Author Topic: Possible horrormirth entry?  (Read 4204 times)

Cain

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Possible horrormirth entry?
« on: September 21, 2009, 03:46:53 pm »
I dunno, I was originally aiming for that, but it changed a little along the way.  Still, I leave that decision up to LMNO.

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The average person not only lacks the skills to successfully navigate and thrive in the modern world, but to do anything productive at all with their life.  If they decide to follow a new diet, they'll drop it in a week.  If they decide to inform themselves about a particular issue, chances are they won't even finish reading the first article or book they find on the topic.  Do you know how many people actually still read books anymore?  The statistics will alarm you, and if they don't, then that is even more alarming.  Anyone who doesn't find a lack of intellectual curiousity to be a problem...I don't even know where to start with someone like you.

Most people cannot commit to anything.  Why?  Well, ask yourselves, what sort of a society do we live in?  Most of us here are American, or Canadian, or western European of some sort.  So lets do a little thought experiment.  Most of us here are intelligent and educated people, self or otherwise.  Lets imagine a few of us sat down and decided we wanted to start a professional, intellectual magazine, for sale in most major stores across the country.  Why would the publisher give you even five minutes of their time?  They know it wont sell.  Who wants to make a magazine where they lose all their money?  The publishers don't, and I doubt you do either.

What is the basis of advertising?  Instant stimulation.  Its a magic pill, something designed to make you react in some basic manner, to make you buy more, so the publisher can sell more advertising space to other companies who follow the same routine, the same basic technique.  What are the most basic stimulants?  Sex.  Crude and graphic violence.  Personal fulfillment.  And it has to be done repeatedly.  The problem is, repeated exposure to the same stimulus eventually bores someone.  No doubt some porn lovers are reading this.  Haven't you found yourselves becoming somewhat jaded with the ordinary fare that is available?  Sure, changing the "presentation", in this case the models used, can stave this off, as can spicing up the routine and limiting your exposure to it.  But the other end of the scale is to use as much exposure as possible, but only for a few seconds.  Then switch.  Go more extreme.  Switch again.

Sound like anything familiar?  Like the internet maybe?  The internet is a wonderful tool, don't get me wrong.  But sometimes, the amount of information that I am confronted with is overwhelming.  It becomes impossible to concentrate, I cannot keep with a single, long piece while so many others are going unread, unconsidered.  Attention wanes as demands for it increase.  And while the internet is the example I chose to use there, this is common to all forms of media.

As a consequence, we become desensitized, yet at the same time demanding of instant results, of gratification right now.  They need their fix, their stimulation, however it comes.  As a consequence, anything that takes effort, that takes work, falls apart.  It cannot be sustained, as there is no foundation, nothing secure to build on.

And gods know, I'm as guilty of this as anyone.  I had a workout regime in place.  Note the past tense.  I got ill, I didn't want to carry on, and when I got better, it felt good to lie in, instead of get up and start doing press-ups, crunches and a long run.  I want to be the world's greatest expert on terrorism.  But that takes hours of hard reading and assimilation of data, which I could use to watch repeats of House M.D. instead, which amuses me.  I want to write another three rants for PD, but the subject nature means I need to do quite a bit of reading, and to construct a logical, persuasive argument.  I could use that time to replay Neverwinter Nights, as an assassin instead of a rogue this time (because the two are so fucking different, right?).

And I'm better than most people.  I don't say that to boast, I know it as a fact.  I dragged myself out of the world's deepest canyon, on barely any food, with my limbs numb from hours of painful climbing.  My comrades had blacked out at times, fallen down from the difficulty of the task.  We moved so slowly it felt like we never actually got any higher.  That was pure willpower.  The body wasn't willing, but I made it do as I wanted, regardless.  And when I got to the top, I laughed, and spat on the canyon that thought it could constrict me, control my options.  How many people that you meet, on a day to day basis, do you think are capable of that?

The fact is, some jobs are tedious.  Some skills take years, if not decades, to perfect.  And if you cannot concentrate to acquire those skills, then you are in a very bad place.  We have been trained, like Pavlovian dogs, to look for the quick fix, the easy solution, the magic pill.  Working is hard, can't I just use the POWER OF TECHNOLOGY to find me a short cut, to cheat, we ask, as if this can obviously apply to everything, if only we paid enough for it.  "There are no royal roads to wisdom", as Plato once said.  Slow, steady, long term and not immediately obvious progress is completely outside of the frame of reference for so many people.

THIS IS WHAT SELLS.  MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE YOU HAVE A SHORT CUT, THAT WILL ONLY CAUSE THEM MONETARY LOSS, AND THEY WILL BREAK DOWN YOUR DOOR IN ORDER TO GET IT.

