I just learned that Extreme.......... kicked ass
Molly Osberg, at Jezebel:
The existential terror hovers to varying degrees around the edges of these stories, and the anxiety about what comes next is real. But there’s still such a lack of useful language to describe what the hell happened, and what we’re supposed to be doing now. In the place of a shared sense of reality or collective expression of mourning, I see a torrent of advice on how a person who managed to survive can feel more self-actualized once they return to the shuffle between the office and after-work drinks. To me, this looks like denial, the first tentative step towards what I’m told are seven distinct stages of grief.
It’s always been true that the advice lifestyle writers offer tends to obscure more difficult realities. Financial bloggers recommend investing early and forgoing the morning latte as if thrifty habits could combat the forces that have conspired to grant 50 people control of almost half of the United States’ wealth. Tactics that claim to combat burnout or encourage self-care rarely dwell on how, exactly, most Americans have come to work harder for less money than in generations before. Most service journalism is a workaround, a way of rendering specific and material failures as issues of personal choice. There’s no life hack that gets around the knowledge your government was happy to let a vast swath of its population die, no radical acceptance of such a monumental chain of loss. Reading pages filled with recommendations on navigating a slightly altered future feels like receiving a missive from another world—a final and devastating cruelty that we’d all have to soldier on pretending the loss isn’t collective and omnipresent, that in the end not so much has really changed.
And anyway, recalibrating towards normal implies there’s something to get back to, that the pandemic was a thing with a tidy beginning and end. Covid-19 is not a phase or an era or a series of habits to be unlearned. It was a largely preventable horror that altered the fabric of reality and there are people responsible: For refusing aid, for lying about the threat, for profiting off of suffering. They’re the people best served by a country too traumatized to keep looking clearly at the dead, a dazed and defeated group of people invested enough in their own personal journeys towards normalcy they slowly begin to forget that this wasn’t just something that happened but was done, repeatedly and intentionally, to them.
you ever think about how we’re just some damn apes who don’t get to live in the trees or like enjoy very much of anything at all because nature fucked up and gave us swollen brains??? and then a series of jackasses suffering from Big Thought Syndrome invented shit like taxes and rent and assembly lines and now the vast majority of humans born live isolated lives of deprivation in white-walled boxes filled with whatever your equivalent of funko pops is? i know this is some basic college-ass reductive thinking but I read enough about david bowie last night to go from “damn what a life, I’m jealous” to “damn I wish I could get lost doing cocaine for a year in los angeles and still have the resources and support to have made a pretty decent album and then recover,” to “damn why are we doing any of this, human consciousness is a curse and I wish I was just a deer”
anyway, in summary!
born to forage
brain is a fuck
“The stuff of legend”, from Ask Iwata:
From Ask Iwata:
there’s so much anguish for just enough money to live. just enough money to live. just enough to not worry every night about it all vanishing, hint-of-almond stress with no reprieve. it’s sucked the pleasure out of so many things; drained the desire to have anything to say, and to find interesting ways to say it. people say, “sounds like you’re doing better!” when I say that I’ve been working, because working is well-being and if I can work at least I won’t be hungry, even if there’s no desire left for the food
(I’m “fine,” just thinking)
oh well! I'm making it. somewhere, somehow, I will figure out how to live peacefully with myself
“Fight the Darkness” by Ozma
Their album “Spending Time on the Borderline” is a long-time favorite. I regret not seeing them the one night Zach and I drove to Charlotte to get a couch from my aunt, and they happened to be playing that night. Too tired, I thought. I’ll catch them next time. I think that was their last tour? OOPS
I did see them at the Masquerade in Atlanta, I think twice? Fantastic band.
things come and go. there is no sense to it. i drifted widely over my life in memory today, so many beautiful and terrible and boring moments, all the heart and heat of youth giving way to the desolate atom of adulthood, the choosing to go on despite it all. and i do choose to go on. but i feel every lost connection as a former limb, and feel the inclination to walk on feet that aren’t there. i have loved and then disappointed some of the best people i’ve ever met. it scalds me to think of it. hiss and pull my hand away. it all hurts so much sometimes, the sense that nothing ever ended for any reason beyond my own inconsistency, my restlessness, my melancholy, my inability to be someone i could stand. i’m still trying. but it’s not easy to have to keep being this person, without so many of the things that made me someone worth being in the first place. memories aren’t a comfort. they’re a curse because i was always, always at fault, and i always thought i was giving it my best.