second decade of the 21st century may have the headlines, written within it, that determine the rest of the century – just like how the First World War and the Russian revolution, in the 1910’s, wrote the blueprint for the 20th century. We all need to be strong because it is ‘clear science’ that humanity is going to be forced to change its ways upon the planet, if we want to proceed with the technological and social betterment’s, which have stopped us living in small tribes and tearing the shit out of each other – If we do not change we might end up back in this ‘primitive’ place, but on a far-less healthy planet.
This album is like no other, with the way its delves into the story of a human being trapped behind his own walls.
Ive always known that my fears put up barriers, which have stifled my opportunities of having a better life, but strangely, it was the repetitious listening to a famous album, that I heard for the first time last year, which made me acknowledge my barriers much more.
I have never resonated with an album/piece of music as much as I have with The Wall by Pink Floyd. The first disc of the album describes the constructing of pinks (the individual the album is based upon) perpetual walls – I almost felt jubilant at hearing this first disc, which I only just heard last year, because I found myself smiling to myself, because I could relate so strongly with the fears which had been instilled into pink. For me these fears resulted in me forming compulsive behavioral patterns and eating disorders, which tallied my day up for me like a tick-box – tick, fail, tick, fail, but in the long run it has been one big failure; a failure to be human and to form relationships. Although The Wall album isn’t based on eating disorders as such, it is based on the idea of someone barricading their humanity in, as a result of all the fears which have been instilled into them, resulting in an eventual breakdown.
I am feeling much at this point now. This isn’t saying that I am acting my own life out to an album, because it is inevitable that someone who barricades themselves off will eventually breakdown – also, The Wall is no ordinary album, it is one of the cleverest albums I have ever listened to.
The thing is I’d be lying if I denied the fact that I sometimes find the similarities between my own life and The Wall so strong, that when I’m in a stupor I start to feel that the album was actually written about myself – but this doesn’t had any warmth to the reality of the situation I have found myself in after 10 years of my perpetual walls.
The second disk is about the results of pink barricading himself in, and the realisation of the isolated and troubled situation that it has placed him in. The lyrics in the first track Hey You – ‘But it was only fantasy. The wall was too high as you can see. No matter how he tried He could not break free. And the worms ate into his brain.’ – really sums up the feeling of one who wants to escape his own perpetuals walls, but realises that it is now all he knows – he knows no other way of existing, but behind the rigmaroles of his barriers.
If The Wall could be used as a metaphor for my own life, well I’m pretty much at the point of ‘The Trial’ on disk 2.
In ‘the trial’ pink has come face to face with his demons, as his attempts to get back into the world behind his walls, sent him to a point of extremism where he breakdown and can go no further. In The Wall, pink becomes a maniacal raving fascist – as he starts to blame anybody and everybody for all the problems he sees around him. Ive felt pretty much at a similar point. Not with becoming fascist, but I have become a maniacal raving angry person more so of late (my political extreme as come in the shape of my fears over the failures of our capitalist world to do anything about climate change, and this is helping me become a fascist-like extremist – read my blogs on climate change to see the evidence), as I realise I am heading towards a dead end, and I will have to face all these demons that over the past ten years I have built barricades up to defend my self against.
My routine – which when I was relating my life to the second disk of The Wall, I mentioned about how I know no other way of being now – is really stuck in the mud at the moment. Ive always wanted rid of it, when Ive been forced to stare it in the face, but usually I’d just get back on its tracks, with carrying on running and producing artwork, but living like an automaton – now, however I don’t think it can carry on anymore at all. I am at a dead end, from which I can see no future at the moment, and last night – more than any other night – I demonstrated this to half a pub as I stooped to an all time low.I kinda of always feel like this underneath, but sometimes it boils to the surface.
I am a scatterbrain. I do not see things in a reductionist way, I see everything unfolding in a holistic way – everything happening at one, and everything affecting everything else. So, when things start to go wrong for other people who I am close to, I see this it as a whole; the fact this way of seeing means that when things go wrong for people in my family and my friends, they share the same connected low self-esteem and confidence problems that I have, and when they are humiliated, it is an humiliation of us all, and what we are. This, compiled with my own position, and the fact that alcohol on a night out – a situation that is harder to avoid than it seems – distorts the issues, turning me into something bad, in the only way I know how to be bad – through self-destruction, trying destroy everything that holds me up.
