Sometimes I want to take it all down. Then I realize that it’s 20+ years of my life. It is part of my life’s work. Everything that has gone up throughout those years has made a difference. If it didn’t change my life it gave someone else a start, a jolt, or annoyed them off into another direction which they were meant to travel. Even if it was one dumb photograph or one line in the thousands of paragraphs. One good jack off to my Flickr album.
I used to be the type of person who thought the only way to engrave my legacy upon history was to create things. As a very young child I understood that to last meant to have your own statue. I grew up near Gettysburg Pennsylvania where there’s a lot of people throughout history we wouldn’t know about if not for their bronze semblances on horseback. One foot up. Both feet up. All feet down.
I would morbidly share my desire that when I died I needed my family to erect a great statue at my grave and etch upon it how fabulous I was. I knew it was my only chance of survival; to be unearthed hundreds of years from now by some planet of the apes culture to dote upon my chiseled likeness.
Then, later on, I had those mind-blowing realizations about how nothing lasts. Whether it’s one hundred years from now or six billion, eventually the sands will pour over it all and we will be no more. The libraries will burn. The paintings will melt. The statues will explode along with the planet as the sun goes supernova or Andromeda finally collides. Our memorialized thoughts will vaporize. There is no preservation that lasts forever except that of spirit from mind. As long as the universe is alive then we will be alive in some way; albeit not the way we probably want to be.
The only way we live on is by influencing those around us and implanting pieces of ourselves into others. These pieces shape them and then they shape others. These little legacies do not come with a name tag. I don’t get the honor of being the known influencer. I get to be a building block. The one who influenced another who then influenced another and onward into greatness.
The only way for your spirit to survive is biological. Not only by dating, mating, and extricating; but by inspiring fellow creatures. This is not about intentionally changing people’s lives. I gave that a try too and it creates some good work, but what really packs a wallop is the unintentional changes. The people befriended on the other side of the planet (or down the street) who were made confident by your own confidence to then become confident. The little things you did or said that inspired someone else to build something great. It’s the general kindnesses that you give away without thought that may make the world to another person and send them spiraling in a direction of fabulation. This is where pieces of ourselves spread to others and get unknowingly passed through the centuries. Some kind of poetic epigenetical masterpiece.
I sometimes want to take it all down because I’ve outgrown it. I was once a living version of Max Headroom, your very own Technical Boy among the gods of technology. I ignored who I was because I hated the person I appeared to be. The Internet gave way for me to build a New Me and I never looked any further until one day I started living life offline. When that happened I needed to work out who I really was. I had to take what was online and put the work into what existed offline. That person who is true to themselves, for real.
There are times when I feel I’ve come beyond it to a level of embarrassment. Some days the Internet can be like a doting mother showing your baby pictures to your new lover. But it’s a little late for that now. What was built will have to remain because it’s what we built. They’re just going to have to accept what happened yesterday if they want to accept me today.
I leave it all be, because I won’t be the one to tear up all of the work. That vlog from fifteen years ago could save some kid’s life like some other vlog probably saved mine! Not to mention all of the brain cells and human organs that were spent creating the treasure that became The Artist D.
Time will be the one to destroy me and my work. I don’t have to end any of it because it will do that all by itself. The social sites will shutter to new ones. The servers will transfer out to oblivion and someone will eventually stop paying the light bill. It’ll all be absorbed bit by bit into the cells of the cyber world like a bad Geocities page filled with broken links.
The Internet has become a gigantic dumpster fire. It is nothing like it was and the normal people ruined it for everyone. I can choose to stay away from it and not actively participate in it, but far be it from me to remove any of it just because it makes me feel one way or the other.
It was probably Spring of 2008. I was driving back to Nevada from California during a monsoon. There was this one part of the highway where when it floods enough it looks like a lake with a road running through it. The water reaches up on both sides tickling the roadway just enough to begin to make you nervous.
I was thinking that I had nowhere to go when I got home. “Home” being a very loosely used term for me. I never felt like I had a home. I spent my first eighteen years on Earth trying to escape the home of my progenitors. After which I hopped from place to place, usually within six month leases, desperately searching for the home I never thought I had and never thought I could find.
A lot of my life could pose the question, “Well, what did you expect?”
Sometimes I wonder what I did expect or how I expected certain things. Of course hindsight is a bitch. The older I get the more I can look at things with a disconnect that surpasses the perceptions of before. It’s unnerving. It’s annoying. I don’t think I really appreciate hindsight like other poetic bastards do.
I have flashbacks of that highway surrounded by water. They come to me like slow motion grainy filmstrip pieces in a Rob Zombie film. I think it was because I had been so very in between things and that is great point of reference. I don’t remember what I had been doing when returning from California and I don’t know to where in Nevada I had been going. I do know that there was a significant feeling of nothing. I felt as though my time in California had come to an end. I thought that what awaited me in Nevada had no chance of succeeding. The To Do List had been thoroughly checked off and I had no idea what “Next” looked like.
I never did find the home I expected. Presently I’ve come to accept what home appears to be. Because after so much moving and life spent you’ve got to stop spending that much on something that wasn’t being discovered. Just like the career of an Internet Celebrity.
Hindsight asks many questions which often appear in self-help articles. What is important? What really matters? What did you expect?
As I drove across that long road surrounded by water I expected the world. I’ve always expected the world. I wondered why the money, success, fame, and glamour had not been awarded to me simply for being fabulous. I now know that the more brilliant a person is, the harder it will be to succeed. Society does not reward those who deserve it. It rewards those fools who fight the most unfair games to steal it.
If some kid was asking their elder for a little sage advice I’d tell them that it’s really not about what they earn, it’s about what they take. But they need to take it as if they earned it. We now live in the time of “fake it until you make it” gone terribly awry.
I see a shift ever so often among people. One day the people on my friends lists and follow walls start saying they feel very differently today. That little sparkle of universal shift that probably fades away in five seconds. But it’s there. Many people have said so recently and I feel it too.
I don’t know what that means.
This life feels like a magician’s act. And for my next amazing feat. And for my next. And for my next … is anyone there? Hello. Hello. Are you out there? Squinting, peering out into the audience, with the stage lights far too bright to see that no one is out there.
I kept creating because I was afraid that to focus on me would be self absorbed. I’ve been forced to create at times from nothing but terror and paranoia. I sacrificed nights and weekends to push on to write, record, and blather. There was such a fear of what happens when I stopped.
I thought sitting on the couch and reading a book was selfish. Well, it could be done, but just make sure you’ve uploaded this week’s shows, blog, and scheduled out the social media first.
It felt like if I stopped creating I may stop breathing. And I’m still not convinced that isn’t completely untrue.
I can tell you that if that’s what you’d like to do then you should do it. Those people used to make me so angry. The friends at home reading a book and keeping their genius to themselves. Spending all of that time on themselves. Having a coffee without an Instagram. Enjoying a library read without a bit of Twittering. It’s just as maddening as when people spend time with their mate or their children. The bane of an artistic existence.
The bane of an artistic existence. When creativity comes second or third. When your stage performance can be called off. When you no longer think the show always has to go on.
It only took a few decades to figure that we are not the original explorers, financiers, navigators, and cartographers of rationality. It just so happens no one is listening by choice, not by lack of available resources. They said they wanted the answer until they heard what it was. They never wanted the answer and I’m 99% sure they never will.
We’re as original as Columbus. Not very original at all.
There are all kinds of people out there. It all churns the machine forward. The creators and the readers. The workers and the leaders. The martyrs. So, take your time. It’s alright now. Read that book while sprawled on the chesterfield without photographing it. You don’t need the statue after all.