There’s been so many false starts to this article that I’ve almost given up trying to write it. In fact, I’ve almost forgotten why I pitched it.
It’s as if I can’t get access to the part of my brain that links ideas together coherently. Either that or a negative mood is befogging me and everything I’m writing is actually good and I just can’t see it. Something isn’t right. Whatever it is, it’s blocking me off from my inner voice and stifling my creativity as well my ability to communicate. It’s an elusive, nagging force, running in the back ground of my wandering mind, slowly rendering me joyless with the passage of each waking moment.
I better go and warn everybody on Twitter.
Today I’m feeling a lot better. It’s time to make some changes around here. My lifestyle needs an overhaul. I’m letting myself go and life is just passing me by. Finally, after what seems like ages of feeling depressed my inner voice is finally coming through. It’s calling me to action. It’s telling me to stop putting things off and just seize the moment. I’ll start on Monday once I’ve announced my epiphany online.
That premature declaration of my intention didn’t get the response I was looking for. Who knows why? Everybody on Facebook is always announcing something aren’t they? I figured I had to announce something otherwise everyone might think I’m not as busy as the other people who are always announcing stuff.
Why can’t everyone see I’m Ghandi? Why can’t everyone see he’s a fraud?
My only option is to post a vague, general, passive aggressive status aimed at the people in my head who I’ve decided must hate me.
I have no other choice.
For some reason that rubbed everyone up the wrong way. In fact, some people disagreed. One person even called me arrogant. Idiot. Why does nobody appreciate my subtlety ? It’s obvious these plebs resent the way I constantly understate my position. How dare they accuse me of having a massive ego? Do they even realise how talented I am? If they did they’d know that my false humility is perfectly pitched.
In fact, I don’t think I get enough credit for how humble I am.
Only yesterday I was flying higher than my opinion of myself. Today I am cowering beneath the pile. Why don’t people like me? It’s either because these people want to oppress me or because this country is being torn apart by (insert minority group, institution, political ideology, religion or economic model of your choice).
It’s the only explanation for why people would disagree with me. Either that or I have some new mental illness.
Stayed up all night drinking and puffing. It really helped me focus while I was researching this rare new psychological ailment I am about to diagnose myself with.
My pride is hurt and I feel unpopular. I can’t figure out where I’m going wrong. I used the internet to challenge people and they used the internet to challenge me back. The people I challenged just don’t get me at all plus I don’t like the way they challenge me. It’s rude. It’s as if they are choosing to completely ignore the sophisticated layers of context at play in my imagination. Why is everyone stupid? Why is everyone a knuckle-dragger? Why is everyone part of an irritating subculture? Why is everyone not quite with it like I am? Why does everyone fail to understand that I derive my moral authority from arbitrary factors I have no control over, like my nationality, gender, race, political party and religion and so, in essence, to disagree with me is actually unethical.
It seems the only solution to my internal discord is to become passionate about permanently re-ordering the world around my temporary emotional limitations and intellectual blind-spots.
Maybe this could be the topic of my next status. The world needs to share in my clarity of thought.
Here’s me thinking my stunningly reasoned argument would be embraced by the plebs as a welcome wake up call. But no, they get all angry and start insulting me. I think maybe we might have to look at changing the law so that my shit ideas are protected from criticism. These people are so stupid they can’t even see that I am trying to help them become better people like me. So much prejudice out there and all I was trying to do was stand up to it by writing about a whole subculture of society in a generalised way. I’m going to have to do another post demanding other people defend me publicly and insinuate subtly that if they don’t then they are complicit in some form of industrial scale corruption or abuse.
Time for me to assign an imaginary character to a cross-section of the population based on averaging out a few bad experiences I’ve had with people online and use that wild assumption as the basis for my next rhetorical assault.
But first I need a popular cause or disadvantaged group in society I can claim to speak on behalf of; a Trojan horse to get my own personal politics – and me – a bit of cultural airtime. Then that way, if people disagree with me they are also disagreeing with the morality I have come to personify by virtue of my endless rhetoric.
