Sunday 28 February 2021

Identity Politics

Upon waking up

It's a rare recollection 
Oh my God, it's true

Unless it's for you
The noxious aspiration

Incessantly blue

This thing in the run to and from one life is the inevitable process by which one teeters the perfect balance between the virtue and un-misused-ness of that life, an introduction of how one spends that life, or, more importantly, makes a living, as we put it.

It's an alpha process, to be sure, but to truly come off successfully, and not just like an asshole, because any asshole can vie for the top spot in a universe ruled by an alpha elite, and even convince themselves that their vying is viable or's even somehow been achieved, you must convince others you're convinced that you can justify your worth. This is where the side of the balance where one strives/exudes/deigns to exhibit the virtue of their undertaking. Yet the balance is still struck perfectly by implying that it's entirely by choice, that one is unencumbered by the decisions of some other asshole, not toeing someone else's line, in short, the lieutenant of one's own corner of their industry.

The process is perfectly put forth in all its everything and nothing glory on something called the game show. What one does for a living is said with much matter of factness. The manufactured nature of the name of any given profession, and, if it should come to it, the answer to the follow-up about what that should mean to the uninitiated at home goes unnoticed if the host, who plays that part for the viewers, steers clearly. We're here for the game, after all. Yet this process won't be circumvented.

Another scene involves arriving at a party early enough to have the unbridled attention of the person who invited you, or being spoken to by one you take for as the host, which, as you may find out, turns out to be just another loner like you, at least for the time being, before the wheels begin to spin the tale we tell about ourselves.

As another guest arrives, the process begins, not that it couldn't have already, but the arrival of each guest exposes the early attendee to the dangers of changing masks like a trick or treater looking to keep knocking on the same door. At some point someone is gonna say, "Wait. Aren't you the one who was trying to come off like he wasn't an asshole before?"

Here's where most people battle to arrive to the presentation late. No mask changes necessary. Not necessarily. World's do collide in space not dependent upon time, but being an early arrival can almost not beg the moment when the process of game show style introduction exposes an inconsistency in self-confidence that bleeds into the concurrent game, either in one's own bullshit or in the embarrassing need to heap some on an otherwise perfectly innocent tale. At least one person in the circle will recognize this.

As it happens I was not invited to this party. And funnily enough I was with someone when I arrived. We'd been driving, they'd been driving, erratically, trying to get through a crowd of people on the afternoon of some major parade, when we pulled off the road and sought a break.

Into what looked like a public house we wandered, all the way to the back where it faced the river. It was early evening. A woman I knew approached or, rather, a woman I had known, for I couldn't recall her name as she began the conversation. The awkwardness of feeling like I should know her name was tempered by the free flow of talk not in need of the process. To this point at least names could be assumed. She had not said mine and I'd be free until she had.

It turns out that this is a private party, her party, I think. At least this place is part of where she lives. More details on this are to remain unclear. What is clear at the outset is she doesn't make me feel uninvited. On the contrary, she even asks after my immediate comfort in a way that would indicate she is willing to go to some length to get me to stay. This continues long enough that I find myself playing a role inside my own head, in which I cannot remember the person I'd arrived with.

This is before any invited guests have made themselves evident, but just before the moment I feel the need to make an introduction. To be clear, I willed my friend gone for the other implied reason, not just because I couldn't remember the name of my old new hostess. 

Like a sense shorn loose of another, the biological imperative feeds its logic into the process. Short of being driven you'd never consider coitus, and here you are, feeding another generation into the machine of masking pretensions too embarrassing to countenance, save for as an early arrival to the party, or a late attendee too drunk to know when its better to be asleep.

That anyone would want to go to such a party would be strange enough if it weren't normal. Its origins lie in the natural sin of being thrown into it. To fall into the mood of wanting to attend is the default mode of healthy psychology. The nihilist is a virus not normal to this spreader event.

What did this all look like before it took on such industrial proportions? Before you could find some little corner of the hamlet to hide in, you were the town idiot. It's not like we don't know there are people who run things but the process by which it's all named and gamed makes specifics a little harder to identify.

There's no equivalent to storming the castle today. There are things we like to think of as centers of power, and we use terms like "restoration of order", but the powerful laugh at the insurrection of anyone else's curriculum vitae eloquently explained to a circle it wouldn't occur to them to want to belong to.