1. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    I miss my obsessions.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mumble Bee, Dec 29, 2016.

    About a year ago now I took a hard look at my life, and what I was doing with it, and it wasn't a pleasant sight. I hated my job, and spent work days perfecting the ability to ignore time as a passed by. My time off was largly spent obsessing over some book, TV series, game, anything that caught me.

    I don't use the word obsess lightly. Whatever it was would have all of my attention for weeks, maybe even months, and it would be the only thing I really cared about.

    So I made a change. I quit my job and found a more pleasant, and productive way, of earning income. After that problem was solved, I turned to my habit of obsessing over entertainment. I'd start by thinking critically; what was the motivation behind my feelings? The answer was usually some sort of mental manipulation / reward system.

    I didn't force myself to stop. Instead I'd continue while thinking about how my emotions or dopamine levels were being toyed with, usually for some sort of profit. Eventually my anger at being manipulated overshadowed any type of reward, and with that went any interest in the activity.

    After much rinsing, repeating, and reassessing, here I sit, no longer a slave to any compulsorily urges, and bored out of my God damned mind. I miss being a slave to my emotions... is life better broken?
     
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  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know if life is better broken, but I do think a life without some cracks in it is a life unlived. :)
     
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  3. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Okay, I can see now how melodramatic that was, my bad, thanks for responding anyways though :)
     
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Melodrama or not, I think it bears consideration as a more core concept. Not long ago another forum member posted a thread talking about his wish to capture that spark, that certain indefinable thing that The Beat Writers are known for. A laudable goal, to be sure. Would that we all had such flair. My engagement of that conversation was to try to impress upon the OP that, though we have wrapped these writers in the paradigm of legend and larger-than-lifeness that they now have, if you cleave past all that, back down to the person - of normal human size - that was the grain around which these pearls of wonder formed, it's just a person, filled with flaws and foibles, forgetfulness, and the occasional (regular) fapping. Just people. Just men. They came from normal homes, and some of them cush backgrounds, and some of them dysfunctional families. You know, like you, like me, like anyone. There was nothing super-human there. They did not walk upon the actual moon. They did not sign treaties between implacable nations. They did not invent technology to propel us into the future. None of these things. They just wrote honestly about their lives, some of those lives being rather broken. I came upon that thread yesterday, as a matter of fact, and I was again captured by the image of Lafcadio Orlovsky, brother to Peter Orlovsky, the latter of whom was Alan Ginsberg's life-partner (you didn't say husband in those days). Lafcadio was an unusually beautiful young man. In today's world he would have had his 15 min of fame alongside all the other beautiful young people, famous for little more than being young and beautiful, thus infinitely enviable. Sadly, his beauty was short-lived and his life was pretty tragic since severe mental illness ran in the Orlovsky family, and this at a time when not much more was done to help such people than to house them away out of sight. And yet he and his brother Peter appear in a couple of Kerouac's books. Kerouac renames them the Darlovsky brothers. There is some contention whether Kerouac was refering to Lafcadio or to Julius, the third Orlovsky brother who also succumbed to mental illness. For me, it's always Lafcadio. (There is a photograph taken by Allen Ginsberg of Lafcadio and David where Allen writes a blurb about the two brothers underneath and confirms that the Darlovsky brothers are Lafcadio and David, not Julius and David).

    Regardless, and before I get lost in the musing.... My point is that these lives were broken. Sometimes very broken. In the case of Lafcadio, in a way that always reminds me of the scene in Bladrunner where Tyrell tells Roy "the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long, and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."

    This damage, this dysfunction is the very fuel in which some of our most treasured works of writing were forged. So, and it may sound more like a curse than a blessing, but I pray that you do have some brokenness, man, because I think it is a needful thing in this quest to write. Don't worry about broken. Just be honest in what you do.

    ETA: Sorry, bro. That was fuckin' maudlin. Now who's being melodramatic. Happy New Year to you!
     
  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies comment about the Orlovsky brothers rings a bell with me. I've only read a couple of the Beat books, don't remember them well enough to remember those men, but I was mumbling on my blog a couple weeks ago about the people who have almost, but not quite, been lost to history. Not the Kerouacs or Ginsbergs, but their partners, husbands, wives, people who would have been no more than names on a baptismal record by now but for their brush with someone who, somehow, touched the multitudes. It was triggered by this passage from a long piece about Leonard Cohen that came out just before he died:

    Everybody from Jack Kerouac to Pope Francis to @Mumble Bee to that Spaniard is just muddling through; all we get to see are either the highlights or the bloopers reels, and most of us won't even have those screened more than fifty years after our deaths. Don't reject your obsessions just because they are obsessions, if they're doing you good, keeping you on keel, keeping the wolves out of your memories at night, let them have their time. It's only if they become the wolves that you need to cage them and move on.
     
  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I just want you to know that this, this right here, is fucking gorgeous.
     
  7. Absolem

    Absolem Member

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    That reminds me of a bible verse where Paul talks about how he can't do what he wants to do (good) and what he doesn't want to do (evil) he keeps on doing. Romans 7:15

    Life's a war brother. Between the spiritual and the Carnel. Between higher human thought and behavior and lower base instincts. I'm a really obsessive person too. Sometimes its nice to be able to focus on just one thing but more often then not its draining to put that much of my energy towards things that have no lasting value. I've found I'm much happier when I "obsess" about my writing then a video game or a girl or something like that. Writing is something that betters me in a way and has lasting value. Ya know?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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