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
Conclusion:
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.