the camps

May. 23rd, 2011 04:13 pm
People are so weird and mysterious and painful to contemplate and beautiful. Like, at the same time. I dunno. How can something beautiful be so painful and unfair? I feel childish even thinking about it.

Anyway, so I have this prejudice: I think if you're truly gay, you shouldn't be married/attached to a person of the opposite sex; unquestionably if it's a lie, but also if you're honest and mutually agree. Like I said, this latter part isn't rational but a prejudice. I mean, the thing is, the reason is, to me a sexual relationship is an integral part of marriage; I don't fully get why you'd need a relationship and not a close friendship if you love each other but don't want to have sex.
    blah. )

I'm a big believer in platonic love, but what I really hate is confusing it with romantic love, or conflating it or whatever. In some ways, though, there's a whole big strand of romantic literature and/or love stories which do exactly that. There's the 'eros' strand and the 'philia' strand. Both camps seem convinced theirs is the One True Strand, or One True Love (you can sort of tell a person is a philia-strander if they even use words like 'soul-mate', I guess). For philia-stranders, sex is an afterthought, this semi-insignificant 'thing you do', or 'lifestyle choice', or 'movie or sex this Tuesday?' so it's not a big deal to 'go out' vs 'eat in'. These must be the people who write shounen-ai stories that don't even have kissing. Conversely, eros-stranders often confuse sex with love and do stupid things like stay with people only 'cause they sex is good, or write stories where people fall in love half an hour after sex (or during).

To be honest, I'm an eros-strander, but both are stupid, and painful to contemplate to the point of being tragic. Happy or not, living with your best friend and calling it True Love is kind of tragic. Likewise, living with your fuck-buddy who you're barely able to tolerate and calling it True Love. I'm only an eros-strander because I believe in the union of opposites, consuming yourself/the Other, and love as transformation. You can't really -do- that without the dark libidinal energy that drives aggression and sexual union. It's the yin-yang thing-- you need that possessiveness, fear, need in order to overcome it. You need the darkness to find the light. If you don't want to possess and consume and sexually own someone, how can you grow past it to love them purely? But, of course, this is just my happy little personal philosophy and not 'reality'.
    etc. )
People are really awesome. Anyway, some people. But when I get that 'people are awesome' feeling, I feel like extending it to all people. So yeah, I was rereading my guestbook(!) from like, more than 10 years ago on my silly page, and it made me all <3<3<3, 'cause the webpage I had back then was really personal and I didn't really cut corners, and people still Got It! And this makes me really happy. Just like, if even one person gets it-- a piece of writing I didn't intend for any particular audience but myself-- I really feel overwhelmingly validated, and it gives me a reason to keep writing what I want to write.

In some ways I guess it's cheating, a little, since in real life you don't get to present (only) your best and most creative sides to people, and so people don't either get impressed with you or say nothing. But I still don't feel the person who randomly says mundane things to people in 'reality' is somehow more real. It's also ironic 'cause all that stuff I wrote that touched people was always the product of the deepest solitude, and while it's nice that people feel a connection, all those twenty-or-so folks over 5 years who were touched by my work, it's not like it was a 'real' connection. That is, it was real, but they were my readers and I was a writer. Even my autobiographical stuff-- still the same relationship. It was so beautiful, and still is, and I feel so blessed, but all those relationships would be totally different if I knew these people-- so many 'ordinary' layers would pile up, and the fact that I write these cool things would just be one fact, just like how I'm late to appointments is one fact, and I don't like to wear socks is another fact.

I tell myself this because a part of me really wants to believe my kindred are out there, people whose minds I can love and understand, or love because I understand, and vice versa, and it's just that I don't know them. But no, I know real relationships of any sort are intrinsically different than liking someone of whom you form an impression from reading. I've always been so impatient and unfair-- impatient because I wanted to go deep, and then deeper, and then deeper yet, and unfair because I didn't want that to take years and years to bear fruit. I once tried to have a relationship with a guy who said mystery was part of the spice of relationships-- and I didn't know how to argue or if I should. But I guess what I like is deepest knowledge, not mystery. It's like I have a kink for understanding, haha. More! More! Never enough!

If you asked me what I wanted to do in life, I'd say I want to make a difference in the world, of course, and I want to write, of course, but I want to do it in the company of My People. That's partly why I can't 'just write', or not unless I found a community, a congregation for inspiration. Fandom's like that, but also the relationship between Shelley and Byron, Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lennon and McCartney. I've always thought being understood and accepted was the most miraculous thing ever, the greatest gift, one I wanted to give as much as I wanted to receive. Ok I'm being really sentimental now.

