Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Post depression post

Edit: I am not emo. This is more like 'Hero' by Regina Spektor mood.

"Power to the people, we don't want it, we want pleasure 
And the TV's try to rape us and I guess that they're succeeding
And we're going to these meetings but we're not doing any meeting  
And we're trying to be faithful but we're cheating, cheating, cheating" 

Edit #2: This post was supposed to start this way: Like a rolling stone, for all wrong things known, like a bum without a home. An academic forlorn. Like a mossy mossy rolling stone. That's to show you I am tired of rootlessness and fluidity already. This is the prelude to my anti-globalization rants. Read on.

It's been a few days since I started my journal writings titled twenty days to apocalypse. Actually, since the beginning of this year I've been waiting for one. Don't ask me why. No, it's obviously not because I am depressed or superstitious or have nothing to do or had a few rough days. I don't even know what depression means anymore really. Everything around is mildly depressing in a grainy, white noise sort of a way. I am sure the time has come to coin a new word of this state of being. I am writing this on a rainy December evening in Delhi. You can imagine how that pushes the apocalyptic feel just an extra bit. It's probably also about December that I start craving clean slate.
You can take this as a dedication to all those who had predictable careers and snugly stuck in a regular desk job. Most of those who know me, complain that I am rarely seen or encountered in meat space, that I am around but never really and to get me to be somewhere means accepting I will join in only halfway. I've often even complained about time-turners not being invented just as yet. I've also complained about the absolutely illusory notion of good luck and always being on the wrong side of it. It's like there are five dates in every calendar month where everyone is free or wants to do an event or discuss something important. I can obviously not be at all, except I am no celebrity and hence my absence translates from callousness to snobbery to simple inability to contribute to "useful discourses of the ever changing world". Sometimes I hate you, Foucault. I hate the fact that these 'discursive interventions' were so powerful that everyone from marketing analysts to socialites lapped the vocabulary up and then throw their money at you only if you can present to them exciting observations of societal change.
I'll tell you why I think you are safe if you chose a conventional career. I am sure it's a grass-is-greener scenario but hear my side out. Have you ever felt existential crises as a regular breathing exercise? Ever imagined a Gutenberg world, of relentless publishing machines? Felt like you cannot take the next breath without justifying it first to yourself and then humbly (in apologetic parentheses with aptly referenced sources) to the whole society that seems to have suddenly discovered its potential political-ness? Every position is political and has disruptive potential. Yeah, you didn't even know that earlier and now that you know you are a stakeholder in cultural, economic, social, ethical and falafel way. So, I have to take your smelly shit and examine it to every thread. No, if you are an engineer reading this, you'll think I am talking about social media type statements. I am not. I am talking hardcore academic and worse, my recent experiences with art practices.
So, basically what happens is that you become the mother of jaded with two permanently grey hairs and even before you see an art show you hate the artist's guts. You can only think about how he fooled someone to get their money and trust me, an entire graphic novel of his "playing the field" floats past my eyes. Obviously, it's so uncouth to bitch about the world's exploding potential. That's why I am not writing a research paper on this. If you ever spoke to me on a day when I am more awake than asleep, I'd make the most disgusting faces at your every sentence. There's no way you could talk to me without upsetting me. Obviously, it's a part of your postnational, coerced global, techno-euphoric and all such portmanteau being. Even your being born and fully blossomed into an offensive individual professionally excites me. That's where I get my fodder.
If I go to America, they smirk. If I have a heterosexual boyfriend, they pitifully smile. New addition: if I buy a lomo camera I am a hipster. Worst, if I leave my text left or right aligned, it inspires terrible political jokes. That's why saying I am depressed will immediately throw me in your lot - the non observers.
What does this world look like then? I'll give you my own version of the Brave New World. While learning psychology I'd learned about the different stages of coping with stress. This is a world in its burnt out, lower level functioning phase. Being happy is naive, having a problem is not enough, having a bizarre problem that seems to dangle on the threshold of paradigm changes is the best bet. It's a post gay, post queer, post depressed, post Che Guevara t-shirt, post national, post digital world.  I can hardly utter that I see nothing new. I am waiting for the day someone says nothing is new and just proclaims a worldly TIME OUT with a T sign. Does this all let you breathe? Maybe you haven't even come across such acute anxieties because you've always aspired to actually reach America and get a house and have a baby. I really wish there were more of you.
So, before you all can jump on me and say this is all pervasive and nothing new, I am just going to say it's my quarter life crises moment where I cannot decide between desirable and undesirable. But, I cannot stop, I must continue investigating the undesirable because that's what a career in academics means. Btw, we call this feelings stuff 'affect', just in case some of you are cornered in a social science debate, this should save you.

"It's alright, it's alright, it's alright" ('Hero - Regina Spektor)


Pushkar said...

I didn't understand much.

Lily said...

Obviously. You are the engineer types. You didn't read carefully.

Pushkar said...

I read twice. But didn't understand. What's the problem (if any)? And black fonts on grey background are so difficult to read.

dontcallmebaba said...

You'll never be sure of what you're doing is enough, and if you judge and heap scorn on others for not doing enough, the world will always disappoint you. You're not disappointing, for whatever that's worth.

Lily said...

@dontcallmebaba That was not the point. Heap and scorn? What is this engineer type language? Told you na, this is not social media rant.
@pushkar changed it. Dance.

dontcallmebaba said...

Not saying this is a social media rant. Maybe not what you intended to say, but it's what I read into it.

Lily said...

@dontcallmebaba the point is: If you are in academics, you've embraced a life of constant anxiety. And, that anxiety surrounds you in different ways rendering you incapable of saying so many things, it mars your courage.

dontcallmebaba said...

constant anxiety is in everything. every relationship, even. as someone smart once advised me: be bold.

Akash said...

I think I have a crush on you, seeing how wonderfully expressive you are. I can relate to almost every single thought in this post, except that my base incompetence at putting it into words precludes me from doing exactly that.

Raj Rambhia said...

Life of constant anxiety. Well, that kind of defines who you are. And from where I see it, it makes you more courageous than most. You can beat fear, hatred, uncertainty and such by just realizing that they are caused by external factors about which you can't do much. But anxiety takes a different course because it comes from within. Anxiety is what keeps you in academics, without falling below that threshold level of self assessment. Existential crises as regular breathing exercise you say. Isn't existence defined by the fight to keep it relevant? Then crises is nothing but being alive, in my eyes. The day the crises ends, we cease to exist. And that constant struggle that you fight with every breath is probably the most courageous thing you can do. :)