Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Crawling Up The Hill, Hoping to See More of The Light…


My regular readers have heard me relate some of my trials and tribulations here—the stress I (and far too many others) suffer in this grossly materialistic age… 

Crawling Up The Hill, Hoping to See More of The Light...

Image Courtesy of Angstrom Angstrom ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/angstro1-36701

And, I suppose I should mention that in spite of what I’ll say in introduction to the main subject of this post, it does fall within the purview of this blog’s “mission” to Explore Reading, Writing, and Publishing

First because I’m a writer—hoping my current travails can be “research” for future writing.

Second because I’m reading some extremely important books to prepare myself for a nearly complete change of lifestyle.

Let me back up, briefly, to a time, roughly 8 years ago, when I was just finishing up 11 months of Hepatitis C treatment—what I used to call Sledgehammer Medicine

I moved from a friend’s place (the VA insisted I have folks nearby during the treatment) to my own apartment which was near a very “European” Cafe—I began to prepare for the writing of the most important book of my life

The Crash of 2007 happened; the Cafe had to close its doors; and, I entered a time of extreme aloneness—working on the book, starting this blog, keeping the blog going, promoting the book—only going out to shop for necessities or for a “vacation” at a local eatery

I must mention meeting and getting to know my Best Friend—I live in the USA—she lives in Australia—we meet in the virtual world Kitely—she’s been my Mortal Savior—held me up as I’ve continually slid down that so familiar Hill

I am getting close to the main subject of this post; but, it does need a proper introduction.……..

So, since about 2008, I’ve not done a lot of “normal” “collective living”—socializing—being around other people.

Yes, Kitely is a really close simulation of all that; but, even though my emotions can be deeply engaged in a virtual world, it is still “virtual

Currently, I’ve been dealing with the tribulations of preparing for a move across town to a place near another “European” Cafe—back to regular “collective life”—out and about—on a mission

NOW, comes the main point—the current culture, worldwide, is sick—ailing—dangerous (things explored in that most important book I mentioned…)—and, this main point has been a challenge (read that as torture) for my whole life—but, there is a way in which moving back into more social engagement could help me “justify” my existence again—live out the remaining short years of Earthly existence headed in the Right Direction………

Concerning the “current culture” and its dangers, there’s an article on The Baffler—Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless—that I’ll quote extensively (while keeping within Fair Use…)

“The more frightening the economic outlook and the more floodwaters rise, the more the public conversation is turning toward individual fulfillment as if in a desperate attempt to make us feel like we still have some control over our lives.”

“There is an obvious political dimension to the claim that wellbeing, with the right attitude, can be produced spontaneously. Months after being elected leader of the most right-wing government in recent British history…David Cameron launched an ill-fated ‘happiness agenda’….As part of Cameron’s changes to the welfare system, unemployment was rebranded as a psychological disorder.”

“This mode of coercion has been adopted by employers, too…Zero-hour-contract laborers in an Amazon warehouse, ‘although they are in a precarious situation . . . are required to hide these feelings and project a confident, upbeat, employable self.’ All of which begs the question: Who exactly are we being well for?”

“The wellbeing ideology is a symptom of a broader political disease. The rigors of both work and worklessness, the colonization of every public space by private money, the precarity of daily living, and the growing impossibility of building any sort of community maroon each of us in our lonely struggle to survive.”

I underlined the words in that last quote—as I will in a few of the following quotes

“The isolating ideology of wellness works against this sort of social change in two important ways. First, it persuades all of us that if we are sick, sad, and exhausted, the problem isn’t one of economics. There is no structural imbalance, according to this view—there is only individual maladaption, requiring an individual response. The lexis of abuse and gas-lighting is appropriate here: if you are miserable or angry because your life is a constant struggle against privation or prejudice, the problem is always and only with you. Society is not mad, or messed up: you are.”

