Distortionary Dialogues

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Some Thoughts On What It Means to Add a Day To Your Life [working title]

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This is a diary entry providing an hour-by-hour account of the first night that Michael Greenbury entirely refused sleep while attempting to write a paper in the debate team's closet-office located in UC Berkeley's Hearst Memorial Gymnasium. Age 18, time of writing: 2013.

[1:47 AM] I'm inclined to just sort of sit and think right now. Looking at a night and a day
that are ahead of me overwhelms me. There just appears to be a lot. I feel as if I have much
time to prepare for my day, and yet that there is no time. Not that there is not enough time,
but that there is literally no conception of time. Anti-time. This room that I am in escapes
the confines of it. Of course, once the numbers that I see in the corner of my laptop screen
draw closer to, say, 7 or 8 in the morning, time will likely become much more real to me.
I suspect that I will have a panic attack at that time. I shall see. Note: I originally
wished to write 'we shall see', as if I'm speaking (writing) to a group of people here. I mean,
of course I am! But, there are no people here with me. It is now 1:51. If the lights shut off
at 2, I hope to be ready. I am not worried about getting freaked out since I can situate
my view away from the window (the only real point of eeriness, as it is the only outlet to
the physically outer world and away from this zero-point I find myself in [how odd that the
world-that-is-not comforts me so much that anything beyond it, that is NOT it, causes me to
sweat]) and maintain myopia fairly easily.

[1:56 AM] The feeling of having not showered in 32 hours and also having accumulated the grime
that accompanies a period of comatosity [a word? probably not] is the feeling of grosseness.
That is to say, not the feeling of having a gross amount of something (although, in this case,
certainly a gross amount of grime) but of actually feeling as if one is grime.

[1:59] one minute now. I'm ready, but if the lights shut off, I will not be. An odd
position to find one's self in.

[2:00] Nothing has shut off yet. There are many hours until the sun rises.

[2:02] First exposure to Aubrey Plaza: enjoying her role in this film, Safety Not Guaranteed.
Identify with misanthropic quality that juxtaposes with clear, inner sense of empathy and
longing as expressed in opening monologue. My younger [older? as in historical? adjectives are
a curious subject] self maintained the view that it might be better to put up a front - I do
not believe this to be the case any longer, but I more than sympathize with the viewpoint and
maintain modicum faith in its utility/validity.

[2:04] Lights still on. Hope this keeps up. I would love for the lights to be on at 5 AM. Wish
I had company. Preferably feminine, open to physical (although, not necessarily sexual)
contact. This is something that I cannot escape, despite being away from my bed.

[2:05] HAHAHAHA IS JONAH HILL AUBREY PLAZA'S FATHER HAHAHA WHAT. Nevermind, it's Jeff Garlin.
With curlier hair, he looks like Jonah Hill CONFIRMED. Aside: considering masturbation. I find
it weird, though, so I won't.

[2:14] I find this film's use of the term 'retards' problematic. Why do people believe that
language is not significant? Or, rather, that language is not so utterly and totally
significant that it demands constant inspection? This occurs on the obviously dumb level when
people deploy pejortatives that quite obviously, dumbly commit themselves to racism, sexism,
etc. - a conflation between simians and blacks, reference to women as sluts (w/negative
conntn), etc. Then, there are the people who understand these things. I speak of those who
are aware and deploy phrases such as 'slut-shaming', 'heteronormative', 'ableist', in their
confrontations with the obviously dumb, negative language of the former category of person.
-aside YO I AM THOROUGHLY ENJOYING THIS COFFEE NO WONDER SO MANY PEOPLE DRINK IT FUCK*-
And, yet, I do not think they really care about language. They care about what they've been
sold on as 'better' language, i.e. less sexist, racist, what-have-you. And these people, these
educated, reading folk, are not incorrect. I posit, however, that the observed** folk limit
themselves and their language. They focus on these buzz-words, these obviously dumb, negative
phrases - they reiterate their own responses, 'heteronormative' etc., in response and yet
can scarcely defend their criticisms. They might misidentify a statement as sexist or as
objectifying women and yet fail to explain to the person what error actually occurred. This,
as many people would point out, is still not an indiciation a) that they are wrong about the
impact of the usage. b) that they do not believe in the unlimited hegemony of language
a) I find it difficult to affirm any hypothesis that lacks proficient explanation. I firmly
believe in gravity, as well as evolution. Moreover, if an alternative explanation justifies
usage, how might we argue this? the deepest truth is probably, simply that it something truly
feels wrong, then it is - if it does not feel wrong, then how can it really be wrong? this is
why a combination of sentiment and thought are necessary - the thought tells us when our
sentiments may be biased toward a negative impact, and our sentiments may guide us back to the
Point when all of our thinking has only paralysed us and deprived of us any capacity to belief
or affirm Truth without becoming cynical and misanthropic. Maybe capital-tee Truth requires an
intersection - surely, I cannot cast aside what it means to be human in this regard.
b) Of course, I cannot speak for people. I do not pretend to tell them that they do not
understand something, unless it is quite obvious that they do not. Disagree with me, take issue
with this, but it seems to be a necessity to perceive an inadequacy in understanding, and,
perhaps, the deficit lies within me. This only makes it better that a recognition of this
disparity in understanding be hashed out. This might be selfish, but if people DO care about
the total control that language has over us, and its power, then I do not believe they would
mind correcting me at all.


