Words, Phrases, and Objects that Irk Me, Part 3

Instagram posts, Snapchats, Facebook posts, etc. that are of concerts recorded upon a cell phone or other impotent recording device. We get it: you are at a concert, having fun, and you want to let everyone else know that you are indeed having fun. The only issue with this is that iPhones and what-the-hell-other-smartphones that be out there are not efficient (even in the slightest) for recording the decibel levels of noise that accompany concerts and other shows.

It sounds like complete and utter shit. Painful shit. What I see in the video are people (perhaps) making music. What I hear is something that reminds me of the sound that my computer made when I tried to connect to the internet as a child. Please do not make me relieve those dark ages; those sounds still linger somewhere in my subconscious, waiting to spring upon me in my dreams.

I have good friends who have done this horrible thing to me, but I can forgive them because of their redeeming qualities…for now. If ever a stranger forced upon me a cell-phone-recorded concert video, may a pox be upon them and their house. And I will personally summon any and all of the Great Old Ones to consume them, even if it means the end of all that we know.

On Romance and Relationships

History has taught us that humankind has always had a penchant for forming romantic relationships within the species. Somewhere along the line, we allowed superstition and tradition to dictate that these relationships were something more than a basis for biological reproduction, expecting them to weather the years and produce a lifetime of fidelity. We ignore our psychology and do our best to convince ourselves of the truth in our traditions, that one man and one woman are meant to become each others’ sole partner once they exchange a series of linguistic poetry, an amalgam of auditory frequencies meant to convey promises.

No account is taken of the breadth of change that will occur in each of the two individuals’ psychology, manifesting itself as a change in personality and behavioral patterns. Your alleged lifelong mate is not the same person that they were ten years ago, both physiologically and psychologically. If said mate’s personality has not expressed any dynamic evolution, congratulations, you have successfully mated with a impotent and dull individual whose static nature will allow for you to have psychological comfort due to nothing in their behavioral patterns coming as a surprise. Predictable. Nice and comfortable. You will probably die in your sleep in a house that you will have lived in for your entire life.

For the rest of the world, we are constantly changing in terms of who we are. Sure, some habits and views will remain mostly unchanged, but (if you are the type of person who craves novelty and exhibits a critical mindset) odds are the old ways will always be tossed out for something else. The whole concept of someone “finding” themselves is a bit of a snipe hunt. Sure, you will begin to recognize more and more of the patterns you tend to have, but the constant mental evolution can never be fully observed. By the time you realize something, it may have already changed and progressed, or died.

Back to this concept of romance though and another major flaw in the popular operating parameters of the normative version of it. It is a game of possession and control. You believe that you have a right to predict your partner’s behavior, and that they have an obligation to not surprise your poor mental state by changing or, god forbid, cheating. How dare something that you own have a will of its own, its own personal vendettas and desires! This behavior is most readily observed in the actions of men.

One can easily imagine a scenario in which a man cheats on his wife, but then becomes infuriated to the point of violence upon his discovery that his wife goes out and proceeds to cheat on him for no reason other than that she too is sexually unsatisfied (or perhaps it is a revenge-fuck). Since he sees her as his property, he assumes that it is okay for him to do whatever he needs, but when she does something to sate her needs in an independent manner, there is hell to pay.

Of course, this is on the polar extreme end of this notion of mine, and such behaviors are likely to be found among those of a patriarchal religion. Does it not make sense that an individual who already needs the mental comfort of religion would also seek an equally immutable comfort in their romantic relationships? When both of these defense mechanisms fail them, the typical reactions ensue: violence, depression, loss of meaning.

Indeed, subtler manifestations of this concept of possession do exist.

Perhaps, as soon as another human debases itself through the submission to a lifelong commitment based on nothing more than an abstract ideal, it loses respect for itself and the other party member as well. A subtle-self hate begins to unfold and one seeks to edify oneself by clinging to the notion that one, at the very least, still has their partner.

Even the very language we use betrays that at its root, romantic relationships (and perhaps even all relationships) are a game of possession. We have a girlfriend, husband, partner, and even friend. Obtaining a relationship with someone is considered a personal achievement. He is my friend. You have a friend. For the more aware, we can make the linguistic switch to terms such as we are friends, we are friends, we are seeing each other. I’m still seeing someone, but it at least implies that they are seeing me as well. Sure, many people do not think highly of linguistic constructivism, but the notion that such an integral part of our conscious experience as our language could have some (at the very least subconscious) influence upon our mentality does seem a valid psychological notion.

Am I against the practice of forming relationships? Only those that are based on errant reasons for forming them and only so long as both parties know that relationships are not meant to be anything more than a ephemerally temporal manner by which we manifest our sex drive, our archaic urge to continue pulling souls out of nonexistence into a world of meat.

