On Wallace and Chocolate

March 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I was wrong, wrong, wrong to despair.  Searching the library catalogue today (and finding that it carries 30 or more books about David Foster Wallace, and only 3 of his works – by the by…) I am blown to pieces by knowledge and information, and the fact that in 6 months or so I may easily be ejected from what I alone seem to remember is the path of enlightenment, back into an unchanging orbit littered with ignorance and simplicity.  The fact that I, a woman from the working class, can be sitting here honing my dialectical method over a stylistic hotbed of the ‘greatest’ philosophical minds is an aspect of the modern world which I think can be unequivocally described as ‘progress’ – an idea I wish to tackle in another post when I am not so very busy.

There were aspects of Postmodernism I hated even when it was trendy, and it is irritating that now that the academic cycle has deemed that this label, which became a catch-all (possibly implying that a symptom of Postmodernity is laziness), has expired, the very things which I always saw as a problem are being cited, while the period itself has shrunk from an epic postwar-to-terror epoch to an unfortunate glitch between 1965 and the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I wrote my definitive opinion piece on this in my final year of uni.  It fetched me a High Distinction, but not a spectacular enough one – extreme relativism had not officially had the knell (I was a few weeks early), thus I was still in “you didn’t understand the material” territory.  This is one of the things which prompted my previous post, and some very alluring escapist fantasies about journalism.  Not here, obviously.  I would rather whip natives bringing me diamonds out of the sludge with their bare hands than work for any Australian media, but there might be somewhere else, somewhere  I could extricate myself from mass imbecilic cock-sucking reportage and enter the domain of actual reportage or opinion.  Somewhere with more people.  In fact, the only aspect of  population expansion I support is that it would undoubtedly result in the production of more thinkers.  As such, eventually – and I see this – we might have our own country.  Not Iceland, either.  One cannot cook up the answers to effective existence in the universe if one’s gonadal glands are frozen solid whenever one ventures out for chocolate.

Oh yes, that’s right.  I found this rather spiffing chocolate substitute.  I don’t even like chocolate, really.  It tastes like some sort of super concentrated meal-block designed for trecking the Himalayas. But I still want it or something equally as stimulating while poring over dead white males, and usually don’t succumb because of the calories.  Thus, I am happy to have found this weird health-bar thing in Coles which to my metabolism feels rather better than chocolate because it doesn’t have any actual sugar.  Tastes like diet fudge.  It may well be a temporary fascination, since it offers the sort of food experience which is considerably improved through remaining a mystery:  containing, for example, something called ‘hydrolysed collagen’ which by memory is probably extracted from chicken necks but, whatever.  It’s a Postmodern solution to a Modern addiction.  And this is a fucking thesis.



March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been driven down to you, bloggy, because the only thing on the table was an Australia Post catalogue which looked too boring to contemplate, and because I was sleepily composing a Facebook update while I prepared breakfast, which escaped the practical bounds of length in prose available in that forum.  I’m sort of ‘off’ Facebook anyway.  Blogs, at least, appeal to seekers.  There is something about thrusting my manic rubbish on other people: it’s optimised as an occasional thing, like dark spirits, jazz and my parents.

This is going to have to be quick, because I’m late for The Horror as it is, but the most defining feature of my life at present is that I am living an approximation of what I deeply wanted for a very, very long time and I am not enjoying it. I did also ‘dream’ of going to NIDA for a while, as a kid.   Acting and writing were my two loves, and the order in which I pursued these things seemed unquestionably clear – acting is largely a young person’s game, and writing should probably not be undertaken without experience.  But I pursued acting privately in the end, rather than making it my degree.  I struggled with the fact that I found actors, on the whole, to be quite stupid.  I never really wanted to sacrifice a ‘proper’ education to pursue being on the telly, and like many, harboured a romantic notion of ‘college’ that I possibly got from an embarrassing American show originating on same.  More likely, though, it was a result of the suffering and persecution I endured at school for being smart.  There needed to be an end point to that, filled with justification.

So you can fill in the interim years.  I largely had no idea what I was supposed to do with the essence of life that the culture deemed was reverberating in and around my young form, so I joined a movement.  A very nineties movement as it turns out – the pragmatic political centre.  Deal makers.  Nope, I was not originally a party leftie; I drifted that way gradually over time in a kind of freak upstream movement, like a maturing trout.  At the time I found the left to be a haven of rigid ideology, insane idealism, pretentious socialism and personal axe-grinding.  The centre was more closely aligned with the goals of the Labour Movement, which was at that time ironically spent, and practically, I needed a job.  Internationally I was finding myself a reluctant and depressed Realist (I wanted to believe actors could overcome self interest, but found it difficult to do so), and combined with the fact that most of the far left seemed to think simple bathing was capitalist repression, I felt as secure as I could be in my own judgement.  I wanted to do it – life that is – there and then, like a stock broker rich under 30;  I didn’t want lost and experimental formative years full of semi-permanent errors. But I had them.  It’s easy enough to look back now and think that undertaking political activism in this country was all a mistake, that I was somehow in love with myself as an Australian story and moreso with tropes of my own family – nights crouched in the flickering beam of a documentary on the Rank Arena TV; the mysterious misery and fate of my father which was tied to a complex international conservative agenda; the idea that we were altogether engaged in a dignified struggle.  I understand my friends who say they feel like they were cheated at a very personal level by the image of ourselves sold to us by a political organisation which really only ever needed us for legitimacy.  I think we all could have forgiven anything except love.  But, tellingly, it was only part of a larger conspiracy of social and commercial lies, including family itself – mine was to become a bed of hostility over my class betrayal – romantic love, and possibly, returning me to my point, education.

I believed in education so principally that I undertook all kinds of ostensibly naf projects – like campaigning, marching, negotiating – on behalf of the movement as a whole and neglected my own studies.  Could this institution, too, have betrayed me with a deceptive legion of kitsch?  I like to think that at this point I can only see the trees in the wood.  I believe in the system.  But basically, I don’t want to go.  I should be there right now.  I’d like an ideological mate, but there are no candidates, which in old fashioned terms means I “probably don’t belong”.  The wanton bastardry of the sentences has a weak clutching effect on my gut.  My philosophy class is like being slapped on the leg with a wet paper towel:  I would like, very much, to stop warbling and have an actual fight.  I’m bored, I’m not doing really well any more.  Study was supposed to fill the void I can see is otherwise likely to dominate my later life, but it has become just one more thing that doesn’t warrant that kind of passion.   I wish I could paint, or something, but I think it’s over.  This was it, no more creative arts.  I’m going to have to start considering some kind of job.


March 12, 2012 § 4 Comments

This morning I’m wondering, what happened to my husband?


where is he?


did I forget to get one?

I would like to respire, reflect

The waves

That are reaching me on this poignant right side which is sunk

Against the twill and my dynamic past,

With my mouth fitted dully around a taut grisly nipple.

And to not have it mean anything, remotely:

Especially not not brushing me away,

(she is drawn by a mark which wasn’t there earlier)

– where are you my insouciant love

who knows?

Where Am I?

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