I need to do something about it for good,. but I don’t know what to do, if I tell people ‘Ive made a mess of my life’ they say we; ‘look at your art etc’ but all this is part of the same problem – this all-consuming routine has taken the joy from all my endeavors, but I am now burnt out of my robotic processes. When my routine is falling apart, I – when merrily drunk – can find brief spells of happiness, but that goes and I am left with an enormous amount of self-hate, which does what it only knows how to do; show people that I need to find a way out of this, by showing them my pain, through physical ways which make pain seem more apparent.
My part of the exhibition ‘Truth and Tribute’ (exhibition of the parallel worlds of the trouble human and nature – John Ledger, Bradley Sharp) was all about this, and Ironically, its partly down to the fact that I heard no feedback at all from it – an exhibition which, because of all it covered, meant more to me than anything I have done before – that I have very low morale, which as speed up my final crash. so please, take the time to have to have a look at the photos and writing, thanks.
but, seen as its christmas I’ll add a laugh at the end.
‘Ha ha, I need to thank Roger Waters for being able to describe my life in music before I was even born.
Tear down the wall!!! tear down the wall!!!
I think it would be too vague to name this reaper as life itself, for it is a very particular oppressor who is responsible for ours in the time we our living in; this all consuming monster is the Industrial Machine It is swallowing up life in its entirety.
When the industrial revolution began, humanity handed its reigns over to a machine which acts as an unstoppable parasite upon the earth with one objective; to grow and to keep growing. Corporate executives, politicians, and the citizens of all the developed nations are all slaves to the machine’s demands. Whilst insurgents in under-developed nations do their best to prevent this ‘demon seed’, rooted in western philosophy, from enslaving them also – often using the ultimate act of resistance; using their own lives for suicide attacks.
Killing one’s self is a terrible thing to do, but sometimes – from the bottom of my belly – I even find myself resonating with the belief that this resort, this ultimate act, is the only thing left for an individual to do who he feels powerless in the face of this industrial machine, which requires them to becomes automatons/ numbers that slot perfectly into its mechanics who are then, eventually, required to lose their soul.
Aren’t the majority of suicides – post 1800’s – a reaction to western philosophies all conquering industrial machine? The Islamic suicide bombers most certainly are; the kamikaze were the last and ultimate resort to prevent western powers, and I am sure that the majority of suicides in the already westernized nations are an indirect result of the industrial machine.
Family breakdown, loneliness, depression, self hate – possibly the main causes of suicide in the west – are symptoms caused by the isolation-increasing processes, on the individual, caused by the technological advances of the industrial machine: de-localisation; as the machine spreads out to find cheaper labour it breaks up communities based around that industries, leading to an uncountable amount of social problems as people are left stranded and isolated. Also technological advances in communication/entertainment, which serve to spin the wheels of profit, but which forces the individual to adapt to ever more unitary methods of communication with the rest of the world – often isolating them from any physical contact with the world, leading to an unhappiness from which one feels helpless to escape.
If you imagine the industrial machine as the ‘fizzing’ in a carbonated drink, as it races up a bottle; once it burst out of the bottle that moment symbolises the moment when it will bring the planet to state of climatic hell. This moment – a future echo – is the final nail in the coffin, in trying to overcome my own personal crash. It is only a coincidence that I have come to feel that my own resistance has reached an end at the same time that the crucial talks at the Copenhagen summit have ended in a, possibly ‘doom-drenched’, poorly made deal, but this is a coincidence that is solidifying into the symbolic, in my mind.
I honestly tried to fit in to the machine and dumb down my holistic view of the world, and at one point I truly thought that I’d have a life as easy as the consumer advertisements made out; a new easy living house from Barrat, a L’Oreal wife, settling down to eat an Italian cooked pizza in a nice kitchen, and lots of other things made to make life look easy and great. But all that was to happen, due to my over sensitive/worried approach to everything, was that I became an ‘extreme’ automaton, because I had too much ‘shit’ going off in my head to be, what I viewed to be, ‘normal’ – so I covered this all up with an extreme routine.
This routine became incredibly similar to the larger Industrial Machine; the routine absorbed all aspects of my life, hobbies, enjoyments and made them into mere tools to be utilised for its benefit, only to burn me out of everything that I am – just like how the Industrial machine is burning us all out of a planet. All my neurosis and depressions, that I have, are intrinsically bound up with the changes made to our world made by this all conquering industrialisation; its evolution into Consumerism has had the most damaging implications to me, personally.