Get up.  Have your daily hit of caffeine.  Go work in your little cubicle for an 8 hour shift (or on your factory line, or behind the till), go home, collapse for 5 hours, eat whatever you like, laze around, indulge yourself, pick the products you want off the teevee and YOUR LIFE WILL BE COMPLETE.  That's not a life, man.  That's wasting away, being a meaningless cog.  Do your work...but don't work too hard, because its pretty dull.  Do just enough to not get sacked.  Don't experiment with a fancy foreign meal, just order takeaway, or better yet, shove something in the microwave.  Don't try and go out and have an adventure - get your thrills by living vicariously through a celebrity or fictional character.  THIS ISN'T "LIVING", ITS DOING "JUST ENOUGH TO AVOID DYING".  Is just enough good for you?  Does just enough really satisfy?  Or does it leave you with a gnawing, crippling doubt about yourself?  This is your only shot, and you are wasting it on repeats of Friends?  You may never come back here, you want to miss out on all the cool stuff that is possible?

And the worst part is, even when people realize this, they can't find a way out.  The quick fix, magic pill mentality is so bred into their bones, that even if they want to change, they can't, because they want the sort of change that is instantaneous.  You know, the sort that only exists in films, bad fiction, TV programs and the minds of people who have watched too many adverts.  

People aren't dumb.  I don't believe that.  To be dumb in this age is to be dead, no-one can truly get through life being entirely stupid.  But they do get bad media.  Unrealistic understandings of the world, calculated manipulations of the inherent quirks in most of our brains.  Most people who avoid such a pitfull, I would guess they got lucky.  Maybe they were blessed with a slightly higher IQ, or they suffered a traumatic event which forced them to change, or they were isolated from such media in the first place.  Or a bunch of other reasons entirely.  

But to change, you need to die.  To die to everything you know.  The protection of the calm, day to day routine, must be shattered.  You cannot change who you ARE unless you change what you DO.  And breaking habits is not just hard, it is also scary.  You are giving up everything you know, to risk it all, not just on something new, but to exist, for a while, with no sense of ontological security.  No sense of being to define yourself against others, or to identify with others.  To become a nothing, a cypher, a null point of potentiality.  And there is always the possibility of failure to contend with.

However, to survive in this current society, you gotta get paid.  No use trying to change the habits of a lifetime if you cannot feed yourself, or have a little fun now and then.  I don't know what the solution is, and I doubt most other people who have thought about it do either.

Which is why instead of maximising our potential as thinking, sentient creatures, we are turning into a first world version of South Pacific cargo cultists, desperately selling our shiny, useless talismans and fake pills to each other, while we forget how to be able to do anything else that requires effort.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 03:57:59 pm by Cain »

LMNO

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 03:52:04 pm »
Wow.  Good post.

I'll link to it in the Contest thread.


Payne

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 03:59:11 pm »
Shit yeah.

I need to write something still for Horrormirth, I may riff off of a few ideas this gave me.

Quote
But to change, you need to die.  To die to everything you know.  The protection of the calm, day to day routine, must be shattered.  You cannot change who you ARE unless you change what you DO.  And breaking habits is not just hard, it is also scary.

In particular is something that rings true. It's been said before in different ways, but it is still a powerful idea that hasn't been explored enough (in my opinion).

Jenne

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 04:18:44 pm »
:mittens:  The sad thing is, even if you do die to a large part of what's "normal"...the fact that normal is so easily gained again makes the "lessons" from that dying unforgivably obsolete in many, many ways.

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 08:02:53 am »
MOTHERFUCKING :mittens: CAIN!

dunno if it is Horrormirth cause I enjoyed reading it a lot, but fuck yeah, I'm should put some more EFFORT in my life, and I will start .. tomorrow :) [no seriously I have a good reason today to put my effort into appearing like a worthless dysfunctional cog and looking forward to when I can drop that shit after this day]
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e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

INFORMATION SO POWERFUL, YOU ACTUALLY NEED LESS.

The Johnny

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 11:12:54 pm »
The average person not only lacks the skills to successfully navigate and thrive in the modern world, but to do anything productive at all with their life..  Do you know how many people actually still read books anymore? 

Apathy and bottomless hedonistic self indulgence is the name of the game.

Why would the publisher give you even five minutes of their time?  They know it wont sell.  Who wants to make a magazine where they lose all their money?  The publishers don't, and I doubt you do either.

Hell, i would be into it. The problem for me would be to find people interested in the same subject, and to also find a subject that interests me enough to keep talking about for a long time. And losing money i dont mind, the problem is how much money, which would have to be to not affect my pocket too deeply. A lot of things nowadays are money-centric, but im sure most here deviate from that ideology.

What is the basis of advertising?...  The problem is, repeated exposure to the same stimulus eventually bores someone...

Speaking as a psychology student, i feel my anti-thesis on a career level are publicists and those related in creating advertisements. It can be said in a sense that im training to de-wire neurosis, while they are trained to exploit them. Culture is filled with peopel that are "thrill seekers" and thrill can be experimented by novel things and activities within drugs, sex, violence and adrenaline... that path a bottomless pit and an endless road.

Like the internet maybe? ... And while the internet is the example I chose to use there, this is common to all forms of media...

Youtube is a great example... any audio-visual oriented media is part of the predominant culture today... why? because to see is a direct form to assimilate in some level, whereas to read you have to concentrate to be able to assimilate information...