I've also had people tell me that they thought mind-melding (ala Spock) would be too much, too intrusive, and they'd never want to share that much of themselves. More than one person has told me this. And I think of myself as very self-enclosed, anti-social even. Again, cheating. I could do without chatting with people or saying hi, but ohhhh complete grokking, a shared journey, no need for words. I think when I started really growing up, I compromised by deciding that I think the journey to that grokking can be itself delicious, especially if it involved fun bantery conversations and humor. I guess I think there is nothing that should not be shared, in theory, nothing that is intrinsically dirty/private/shameful/ineffable in one's mind that *should* have to be. I get that feeling that we are all always yearning for each other, and it's not that Platonic primordial 'soul-couple' that got sundered in two, but dozens of us, hundreds of us, us kindred. We can only really talk one or two at a time, but that's a hardware limitation, while our hearts always yearn for more all-encompassing, broader things. '...and you, and you, and you...'

It's funny to say this as a certified soulmate romanticist, but I just really have a deep curiosity about people, those people who left such short and promising missives once upon a time. A., who said he liked me and wanted to get me smashed. And J., who always told stories about my stories. I've been lucky to know them, and you, and you, and you.
I really love close male friendship in fiction. I do. And I'm a purist in some ways-- I think real love doesn't need anything to thrive but devotion itself. And yet, when the friendship gets close enough, sometimes I'm unhappy. 'Why can't they just be in love?' a part of me whines. 'He's already acting 70% there. Why keep the other 30% back?' I think this is the feeling that makes most slashers... slash. But this is the feeling that simply makes me unhappy and confused. I always tell myself that being a slasher is one of my favorite things to self-identify as, but ultimately, I'm an odd sort of slasher, if I am one at all.

blah-shoujo-manga-blah. )
I have often said that I don't believe in 'evil'-- mostly because of connotation, projection and context issues, as well as the usage of the concept to ostracize and marginalize people. The sheer frequency of the time people use the idea to Other groups/individuals who're simply different, the amount of times it's used in anger/disgust, the amount of labelling that goes on and shunning, etc-- none of it seems to make 'evil' a useful concept. Saying something is evil seems like an excuse to make it either out of control (let god take care of it) and/or so monstrous as to not be 'us'-- that is, either you're good or you're evil, and you can't be both good and evil, as the terms are generally understood.

Anyway, so looking at some Buddhist writings randomly, on Nirvana vs Samsara and Mara vs Buddha nature, I was thinking that perhaps it could be said thusly: evil exists, but only on the macro-cosmic scale. That is, systems of mass oppression or instruments of genocide can be Evil, and individuals are justified in organized resistance. This is the evil you should not accept as part of you and it's okay to isolate it and destroy it as much as possible. On the other hand, all individuals are exempt from this term; individuals are evil-neutral, and their acts either constructive or destructive. Likewise, only individuals can be good: this is only applicable on the micro scale. Individual acts of kindness and love, individual intentions, and personal codes of honor are valid and can be Good. On the other hand, any systemic application or code that creates moral structure and imposes order is defiled-- or rather, it cannot be called good. Groups (social structures) and systems cannot be good: they are only (at best) good-neutral (that is, do not cause too much harm, or harm is balanced with good).

So it's not individuals that are good or evil: it is actions and intentions. Further, individual actions may be destructive and misguided, but not evil (in this context), simply because the word is too heavy to apply both to slavery and genocide and to an individual act of rape (say). I want to be very careful, because the individuals who commit instances of slavery aren't innocent, but neither are they fully aware and individual agents. You cannot fully contrast a slave-owner's destructive actions centuries ago with the positive ones of a modern-day person who volunteers to mentor at-risk minority youth (say). You can say that the individual volunteer, when not part of an organization that requires it as a service, is acting out of the goodness of their hearts and spreading kindness in the world. Unless the slave-owner can similarly be divorced from their context (which is highly unlikely), you cannot hang the entirety of the weight of 'slavery' on their shoulders. It isn't that organizations aren't (likely) supporting the volunteer, but that they initiated their actions purposefully and knowingly, so they can be seen as a reflection on their character. You can't say that every slave owner participated in the institution as a reflection on their character; with rape/murder/etc it's more nuanced. Obviously it's highly destructive and unforgivable by society, but on an individual level, few-to-no people do things with the purpose of 'doing evil'. On an individual level, I think 'evil' is either a perversion of good (when a person defines 'good' as 'self-benefit' and then serves that), or a product of desire/passion uncontrolled (often anger or hate). Anger and hate aren't evil: they're just negative when uncontrolled. Things like death-camps aren't products of 'anger' by the time they're institutionalized and systemic: they are actual forces of evil no longer fully controlled by anyone and need to be eradicated.

