Sirius Tenenbaum

On Not Blogging

Preface: This entry is way too long for any reasonable blog enthusiast to read. I take comfort and pride in that.

It has been a long time now that I have allowed myself to stay stuck in a self imposed predicament--that of deciding not to write a weblog and yet wanting to write about not writing, then opting not to in order to avoid contradiction.

For nearly 4 years I wrote regularly, often daily, in my two Livejournal weblogs, from late 2002 to mid 2006. I had free time to spend on writing then. I was single and had a job that made it easy to do personal work during down time--which was most of the time. I was coming out of a dark depressing time in my life, moving forward into a creatively prolific one, broadening my interests from visual art to written forms, and using the internet as a creative medium itself.

But life moves in cycles, and it was apparent that I was having a convergence of endings occurring in 2005. The early 2000s were characterized by enthusiastic social activity which waned by mid-decade. Friends began to settle down and get married, some moved away. We were all getting older and had less energy to do the things that twenty-somethings did. I was feeling increasingly isolated, and in most cases choose to isolate myself in order to reflect on and examine the changes I was going through. The company I was working for was not doing well (which was apparent since I was able to spend more than half my time on personal writing and socializing on the internet), this came to a head when I was laid-off in September of 2005. I turned 35 that October. I had become disillusioned with my interest in self-publishing zines. I needed a new creative outlet, a new medium, but struggled to find interest in one. Like I said, it was clearly an ending to a chapter in my life, and so I moved on. In November of I moved out of Los Angeles after 11 years there, back to my home town of San Francisco; quite literally starting over.

I will bypass a biographical account of the last year and a half in order to return to the subject of writing about not writing. I stopped writing a weblog and greatly decreased my social internet activity in general because of the answers I came up with when I asked myself, Why? Why do I do it? What do I get out of it? What do I want from it and what happens to me when I don't get that?

I was not happy with the answers to my questions. I blogged for the attention. Specifically: appreciation, praise, positive response in any form. I could write in a bound paper notebook as I had done throughout my teenage years (before I ever had access to computers) if I simply loved to write and wanted to document my life. But blogging is about being seen, heard, read by strangers, friends and those who fall in between--Internet Friends--and receiving instant pats on the back or slaps in the face for it. Not everyone who reads your blog is a friend or even friendly. Some are mean, obtuse, or just plain annoying. Is it worth it hearing from these people? I questioned how much connecting with people really mattered to me when I'd want 99% of them to be silent. Sometimes I would get no response at all, and that was almost worse because again, I wanted to be read, I wanted to connect, but you can't know how or with whom you are connecting when they do not comment back. One might at least take comfort in believing (indeed with anxious faith) that your real friends read your blog and that you "got it out there." What does it mean and what good is it really to get your words out on the internet? Blogging became an emotional gamble to me that would occasionally pay off--as I felt I had learned the game pretty well--but ultimately the house odds are always against you. More often than not you leave the game empty-handed. The house doesn't mind, there are a billion more suckers out there throwing down as if they were high-rolling for the New York Times. As blogging gives the benefit of a public voice to millions, many of those voices affect self-importance--as I myself had become guilty of on occasion.

I did not want to become that. I did not want to write for these reasons. I did not want to care this much about attention of this kind. I had inadvertently trained myself to write for the reward of the volume and quality of responses I got, and that found its way into my motivation and intentions for writing, which ruined it for me. Whether I was "connecting" with anyone was really an open semantic and philosophical debate. What if I had all the connection I needed with people in my real life? Maybe I even needed a better connection with myself. I believe that is what happened. I moved back to San Francisco; where I grew up, where my family lives. I began a relationship with my present girlfriend, collected a few good people who I count as true friends, found a good satisfying job and a good place to live near my family. I no longer had the need to socialize on the internet--even though I occasionally do to this day, I do not need it and rarely want it. I no longer have the time or energy for it. It's something I do when I'm very bored or very tired. Something I attribute to age and a bit of wisdom: the most depressing thing I can do is spend my time on something that isn't important to me on a deep and personal level. After work is done, time is not money--time is life, which is all you have. I am truly damned if I am spending that time absorbing the cacophonous noise of the social internet, a smorgasbord of judgment and egotism as entertainment.

And now, full circle, here I am facing the irony that I couldn't let go of: I feel the need to blog about not blogging. There is still truth to the idea that I just want to get this out there, out of my head, but also that I would like to be read and appreciated. Now though, I am ready to post and then let it go. Short of disabling the ability to respond, I do not need or want a response, but I'll accept what comes or what does not. In a way, it is a great lesson to learn and a great discipline to practice, to continue to risk the consequences of exposure. A sort of Zen approach to blogging is what I intend:

Write from your gut, with your heart, and expect nothing for it; endeavor to achieve true communication; accept and exchange but give no value to praise or criticism--either holds as much consequence as you allow.

