119. thoughts on thinking
Frustrations have been weighing heavily on my mind this week. I won’t go into details (not yet) but I was hanging out with a good friend of mine sharing these frustrations and he said something like, “yeah, you think about those big issues don’t you?” And I kind of let it slip by me, but it did get me thinking…about thinking. What if I stopped worrying and thinking about all the things I think and worry about. What if I just go from day to day, not worrying about the widening political divide between liberals and conservatives, about the worldwide spread of consumeristic hedonism and the church’s blatant adoption of that culture, about all the everyday injustices (mostly perceived rather than actual, I’ll admit) that plague my life, about the problem of being thirty three and single.
What if I just stopped thinking about all of this and just didn’t care about any of it. I mean it’s not like I can really do anything about any of it, so why care? I mean, sure I have to live in a world and those problems will impinge upon me in more or less concrete ways from time to time, but for the most part, I could arrange my life in such a way as to minimize the intrusion. So why not? Why care?
Of course I can’t just do that. These are things I care about and that makes up a part of who I am. I mean, what else would I think about? What else would I do if I wasn’t thinking about these things? These are the things that I’m interested in, and I doubt I could content myself with just living apart from them. And it’s a moot point anyway because it’s not like I’m talking about a vase on my shelf that I can just throw out and be done with.
If I could just abandon this way of thinking, I think finding a girlfriend would be a lot simpler. See as it is right now, I’m looking for someone who shares my concerns, maybe not the exact same ones but someone who is thinking about the world and what’s wrong with it – someone whose thoughts extend past the area immediately around them, someone who wants to see past the surface of things. Without this burden, I could simply woo the first pretty face I see and go about building a blissfully ignorant life full of non-weighty movies, cheezy reality television, and ultra-lame corporate-drone music. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Geeze…I don’t know the term for it but I know that all of this is the kind of thinking that socialists would blame on the luxuries of the bourgeoisie. There’s a verse in Billy Bragg’s song, “Waiting For The Great Leap Forward,” that goes like this:
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro’s brother spies a rich lady who’s crying
Over luxury’s disappointment
So he walks over and he’s trying
To sympathise with her but he thinks that he should warn her
That the third world is just around the corner
What I mean to say is, I can think about these abstract problems in the abstract (I mean, ask me what I’m doing about any of it) because I have the time to do so – time which I have because of the comparatively cushy life I live (not that you’re going to be seeing me on VH1’s show, The Fabulous Life, anytime soon, but still, compared to most of my friends I’ve got it pretty good).
I don’t know, I’d like to think that even if I did have a harder life (like if I had to work two jobs to make ends meet), that I’d still be thinking about these same things. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the new problems I’d have is trying to find enough free time to think about the problems that really concern me.
…but you know what?
This is a really pointless blog (because I have the time to write a pointless blog, no doubt). In reality, maybe all I’m doing is doing something else so I don’t have to write my novel (which is not doing well, btw). I know I’m not going to reach the 50,000 word count, but I’m still trying to write something everyday just to sort of fulfill the spirit of the event.
The novel is taking a darker turn (as evidenced by the chapter titled, “Domestic”…see blog 118) and as such, it’s getting even harder to write because I’m not sure if I want to go there. On top of that, it still reads far more like a collection of short stories than a novel. I know I said I wasn’t going to worry about that, but…but I do.
Okay, enough dicking around. Back to the “novel.”