Monthly Archives: February 2005

Critical Emancipation

Sometimes it feels like I’m wait­ing for inspi­ra­tion when I write. Like I’m wait­ing for a spe­cif­ic mood, or a spe­cif­ic song to come on and guide me through an entry. Lately, that inspi­ra­tion seems to avoid me. I keep try­ing to write about things that I feel I should write about, instead of the things I want to write about. Every time I search my head for the prop­er mood or mind­set, it’s only mem­o­ries that appear.

And they sur­face like pho­tographs, each one a still frame cap­tur­ing an expe­ri­ence, expressed in sound, warmth, light, and odour. I’m on the streets of Hong Kong again, sur­round­ed by peo­ple, brows­ing through the knick-knacky stores with the heat of the sun soak­ing through my shirt. I’m skat­ing on the Canal, map­ping the imper­fec­tions of the ice as I glide across them, the night sky burn­ing with the orange of win­ter. I’m won­der­ing through the mall of my home­town, enjoy­ing the strange famil­iar­i­ty of a place I fre­quent­ed so long ago, hop­ing I don’t bump into an ex. I’m in uni­form, clutch­ing the lapels of my blaz­er, as I step out from the heat of grandiose wood­en doors into the snow-washed quad. I’m on the bus to New York, try­ing to fig­ure out which pas­sen­gers are com­ing or going, won­der­ing where my own jour­ney would take me.

I fight against these mem­o­ries, try­ing to write about some­thing more rel­e­vant. In the end, I write about noth­ing, and I can’t fight against it any­more. I have to write the things I want, inspired by the things I think. I have to let go one more time.

From myself, instead of oth­ers.

Projection: Analysis

Freud saw pro­jec­tion as a defence mech­a­nism, a way of deal­ing with the thoughts and ideas that make some­one anx­ious. By sub­con­scious­ly attribut­ing these unwant­ed thoughts and ideas on oth­er peo­ple, one may be com­fort­ed by the false fact that they are not alone, or that there is some­one else they can direct their anger towards instead of them­selves. While I don’t dis­agree with this approach to psy­cho­an­a­lyt­ic the­o­ry (I’m gen­er­al­ly a Freudian up until his ideas on devel­op­men­tal life stages), this is a much more severe, and less com­mon, form of my expe­ri­ence with pro­jec­tion.

Projection (or pro­jec­tion bias) can be defined as uncon­scious­ly assum­ing that oth­ers share the same or sim­i­lar thoughts, beliefs, val­ues, or posi­tions on any giv­en sub­ject.

In this case, the fault lies in the assump­tion, and the assump­tion is based on the fact that many believe oth­ers to be like them­selves. One may present this as a deduc­tive log­i­cal argu­ment, like so:

Premise 1:
I have felt this way in a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion / I would feel this way in a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion
Premise 2:
Someone else is in this sit­u­a­tion
Therefore, that per­son must feel the same way that I felt / that per­son must feel the way that I would feel

Although audiatur et altera pars is not nec­es­sar­i­ly seen as direct proof of a fal­la­cy, the implic­it premise involved in this argu­ment is also the most impor­tant one.

Implicit premise:
All peo­ple think the way I do when put in the same sit­u­a­tion.

This hap­pens to be the premise that is false. It is also often implied, not on pur­pose, but because (and I’ll haz­ard an opin­ion here) humans are nat­u­ral­ly ego­cen­tric. Many make sol­id judg­ments on things that are pure­ly sub­jec­tive, tak­ing their view as Word. An exam­ple of this is some­one say­ing, “This song is good”, instead of, “I think this song is good”. Sometimes this is the inno­cent result of lazi­ness (of which I can be guilty), but in many cas­es, it’s due to the fact that the per­son actu­al­ly refus­es to believe any­thing else to be true.

It’s in the case of the lat­ter that assump­tions can lead to pro­jec­tion, what I find to be an extreme­ly frus­trat­ing thing to deal with. If I don’t talk to some­one, that does­n’t mean that I nev­er want to talk to them again. For some­one to assume this to be true of me, based on their own thoughts and ideas in the same sit­u­a­tion, and then call me out on this, is ARROGANT. When I’m fresh­ly out of a rela­tion­ship, I feel stronger and inspired. For me, this is an inher­ent side-effect of break­ing up. A break-up occurs due to the fact that there is unhap­pi­ness in a rela­tion­ship, and when the rela­tion­ship ends, there is a tremen­dous free­dom from this unhap­pi­ness. For some peo­ple, the oppo­site is true, and for one of these peo­ple to “com­fort” me because they think I feel worth­less and doubt­ful is INSULTING.

I’ve worked hard to be a bet­ter per­son, to out­grow the weak­ness­es and faults that I’ve grown up with. For some­one to believe that I have a weak­ness or fault that I’ve cast aside, sim­ply because they haven’t yet, is just plain sad. This one hits me espe­cial­ly hard because it triv­i­al­izes the tremen­dous amount of effort I put into self-improve­ment.

And as a result of what? Careless assump­tion. I’m not ego­cen­tric enough to believe that oth­ers think the way I do.

All I ask is that oth­ers do the same.

Projection: Prologue (Vent)

Let me make this per­fect­ly clear.

I am not like you. I do not think the same way that you do. Never. Ever. EVER. Ever believe that you under­stand, or assume that you know, how I’m feel­ing or what I’m think­ing just because you are, or have ever been, in the same sit­u­a­tion.

To believe that you under­stand, is arro­gant. To assume that you know, is an insult.

You’re usu­al­ly wrong any­way.

Memories Of Manson

I was lis­ten­ing to Manson’s sec­ond album, Antichrist Superstar, for the first time after a sev­er­al year hia­tus on the bus to work this morn­ing. I was remind­ed of how much I went through with this album, for most of high-school and near­ly two entire rela­tion­ships. How com­fort­ing this music was for me, on the jour­ney home from my exhaust­ing class­es and elit­ist class­mates. It’s the only good album Manson ever put out, and also hap­pens to be the only album that Trent Reznor pro­duced for him. I’m will­ing to bet that it isn’t sim­ple coin­ci­dence.

I nev­er real­ly get a chance to lis­ten to these songs; even though I con­sid­er the music to be met­al, the songs are too dark and moody to fit into my met­al playlist. It’s the same thing with Tool. Aside from Opiate, which was just an EP anyway,Tool’s music has nev­er fit into any spe­cif­ic genre to me. They have a met­al feel and pro­gres­sive rock ele­ments, but are nev­er enough of one or the either to fit into any of my playlists.

Paint Chips

Paint chips 1

Paint chips 2

Paint chips 3

Trolley and I went to get some paint chips. It was­n’t too long since my last ses­sion before we left. In the store I was sur­round­ed by colour, a pedestal of float­ing gra­di­ents.

We move in a lit­tle over a month. I think I’ll do my room in a dark blue, and two walls of the liv­ing room in light beige. Trolley’s think­ing either light grey or deep red for his.