This post is mostly about the idea of community, but also here is very enjoyable coverage of London Comic Con by Flickering Myth. Seems like a nice bunch, and I do wish that Blade the best of luck. Though the whole thing is worth watching, it’s timestamped to Rila Fukushima making faces in the background as Willa Holland is interviewed.
So anyway, these days a typical “good” community is a bit more tenuous and subjective, but society’s prototypical ideal remains the same and that was generally about a community of one kind of people, largely part of a design in which those who are poor or too ethnic aren’t welcome. Things that are prototypical are somewhat static because they’re the privileged status quo.
The form of community where people come together for the good of more than just some privileged people is less static, as is simple camaraderie — which is mostly a thing people have with over devotees of their chosen or non-chosen religion or pop culture. Camaraderie for people who don’t particularly care about wielding or being next to power, even in the form of a “good” community, sometimes seems like the rarest thing in the world.
If you’ve ever wandered the stacks of a library and thumbed through the books just looking for something interesting, maybe it took you a shelf or two — maybe even a series of shelves, ’cause even when publishing was thriving and not so much about it books, there was of course the catering to privilege — but surely something that spoke to you appeared. Something like, “Unlearning Hemperkin’s Rules for Optimum Snobbery.” Maybe the words were in a book that didn’t even have its cover sleeve anymore, something as tattered for the passing of time as it might have been for being read so much. I think blogs can be sort of like those particular volumes, except of course that they’re an ongoing process.
And that ongoing process isn’t always so big with the going. Some of my favorite bloggers came and went in an instant; I don’t think it was due to a waning attention span, at least not in and of itself. Life is hard, and if you’re not getting paid from some soft-ish perch to write about what it’s like for those folks on the rocks, written word upkeep means having to occasionally tear pieces of yourself off for fuel — metaphorically, of course.
One of the perennial Zeitgest narratives is about apathy; it’s usually more about “care more!” than the reasons people become apathetic. Having to deal with basic human selfishness is hard enough, but there’s also the manifest destiny of privileged comfort. Blogdom has a lot of greatness to offer, but at its generalized best its landscape also has these smiley commerce- and privilege-driven ideals that are nice to disconnect from for a bit.
So maybe to really appreciate any notion of a new year, one has to settle into it for a while, to the point where maybe it’s February and the so called “new” year really just seems like a continuation of the last. Okay, obviously the newness is in the calendar year, but there’s this always this sense that things could be miraculously new. Less sparkly and nicer than that, I think, is simply the whole life continued thing. And so here’s continuing.
I’d noticed a lot of people didn’t really enjoy the holidays; they’re a time when hype makes people feel like they should be part of something either conducive to fulfilled materialism (which is always going to leave one feeling empty) or, more ideally, something warm, loving and fulfilling. But that latter bit isn’t easy to come by; rather, it’s what we should be trying to build toward every day, and life, with its pains and scars amid a world of hegemonies, makes that hard. So when it comes to a particularly so called holiday like Valentine’s Day, instead of feeling left out of some loop, give yourself a break from the notion that life should be this commercial where fulfillment is effortless and people gloriously trade in cultural capital.
In other news, I’ve obviously let up on the posts — but I certainly plan on trying to add to the about the blog-ness when I can. The Eleanor Davis interview I did a few posts ago is something I think is pretty great, in that regard.
Thanks for visiting this at present infrequently updated blog. Less is more, folks.
The news about Robin Williams seems to have given millions of people a sense of pause, in a way that many people wish would happen for the loved ones in their own lives. Some have resented the enormous presence this has had in media, and such opinions have been dismissed as anything from insensitivity to the somewhat mythic “reverse racism.” But with the senseless shootings that take place everyday, such a reaction is hardly completely devoid of humanity. Maybe it’s not the beacon that the media likes to pretend humanity is when something senseless happens, but a little self-concern when your looks are demonized should be understandable.
As is feeling for Williams. I don’t know that people’s affection for him is generally about the admiration of stardom; he was a unique entertainer, somebody who mixed a lot of heart into that one-of-a-kind whirlwind humor. That he so obviously wanted to make people laugh and smile in a goofy kind of way might have worked against him a little career-wise, in an increasingly moment- and cool-obsessed media. The art of being a goofball is not one that always seems vital and contemporary, but the world would be incredibly dull without it. Quite possibly even to himself, Williams’ merits became underappreciated — in the way that most people juxtaposed with a one-sided notion of “vital and contemporary” often always are.
The tributes are understandable, but a substantial part of the media reaction is entirely about Williams’ stardom and what can be milked from the combination of it and tragedy. That this generally trumps the senseless shootings of people who aren’t stars or considered All-American enough is ridiculous. Even with what’s happening in Missouri, perhaps only such an extreme example of the kind of messy unfairness that happens everyday makes it linger in the media. There’s also a tiny bit of self-righteousness that gets to be utilized, with the crusaders of justice for all who are on the nicer side of some subdivision themselves.
The only positives from this all seems to be a greater cultural awareness of institutional bias and depression, neither of which should add up to someone being ostracized. Often it’s all a mess, but really, it’s not just a mess, and you’re certainly worth the fight to not be overwhelmed by acutely feeling the worst of it. If it’s too much of one, don’t try to go it alone. .
Thinking too much is a double-edged sword. Wait, aren’t all swords double-edged? I’m no expert, but … never mind. You see, thinking too much.
Understanding the world is vital, but thinking too much about its unfairness and myriad of hardships — not a great time. And yet, if you think awareness is the point of being conscious, that’s just par for the course. A double-edged sword — though qualities do seem to have more depth the thoughtful way. Maybe that’s a silver lining.