As for love: nothing more than the mental power of one’s brain convincing oneself that its drives to escape loneliness and to engage in coitus are something more than a cycling of oxytocin and other assorted cocktails of hormonal chemicals. A defense mechanism against the truth that there is credence to the inescapable dichotomy of me and them.

“What are you reading?”

This premier entry is to serve both as a point of venting a repeating frustration as well as to give a brief biographical glimpse into the life of the author. Before delving into the subject matter I will swiftly elucidate on the latter. I am, quite certainly, an introverted individual who finds pleasure in the isolated realm of my bedroom. But, as those who are actually educated on the nature of introverts would already know, this is not my sole source of enjoyment; the company of others can be rewarding in measured doses of quality time. With that being established, I can begin to rant mildly on the alarmingly annoying event of being interrupted while reading a book, magazine, essay, what have you. Having spent the last four years at a university, I was often surrounded by multitudes of individuals. There were a few peaceful and beautiful places on the campus that I would thoroughly look forward to sitting down at and indulging in the latest book I had in my possession. The downfall was that these places, being aesthetic hotspots, were also places where my fellow students would readily have access to. Thus, whenever I rested beneath the cooling shade of the artifice called the “Bell Tower” (though there were no actual bells in it, merely audio speakers as far as I know), I ran the risk of being confronted by a curious classmate who half recognized me from some class and saw this as the prime opportunity to sloppily exhibit the academy’s cornerstone of “Community” by inquiring into what I was reading. Now, when I see someone whom I do or do not vaguely recognize from my Intro to Neuroscience (or insert any other class here) class diving face first into a book I think, “Gee, there’s a guy/gal really enjoying a book. ,” and I walk on anticipating a possible discussion with them in the future when neither party is already occupied with a prior task, or I simply carry on enjoying my life having never interacted with said individual. I can only imagine that this girl who vaguely recognized me from my Senior Seminar class must have had an abysmal thought process as follows, “There’s a guy who really seems to be enjoying that book. I’ve got nothing better to do now, might as well go blerch out my passing interest in what he is reading. Who care’s if I’ll forget the conversation two seconds upon its completion, my insecure need for interaction is building and this person who is relishing the shade of the Bell-Tower-That-Plays-Hymns-At-Noon is a perfect target. Blerch.” Real quick, I have two points to make about this situation. I purposely sit in the back of classes to avoid becoming sucked into the black hole that is small talk with a bunch of people with minds stuffed with fluffy Jesus thoughts and Kaleo candy (did I mention I somehow wound up at a “Christian” institution. Might as well just name it at this point, Azusa Pacific University, the paragon of fluffy Jesus thoughts). Now, apparently, my efforts at avoiding interaction with most people is seen by others as an invitation for them to spread their buttery chatter over my face. A poor misinterpretation on their part. Secondly, I do not always despise being interrupted while reading. A brief list of exceptions which will not incite me to a  blind (albeit quiet) rage me are as follows. First, if there is an event occurring, the likes of which were I to miss would somehow leave my life less fulfilled, and someone interrupts me by announcing it I may be initially irked but quickly placated depending on the situation (e.g. Advent of zombie apocalypse, free absinthe down the street, militant riot). You know, the usual things). Also, were it to be either a close friend of mine or even a complete stranger, so long as the ensuing conversation was of merit I would also allow the embers of my vexation to wane. That is, the other party and myself would both have to be genuinely interested in what was being discussed (e.g. life event, the book, new developments in quantum physics) and one or both parties must part ways having been enriched with new information. See? I can be reasonable if interrupted for the right reasons. But, if you dare ask me the question, “What are you reading?” without any intent other than to comfort your disparaging mind with the psychosocial junk food that is small talk, then I will be forced to choke back the answer I always wish to splurge all over your face, “Well, I’m not reading anything now that you’re forcing me to respond to you, you cunt.” I might have issues. But, I hold back my irrationally aggressive response and offer a smile as I respond, “It’s called ‘120 Days of Sodom’ by the Marquis de Sade,” sinisterly waiting for her to ask, “Oh, what’s it about?” And I smile with the knowledge that her fluffy Jesus thoughts are in for a panic attack as I respond, “Well it’s nearly five hundred pages of four guys butt-fucking and farting on everything in sight: boys, girls, women, each other…among other vivid descriptions of complete libertinage.” I’ll actually be reading a collection of short stories by China Mieville (one of the perks of using a Nook from time to time). But it’s not nearly as enticing to explain that to her, and she’ll never know the truth (although, I did read 120 Days). Let her dreams instead be plagued of being fondled by Durcet or the Duc. It might be a bit harsh, but I doubt I will ever be interrupted by her whilst reading again. Unless she is secretly a sodomite, then I guess Karma would be quite a bitch. All this to say, I truly and veritably do not like to be interrupted while reading. Just a personal dogma.