It has left me nothing to work from, more so because I am, now certain that, if not stopped right in its tracks, it has to (because of its mechanics) leave us planet-less. So, when people, who try to give me solutions to tackling my coming crash, tell me to look at the ‘beautiful natural world, the flowers, the hills’ etc, one must remember that my vision of all these wonderful things is currently tainted with this parasitic machine, that will eat them all up if not stopped (for good) now. For me, a new system of Green-Marxism isn’t an ideal it is a necessity!
Perhaps it is only certain people, like myself, who cannot exist in this automated world of the industrial machine; perhaps I’ve been accidentally passed down some Neanderthal genes which, although no less intelligent, are ill equipped to stave off their overdue extinction. Of course, this is bollocks, and perhaps all I need in the 21st century is a large blow to the head to numb my questioning, but still, I cannot help thinking…
World aside, this little universe of my own needs some hope desperately soon, but I fear that this wont come until the cogs of the industrial machine are stopped, and this whole dilemma seems to be similar to an hamster spinning in a wheel towards the edge of a table. How clearer can I make this point without it appearing melodramatic?
i am worrying because I’m writing more now and my artwork is rapidly receding, in production and new ideas. But my artwork was much better than my writing; my writing is a bit shit, so I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere at present.
I wanted, initially, to be in a slightly lighter mood for the Christmas period, not because I am massively festive, but I do need more enjoyment, and Xmas demands this or the exact opposite, but Ive been having some very bleak thoughts, not about me but about our species, and they arrive when they want to, I cannot leave them in a box and forget about them for a week or so. I beg the readers of this blog (probably mostly people who are my friends in reality) not to switch off from what I am writing here, it’s not just another ‘worried day’, these thoughts are grounded in evidence – if I can at least get my friends to be aware of humanity’s situation in the 21st century, I feel that Ive least helped a bit (oh why do some of you seem to be happy under Capitalism??).
Stopping this destructive machine
The industrial machine and its multi national corporations – although created by human beings – behave in a very inhumane way; in fact they behave like a force above that of human reason – it becomes an almost cold, reptilian-like, parasite upon our planet that is creating a future Armageddon, and we humans seem powerless to stop this.
Governments and even Corporate representatives must see the coming doom that the industrial machine is causing, but they seem to suffer a mental paralysis when questioning anything that, although could save humanity, would stand in the way of industrial progress,’business as usual’ (it looks like the people will not get anything they need from the Copenhagen deal).
But what is progress if it ultimately leads to the complete demolition of all that it had constructed?. like a child who adds too many bricks, vertically, to his long slaved-over Lego construction, and ends up loosing all his hard work; when do we finally realise this system can take us no further? when do we say ‘Capitalism has got us to this advanced level of living, but it cannot take us any further without destroying all of this; we need a new system now we have arrived at this place!’.
Human needs have become second to the needs of the industrial machine, and with no moral guidance of its own, it is due to wipe most humans off this planet, Great efforts, by each of us, need to be taken to put all possible obstacles in the way of the ‘progress’ of Capitalism.
A new world, a new approach to information
There is so much that one is expected to learn about the world he/she lives in. This knowledge, the quest for more information – residing in the form of books (fiction and non-fiction) films, documentaries and actual real life – has become a competitiveness that inevitably falls into the wrong hands; the market, which views the thirst for knowledge as merely another commodity and so the power of knowledge starts to change into a competition to know more than ones’ piers.
Perhaps a Sea Change in the values place of knowledge is needed; a value based around one thing that all humans should know, and only that would truly matter: the importance of the survival of our species and the avoidance of collective/individual human suffering at all costs.
As long as each of us knew this, we could be assured that we know that vital bit of knowing, and this knowing could be what humanity stands for in a century which is almost certainly destined to be hit by climate change. No longer would the thirst for knowledge be competitive; it could be a thirst to understand more so one could be a better citizen in a future world, once again, centered around compassion rather than competition.
As for myself, I hope my inner motives are true and I’m writing this for a better world, because it is essentially climate change and disillusion with the consumer society which got me in this frame of mind. Whilst one is gathering knowledge in a consumer society, perhaps it is not possible for me to search for ‘understanding’ in a completely non-competitive manner, but it is a different world to this one which I sought after, and I essentially want to help that transition take place – it is certain we can’t live in this type of world for much longer.
