What is that smell? Is it me? Can other people smell that? If it's not me, then who is it? How many people in this room secretly wonder if they smell okay? How do they check?
I should be working right now, but I haven't written anything this month and that doesn't feel right. It's not that I haven't had ideas, I've had many, but whenever I sit down to research them, think about them, and put something out there, I feel like I need to do it more justice. It requires more thought, better representation. I suppose that's just a maturation of process; rather than sit down and clack on a keyboard all willy-nilly (I'm fine with that word whether you are or not), now I'm more interested in what others have to say about the topic. I find my research portions broadening, articles become bigger and more complex.
The more complex it becomes, the less novel it is, and effectively, less fun. I still enjoy the process, but the initiatives fade once it comes time to tweak. I lack finishing touches. Because I write for work now, as well as write here, it's become a little more sundry and at the same time, much more mundane. I learn a lot of new and interesting things, but I do it so frequently it earns little more than a nod before I move on to something else. It's difficult to maintain an interest in nuance when you're exposed to so much all the time. Most of the articles I've started this month tend to peter out because the more complex the idea becomes, the less inclined I am to do it. It would seem that the mind can only maintain a certain level of intricacy before it starts craving teacup pigs.
I went through some old blogs I used to enjoy for inspiration, and noticed they seem to go through a similar tapering off, admittedly after they've become far more established; usually they get a book deal, or release a big project that requires time and business brains, and they put their artistic side on temporary hold as they paradoxically promote their artistic side.
As far as I can tell, everyone does it, it is the nature of this beast. It's how you make a living without a day job: proving yourself becomes your day job. As I leafed through them though, something else struck me that I wasn't sure how to process; even when attempting to sound humble, there was an inevitable level of self importance that came across to me when reading later posts by people who were established in contrast to their earlier, just for yucks pieces.
I wondered, was it me? Was I jealous because that's a status I want to achieve, or was it something else, did they lose touch with something as they became better known?
Creation is effectively some kind of intellectual masturbation, and whatever its product, when and if it's shared, feels like life. If you think about that as you ejaculate your ideas and pictures, songs, videos, "content" ... you're asking a lot from people when you ask them to pay attention to you. When people do start paying attention to you, you're left with a weird power that I haven't witnessed many people handle well. Either you're a self-loathing narcissist who no longer trusts any one to tell them the truth about what they're doing, or they're so self-aggrandized and even attempts to sound humble and thank people sound insincere and self congratulatory. You see your Self in people through your art. Presumably, they respond to what they're doing because they see their Self in it. Self, self, self. It is their Self in your Self, and the expectation is that you will like it that way because you've liked it that way before.
Seeing yourself in other people can limit your ability to see them as a complex individual. This is fantastically illustrated by the incalculably creepy videos of Aphex twin ...
Everyone has the same face. Fuck if I know what he as an artist intends with this metaphor, but to me it illustrates how creepy that insincere promise of connection is. The idea of false sincerity really bothers us, too, because we crave connection. As creatives, we feel that connection through our art form. I wonder if it's really false; artists want to connect with people through what they create, but you spend so much time hyping it, getting people to notice its importance, that I wonder if inevitably, too much noise accumulates in your head and you're less capable of sincerely connecting with others.
Maybe there's just a finite number of people you can do that with, or, more alarmingly still, you become so reduced to your art form by the competitive nature of making it as an artist, that you lose your ability to connect with people by any other means.
You have to believe that what you're saying is worth something to the world, but you can't expect it to. It's no wonder people develop strange idolistic views of themselves after so many years of requiring that belief in what they do. You may come to expect other people to want to connect with you by default, to support you because that's what people do with you.
I don't know if that is an inevitable fate, but it's certainly a common one. I was trying to think of how to avoid that personally, if it ever came up. There have been times where people I don't know try to connect with me after a show, thanking me and being very kind and generous with their openness.
That's great, but I have no fucking idea what to do with that. I am an awkward person and relatively solitary by nature. If I don't feel whatever it is I feel that compels me to a conversation, it probably won't happen. I've been a dick about this in the past, but I'm a self-aware dick which ... I don't know, sounds like a great way to be anxious as fuck, if you think about it too hard.
I don't know what to do with people who have felt connected to me that I have no response to, or can't reciprocate, and even saying that makes me feel terrible because I'm nobody. This isn't an all the time thing for me, I'm not so cool that people run up to me constantly. That's what makes it so strange and difficult to know what to do with people who want to be friends or connect. I'm still on that small pond, human-to-human level. I can't imagine what it's like for people who have "made it" to being house hold names and have to deal with that expectation from people in other countries that they haven't met. It's the same thing in reverse; maybe you develop that expectation of seeing yourself in everyone because, as far as your world goes, that's how everyone treats you.
I may never be one of the big fish. I will most certainly always be an awkward one, regardless. I'm going to handle people being nice to me poorly. When I think about the idea of expectation, the expectations people have of you and that you have of them, the only common factor is whatever it is you create. The only option, to me, is to continue to create, even if it smells weird or comes out sideways. You may not be able to connect to your heroes on a human-to-human level, but you can create to art that makes you feel connected as a human, which is pretty special.
I guess we just have to be prepared to be let down when we meet the squishy, insecure weirdo we thought we had somehow bonded with, and they treat us like the strangers we are in reality. The things we make are what we have in common, and if, as an artist, you stop doing that, or do it without whatever ineffable drive is that caused you to in the first place, you lose that commonality that you have with your audience. We have to retain our humility by knowing that we should expect nothing, because we're speaking directly to anyone; it just so happens that they are listening.
Is that a good ending? I feel rusty.
Hi. That smell wasn't me, I figured it out. Raccoons were involved. I hope you liked this article. Here's the thing: I can't afford to renew this website in 2017 ( I keep buggering off my day job because of smells) so I'm hoping that people who check out this site can help. I'm only asking for donations until I can afford my renewal -- not looking for a profit from this site. If you want to help me out, go to the support link up top or just click here.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.