I’m not really sure what to write for this one. I’ve started a bunch of articles but they’ve fizzled out without any real conclusion, so I guess this here is just a journal, there’s no flow or overarching topic.
That’s all this site is, by the way. Any advice or opinion I share is just something dumb I thought up, and is backed with little research or education. The reason I share these things is because I think there’s someone out there who might benefit from them, and that’s enough. Sure there’s some level of narcissism I guess, but I really don’t self-aggrandize that my audience is limitless or that my impact is large. I just hope you enjoy reading this. Moreover, I hope it makes you think about things.
I don’t know who you are. Even if I’ve met you and we talk all the time, at the moment you’re reading this, I am unaware that you’re looking at it. That’s called a parasocial relationship; the one sided relationship you develop with people you’ve never met, like celebrities. The funny thing about social media is that we’re usually engaging in parasocial relationships not just as we seek community or fame, but with our own friends and families. You’ve never seen me inexplicably perusing your drunken party photos, I’m not aware of you going through my back log of twitter jokes. These are things we do anonymously.
There’s a lot evidence that anonymity lends itself to antisocial behavior. People are more likely to bully and troll if it can’t be traced back to them. I wonder if there’s a revolving door to this logic; that being anonymous makes you behave antisocially, because without any recognition you won’t be accepted into a social group and without the ability to be accepted, you behave as someone who can’t have social attachment. It’s just a form of unknown ostracism.
Social media presents a big problem with this; our entire lives are curated online. There are generations of children who will never know what it’s like to not be seen on the internet, to be followed in the virtual sphere, to have to look up something in a book. This isn’t a fuddy duddy, “things ain’t what they used to” sentiment, it’s an observation. We’ve changed, drastically and inherently, the way we communicate with one another, and it’s probably going to be awhile before we work out the kinks in the system.
For now, we’ve created new, unknown layers of attachment via anonymity not only to our favorite celebrities, but to our friends and family. We create a sense of closeness through our distance to one another.
If I haven’t met you, and you send me a message unrelated to comedy, I am most likely going to ignore it. It’s not personal, it can’t be, because I don’t know you. I don’t know what one sided relationship you have established based off of the vague approximation you have of me based off my internet presence. Just reading that sentence is complicated, now go back and think about how that exists in reality between two strangers. The online me, the Kokadrille, is a ghost, a concept that exists inside computers. The real person exists only in real time and never online, except in that I’ve wasted some of that present time there.
Your online self isn’t you, it’s your past, curated and updated to near real time. You could put every dumb extraneous thought you have on twitter as soon as you have them, but your body is still in a café, or with your friends, or watching some incendiary news story. Even if it’s to the minute up to date, it’s not really you, it’s an illustration of what you want the world to see and think of you.
I don’t know what I want the world to think of me, I haven’t figured that out. From the illustration I’ve left, it’s that I go on stage and tell jokes, and that is most definitely a part of myself. There’s also a lot of down time, a lot of things I’ve said that were just plain mean, a lot of false flattery or sincere hero-worship. I have friends that I don’t know how to handle even in our normal, ‘well, we’re here’ moments.
The distinction is what you want people to think of you and what they actually do, I guess. Ideally, you want them to be as congruent as possible, so you practice the dramaturgy of your favorite role, the comedian, the teacher, whichever word you’d like best on your gravestone.
I deal a lot in my personal life with self deprecation and criticism. I do my best not to over extend this less-than-kind over analysis to others, but it happens, and I do my best to keep it to myself or word it carefully. I come off blunt and people have told me that I’m well spoken or smart. Those last two are just byproducts of learning how to hold in a lot of horrible shit because they weren’t valuable to me or the person they were aimed at.
Right now, I’m at home, writing this because I’m determined to have my two articles written for August, as was my goal. Part of me is deciding whether producing something I think is subpar for the sake of meeting the self-imposed ‘deadlines’ is a sacrifice in quality that isn’t an indicator of my work ethic. A different part of me claims that’s a cop out. My brain is floating through all the other things I’ve written, that I want to write, my other projects and the people I’m working on them with, and deciding what is it that I want. I don’t have an answer. Some days I don’t think you get one.
So this month, I didn’t get my answer. I have been fortunate to be doing more shows than I have before, and maybe I’ll be able to post some video of them up for you soon. I’m anxious about doing that. The perfectionist in me forbids anything but the most ideal sound, video, and performance, but reality rarely agrees. I’m still learning. Anyway, having the ability to do that more frequently makes updating this site much harder. That, or maybe I don’t have as many issues to write about as I thought I did. Hell, maybe that’s personal progress.
Like I said, this is a journal. It’s not all grand ideas, philosophy and armchair sociology. Some of it’s just me, clacking on my keyboard and wishing I had a thousand monkeys along side me so we’d at least come up with something. Maybe it’s a lull in creativity. Maybe it’s just how life works. If I were to try and leave you with something to ponder, it’s that we don’t always live up to our own expectations, and whether or not that’s good or bad, it’s temporary.
Who knows, maybe my head will be clearer in September.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.