Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What’s Wrong with Complete Silence? A Rant Pondering the Importance of Colonial Williamsburg and the Wicked Son of David Mamet

For all these thought, I blame, I mean thank, my girlfriend Kate and her words, "I'm going to Colonial Williamsburg this weekend." After the happy thought of "without me" immediately rushed through my mind, my secondary brainwaves were working on a different string of musings, not that I have a problem with going to historical-type places. This occurred as I talked on the phone with her while The Colbert Report was on in the background, snacking ona rotation of ranch Wheat Thins and ranch sunflower seeds, and checking out the Rotten Tomatoes rating of Wild Hogs (19% positive if you are wondering, an +11% approval rating over The Number 23 ). Another fucking tangent Joe, STOP IT. Back to the important realization at hand please and it is not your psychosis.

It's really unsettling when you finally ponder the sad fact of it. I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times in about fifty different ways but this is a generation of constant stimulation: visual, auditory or even olfactory. Pink Floyd dealt with it at length in song. They anthropomorphized it into "the machine." And even if Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and company didn't have a secret way to seeing into the future (in their minds or in Reality), they saw it coming. We all saw it coming.

As I sit here at Barnes & Noble, a place where my mind has convinced me is a restful spot for my mind, I bombard myself with activity. I knew I was this person but I never thought I was this bad. I am sipping on a hot Cinnamon Tea, jotting notes on a notepad, while browsing my blog reader, and contemplating making a phone call while smoking a cigarette but I think my cell phone is in my car so I'll have to press the button on my keychain unlock the door, reach around, find the phone and then forget who I wanted to call in the first place. Why did I come here again? Oh, I'm suposed to be finishing a book by a Pulitzer prize winning essayist, playwright, and filmmaker David Mamet about the modern self-loathing Jew called The Wicked Son.

So Colonial Williamsburg, yes. It would be nice and quaint to revert back to a time when you could take a walk and not worry about the battery charge left in your IPod or how much time you had for your walk before you had to rush and drive somewhere else because we're all very busy, besides the fact that you drove to the park to take that walk which seems to defeat the purpose of taking the walk to begin with. It would be tortuous to enter this olde world after you mind has been overtaken and inundated with our communication and information obsession. Imagine your inability call anyone at anytime, check the scores of the game by flipping open a little metal/plastic object in your pocket. You had to make your own music with rocks and sticks. Images can't flicker in front of your eyes like they constantly do today. If you were lucky, you could see one drawing in a book. The rest was left to your imagination.

Imagination. I don't think I know anyone who has a really sharp one anymore. I used to think I had one but it's been dulled in my old age (24 as of 2 weeks ago). I've been trying and trying to get it going but that has also stunted it. My mind is frozen because it can't pay attention long enough to one endeavor in order to complete it in full. I want to do everything all at the same time. It can be seen by the diversionary tactics taken at Barnes and Noble. Even with a planned task at hand, I enter the Barnes & Noble with about 3 hours remaining till the close and pick up PC Magazine, Computer Arts Projects Magazine, Paste Music Magazine, and Filmmaker Magazine to name a few. Does one have too many interests in order to make himself feel special?

David Mamet quoted another writer named Eric Hoffer in one of the intro quotes that he had before each chapter, "One who hates what most people love probably savors his own uniqueness." While this isn't a completely perfect segue-way, is this what I like everybody is doing. We customize everything and upgrade to the new version when the old version works fine. My old car was dying but it still worked still I blew my savings on leasing a new Mazda. A Why did a paper and pen give way to a multitasking productivity suite? What do I really need a new laptop for? How many computers and hard drives does a person need? The cure might be reversion.We need to be brainwashed into the focused nature of our time in the crib. Wake up, cry, eat, nap, eat, fill the diaper, get changed, look around and wonder, laugh cry, milk, nap, stare at the dumb mobile, more food, try to escape the crib, fall, cry, nap again. It seems a bit we all just faking it? Or am I just being a downer?

Here's what I've come up with an immediate quick answer. I plan to make a concerted effort to focus on one thing at a time or tried to section off the tasks. Some objectives aren't meant as part of a multitasking lifestyle. If I'm trying to work on a script, then I'm working on a script. If writing a story or a "song," then that's what I'm doing. Will it be more effective? Will the outcomes be more fruitful and gratifying then recent efforts? Hopefully, for my own psyche. It's not writer's block if you're writing but it's writer's glut if its all ready to be burnt when it's finished. You can waste time on the non-salvageable if it will lead to a greater good. Maybe I should reject my apostate status that Mamet speaks so much of his book, although I'm not self-loathing of my heritage and religion, just lax in practice but still acknowledging its existence and its part in the definition of how I try to live my life.

Am I complicit in causing my own spiritual, creative, and contentment abyss? I'll worry about the religion part over time but for now I will stab at overcoming the creative and contentment part which is mostly a mental roadblock. I will turn off my phone. I will finish the book, although it's due at the library tomorrow and I've already renewed it three times. Maybe I'll just start another book. I will not be going to Colonial Williamsburg but I'm not in the class that the girlfriend is taking that is leading her there. I am not in any classes. I will try harder to focus and finish the task at hand. True multitasking is for special occasions. Bad for everyday use unless its on boring menial tasks at work like typing e-mails while listening to the slow drawl of a woman from Alabama complaining about the malfunctioning of her farting dog doll. But I still won't turn off my IPod, even if it's the one of the roots of this dysfunction. You can't change overnight, unless you accept Jesus as your personal savior.

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