I do not know to what degree it satisfies me to think so, but currently I like the concept. The bottom line is that I want to accept individuals and reject systems of oppression, which is reasonable regardless of how I apply it. Of course most common-sense people would agree (as would most Christians), but in terms of application it seems that Christians (at least) have a ways to go.
I keep thinking life is full of little quiet, stupid moments.

Sometimes I step back-- like now-- and notice I'm alive, and how totally quiet, inconsequential and hum-hum-humming it is. A really really quiet hum-- moments that seem both ordinary and wasted, maybe mostly wasted. I wonder if most people have 'activities' to ignore/avoid this sense they're 'wasting time'. To me, it's like 'wasted time' is 95% of my life, but at this moment I wondered if that's necessarily a bad thing.

On the one hand, I don't want to be on my deathbed thinking, 'remember that time I was surfing the internet and found a stupid picture of a married couple in jeans at a hick bar and spent 3-5 minutes mindlessly staring at the bride's white shirt?' On the other hand, why not? As pointless as it is, it's a sign of a deeper interest-- my fascination with the moments of people's lives-- and I could make it mean something if I wanted to. I mean, I don't think it did mean anything. It seems like I'd kill it even by mentioning it. It was a stupid, quiet, useless moments out of a great procession of stupid, quiet, useless moments I wasted.

Sometimes I think it's just that I'm lost in my head a lot, not a property of 'life'. Who knows. Other people have dramas going on, I don't. I have very small dramas, most of the time, which involve various thoughts/impulses in my head fighting for dominance. It's not that it takes a lot to fluster me, but it's like a ripple that quickly dies out. I got frustrated at my friend accusing me of creating drama (by emailing what should've been an unsent letter in a moment of ill-advised impulse). I mean, sure, it was ill-advised, but creating drama? Me? I think her comment created more drama in my life. I mention this just to say that I suspect my inner life is more boring than people expect, or something. Not that I'm bored, but I don't go around getting angry/sad/etc at other people very easily, even people who matter to me. I don't know how to explain this. I feel vaguely insulted that she imagines I would do anything to foster drama, and immediately think: maybe a little more drama would be good.

Then: nah. )
So I'm writing this humorous forced-marriage/babies Draco/Hermione fic for help_japan (off and on, anyway). And since my Draco is always gay (or bi) in some way, this Draco is too. Sort of on a whim, I googled 'bisexual married men' or something like that, and now I'm sick to my stomach and don't know if I want to continue. And it's not like I was that motivated to write it, except my sponsor paid $5 and I'm very grateful and happy she chose me. So I have to. But. UGH. I mean, Draco being 'gay' makes it funnier and crackier (and easier for me to write), but maybe I just shouldn't touch it.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a very open/forgiving/accepting person, with next to no 'moral' hang-ups. That is to say, it's rare for me to get self-righteous in terms of things people 'should' do or are 'allowed'. In fact, the whole mind-set pisses me off. There are just a few things out there that I cannot live with, but me being me, I REALLY cannot live with those things. Adultery is, well, one of those things. Especially adultery people excuse or pawn off as reasonable/inevitable, or when people who do it act like victims and rationalize it, etc.

gah. -.- )
Quote by transperson in the NYTimes basically says he considers himself a man because he grew up playing with trucks and climbing trees, etc, 'everything a man does' (or thereabouts, I guess, plus/minus porn stashes and baseball).

It just sort of underlines (...again) my discomfort with the way people (cisgendered and otherwise) discuss gender, and my feeling that I don't want to be part of this conversation and yet am forced into it in part 'cause even if I say, 'I give up; I have no gender, I opt out, just shut up, all of you', I'd still be aligning myself with -someone-.
    *sigh* )
Stories are the thread that holds the universe together. That's what I want to think. All that stuff about love, need, fear-- all that is great, but it's only a story, isn't it? Clearly it is. You've got to level down, down, down, and at the bottom of everything there's stories. That's what I want to think.