On the train to Meadowhall shopping Centre
I am coming to terms, now, with a near certainty that my beliefs and rantings are only going to get more extreme and endemic. Without initially focusing on the reason as to why I am so; I have to explain what this depression I have is like, and why the only way to burst out of it seems to be through my ever more extreme political mindfulness,which I suppose one could describe as ‘Green Marxism’ – I personally don’t have a name for it.
But first I’ll start with my depression, because it is creeping up on me more and more as I am getting older, as my hopes for a safe world to live in crumble away. I’m only 25, but whilst in these increasingly common cycles of depression, I cannot comprehend living past my 20’s because the feelings I am getting are becoming very destructive and I actually find my hands turning towards my self with the compulsion to hurt my body. This state of mind cannot continue because it’ll will lead to self destruction.
My only helping hand out of this seems to be a more increasingly pounding aggression to the Industrial capitalist system I live under, in which we are reared to constantly consume; I blame it for the destruction of our planet, the destruction of an healthy society and – so far so true -the destruction of my own life – and I want justice.
WHY do I blame it?: My compulsive behavioral patterns which led to my eating disorder which have caused at least half the problems I have suffered in the early adult years, are disorders which are quite unique to human beings living in an industrialised consumer society. Secondly, I blame it for the destruction of the planet we need to live on: OK, consumer capitalism probably didn’t intend for this to happen, but now it is apparent that it won’t stop its voracious mechanics of, indirectly, forcing people to consume – something the planet can no longer afford us. The worry and dread over the realisation that nothing is being done to save us is probably also partly responsible my for mental state – the feeling of an holistic hell where everything is crushing one’s mind at once and there’s nothing one can do but attempt to pulp his brain.
I’d say that this leaves only a small percentage of the blame for my mental state with my genetic make up – I beg to differ with people who argue that I’d have been the same whatever. (I also blame consumerism, for the fact that I have no hobbies, no rest-bite from my ‘doomsday’ thoughts, so no way – but through my growing extreme political mindfulness – out of all this).
These factors have made my beliefs what they are, i.e views possibly seen by others as a Green/Marxism. However, my mental state – I believe – isnt that worse than most other peoples, I think we are all becoming ill in this world, and we need a cure.
My ever-more extreme political mind, I have acquired, seems to be my only escape, however, each time I fall into a depression spell they too seem be getting more severe in their outlook – I’m really scared that self destruction is inevitable, when All I’m wanting is a cure to this hell I see around me.
Right now my mind feels like it is filled with razor blades as I head off to – the only shopping place open at this time of day – Meadowhall, to buy clothes for a present my mother wants me to have for Christmas. Not to say that I don’t want some new clothes now and again – one cannot help but want to look as smart as at least some of the other monkeys in the consumer jungle, but I know there’ll be a point/a year when Christmas won’t come for us here in the west (well, the current ‘bloated’ version of Christmas) and maybe it’s best to adapt to that world sooner rather than later, but I am most certainly not doing this whilst I’m buying stuff from Meadowhall; a Consumer Palace.
I know Ive just switched my blog from my own physical destruction to preparing for a future Christmas without consumer goods, but my mind is flitting, because of the omnipresence of these concerns about our future.
My first thoughts whilst walking through this Consumer Palace and looking at the shoppers, especially the younger people, were this: At a time – especially now, during the Copenhagen summit – when people NEED to be more aware and more concerned about global issues, and a time when we need a more collective approach to society, people seem to be more dis-interested, more self absorbed and therefore even more reluctant to alter their life-style they have – it’s deeply upsetting to see, especially when one remembers that it will be this generation who will be running to country in years to come (in whatever state it is in then).
The majority of youth – say early teens to early 20’s – appear to be more self absorbed and materialist than even the ‘yuppies’ of the 1980’s were!; these new youth are complete Thatcherite children – raised with an horizon that encourages nothing but self-interest.
People who were young in the 1990’s must surely notice how much more manicured, styled and fashion-driven the youth of the 00’s have been; in a decade where we have been told more than ever that we are consuming too much for what our planet can afford us, market driven forces have been herding us off in the completely opposite direction. We have been herded into Consumer Palaces, like Meadowhall, where the clothes we are collectivley draping ourselves in, are making us look increasingly more like pompous kings and queens of past times – and it seems like their aura’s of self importance have been passed down too.
