My Thoughts Are Pollution

Coming-of-age ramblings that don't mean much in the long run

Month: March, 2016

Another Me

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time. Not to, like, change anything. I just want to talk to my past self. I want to see if maybe he can give me a pep-talk. Or punch me in the face. Either one. My past self deserves getting a good hit in on me. He should knock the fucking wind out of me. I really fucked things up for him!

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It’s Not a Fear of Failure

Stardew Valley - Shane

It’s not a fear of failure that is holding me back. It’s a confidence that failure is inevitable. I don’t worry that I might fail, and the risk of the possibility of failure doesn’t freak me out.

I just don’t feel capable. I feel untalented, unskilled, and unintelligent. I feel like anything I attempt will lead to failure because I am utterly incompetent. So I’m not afraid of failure. I’m afraid of moving forward, when failure is looming over me. I’m afraid of taking a step not because I’m worried I might be stepping on a landmine, but because I see landmines all around me and don’t see anywhere else to step.

The few things I have some level of competence in, I can’t even called myself especially skilled at. I’m an okay writer. I’m not a great technical writer, and I have trouble writing long-form anything. Long-form there meaning longer than an average blog post. As far as coming up with fictional stories goes, I have a hard time actually finding a plot to write about. All the stories I have to tell are from real life, and… I mean, none of them really have a beginning, middle, and end. That’s not how real life works. In real life, shit happens, then it keeps happening. You don’t really get a “conclusion.” So I have a really hard time writing stories. It takes writing a book or a short story completely off the table.

I’m an okay poet, sure. I have a very specific style of writing and generally have difficulty writing things in such a way that they couldn’t be said in a sentence. So I write stuff that’s meant to be said out loud, either through song or through cool hipster-ish poetry readings. I don’t have a super wide range when it comes to poetry. This is all avoiding the elephant in the room, though: it’s not marketable and it doesn’t make you money. It’s not a career.

I’m maybe serviceable when it comes to guitar. I can’t play anything super complicated and I give up on difficult pieces far too quickly. I’ve been playing for around seven years now and I’m maybe about as good as someone who has been playing for two. I can’t play cleanly. All of my chords sound rough. My sense of rhythm is thrown off easily. I have trouble singing and playing at the same time. Music theory is beyond me.

And I think that ends my list of skills. And all of them are things that even if I were the best in the world at, it’d still be a weighted-against me roll of the dice as to whether or not they’d ever be profitable.

I can’t even stock shelves fast enough for anyone.

So let me ask you a question. Do you ever feel like… no matter what you do, you’re gonna fail?

[The screenshot is from the recently-released game called Stardew Valley. It’s on Steam (meaning you play it on your PC, for those of you who are out-of-the-loop on that stuff) and it’s incredible. It’s also only fifteen dollars. I highly recommend it.]

I Fucking Hate The Internet

Leave me alone

I’m allowed to like what I like

And no amount of

Puffed-up

Pseudo-objective reasoning

Will change me

Don’t Even Touch Me

Fuck it all,
Don’t need to rush to my side
Let me feel it
Let it all ride
Fuck it all,
Just get out of my life
But don’t leave.

I will never
Try to be cool again
I want to distance
Myself from my old friends
I move away
But our hands still touch
I think about it
How I don’t give a fuck
But I’m thinking about it too hard.

Don’t
Fucking touch me.
You
Never loved me.
And I never loved you too.
I don’t want to be around you.
But don’t leave.

Fuck it all,
I just want to give up
Let me go
You know it’s not enough
Fuck it all,
I don’t want to see
I think I can forget you
Just don’t forget about me.

I will never
Be cool again
Won’t try to smoke
Away from all my friends
Staring at the moon
By the window in your room
I’ll stop trying so hard.
But I’m trying so hard to stop.

Don’t
Fucking touch me
You
Never loved me
I wonder if I loved you
I certainly thought I had to
I don’t know what I want you to do
Just don’t leave.