Last week football was my weapon of choice. Maybe this week I’ll make some sneering remarks about religion or politics or gender or race. Emboldened by the re-tweets I get from similarly needy people, hopefully I’ll finally receive that much needed personal validation I’ve been looking for. That self-centred, solipsistic, intellectually dishonest pedantry I’ve been engaging in is finally paying off. Looks like nobody has even noticed how desperate I am to be well thought of by strangers. Twelve people have interacted with me in the last 30 – minutes. This is evidence of my wit and fortitude. Finally, that horrific insecurity that’s been driving all of my behaviour temporarily subsides.
People like me again. I feel loved and supported. My human desire for connection has been satisfied and I have returned to a less reactive posture. I am calm and even able to experience strange obscure emotions like gratitude and empathy.
I woke up in the middle of the night from a vivid nightmare in which people I regard as socially important or culturally prestigious began randomly unfollowing me. The nightmare was made worse by the fact Twitter provides no function through which one may ascertain the specific reason as to why someone of note decided to abruptly exit the news feed without so much as a goodbye. If only I knew what tweet it was that made them unfollow me. If only I could explain. In the nightmare I got out of bed and started chapping doors in the middle of the night, waking strangers out of their sleep to ask them if they had ever unfollowed me and if so, why?
The crazy ideas you have in dreams eh? I better go and warn everybody on Facebook about how social media is inherently malign. It must be. After all, if social media wasn’t so evil then surely I would be a happier, sexier, smarter, friendlier, grateful, wealthier and more popular person?
I’m really unhappy. It mustbe because of the world.
Who am I kidding? This is so juvenile. The internet has become a way for me to obey my isolation urge. I don’t meet people well. I’m uneasy at a party – unless I’m drunk. I need to be careful here. It’s quite possible that many of my beliefs about the world around me are inaccurate. It’s quite possible that my basic human need to feel safe and secure socially has led to a massive over-simplification of life itself. An over-simplification in which I afford myself all of the luxuries of context, good faith, compassion, understanding, patience and forgiveness, while denying them to almost everyone else I come into contact with over the course of 7 days.
My mind is full of self; chattering away while I pretend I’m listening to other people. Not only that but I am a total hypocrite; a hyperbolic airgun with an overly romanticised view of my function in society. Somewhere along the line I slipped into this awful character. Even worse, my livelihood and social-standing are now inextricably linked to maintaining an absurdly narrow outlook on life. The clicks and the follows and the friend requests and the shares and the retweets and the crowdfunds and the big fees for doing very little work simply won’t be possible unless I’m drawing attention to my avatar by taking extreme positions on everything.
I am the sole manufacturer of the cacophonous crescendo of confusion in own life. I’m a polluter of human consciousness that churns out rhetorical bile based on being dishonest about my own prejudices and motives. This bile then manifests as a frustratingly reductive society and my solution to that problem is to pretend I am some crusader who wants to change it for the benefit of everyone else.
Because I’d rather do that than log off my computer and look in the mirror at my own absurdity. My partner recoils at the thought of my touch. I don’t know how to talk to my friends any more.
My life is about trying to mute every other form of bullshit so my own brand of sanctimony can ascend. I’m a selfish, dangerous ego-maniac who hates to see other people doing well.
Everyone else is popular. Everyone else is happy. But how can they be happy and well-adjusted to a world that leaves me feeling so deeply dissatisfied?
Could social media be making me sick? Could I be making me sick?
Wait, I’ve got it. Finally the truth that has been staring me in the face.
No more self-deception.
No more fear of reality.
Finally that ray of self-awareness has struck me like a sunrise.
I am a lone reed, uniquely burdened by the weight of fateful purpose, bravely defiant in a field full of delusional sociopaths.
I’ll pitch this profound idea as an opinion piece tomorrow.
Roll on Monday.
Reproduced with the author’s permission from his personal site