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.