When I try clothes on these days I feel like I am part of one giant eugenics experiment; clothes are so tight and long, it is as if Topman was solely catering for the kind of supreme Aryan race which the Nazis so desired. I sometimes believe that my physical shape is being fashioned out of existence. However, it does seem that even body-shape has itself become a commodity – especially in places such as Meadowhall – so one can fit a certain music/fashion style which they so wish for; tall skinny Indie guys, big stocky trendies and the tight clothed, perfectly toned, seemingly endless troops of young woman who parade around, well, just above everywhere these days.
The thing is, all this wouldn’t be as awful if it wasn’t for all the negative social and CATASTROPHIC environmental costs that seem to have to run parallel to such a ‘complete Consumer society.
Inside such a pristine ‘hall of plenty’ how could one ever contemplate a future world of scarcity, crumbling buildings and hostility? but the more I see aisles of endless products on shelves, the more I find my brain projecting such images these days. Perhaps it is essential for me to visit Meadowhall from time to time for such a reality check: we are a long long way from sorting out this mess we have found ourselves in the 21st century, because people are being reared to care about nothing but their own immediate satisfaction.
It now seems obvious to me that if we don’t have revolution, we won’t just have climate catastrophe but also a Capitalist dictatorship, where no-one can protest any more about the actions of big business – One only has to look at the way the police forces treat protesters at the g20 in London, and now the Copenhagen summit, to see that the right to voice opposition to the actions of the state is more or less outlawed now.
But how do we begin to change things? where do we do this? what job do we need to have which allows us the freedom to do this?. It’s easier to walk straight back to our computer screens – hoping and praying that some good looking member of the opposite sex contacts us and stitches up our dismay – or sit on the settee in front of the television, dreaming of an ever-more distant dream which – though we hate to admit it – is the dream that all us consumers have; The Happy Ending. All of this whilst we let Capitalism carry on ‘business as usual’ in a situation that is only going to get worse.
Somehow, one convinces himself that he isn’t apathetic like the rest; he’s the real deal!, part of ‘the revolution. But does he truthfully have the mental strength and commitment to be this person? or will the temptation of the ‘the big nights out’ (which while they constantly fail to deliver satisfaction, always deliver lethargy and malaise) lure him away again?
I do not think I’m out of place when stating that both me and my closer friends aren’t in a place that seems to be getting any better/rosier – when it sure does need to -, and this is because I’m starting to fear that ‘we’ are showing early signs that the way of life we are told ‘is the way’ is starting to seriously decay; and we – the young people who think/worry – like the first few people to catch an epidemic, are falling first.
If this is to be the case, it is my nightmare come true (there’ll be no happy way out) because if it was just in me – the ‘despair seeds’ i sometimes worry that I plant around – at least I could believe that there was expanses of summers fields outside my little dismal mind; hope for others means hope for me, but if others lack hope then I know that my own dismay is inescapable.
I think that the morale and levels of hope, amongst the most sensitive and worried peoples of the younger generations, are free-falling due to an unspoken feeling that everything we have known is at the end of the line. By this I do not mean ‘The end – armmagedeon’ but a undealt-with growing apathy and dissolution to all that’s around us in society could lead to the slow decaying collapse of civilization; I fear that we are at this place now as the consumer culture has eaten into itself to the extent that it is caving in.
Here I am, sat behind a computer screen, with perpetual contact to millions upon millions of other people. Yet here I am in total solitude, and my instincts are confused as to why this is. I am sat here, hating computers, hating the ever more solitary outcome from the ever more techno-takeover of our lives, yet seeing no alternative but to use this communication method, despite the futility of doing so. All this whilst the TV downstairs showcases, what I believe to be, the death of invention and ideas, by giving me nothing but reality TV program’s to choose from; I find no escapism, no interesting information in these programs, all I see is titillation, conflict and – in some cases – the chance for viewers to see people do the most degrading things; it is the death of ideas, and reality TV can only get more extreme to keep people watching.
This entire culture is a rotting apple, yet no-one dare pick up another because we still rely on these material comforts – crucial to consumerism – to confirm to us everything we know and everything we believe of ourselves – “I’m sinking into misery in my armchair by the television yet I’m too comfy to move”.
Me and my friends are more lonely than we’ve been led to believe we should be, and much less content than we’ve been led to believe we should be: We should possibly be somewhere between where our consumer goggles have lured our eyes to and the ‘actual’ solemn and solitary places we have found ourselves in; consumerism makes us crave for the almost impossible whilst our real lives fall well below the comfortable place that we are entitled to be at. Living in a Consumer culture doesnt get much better than this!
