Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So Much Guilt

I know when I'm listening to a mediocre album on repeat I shouldn't go anywhere near this blog. Particularly this album and particularly track #4 which is like the worst song ever. It's the Nickelback of this album. It should be cut out roughly with a very dull butter knife and sent back to the northern wastes to die by hypothermia or polar bear snack. But you have no idea what blog guilt feels like. It's like knowing you're lying to your best friend about sleeping with her ex. Sure you can forget about it while you're in his arms (the ex in this case being, I don't know, DOING stuff), but the minute you leave that happy warmth, you get hit with a cold icy semi-truck of Unattached Floating Unfocused Guilt. That's the kind of guilt that can get into all the little crevices, cause it isn't heavy like a weight, you know you're not doing anything REALLY wrong. It's just mildly awful and makes you a little nauseous all the time. The Carbon Monoxide of guilt.

There is so much stuff coming up these next two months though. For one, I have a shitload of stuff to get done in the next fourteen days. November 30th is officially my deadline from hell. By all rights I shouldn't be going anywhere at all for the rest of the month. But of course, it's also holiday season, so everyone and their alcoholic mother is having a party, and it's always the people who never have parties except once a year, so you sort of have to go. And since there are only 3.5 weekends in the holiday season, everyone's shit is right on top of each other. I am forced to pick and choose between friends and acquaintances ruthlessly, weighing the crowds and venues and themes against each other. Cookies and liquor always win, but then fuck, the cookie party and the liquor night are the same night. Karaoke versus Hipster Thanksgiving. Kegger versus Grilling of Lots of Meats. And I'd like to point out, I should be eating none of these things, liquor, cookies, or meats. I should be living on salad greens and very bland chicken breast. I should be living on paper and ink and nothing else. Instead I get stressed out about all these applications I have due, and I go out with Julie to Lilly's Chocolates and have that yummy marshmallow looking thing below, which is the Southern Comfort Tart and is indeed extremely comforting. Now I've got Bad Friend Guilt and Fat Girl Guilt in addition to Blogger Guilt. But wait, there's more...

Yeah, SOCIAL ACTIVISM GUILT. As in, I'm sitting over here living the pretty cozy life of the comfortably right above the poverty level single girl, which is a tenuous existence that could slip away at any moment, thrusting me back into my parents' house. And I'm actively planning to try and live a life where I will have no money, and no healthcare for the next 6 years at least, in exchange for an education and shitload of debt. So I, of all people, should be protesting with the Occupy people. But man, I got a job, I have to not get fired until I'm ready to quit. And even though I am totally behind the movement, I get confused by it as well. For instance, I actually think the nebulousness of the movement's demands are perfect, because it allows for the government to do something, anything, and they could still declare it a win. But I don't understand why they had a library. It's a protest, not a refugee camp. The protesters here in Cleveland sent out a list of stuff they needed, and it was things like peanut butter and tampons. I mean, I get why you're camping out, but you can't organize enough to send someone out for this shit? You can't leave for 15 minutes to walk to Tower City and buy tampons? There are actual homeless people in Cleveland who, if I'm going to be giving out free peanut butter and toiletries, are definitely getting first dibs on them, people. I'm all for bringing them cookies and coffee, if I had the money to do that, which I don't because I do things like buy sequined dresses. <----worst citizen ever.

When the raid happened on the Occupy Wall Street NY site, I had a weird experience that I spent all yesterday trying to tell people about. What happened is this: I usually sleep with my phone next to me, because I'm really praying to get a brain tumor by the time I'm fifty. That night, the raid happened around 1am, and my twitter feed blew up with updates from all the people I know in New York, and all the people they knew that they were passing along. My stupid cat kept waking me up all night crawling across my head. Apparently she's decided the only way to cross from one side of the bed to the other is on my pillow. So I would wake up and check my phone, read the updates about OWS, and then fall back asleep, only to have vivid third person dreams about whatever I had just read happened. The library being torn apart and thrown out. The doormen of buildings in the area being told to lock the occupants inside. The tear gassed protesters rushing to strangers homes nearby to shower. I spent the night in a half awake dreaming state of reading and then visualizing the news. When I woke up in the morning, I told Twitter about it, and it turned out several other people had the exact same experience, which feels monumental to me, feels like a real sign of the times to come when we have a chip in our heads that is streaming real time updates to us about everything all the time and even during our sleep cycles the subconscious is staying on top of Feed, so we dream the same things at the same time. Maybe that's awful and apocalyptic, but also a deep part of me, the insect part of me probably, the ant and bee and centipede part, is excited by the Prospect of the Grid. The Age of InterConnectivity. It's as if Twitter is a telegraph, and the phone is yet to be invented but we can see the shadow of it on the horizon.

So lastly, I've got Individualism versus the Comfort of the Collective Guilt. Ours is an Age of fighting against the Comfort.

No wait, lastly, I've got Tom Wolfe guilt, where I desperately want to write snarky things about organizations and projects and social media stuff that I can't shouldn't won't because I have friends involved in most of them, and maybe when I move out of town I'll get enough distance between us to kill that guilt and write some real and true stuff, but right now its all tempered by friendship, which sucks. Friendships are really killing me right now.

And let's not even talk about the upcoming avalanche of Guilt when I know I have to get rid of my cats by this Spring. I can't even begin to handle that right now.


  1. "The protesters here in Cleveland sent out a list of stuff they needed, and it was things like peanut butter and tampons."

    The progressive hippies of Cleveland in a nutshell. My head, it shakes.

  2. I think that's the thing right - believe in a cause and just let the stuff that bewilders you slide away, cause it's not the point.

  3. I am with the OWS movement - I'm not with the idiots who are just there because hey, let's protest something and pee in the streets! But our justice system is so BROKEN - I'm glad people are standing up to it in whatever way they can.

    Although, I'd bring tampons with me. AND peanut butter. Or else go home to shower and acquire both. Not sure why these people can't actually do that...

  4. Yeah, SOCIAL ACTIVISM GUILT. As in, I'm sitting over here living the pretty cozy life of the comfortably right above the poverty level single girl

    I have disabled veteran-retired pro boxer guilt... I feel you there Bridget... but I don't get where the fat girl guilt comes from... case I forget (which I will prolly do anyway) happy holidays...


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