January 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
So since my last post a few things have happened that have stopped me writing with the frequency of previous months. A couple of reasons. No, I wasn’t convicted of petty theft in an Iranian bazaar, so my hands are still attached to my wrists.
Firstly, I became a bit disillusioned about writing in this blog (no reflection on you, I promise: it’s genuinely not you this time, it’s absolutely me). I have spoken about this a bit in the past, but aimless blogs often adopt a kind of preachy, wet tone, if not to begin with, then eventually, and I didn’t want to fall into that sticky, sickly trap. I think it’s a kind of default setting for writing publicly in a disposable format: I have little to say, so I will dress up my feelings as “content”. Well I don’t want to read about other people’s feelings in a glorified word document, so I’ll be damned if I inflict the same on others. There is also the problem of looking for blog content in your everyday life. If you don’t have a basic fall-back option for material (eg. reflecting on the week in the news/culture etc.) then you end up ruining your personal life by looking at everything like a blog coyote: picking apart fresh babies for your word lust. Some comedian once said that there is nothing worse than being out with a group of people who are all comedians: no one ever really listens to each other, and instead they just wait, looking for HoHo hilarious things to pick up on. So I stepped away from thinking about this blog for a bit, to avoid becoming even more of an egotist in social situations.
The second reason for not updating the blog is that I started my MA at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. The blog in many ways was a setup to that course, to keep me writing until I started, and once I did, as expected, all my writing time was then redirected to the MA.
So from now on, posts will be occasional, and only when I feel a strong urge to say something.
So for this short post, besides excusing my absence, I will gift to you two brief tidbits for the New Year. (Gift in the sense that it is ultimately not what you wanted, and non-returnable)
Entering into a New Year is a kind of a self-delusional conceit in many ways. The western calendar does have an acceptable logic to it, in the sense that there are seasons -in some countries more defined than the UKs shambolic impression of weather- and a planetary cycle associated to it. But the idea of a period of time being New, rather than only as new as it always is, is a bit egoistic. It facilitates a kind of self-lying, like that which I have written about in the past, in the form of forced resolutions, or maybe an “alcohol free January”. If you really only want to be a better person for one calendar month, why not celebrate Chinese New Year instead, and then fit your resolutions into February instead of January? It’s the shortest month of the year, after all.
One small pleasure I do get from New Year is that feeling on the 1st of January, walking back home in the afternoon from wherever you ended up, perhaps slightly hungover or maybe still drunk, and passing people walking dogs or their children, and instead of blindly ignoring them as you would every other day of the year, to have an Ebenezer Scrooge Christmas Day moment, and greet them heartily with glad tidings for the year to come. The kind of double-take you’ll witness is like a lightning bolt of realisation: how life could actually be better, today, right now. People being nicer to each other, in a real and simple way. The classic “Hello”. It is mostly enjoyable because you see people’s self-aware awkwardness shake- returning your salutation with their own is in that sense a kind of defence. Yes. It is a Happy New Year. Why wouldn’t it be?…
In those hours shortly after waking up and expiring at 23:59 January 1st, you have a no-questions-asked freedom from social awkwardness card, to pinch strange children’s cheeks, or to handout soft fruit at bus stops, without arrest.
And what I will leave you with is a quote I came across recently. Facebook is full of Memes of cats in shoes, and quotes from philosophers done in interesting fonts. They are glossy and nice to read, and usually I can’t disagree with what’s being said, but they kind of make me think… so what?
This life-changing quote I am about to share with you, I think, has the potential to end all other life-changing quotes. I think it Top Trumps your quote, in all its abilities: from speed and power, through to intelligence and special moves. BOOM. And in that quick manoeuvre, like a plaster ripped from a tiny graze, your quote is mine, to be kept in my quote box.
My quote, once said of Charlie Chaplin, is the king of all quotes, and it is…….
“A man who can laugh at himself delivers all men from the burden of their vanity.”
Something to think about during February, maybe.