Stay the Same

There’s something pulling
Pulling at my skin
There’s something out there
Far from where I’ve already been

But fuck that, I said I’m gonna sleep in
Nobody else can live in filth like this
But I can
They just don’t understand

Yeah fuck that, I’ll wake up at four
Watch the sun go down from my window
From my parent’s second floor
Only have seven or so more
Hours left to go

And they tell me it’s time to move on
Work out until the extra weight is gone
And maybe then I will fall in love
‘Cause we live only to fall in love

Fuck that, I like sleeping alone
The last girl I loved slept on my bed
While I fell off the memory foam
And so I slept alone

Yeah fuck that, there’s nobody out there
I don’t want them to listen or even to care
I’m tired of people who change
I just want a girl who will stay the same
I just want a life that will stay the same

But still, fuck that, I got a handful of pills
I gotta get myself high so I get over the chills
Of my last great adventure
They never told me it would end up

Like this, just living at home
The only fucking problem is
That I’ll never really be alone
‘Cause we have to learn to like being alone.

I Don’t Need To Respect Your Beliefs

What a wonderful post. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.

Drifting Through

no-respect

Right now everyone’s talking about beliefs. Beliefs that prompted the infamous Religious Freedom Act in Indiana last year, and last week’s Georgia’s Religious Freedom Bill and most recently North Carolina’s wide reaching and shocking HB 2, along with other similar initiatives that are peppering the country. Laws and bills aimed at limiting or taking away rights.

It’s supposedly all about beliefs. A conversation that has echoes of the not too distant past. Beliefs that are being recycled but not repurposed. A hand me down with historical context.

Beliefs are being held up and declared all while clutched in sweaty, angry fists. Beliefs are being trotted out like a prize pig at a State Fair.

So much talk of beliefs. And we all know that talk is the cheapest currency.

All of this talk is treading on some sacred ground. Beliefs (especially the religious kind) are for most of us a…

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Waiting

Ramona waits for me
To be what I swore I would be
Someday
Ramona waits for me
To change, the way I swore I’d change
Someday

It’s sometimes easier to believe
That there’s no point to anything
There’s no reason I’d ever be
But Ramona waits for me.

And Anna waits for me
To be someone, somehow, anything
Anna waits for me
To get out of the water, to stop this drowning

It’s so much better not to see
Where I’m going, where I’ll be
There’s no one else I’ll ever need
But Anastasia waits for me.

Eliza, wait for me
I try so hard, so won’t you, please?
Eliza, wait for me
This is all I want, it’s all I need

If I run fast, I cannot breathe
I start to cough, my lungs start to bleed
There’s all these things I want to be
But nobody will wait for me.

Confessions of a Nihilist

A few weeks back, I had a couple friends visit me. It was a really great trip, and I got a lot out of it; a lot of hope that I didn’t have previously. We stayed up late, until the ungodly hours of the night and had sleep-deprived discussions ranging from the philosophical to absurd and meaningless. In one of these discussions, one of these friends pointed out that my views on life and death skewed pretty heavily to the nihilistic.

I was taken aback for a few seconds, but realized he was probably right. I’ve since done some (very, very light) reading on the subject and found that I do, in fact, identify as an existential nihilist. This is probably the most discussed form of nihilism in terms of philosophy, and I’m honestly not all that special for finding myself in its blank, nondescript walls.

Existential nihilism is the belief… in nothing, I guess. It is not really skepticism, or epistemological nihilism, where one believes that nothing in the universe can be known. Epistemological nihilism is like an extreme version of agnosticism, while existential nihilism is an extreme version of atheism. I’ll lay it all out on the table for you. I believe that there’s no such thing as a reason to exist; there is nothing of importance in our lives in the grand scheme of things. Extrapolated out, you can say that there isn’t any meaning in the day-to-day, smaller scheme of things either, as everything you do in your life essentially amounts to nothing. Every person you interact with will one day die, as will every person they interact with. Every child you have will one day die, and so will their children. And if somehow, by some freak occurrence, something you affected manages to last until the end of the universe…

Well, the universe dies then. Everything that ever happened in it? It’s over. It’s done. One day this will all be over; there will be no life left to appreciate the life that came before. It all amounts to nothing in the end, no matter how much you struggle to preserve yourself.

That’s the core of my belief, boiled down and stripped of all its humanity. In practice, I find that holding this belief changes very little for me. I still want to exist. I still want to make grand gestures and change the world and all of that nonsense. I still care about people. I still have a strong moral code.