Maybe I'm not far off. Some recent thinking in physics says the universe-- at the most fine-grained quantum level-- is really just patterns of information flow. A concept like matter itself becomes meaningless on the quantum level, and energy is just another word for the transfer (sharing) of information-states between different wave/particles. When this sharing occurs recursively or across different levels (micro to macro) in a fractal fashion, you've got meaning-- you've got a story. You've got pattern. You've got life. Basically, they're all words for the same thing. Life is a pattern that's achieved a threshold level both of complexity and information exchange/mirroring. The story comes alive, transforms, grows, and becomes self-referential. Aware. DNA molecules shift slightly, twist and recombine, and the creature becomes us looking back at ourselves.

I dislike the mystification and anthropomorphic mythologizing of quantum physics, and to some extent of the universe; saying 'the universe is stories' skirts that line. But mythologizing and a metaphor aren't the same thing. I simply think in metaphors (stories) to make sense of data, which isn't the same as giving the universe actual mystical powers or intrinsic meaning. It's an emergent, chaotic meaning, not an intrinsic one, and that makes all the difference.

Recently I've been thinking more seriously (again) about physics and stories, and being torn between these paths. I'd thought I'd given up on science, but it appears it's not done with me yet. I truly love physics, and I truly love stories. Words come to me naturally, numbers don't-- but I don't want that alone to determine my future. My mom likes to remind me that the scientifically minded among us tend to be 'smarter' in a broader way-- including the humanities, whereas humanities geeks aren't science-smart. It weighs on me. I think I love physics in a different way than Richard Feynmann loved physics, though I'm not sure. I love the universe, playing with the underlying concepts of life in every which way. With math and with words, we are trying to trace rings around reality, capture something essential and true.

When I tell my mom that my motivation is always the same-- that studying physics doesn't make me different, better, more like one of those science-geeky types-- it's like she gets it but she doesn't. I guess it's also true that I myself am confused and frustrated with the study of literature at the moment. What I like to study isn't literature, as such. What I love isn't stories simply because they're stories. It's always about seeking that hidden door into the dark.
This whole 'needing to work after the quarter is over' thing is NOT working out for me. Instead of finishing the measly rest of my poetics classwork, I'm fantasizing about my bio/lit/art class this fall(!) hahah. My professor's name is Morisato and he has no pic attached, and when I google him, I only get 'Evergreen' stickers and Keiichi Morisato from Oh! My Goddess!:


This is especially fitting: regressing to HS-level behavior, where it's too advanced to crush on actual teachers, now I crush on imaginary teachers I'll never have, haha. I refer to my very short-lived crush on my poor math professor, who looked like Sarek (Spock's father). Technically, this was cheating on Spock, of course, but Sarek was, y'know, there, and Spock had his heterosexual life partner to worry about..... of course, Sarek was married, but y'know, I was secretly Amanda's great-great-great-grandma and spirit-double so it was ok. Somehow.

I think it's hilarious when I get professors calling me diligent when I'm like, the least serious and diligent person ever. I think. I just have to try very hard or I won't try at all, and goof off fantasizing about an anime I've barely even watched, y'know. Maybe it's ok to have stupid reasons, though, who knows-- as long as you try to get things done (at some point). It's really the poetics professor's fault-- he barely gave any deadline at all. It's very non-motivational. It's really hilarious I'm doing Independent Study this spring. Who will kick my ass now, I ask you??? But yeah, I think it's important to be diligent so as not to waste 100% of one's time. That is my current belief. It's hard to communicate that effectively to my fellow college-age slackers: it's not that it matters, it's that wasting time will eat your life unless you sit on it (yourself). Or is that just me? It's just me, isn't it. I can totally see myself trying to climb mountains and run marathons one day (almost), just because otherwise I'd vegetate. If I'm not ambitious, I'm a potato. I'm less than a potato. I'm the seed that was too lazy to sprout a potato.

So from wanting to laze around Spring Break and catch up on my fantasy reading and maybe the latest issues of Unwritten and 7 seeds, I now want to read the Iliad and the Aeneid (too), and maybe start on this (huge...) math/philosophy magnum opus called Godel, Escher, Bach... take a few walks... start swimming... clean my room... get up off the bed..... *groan*
Seeing today's xkcd and having just finished a math class, I have to wonder if I'm one of those people with a Math Crush. Like, it's no wonder: I typically enjoy things which freak me out and seem alien and difficult to encompass... or something.....

