Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This thing which is not one. I began this post on 29 May but decided not to post it. That's the way things are headed for me, I'm afraid: my instinct is to shut the fuck up. I have always aimed for intellectual transparency - not to obfuscate the way my experiences made me feel but to set them out, to 'think out loud', to own my opinions, and to expect similar intellectual goodwill from others. Given that no-one wants my body, I am my brain.

Laura had an excellent post a while ago about how Bunnings' key selling point is the interior life of its workers - you could argue similarly about Boost Juice metaphorically juicing its workforce for their youthful energy. However, in Pretend We're Dead, which I reviewed a couple of months ago for Media International Australia, Annalee Newitz has a chapter about how horror literature and films dealing with mad scientists dramatise the predicament of the professional (rather than the casual retail worker) in late capitalism - the anxiety of allowing one's intellectual property to be economically colonised. And by feeling afraid now - economically afraid - to write what I think on my own private blog, maintained entirely on my own time, I am forced not only to allow my brain to be colonised, but also to colonise my own brain.

I realised this evening that life is all about pretending that things ain't no thing. For Newitz, capitalist monsters literalise the idea that as workers, we “pretend we’re dead in order to live” (6). In order to find love you must pretend you don't need it; in order to get along with others you must pretend your moral clashes don't exist; in order to manage stress you must pretend you are coping. I am not necessarily talking about a conscious deception, but more a wilful ignorance or concealment of what you want and how you feel. It has always been my biggest personality flaw that I am not very good at this pretence. Instead, I not only want to identify something as a thing, but also to tell others.

There is a difference, however, between pretending things ain't no thing and shutting the fuck up. Indeed, remaining silent can actually make something a bigger thing than it is; and it traps me miserably in a fortress of my own silence. Indeed, Jeremy is always accusing me of being secretive, but I think my problem is the opposite. I crave support and alliance; I want to be reassured by the feeling that people are on my side and I want to feel able to confide in someone.

I think what I have been groping towards is that I am fucked in the head. Perhaps this blog should no longer contain opinions and ideas, or even a narrative of any sort; it should become a pure emoblog. Affect is abstract; it's harder to make it solidify into a 'thing' for me to get in trouble over. Twitter shouldn't ask, "What are you doing?" It should ask, "How are you feeling?"

For example, right now I feel really alone. I feel lasagne and I also feel t-shirt. T-shirt is a feeling of being so overwhelmed and in need of comfort that you want someone to hug you so that you can bury your face in their t-shirt. I tend to fantasise that the t-shirt wearer is my boyfriend. Sometimes he is a specific person I have a crush on; sometimes he's just a warm solid presence. Either way, I bury my face in the t-shirt and let it soak up my tears.

It is probably because I say things like this that I do not have an actual boyfriend.

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