What I write is not important. What I post is not something anyone should read. It exists as a product of my living, no more or less.

A grain of sand hidden deep in the earth, undifferentiated from its surrounding, another on the surface that it might find its way into the hair of a child playing on the beach; both are profoundly equal, each meaning nothing more than what it is.
Sirius Tenenbaum

Less in 07

2006 was the year I started disappearing. I must do better in 2007.

I have lobbied for a philosophy of letting go, giving up, quitting, squelching ambition and embracing defeat. I believe it is the path to truth.
I wish I was better at adopting it myself.

I wish I was better at expressing silence.
I wish I could say nothing and have it really mean something.
I wish I was better at diffusing my desire to consume unchecked.
Or do I still just need to accept myself?

Increasingly I notice trash--the amount of garbage I create is shameful.

I put 20 years of audio tapes into the garbage yesterday. It was liberating and regretful at once. I felt like I was putting thousands of hours to waste, those spent making and listening to them. But I realized those hours were gone, well spent and the relics meant nothing. Useless little boxes.

Digital is slow at decreasing the amount of things created for future garbage, but there is progress.

I'm not who I used to be. I've turned a corner. I've played many parts so far and my roles came to conclusions. There is no going back to them; my performance was left out on the stage; one night only.

When I was a child I would imagine what it would be like if my house burned down and all my stuff turned to ashes. I'd be sad for a few stuffed animals and toys that I believed contained a secret living spirit, but in general I would have felt the disaster to be a great fortune. Total destruction, amnesia, life altering tragedy, starting over from nothing; these ideas thrilled me.

It is my aim for less in the future. It is a battle with my self always wanting more, always fearing boredom and mediocrity, fearing the loss of inspiration and vitality, fearing death, fearing a life of invisibility without meaning or affect. It is my aim to conquer loss by having less, by relinquishing ownership of everything--to relinquish ownership of life is to conquer death. It is my aim to embrace a life without meaning. Let the weak, unstable and temporal be exposed to the elements and crumble, let the essential structure be revealed, standing on its own unto itself.
Sirius Tenenbaum

Goodbye

I am, for the most part, an average man.
And these days, for the most part, I have nothing to say about that.
I'm just being that.

Many of you, livejournal friends, have meant a lot to me at times.
I mean no harm or hurt, insult or injury, when I say I'm leaving you now, officially.
I don't want to just disappear like a bubble on the wind, a setting sun, a pet that runs away and never comes back. I want to say goodbye and farewell—in the true sense; that I do hope you fare well in life and everything you do. Until we meet again, this is the end of Cecil Sirius Seaside on livejournal.
Look for me elsewhere and you'll find me.

XO
Sirius Tenenbaum

Shoelander

greatest shoe chasm

I'm serious about my shoes. I don't buy them often. I wait until I need a new pair; and this pair typically becomes my main pair of shoes. You will see me wearing that same pair of shoes about 75% of the time. I invest my current identity in those shoes. A while back, when I was 26, I got these shoes with a number "26" on the side, because the brand was "Red 26". I had a pair of navy blue Pumas with an orange stripe once. I thought they were the greatest Pumas ever at the time and I rarely saw anyone with the same pair. I try to find a shoe that I think is unique as possible, because I think I am unique as possible. I got some Campers when I thought no one else had Campers. I was eyeballing a pair of Diesels in the store window for several months until I bought them, right before they took them off the shelves. I still think they are the best looking Diesels ever (before they got all court-jestery) and I like the idea that once I bought them, they were nearly impossible to find. Sometimes it's a technique I use to wait until the hottest thing cools off before buying it. You could say that is simply following a trend once it has become "safe." I am not cutting edge, but I like to think I have good post-trend under-the-radar taste. My style is time-release & sneak-attack. Slow-sick low-dose arsenic, yo.

So it's new shoe time again, because my Diesels are getting old and it's time for a new identity. I have found the best New Balance shoe ever made; it's a limited edition and you can't find them. Don't even try. I OWN the shoe and there can be only one owner of the best shoe ever made. If I see you wearing my shoe I will race you for them. If I beat you, and I will, you must give up your shoes to me, and I will cast them into the inferno. I am the Shoelander. There can be only ONE.

Sirius Tenenbaum

10 years later, I made paintings again.