I dragged myself out of the world's deepest canyon...,How many people that you meet, on a day to day basis, do you think are capable of that?

The only difference between an animal and a human is its capability to choose to respond to its biological imperatives (to a wider spectrum, of course, with consecuences). Most humans nowadays are more cabbage than human, i dont find it to be coincidence that in the discordian initiation rites one is asked if one is a cabbage...

You may never come back here, you want to miss out on all the cool stuff that is possible?

Thats the problem i personally have with religion. Tons of people are pseudo-religious because they dont want to accept that they will cease to exist one day - when you accept the fact that you will die someday and you might turn to nothingness takes a bit of guts and honesty. Religion is the safeguard against that fear/anxiety and supresses the need to do anything because "well gee, i have either eternity or paradise to do THAT". Wishful thinking turned into ideology.

People aren't dumb. But they do get bad media.  Unrealistic understandings of the world, calculated manipulations of the inherent quirks in most of our brains

I have learned to live without a radio or TV. My only day to day media is the internet. And i just go to Youtube when im looking something specific or someone reccomended it. People arent lazy, they work like mules - they are lazy intellectually, and that in a certain sense is being dumb.

However, to survive in this current society, you gotta get paid.  No use trying to change the habits of a lifetime if you cannot feed yourself, or have a little fun now and then.  I don't know what the solution is, and I doubt most other people who have thought about it do either.

Perhaps to study a career that covers the economic minimums while fulfilling personal likings. I think that is possible in every field, perhaps harder to do with the arts. On terms of free time, to try and not fall for the traps that mass media puts our ways and find what has meaning to each.

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 01:14:41 pm »
:mittens:
- So the New World Order does not actually exist?
- Oh it exists, and how!
Ask the slaves whose labour built the White House;
Ask the slaves of today tied down to sweatshops and brothels to escape hunger;
Ask most women, second class citizens, in a pervasive rape culture;
Ask the non-human creatures who inhabit the planet:
whales, bears, frogs, tuna, bees, slaughtered farm animals;
Ask the natives of the Americas and Australia on whose land
you live today, on whose graves your factories, farms and neighbourhoods stand;
ask any of them this, ask them if the New World Order is true;
they'll tell you plainly: the New World Order… is you!

Kai

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 02:29:48 pm »
I really liked this.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2009, 05:26:31 pm »
I wonder if it was ever thus - although the internet provides a massive number of distractions, it also vastly increases the number of ways in which a person can inform himself, and I doubt that the number of people born with natural gifts which include an insatiable curiosity about the universe has dropped since, for example, the Renaissance.

Perhaps the difference lies in the attributes of this age, which is one of flux. The human mind, which was a perfectly good survival tool for the several hundred thousand years in which the only major leaps forward were the leisurely transitions from stone to bronze and from bronze to iron, finds itself adrift, baffled by the fantastic rate of change, driven into retreat and insularity. We're not sure what to do, or who to be - unable to deal with the fundamental problems, we fixate upon small things - what shoes define me as a person? In the absence of certainty of purpose, will a Trilby do instead?

I mean, I paint. Or at least, I try to. I go to my studio, and stand there in front of my easel, horror-struck by the enormity of everything that's gone before - several decades since a factory-produced urinal became High Art, how can I choose a way to go when anything and everything, all of possibility, lies open? Sometimes I start something, and find I have used Gauguin's colours, and then I remember Freud's and think that no, that isn't it. That isn't it at all.

It was easier to paint, I imagine, when painting was mostly empty, saccharine reflections on Classical myth designed to titillate the rich, even if only because there was something to reject. So it is with living.

We're like those Russian women who, after the Berlin Wall came down and the West flooded in, would go to the new supermarket to buy washing powder and find themselves paralysed by choice, weeping in the detergents aisle, baffled by innumerable brightly-coloured boxes. Before, there had only been a handful, and they did not know what to do.

Kai

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2009, 10:17:27 pm »
I doubt it's the fantastic rate of change these days that causes the paralysis. The human mind is quick to put up filters and block the need to scream from the colors and sounds and textures that wobble throughout a person's daily routine, or otherwise we'd be stuck in a Doors of Perception type situation and get run over.

Though choice may cause paralysis, I think that can be remedied. The real cause is routine, and the safety of routine, and the /fear/ of loosing that safe routine day after day, because at least it's a known evil, at least it's expected. The paleolithic hunters would have rushed with mouths watering to the sort of safe routine we have in our western world but we have turned it into religion, with the television as our god. And we worship it with ROUTINE and with HABITUATION and this all turns into a laziness of mind and a fear of change. It's not that we can't, its that we don't want to, and so we are paralyzed because Routine is too comfortable.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: Possible horrormirth entry?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 05:52:17 pm »
I think both can be true, in some measure - these impulses seem to work, at least on me, as an opposing pair: comfortable routine pulls from below, whilst indecision or even worry about change pushes down from above.

Interestingly, there was an article published today on the odd paralysis that accompanies an excess of choice:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/05/charlie-brooker-cultural-diet