[2:30] Fiction is not life. Does it mimick life? Try to repeat it? Or is the relationship the
inverse? Maybe fiction is life, but we may not understand them in tantamount ways. Every
journey is a journey, but every step taken in the real world is physical phenomen. Some
journies are more significant than others in both cases, but only in real life do we have
such diverse signifiers for this difference: trip, vacation, walk, run, journey, adventure,
trek, ad infinitum.

[2:40] So, it turns out that a janitor is scheduled to clean the office around this time. I
met him, but he did not meet me. I believe he is the force that shuts off the lights.

[2:53] There are still lights on, so this problematizes my hypothesis that the janitors turn
shit off.

[2:56] Thinking about deleting my facebook so that I can avoid looking at pictures of Arycia.
I see no real use for it, anyways.

[3:46] It's kind of lonely, at night. I think of many people. Here is where a more selfish
person might say "I think of many people, but no one (in particular)". I do not think this. I
think of many people. Of course, one image resonates with me in its singular appearance. This
night, I find myself separated from others by space. But, it goes beyond that: even if I was
physically close to someone, I would be worlds away. Not in time, but in materiality. The very
essence of mine and theirs' existences would be so fundamentally distinct that you could only
really reduce them to a heartbeat and similar physiology that, at the time of sleep, are, too,
dissimilarly formed from one another.

[4:03] Finished first coffee. I think I may need 1-2 more of these...we will see how the DS
affects me, later.

[4:20] HAPPY 420 HAHAHAHA WHY DID I LOOK AT THE CLOCK. I DIDN'T MEAN TO BUT I JUST FINISHED
SOME DEBATE WORK AND WAS GOING TO WRITE ABOUT IT BUT THEN I LOOKED AT THE CLOCK HOLY SHIT THAT
IS EXCELLENT. I just finished some db8 work for my team @ Castlemont. I really wish the BAUDL
supplied more time and direct work with these students. I mean, my students will not work too
hard, but with more direct support, I would see a couple of them do well.

[4:52] As it turns out, I maintain a lack of motivation to do work.

[4:57] The time begins to fly by without me sensing it. I just typed the above sentence, I
swear.

[5:00] An eternity passes by. I consider the various ways I would enact epistemic
disobedience in my rhetoric lecture in 4.5 hours. Only 3 minutes WTF????

[5:02] I wish I knew more poetry. I need something beautiflu in my life and I do not see
anything quite beautiful at this moment. I will wake up tomorrow, not because I have slept but
because the sun will breath life into my cold, morose corpse of a body.
How has it been 5 more minutes?

[5:08] the distortion of time makes my thoughts more seemingly non-linear than usual. its
stream more fecund than usual.

[5:12] The night is quitest before the dawn. 1.617 hrs 2go.

[5:39] The serenity of this nighttime that is also daytime is ineffable; one must experience
the total silence, the point where absence and lack achieve nadir and you fill their viscosity
completely, the way you might collapse into and drown in a pool of oil.

[5:43] By the way, the lights stayed on.

[6:01] This night has been productive, but not the way one might purport such an occasion to
be productive. I have not found a salient truth about the universe. I have not found even a
truth about myself. I've written a lot, thought a lot, and watched a lot of anime (Code
Geass is so fucking tight). I've read some papers, written part of one, but haven't written
what would ever be published***. It's just not something you can do in a night. It might seem
interesting to spend 'a night', but you are really just left with a few hours and the feeling
of exhaustion at the end of it all. You are forced to confront reality when the sun rises,
just as you are when you sleep. And who is to say this time is spent as anything besides sleep?
Some people derive their greatest ideas from dreams or nightmares; all experiences contribute
to what we consider Our Experience. I guess what I'm saying is, it was a good time, and maybe
not a time that elucidates all the things or any of the things, really, but still retains the
same significance your life might always.
These are my closing remarks. If I wish to write anything else, I will, but this seems a bit
final, for me. I will say that, on this issue of time, it is simply true, that "To stay awake
all night is to add a day to your life." or some misquote. Spending your time awake imposes a
material weight upon your being. Thinking about something means spending time thinking about
something. It becomes your existence; you are the universe exploring itself, as Carl Sagan may
write. Your 'mind', whatever the fuck that is, probably occupies the majority of your reality.
That said, its constituent elements are only ever your thoughts****. Spend your time thinking
about something interesting, or positive, or otherwise not dumb. It's okay to be banal.
There's beaty in that. If there can be beauty in my staying up all night and staring at a
computer, then of fucking course there's beauty in the banality of everday thoughts. I don't
seek to admonish anyone except myself here. These are my thoughts; I am them; they are me.
The time passes ever so slowly as if I dragged it out of bed or something, and yet you may as well be asleep,
because it's like being in a time machine. Your body is the best time machine, is what I'm
trying to fucking say, right here. It is the vessel you occupy and use to transport yourself
through space and time. In this case, time is significant. Your body also thinks, or, well,
you think as you are your body, I guess. That distinction is fuzzy and problematic, so, maybe,
I can think about it, later. I do not have the time right now.

*=I wish to write, at length, on the effects of drugs and emotion and feeling. Not 'Drugs and
the Brain', for such physiology seems so interesting and academic that I hardly consider it
anything but depressing when applied to my Real emotions. I feel a little less sad than I
usually do right now, and at this point in my life, the magnitude of that statement should not
be understated.
**=my observations cannot be argued with. Does this mean my knowledge takes on a hegemonic
presence? Can I be disputed? Are my thoughts Real, Totalizing? Consideirng switching method
of conveying opinions to Morrison-esque narratives that deploy excellent SWE as rhetorical
strongarms. Is that any less totalizing? Any less violent?
***=or even read, really
****=this may certainly be disputed.

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