I think I'm crushing on... mathematics... because it's so icy and unavailable... and goes so well with fairy-tales..... *headdesk* I've evolved, you see, way past the intermediate stage of crushing on imaginary people, straight to disciplines and categories of knowledge (as long as they seem to reject me). It's only logical.

A corollary of this is that I keep doubting the worth of the stuff I'm excited about, like studying the Romantic poets and reading Milton, Bronte and Goethe this spring and and stuff.
    ugh. )

If anyone can defend a humanities education to me-- not in principle, but to me-- as opposed to a further battle with science (because I can only take one program at a time in my school)-- I'm all ears.
So, I can't believe I'm saying this, but two guys from my poetics class performed a piece of a Harry/Draco fanfic I wrote tonight. Yes. Oh yes.

I didn't see half of it because I was too busy hyperventilating and laughing from embarrassment (and amusement). It was just insane. One of those moments that you just never imagine will ever happen to you as an H/D fangirl, hahah oh man.

Basically I rewrote/added to an old angsty fic-- changed the names, details, etc, changed the plot arc somewhat and stuff. I just thought it fit the theme (write about 'the body'). I didn't really intend to tell anyone except asking my professor for permission. Then (since it was to be a group project), I assumed we'd all do our own thing, and maybe they'd give me feedback. In the end, I was with two guys who weren't really doing anything for their own project, so mine was all that was available, and I'm chatty, so I mentioned it's formerly an HP fanfic. This was exacerbated because one of the guys was familiar with fandom and thought it would be hilarious to put the names back in the piece they were going to perform from my fic... and since he liked it, I was like, 'ok why not'. I mean, since I made them read my 60 page NC-17 fic (which they didn't finish), I didn't want to be too finicky/embarrassed. Even though I still am both finicky and embarrassed. >_____>;;

    ohhh man. H/D with banana!penises hanging out. no joke. )
A post I read asked for recs of books, fanfic, music and movies-- any art-- that "ripped you apart and forced you to reconsider everything around you".

...Everyone lists really, y'know, deep stuff like 'Crime and Punishment', 'The Picture of Dorian Grey' (which creeped me out big-time when I was 10), William Gibson's 'Neuromancer', 'Lolita'... 'Dune', at least. One person (just one) made me happy and listed a comic book that did change me: 'The Tale of One Bad Rat', which I adored at 16, and identified with, and just. It's a book I never forgot. Ripped me apart? No, but I love it.

...Anyway, books/stuff that changed my life is pretty embarrassing, when I think about it.
    oh man. )
America has too much meaning, and too little.

Too much: everyone wants a piece of the pie. Everything's Constitutional, holy text argued and obsessed over by wise men and idiots alike, obsessively deconstructing and/or wondering if the Author Is Dead. Watching it with an ounce of distance, it feels as if everyone is buying into same mass delusion that's always different in their own minds and looking for doors while knocking their heads against the exit. Everything is An Idea or A Crisis or A Media Conspiracy, like some ridiculous bazaar of deluded meets the desperate and cranky. America, it seems, has been Built on Ideas, but our own mythology is strangling what's left of authenticity. Patriotism should be a feeling at least as much as a propaganda vehicle, but everything is a propaganda vehicle, and I'm not sure if a feeling would have the oxygen to survive if I let it outside into the wild, or if it would be consumed by the machine.

Too little: fuck, I just don't care. All I see is a beautiful land with a whole bunch of people gabbling-gobbling, shoving each other and building stupid little houses on it, and always complainingcomplainingcomplaining. The land is huge and often broken. It's so beautiful it makes me silent. It's bigger than life. It's built for giants, for eagle gods and the Statue of Liberty and whales in the oceans and salmon in the streams. What does a country mean with so many people imprisoned or trapped in cubicles, Indians in their reservations and old people in their old-people farms in Florida? Even the chickens have no space to breathe in this huge country, the land of Las Vegas, where nothing means anything 'cause everything means too much.

There is a real dream somewhere, dreams of freedom, eagle gods and starships, real witches in Salem and stars in LA, darkness in Vegas and endless dreams of rain in Seattle and apocalypse in New York. The dreams are silent, like old movies, running in an abandoned theater where almost no one comes, and the floor is littered with cigarette butts no one will admit to smoking anymore.


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the one who stumbled

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