We are all 25 years old and I fear that our lives will only get worse under this system because I believe we (our generation) are like the last dinosaurs at the end of the cretaceous period, witnessing the death of everything we have known to be true. It is almost as if a revolution would be our only way out of this but the word ‘revolution’ scares me shitless, as it infers violence,upheaval, something that us who view the world from the armchair are alien to – real outdoors, non-movie endings.
Like I say, I’m relying on one, or all my solemn colleagues to pull themselves out of this; be it through getting a lover or just finding a good reason to want to be alive, because this will deconfirm my fears that we are the first symptoms of a dying culture, and this will deconstruct my outer-dismay which circles my inner dismay and there might appear green and summer fields around my ‘walled-in’ mind. This would give me one last chance of believing I’ve got somewhere better to aim for, out of my inner walls, as I head into my later 20’s and the second (possibly decisive) decade of the 21st century: So, basically, if my mates get girlfriends or are just generally happier it’ll give me the green light to carry on aiming for the same thing.
A bit of time-traveling was necessary to post this blog, as it just didn’t fit with the rest of the politicised blogs of 11/12/2010, and it fitted better amongst the more self-pitying blogs around 11/12/2009. So, I have sent this blog back one year, for the sake of the continuity of the blog and also because I am ashamed to still be the wreck that I am from time to time; there seems to be an expectation to grow out of discontent, leave it in youth as we begin our professional lives – I have achieved neither. So, lets pretend that this is 2009 and not 2010.
I am about to receive many “you need to stop thinking like this, it is possible you know!” reactions, to which I want to say “I can’t understand how you cannot see how things are!”.
I feel like I’m slipping into one of my spells again, where bitter reality refuses to be pushed to the back of my mind.
At points of jubilation I see togetherness. In times of depression – a.k.a clarity- I know I’m alone and that nobody understands me.
Where others see choice I see inevitability.
The only real change cannot come from within, which is what others don’t seem to be able to accept when I tell them that I really don’t know how to change my life. If the outside is what destroys the inside, only a outside change can change the inside; hence my increasing politicisation.
I’ve gone past the stage of telling people that I’m unhappy – there is no longer anything gained from doing so.
Conversation now has become a task of keeping the ball rolling; because I have no appreciation for much in life for longs periods of time, I must keep a conversation rolling, usually with many diversions to jokes/constant randomness – a foil for the emptiness of the real me not to revealed.
After all the cries of “I am an individual” against the collectivism of 20th century state socialism, it is under this world of free market capitalism, which proclaims to endorse individualism, where I like an alien reject.
The phrase “smile and the whole world smiles” is the most evil phrase to someone who battles against the mental landslip into depression. It says “your unhappiness is so selfish, you make others around you unhappy, you should be ashamed of yourself, you should sort yourself out!” Who on their right mind would say this to a physically sick person? Tune in! depression’s real and it’s growing.
You know that what makes you feel this way is truth, utter truth. To forge a personality which could switch off from this and also feel the warm glow of happiness, would mean having to erase all history in your mind; to have the mind wiped clean like a computer disk.
Unless a person, who genuinely means well, can’t come round to accept that to begin to understand your mental illness they need a societal standpoint and a political approach, then they will never understand you, and will continue to look bemused and irritated when you cannot take on board the plans and tips they prescribe, like pill packets to you. When you say you “see no hope” and they look at you as if you are a foolish child who is using some song lyrics he’s/she’s remembered from a sad song, you know that talking about your state of mind to those around you is now a lost cause. Thus, I do not speak at all at times. I sit there listening to other peoples’ conversations, feeling compressed as if my whole body was sucking a lemon, to the point where I can’t help thinking “really, what is the point of these conversations you are having!?”. Obviously I know this to be a completely irrational state of thinking (when I am in states of mind that search for real optimism I know that everything has meaning) and this knowledge further condemns me to an urge to just give up and crawl into my box room.
However, many people who know me well really do question whether it is down to what I focus on in life which causes the depression. But is the other way around: my depression is what causes me to focus on these things; the world as it is (which I’d have had to have been an hermit not to have witnessed) caused the illness, and attempting to unravel it, through learning/understanding and defiant reaction, is the only foreseeable, and justifiable (once one realises that they are part of an epidemic of mental illness, not just a anomaly) way forward.
My illness was not curable by blinding myself to the increasing social decay, climate change and all the other issues coming to a head in the 21st century. It isn’t curable/preventable in this sick society full stop. I know this to be the truth. This is why I really do not know how people expect me to eradicate this mind set.