Subjectivity is Seawater

Thinking about how we all develop these really idiosyncratic and occasionally brutal survival measures. We mix up these tonics to keep us awake, engaged. Thinking about how some people (I have friends like this) have to carry an epi-pen around with them, in the event of an allergic reaction. If they're exposed to a lethal allergen, then they have to inject themselves, or have a sure-handed friend inject them, with life-saving epinephrine. The catch there is that they have to be 100% sure they've actually been exposed, because the life-saving epinephrine, injected into a body who has not yet gone into shock, could be lethal. The sick, sad irony of the fact that medicine is poisonous. What we think will save us one day could very well damn us the next. I think this is kind of a sad thought. It's one of these Universals which I know, the Wise Boy shrugs and smiles at. "Isn't it grand? To be human? To be constantly fucking up? To be constantly scared? To be constantly faced with change? How great!" Fuck that.

What is another kind of medicine? Another kind of medicine is Subjectivity. I feel like Subjectivity is a vaccine, which we prescribe to our children. (We hate the kids, they are overpopulating our planet and we can't provide for them, so we kill them slowly). I think that I am like Jenny McCarthy, railing against the dangers of vaccines. But not exactly, because I dosed myself with subjectivity too, just to see how it works.

This thing of being able to identify with the world around you. This skill, this survival technique of locating yourself everywhere you go. Seeing yourself reflected in the eyes of strangers, in anonymous internet comments, in street traffic. This, we teach children, is how you learn to survive. This is how you learn to love yourself.

MY RESPONSE: Maybe, I think. Maybe, at first. Maybe when you're a baby. Maybe it's not so important to love yourself. Maybe the world doesn't always confirm you. Maybe the sooner you realize that, the sooner your "real life" can begin. You stinking little brats.

I think of it like this: subjectivity is like seawater. You can't get enough. It's dangerous. It used to be the way to live, it felt likem perhaps the key to survival, but I can tell you, from my perch. Here, from up on high. Here, in the future, Here, on the other side of 25. Here, on the other side of interviews and weekly profiles, ass-kissings. Here, at the precipice, I can tell you how sorry you will be to wind up like me, at the edge of a volcano with saltwater instead of blood in your veins.

We think we have enough blood, that we'll produce an infinite supply. We think of infinity too often. So few things which we casually and habitually refer to as infinite, endless, unlimited, are actually just really big. The world isn't going to become uninhabitable "someday" It's going to become uninhabitable within out lifetime. It's a slight distinction, but it is the distinction between: "Everything is going to be okay." and "Everything is going to be," Guess which camp I'm in.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and writing about this topic, this feeling, lately. The slick bruising that moves you from a security into claustrophobia. It's just that when you see yourself in the world around you, when your life depends on the world confirming you, then that leaves you in a very dangerous place. Not the good kind of dangerous. The kind of dangerous where you close your eyes and walk into traffic. Sure, maybe God will protect you.

I don't want to give it all away, because I'm saving some of my best thoughts for this art show I'm working on. Isn't that funny? The idea of making art, of saving ideas. What is there to wait for? Once I start noticing this tendency in other people, this addiction to the seawater of subjectivity, I can't stop noticing it. I can see the gills. I can smell it.

I used to think of myself as something of a trendsetter. I thought people wanted to be just like me, which seemed like a cruel joke, because I've been secretly so unhappy. But then these dark and awesome realizations have been really pounding me in the last year, two years. And I'm so sorry, really sorry, to be here first. It sucks to be the first to know. It sucks to be the last to know. It sucks worse to be the second to last to know, and to have to tell you.

The risk might be so minimal. The stakes might be so much lower than I thought. Look: I'm probably never going to be a huge star. I clearly don't have the constitution to try. I've already failed. I live a secret abject life. I have a sex slave and he is me. I knew when my flippers crusted over, when I was tired of choking on dust, gasping for what you people call oxygen, I knew what I had to do, and I know it will have to occur to you as well. You will end up like me and you will, one day, find that the only way forward, the next method of survival involves locking yourself in the bathroom with a needle and thread and sewing your dirty, insatiably slimy gills shut.

I woke up this morning and the first thing I saw was Mx Justin Vivian Bond's DRUNK NEWS. It made me so happy. I love Justin Vivian. This is really the greatest.

1 comment:

trystantrazon said...

Hey Max,

You know I think that your blog is excellent. Check out the one that I started a week ago. Sort of new to it but will be making frequent updates and would love to see what you think.