“With the language of self-care and wellbeing almost entirely colonized by the political right, it is not surprising that progressives, liberals, and left-wing groups have begun to fetishize a species of abject hopelessness. Positive thinking has become deeply unfashionable. The American punk kids I know describe it, disparagingly, as ‘posi’. The British ones, of course, describe it as ‘American’. Whatever you call it, it feels a lot like giving in.”

If you’re still reading, I’m happy that you just might care as much about our sick, dangerous culture as I do

And, in case you read the full article I’m quoting from, while I can agree with much of it, there are points where I strongly disagree

“…the young people I know who are, in general, the very worst at taking basic care of themselves as individuals—the people whose problem is not that they don’t drink enough asparagus water, but that they don’t drink enough of anything that isn’t day-old wine from a foil bag—are those who went through the student and Occupy uprisings of 2010–2012 and experienced, briefly, what it meant to live a different sort of life. What it meant to be part of a community with common goals of which mutual aid and support were not the least. What it meant to experience that sudden, brief respite from individual striving and build a prefigurative society together. The lonely work of taking basic care of yourself as you wait for the world to change is a poor substitute. When you’re washed up and burned out from putting your body on the line to fight the state, it’s especially galling to be told to share a smile and eat more whole grains.”

“Anxious millennials now seem to have a choice between desperate narcissism and crushing misery. Which is better? The question is not rhetorical. On the one hand, Instagram happiness gurus make me want to drown myself in a kale smoothie. On the other, I’m sick and tired of seeing the most brilliant people I know, the fighters and artists and mad radical thinkers whose lives’ work might actually improve the world, treat themselves and each other in ludicrously awful ways with the excuse, implicit or explicit, that any other approach to life is counterrevolutionary.”

“The problem with self-love as we currently understand it is in our view of love itself, defined, too simply and too often, as an extraordinary feeling that we respond to with hearts and flowers and fantasy, ritual consumption and affectless passion. Modernity would have us mooning after ourselves like heartsick, slightly creepy teenagers, taking selfies and telling ourselves how special and perfect we are. This is not real self-love, no more than a catcaller loves the woman whose backside he’s loudly admiring in the street.”

The next quote is, to me, quite powerful and resonant with my current situation:

“The harder, duller work of self-care is about the everyday, impossible effort of getting up and getting through your life in a world that would prefer you cowed and compliant. A world whose abusive logic wants you to see no structural problems, but only problems with yourself, or with those more marginalized and vulnerable than you are. Real love, the kind that soothes and lasts, is not a feeling, but a verb, an action. It’s about what you do for another person over the course of days and weeks and years, the work put in to care and cathexis. That’s the kind of love we’re terribly bad at giving ourselves…”

One final excerpt:

“The ideology of wellbeing may be exploitative, and the tendency of the left to fetishize despair is understandable, but it is not acceptable—and if we waste energy hating ourselves, nothing’s ever going to change. If hope is too hard to manage, the least we can do is take basic care of ourselves. On my greyest days, I remind myself of the words of the poet and activist Audre Lorde, who knew a thing or two about survival in an inhuman world, and wrote that self care ‘is not self-indulgence—it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’”

This is one of the longest posts I’ve done because I’m facing one of the greatest challenges of my life—giving up the “hiding away” I’ve been doing for years and entering the Fray—reaching out to a Community (at a Cafe) and attempting to share what I’ve learned about what “Works” (increases the Light) and what makes you keep sliding down that ol’ Hill……………….

With no apologies this time, I will say, Pray for me.

~~~~~~~~~

And, for those who can sympathize with the plight of being too alone and not know where to find a rational escape, there is a Program that helps build sane and satisfying Communities.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Advertisements

3 responses to “Crawling Up The Hill, Hoping to See More of The Light…

  1. dgkaye July 19, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    I am lost for words Alex. :(

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai July 20, 2016 at 1:02 am

      Thank you for your concern………

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye July 20, 2016 at 9:47 am

        :)

        Like

What Are Your Thoughts or Feelings?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s