Tomorrow I'm in this art event called Lap Pop. Check it out. I'll be showing 5 recent paintings. And I when I say recent, I mean they still aren't dry yet. I haven't made a single painting in over 10 years. (Not including the Enid Raptor shirt replica)

-------

In other news:

Hello.

No time.

New job.

New life.

It's good.

I'm sick though.

Rain almost every day.

My girlfriend is the best one there is.

I will update like I used to again one day. I promise.

It seems all I used to do was reflect and write.

Now I'm too busy to think about what happened even an hour ago.

I'm sorry I haven't called, written, read, taken you out to dinner or remembered your birthday.
  • Current Music
    Angelo Badalamenti: La Clé De La Victoire
Sirius Tenenbaum

His Name is Alive

No, they are not a jesus band! I'm going to see them tonight at Cafe du Nord and I kinda can't believe it. I don't think they play very often and have been one of my favorite bands since the late 80s. I've only seen them once before about 10 years ago in a record store. Awesome. Courtney is awesome for spotting the listing and getting the tix!

A very happy friday to all.
  • Current Mood
    excited excited
Sirius Tenenbaum

End TImes

I listened to Coast to Coast with George Noory last night and it almost made me believe in Jesus! Those of you who do believe in Jesus, please don't push any more Jesus toward me but I'm just saying, hey, I don't know, maybe he WILL come back at Armageddon. who knows. Deep down I believe humans invented the concept of God, but that doesn't mean I don't believe fantastical things can exist.

Hi, I live in San Francisco now.

Anyway, dig this recap of last night's show:

End Times & Biblical Prophecy
Founder of Endtime Ministries, Irvin Baxter, discussed how biblical prophecies such as from the Book of Revelation are lining up to indicate that we are entering into 'End Times.' In his estimation we are only around six to eight years away from the final battle of Armageddon, which he described as a conflict involving nuclear weapons, lasting possibly just 45 days. Leading up to this will be a war involving a nation with a 200 million strong army (which he suspects is China) that will result in the deaths of 2 billion people.

One of the key 'End Times' indicators, he said, is the planned National ID Card which Americans will need to begin using by May 2008. The card is moving us much closer to the prophesied "Mark of the Beast," he believes, and because of this and other concerns, he has launched the No National ID campaign.

The Antichrist is likely a man somewhere in his 40's to 60's, possibly a high official in the EU, opined Baxter, who added that the man doesn't realize he's the Antichrist but actually thinks of himself as being Christ-like.


And below is an interpretation of how the "Mark of the Beast" may be impending via the capitalist economy:

Revelation 13:16-18

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.


Explanation:

Proponents of world government teach that there are three major causes of war on the earth: political conflicts, economic conflicts, and religious conflicts. They contend that, if we had one-world government, a global economy, and one-world religion, the root causes of war would be abolished. With the advent of The European Union, NAFTA, APEC, and GATT it appears that a one-world economy is upon us.

The Bible teaches that the time will come where this one-world economy will be so dominant that no man may buy or sell unless he has received a mark in his right hand or forehead. Our world is rapidly moving toward a cashless society where every economic transaction is done electronically and requires that each individual has a number associated with them (e.g. Social Security number). It has been recommended by some in banking circles that a special invisible number be implanted somewhere on the body. This number would satisfy the needs of the banking community, the manufacturing industry, and the businesses that supply us with goods and services. Emerging technologies such as RFID are enabling such a system.


And yet somehow this all leaves me with a feeling of relief and optimism. Maybe it's that though I believe in no particular myth as literal truth or any divine plan for the universe, I'd be happy to discover I was wrong. (emphasis on "discover" not "...be convinced that...")
  • Current Music
    The Decemberists: A Cautionary Song
Sirius Tenenbaum

More Cosplayers!

So many great costumes at this convention!

I just can't get over how amazing these people are. The faces and body types span all categories, but it's how they literally wear their imaginations and obsessions with the characters they love that elevates them all to a sublime state of human expression. Compare and contrast the accuracy of their impersonation or the skill with which their costumes are designed, but their enthusiasm is all equal. I think they're all brave, I think they're all true heros. Yes, I laugh at them, I laugh at the extreme dorkitude, but more than that I am humbled and I admire them. They are costumed but in that the are sort of psychically naked. and many are partly actually naked! And a few are totally sexy! Many make me exclaim out loud because I never imagined seeing anyone like them.
Sirius Tenenbaum

Happy St Beertricks Day

&clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs &clubs
  • Current Mood
    chipper Beamish