July 20, 2011
It took a rather drastic step to put an end to it, but I suppose it was done for good. In a way it is sad, but, as many (most) sad things in life, it was also necessary.
July 18, 2011
I can't stand peer pressure. Not because I fall prey to it easily - I don't, I still know how and when to say "no" -, but because I find it so terribly annoying. As if we're supposed to do the same that everyone else in the group is doing regardless of our feelings, of our likes and of our disliikes. As if being with a group (of colleagues, of friends, take a pick) made our individual selves to dissolve into the "collective" mind and will of the group. Which is funny, for the group is never truly collective in its will; it derives from a single mind and will or, at best, from the agreement of two, and strengthens itself with the support of others. So "the group" decides to go clubbing, and one who happens to hate clubbing will have to go along as well. Fuck that, I say. Fuck the group and the pressure.
What's even more interesting is the way peer pressure, when deflected, turns into emotional blackmail. Each person within the group takes the refusal personal when it isn't. It's actually seldom personal. More often than not, whoever says no to the group doesn't do it because he or she doesn't like the group and the people within it, but rather because he or she feels like doing something else and doesn't care about doing whatever the group is doing. It is merely a personal choice - never a personal attack. The group never settles with that though; first they try to persuade, then they try to compromise, only to have one of the parts breaking up at last, knowing that the broken part will never be happy about it. I don't particularly like the idea that belonging to a group means sacrificing, especially when I'm not really willing to sacrifice or to have others doing it for me. That's why I despise peer pressure. It's never fair to anyone, and it seems to be nothing but a slow but sure way of breeding resentment.
July 17, 2011
Now to get back to reality
The summary of the last three days, by this order: Portishead, Arcade Fire, Elbow, The Strokes, Walkmen and Slash & his friends playing Guns' old classic Sweet Child o' Mine.
We do never know what we'd be willing to do should things have gone differently. Our actions - our supposed actions - are always shrouded in mists. And it is so easy to talk to the past in the present about a future that has never come to pass.
July 16, 2011
The only answer
It doesn't matter whether you say the truth or a lie. It doesn't matter whether people believe you or not. All that matters is that they accept whatever you chose to say knowing that it is the only answer they're ever going to get.
July 12, 2011
What you want is the best of both worlds. Is to eat the cake and have the cake too. You do know, though, that such is impossible outside the realm of magical thinking. We always have to make choices, and sooner or later, those choices force us to compromise - or else. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that such compromise will never arrive, that it will be possible after all (and despite everything), that we will be able to pull it through, that we'll find someone that thinks just as we do. It is sheer deception - or, if you prefer a little sugar-coating, it is magical thinking - as we are deceiving ourselves into thinking that we think like that, when we don't. In some things, we're just like everyone else, we fall prey to the so-called "human nature" just the same. We might pretend we don't, we might believe with all our heart that we are different - deep down, we're the same, we think the same, we feel the same. From this point forward, all illusions are pretty irrelevant.
July 10, 2011
When wrong is right
The context is different, so the word carries a different meaning, I was told. Well, a wrong is a wrong, if you ask me - and it's not because the Queen of England says it is right that it becomes right. Anyway. The context is what determines whether a word is right or wrong. Does that mean that, if I call someone a bitch or an asshole, will it be the context to determine whether it shall be offensive or not?
The Ministry of Silly Walks meets Web 2.0
I don't know what's more silly and annoying: the "like" from facebook or the "+1" from Google+.
The enthusiasm has slowly faded out into oblivion. Happens with everything, I suppose, even if I can't help being surprised every time it happens.
July 09, 2011
Even though the boundaries are broken already, I have a feeling that things will become way worse later on. Right now there's still an army standing idle near the battlefield, completely neutral, without taking sides. But it might. Therefore, so far all I've had was a handful of raids across the border, without much consequence. The enemy fears that neutral army, shall it come to my side. However, sooner rather than later that army will have to leave. We're both aware of that. As we're both aware that, once that army is gone, our struggle is probably going to escalate into full-blown warfare. I have little doubts that I'm fighting on the losing side, but I suppose I couldn't - wouldn't - have it any other way.
July 03, 2011
I suppose that by now everyone has at least heard about some ideas and theories on how the Internet is making us dumb - in the sense that its unfocused, relentless hyperactivity and interactivity are changing our ways to connect and relate, our perception, our cognitive capacities, even our memory. You don't need to be familiar with Nicholas Carr's essays (although I strongly recommend them), nor do you need to read this article, also recommended, by Zadie Smith, to somehow feel that this is right, that there's indeed a difference. Try something else. For example, I've noticed that this year more friends than ever have forgotten my birthday. It's no big deal, I don't really celebrate it, but that's just the point: as I don't celebrate it, I don't advertise it; and as I don't advertise it - by inviting people to a party or something like a drink after work, or by doing something as simple as displaying by date of birth on Facebook -, people do not remember it, even those that have been quite close friends for many years (a handful of them for more than one decade). Another interesting exercise is to pick up our cell phone contact list, browse through it and see how many phone numbers we have memorized. Not many, I'm afraid. Hell, I'm positive that quite a lot of people don't even know their boyfriend's or girlfriend's phone number without looking it up (I know my girlfriend's phone number by memory, but it is not really a good example as we've been close friends for many years - but to be fair, I currently don't know the phone number of several of my best friends). We no longer need to memorize anything, not a damned thing - everything is within reach of a keystroke, a mouse click, to be displayed prettily on a screen. Friends' brithdays, important phone numbers, anything - we don't need to remember, we just need to click and our virtual, surrogate memory will give it to us; and if it doesn't, well, then perhaps it is not that important. But if we think back just a little, we'll remember a time when we could memorize in our own real memory the birthdays of almost all our friends (everyone forgets a handful of them, and truth be told I'm not the best people to preach on memory and recalling capabilities) and the phone numbers of at least our closest circle of relationships. We can argue that nowadays, with all the technology seamlessly surrounding us, we don't need to recall. But the question is: don't we?
On a sidenote, I'm not actually pissed with those who forgot my birthday or don't know my phone number - it is really not important, but let's face it, it can make quite an interesting topic of conversation - or digression, perhaps.
July 02, 2011
I remember a moment a long time ago. A moment that is likely forgotten by everyone present but me. I remember the contempt on one, the guilty silence on other, the passive, almost indifferent stare on another. I remember words lashing out like whips, furious and uncaring. I do remember the ugly truth that emerged from the silence - one that shall it had been summoned by me, it would have wrecked it all with a bang. I kept it for myself though, and watched silently as the inevitable excuse was brought up. "I don't want you to think it is like that", it was said, a futile attempt to save a face that, although righteous, could no longer be saved. That is the nature of such excuses: instead of making something right they do a greater wrong, instead of bringing relief they only bring up the unnamable. I see someone doing it all over again, lashing out fiercely and not without reason; but when facing the wall of silence, along comes the old excuse, self righteous and false like all excuses are.