Side note: This is maybe the most frustrating part of being an atheist, dealing with the prevailing attitude among the religious sect that without a god making rules to follow, there are no rules. This isn’t the case. This isn’t how my brain works! I am still, in fact, human. A blanket statement that those who don’t follow god must not have a moral code is tantamount to calling us less than human. Don’t fucking say shit like that.

There is in fact something out there called moral nihilism, which is the belief that all morality is a social construct and entirely arbitrary, and therefore morality does not exist. I guess I technically subscribe to that theory, as I believe that all of this shit is arbitrary, no matter what it is. While I technically believe it to be true, I still have chosen to align myself with my own moral code. I abide by these arbitrary rules because… Well, I don’t exactly know. It’s because I’m human, I guess. I have empathy. I think causing others pain is wrong. Maybe it’s not technically wrong, because technically, “wrong” doesn’t exist, but it’s wrong to me anyway. The idea of abandoning empathy because it is illogical disgusts me on a very base level.

I don’t know exactly what I’m getting at here. I guess I just figured out a little bit more about myself. I figured out another tiny fraction of who I am. I thought I’d share it. I feel okay about being a nihilist. It sits well with me, honestly.

On Box Car Racer

In 2001, one of the Blink-182 frontmen, Tom DeLonge, formed another band, to perform in alongside Blink. This side project was called Box Car Racer, and they only released a single album before disbanding. Self-titled and released in 2002, Box Car Racer is probably one of the most interesting albums DeLonge has ever worked on.

I find it hard to declare it as “good” or whatever, but whether it’s “good” or not is irrelevant when considering whether or not it’s interesting. And it is, in fact, interesting, and it appeals very strongly to my tastes. If I knew whoever I was talking to was coming from the same place I was, I wouldn’t hesitate to call it good, I’d even go as far as calling it great.

Even with that in mind, it’s not perfect. There are some odd, forced lines every now and then that seem to only exist for the sake of propping up the story Tom DeLonge is trying to tell. And the story isn’t multi-faceted or especially intricate; though an album maybe doesn’t need to tell an intricate story to tell a good story. I guess the overarching story just isn’t especially great. It follows a character who has a vision of the world ending, tries to warn people, but inevitably fails and kills himself. I believe the implication is that he was in fact right about the end of the world, though if it’s ever said explicitly, I failed to pick up on it. It’s very simple, and only avoids pretension by being so straightforward.

All that said, the music sets a tone for the world Tom has set up, and that’s what makes it interesting. It is very tonally consistent and that tone is a vaguely unsettling one, which is exactly what you should be looking for in something like this. Simple lyrics like “I feel so mad/I feel so angry” end up feeling powerful when surrounded by pop-punk turned off-putting.

It feels very much out of Tom DeLonge’s head, whatever that means. The album really seems like everything he’s been trying to do with Angels and Airwaves since its inception, sans the space bullshit. While I personally enjoy the project he worked on after this (the self-titled Blink-182 album) more, this album feels like Tom hit all the notes he wanted to. I guess I can’t know that for sure; I can’t get in his head and see how he felt as he was working on the album. Whatever he thinks about it, the end result comes off as his personal masterwork, it is Tom’s testament to the world. If everyone in the world was born for the sake of making one thing, this would be his one thing.

That’s not to lavish too much praise onto it; you have to want this album to really like it. It’s not for everyone, and it’s far from perfect. There are flaws, and there’s a simplicity to a lot of the lyrics that even I’m not always looking for. You really have to want it. If the flaws here resonate with you as much as its strengths, like they do with me, then you’ll be okay calling it a masterpiece. If it doesn’t work for you, then it might just come off as mediocre! It’s hard to say; a lot of aspects of this album appeal to who I am and my personal tastes. I’m just happy it exists, and while I may like some of his other work more than I like Box Car Racer, if I had to choose one thing that I want Tom DeLonge to be remembered for (as weird and selfish as that idea is) it would be this album. Do I recommend it? I don’t know. I think it’s worth listening to. Take that to mean whatever you need it to.

Acrostic Poem

For changing what you were into what you are
Ugliness isn’t just an aesthetic term
Change, yeah, everyone changes
Knowing that doesn’t make me like it.

Your problems were my problems
Or so I thought
Unhappy.