Friday, December 17, 2010

When Singing Karaoke, We Are All Vulnerable Children

Tonight was the second night in a row that I was out at a karaoke bar. I enjoy it. Watching people sing. Being there. It feels so funny.

It feels hard to write right now because I drank a bit. But I know I want to write a few things. Because I have a few things to say.

One thing I will say is about something my friend said to me. He said he forgot how hip this crowd was, the crowd we were out with. I was the friend of a friend. It was okay. Didn't get to talk to too many people because it was so crowded and loud.

But these people, sure, were 'hip'. But then I see them singing karaoke and it's like, 'you motherfuckers are goofy just like me, what is this hipness we speak of, why do we play these roles'. Because I don't think that they were hip. Sure, they dressed well, had gauges in their ears, had beards. Whatever. Fuck that. I don't care.

When we sing karaoke we all just feel awakrd in front of a crowd of people. Or we don't. We have a good time. We sing. It is funny and exciting.

But I guess what I'm getting at is the more crucial idea of the distinction between childhood and adulthood. When do we really become adults? I don't know that we do. Life is continuous, dynamic. There is never this single switch to adulthood.

I just don't like that.

Margaret Mead? She did work on adulthood in other cultures I think? Or work on adolescence? I dunno. What is with this idea of coolness?

Why do people hold things above other people? Why do people act like masculinity is some kind of shit to be trumpeted? To make jokes about?

I can't be explicit here because I don't want to call anybody out. I don't want to be directly aggressive in my writing. But sure, perhaps I'm being passive aggressive.

If you want to joke about how you are manlier than me, then I already know we are gonna have some problems.

This is pretty much what happens when I write blogs after drinking a bit: I drift into this space where my social life and my intellectual life blend and swirl.

And here is my big secret: my intellectual life and my social life always blend.

I was thinking that maybe these drunk posts read very abstractly. Like I'm talking pure wind or nothing at all.

I can't express to you how deeply embedded they are in my daily social life.

I can't even tell you because it would sound too abstract.

But the social world is my only world. My thought is always about it.

So many of my ideas that I write about come to me after I tell a co-worker that I am having a bad day, or that I hope they feel better.

I love small talk.

And my best ideas come right after my bouts of small talk. I think I'm getting better at being persistent with my small talk. Some people seem so far gone. So removed. They seem miles away. I ask them how they are and they say good without batting an eye and without contemplating reciprocating the question.

Does it make me crazy? Maybe.

Does it make me worried? Definitely.

What is it about this world that makes us so disconnected from one another?

I feel so connected to people. I hope I can make other people feel that way on occasion.

Oh! The love I feel!

I'm sorry for the aggressive comment earlier about masculinity. But I do think it's a pretty fucked up way of engaging with yourself and with other people.

To poke fun at others because you are too locked into social values about the maintenance of body and image? Poppycock. Get over yourself. Get some perspective on your behavior.

And at the end of the day, here I am. Pained by my perspective on myself.

But guess what. I think I prefer it to being locked in.

I prefer to float in personal and social uncertainty than to be unreflectively locked in to a cultural world that eludes my understanding.

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