Sunday, 27 August 2006

The More You Try To Erase Me

A wonderful human being called John van der Put bought me a book called A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick and it aroused all kinds of profound feelings in me.

Today, John and I went to the Clapham Picture House to see the movie, starring (if that's the word as they are disfigured by the interpolated rotoscoping) Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jnr, Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder. It was brilliant and lovely to see John but many of the feelings that were brought up by reading the book returned to me in waves.

I worry about losing my mind, or more accurately how much will be left of me when I'm old? The frustration is compounded by the fact that my mental health issues are of my own doing, decisions made over 15 years ago still repercussing like a pinball off the bumpers and flippers; chipping bits of me away. I worry about having no true grip on what reality is, on the anchor that holds me down coming loose and without an anchor what's stopping me flying away forever? I've had moments when I have no idea what is truth, what is fiction and what is tangible and what is imagined; after a while you begin to question the very tenets of existence and in that path lays death: a continuous suicide.

I don't want to forget who I am. I don't want to forget what love means. I don't want to forget my name.

And then comes the ghosts of long dead comrades, which makes all the worry feel vulgar and wasteful; I should be grateful that I'm here in the first place, damaged goods or not, at least I can seize the moment, I least I can exist and do the very best I can and through my actions my brothers can live on.

Philip K. Dick closes his book with the following words, so I'll steal them...

"In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The 'enemy' was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy."

19 comments:

  1. Dick is one of my all time favorite writers. I highly recommend VALIS, which based on your post, I think you will very much appreciate.

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  2. Fear of future dementia aside, we lose our minds when we lose ourselves, which is to say, when our constructs are no longer valid.

    When we are children, we need the boogeyman as much as the nightlight, to make everything seem correct. However, we reach an age when, of course, the lights either stay on, or we learn to move in the dark.

    We know what the problem is, and we know what needs to be done. The fact is that an ancient evil is currently killing the world's children, and rolling back three centuries of social reforms all through the world in the name of unipolar control.

    It is not difficult to see how this evil has come to young people in the guise of "loving" Christianity, and other "pragmatic" social institutions, and it is especially clear to the lucid student of history, not the tourists who rewrite what has been to suit their own stupid ends, that the current generations have been cleanly duped.

    Do we punish those who have been tricked into paying for this destruction? Or do we kill the head of the snake and see how its victims react when loosed from its coils?

    These are the only real questions at this very time, but only one answer will suffice, if anyone in the world is to know a dependable sanity ever again: this evil must be stopped, and it must be put away once and for all.

    The Revolution is in its last days. Either the free people of the world triumph over the oligarchy, and finally kill the enemies of life, or we perish.

    It really is that simple, and goddamn anyone to their own delusions should they shirk this responsibility.

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  3. Do you worry about "losing your mind" due to some past physical/chemical damage to your brain? There is a lot of redundancy in brains, they can rewire to compensate for some kinds of damage.

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  4. If Im not allowed to refer to myself as damaged goods, then neither are you. We are not damaged, we are human. That is all we can be, and that is wonderful. xxx

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  5. Ask the goddamn children of Lebanon if they feel like "damaged goods."

    Fucking self-centred autophiles make me vomit with a ferocity usually only conjured by bud's incessant, typically American dismissal of the human experience.

    Everybody--grow a pair and remember the really shitty things that never killed you.

    This is in no way directed toward Daniel, who is remaining true to the human experience, but I believe you psycho Christian fools know something about Job and his "comforters?" Or do I know your Bible better than you?

    Enough with the vapid ignoring of reality. Enough with the "we're all in it together." Enough with the whole "I'm okay, you're okay" fucking crap.

    Life sucks, and then you die. What are you doing to make it suck less for the person next door?

    Jesus FUCKING Christ.

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  6. The great thing about going senile is that you can go out in public without your trousers and feel no shame...

    Of course, the true brilliance of losing your mind is that you don't actually realise that you've lost it.

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  7. The trouble is Darren that in the early stages you know what you're losing and what you'll never have again.

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  8. Daniel, can you be more specific?

    Have you been diagnosed with something by a real doctor? I receive a "diagnosis" and usually a prognosis and prescription, every time I comment here, but that's just flaming.

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  9. Yes, Daniel, be more specific. It might help, you never know. It's hard to carry stuff around, too, if that's what you're doing elsewhere and not just on your blog. If what you say is true, you'll need people to watch out for you.

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  10. Being someone who reads my own rantings, you know that I too suffer through the axact same thing you are describing. You are very correct when you talk about how much it sucks a big load of ass to not only be losing your mind, but to be able to see it happen as it happens. To be completely aware of what is happening to you and at the same time, completely unable to do a fucking thing about it.

    If you're as much like myself as I think you are, you are absolutely against any and all forms of therapy. I'm doing enough to my own head, I don't need some other dickhead fucking me up worse and I damn sure don't want the drugs to make me numb to it. Who would want to effectually disappear from the world just to be able to be happy in it? Certainly not I.

    As best as I can figure it out, what we are experiencing is the price we pay for our craft. You dedicate thousands upon thousands of hours teaching yourself to see things through everyone else's eyes. You learn to ignore your own thoughts in order to experience theirs and somewhere along that path, you begin to disassociate who you really are from yourself. To make things even more complicated, as you learn to experience what others do and express it, you constantly change and adjust what makes you you. You get new knowledge and wisdom and your opinions and thoughts and, eventually, your personality are all changed along the way. Then you start to wonder to yourself - am I me? What the fuck happened to me? Why can I not shake this off? And the worse you feel, the worse it gets. It's a viscous and heartless cycle that never stops repeating itself in your head. Maybe that's why Brando went fucking loony? It never ends.

    Of course, we are not any different than anyone else when it comes to this. What sets us apart is that through our craft, we experience a thousand times more than your average person so for us it's an accelerated process. We actively seek out new shit to try and new feelings to feel all the time whereas the normal person tends to learn more passively so it is a much slower process for them. It also doesn't help that the average person, like it or not, is a fucking complete idiot. A congressman's brain without a congressman's clout if you will. A soccer mom who's world only extends to the quiet little shell she builds around herself and her daily routine. A simpleton.

    As much as I like my life, I'd give anything to be one of the average. The fat, dumb, and happy masses that mindlessly wander through life without the time or the honest ability to ask the hard questions. The many believers that never think to question the story of Jesus. What I wouldn't give to find Jeff Foxworthy funny. What I wouldn't give to be able to believe that Jessica Simpson really is talented.

    Instead, I, as are you, am stuck with this fucking head that never shuts down, that is constantly exploring it's own dark and creepy hallways of existence. I guess it's just the price we pay for being who and what we are. Not any better or any worse than anyone else, just different.

    If nothing else, maybe it will give you something to think about ha ha ha. Damn I'm funny!

    Until later, amigo...

    Oh, and congrats on the gig. I may have a really great opportunity rolling my way for once as well and if it all pans out, I'll tell you all about it. Don't want the Gods of jinx and karma and Murphy's law to start fucking with me if I get my hopes up too high yet.

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  11. I welcome Madness when I get old. I would rather turn into a loon, wondering why I am wearing melons as slippers than spend the twilight years of my life alone in an old age pensioners home, being abused by uncaring staff and contemplating the ultimate futility of life.

    The self destructive life we all lead held back by religious doctrine is really rather useless.

    Hanging on to the possibility of an after life will stop us progressing beyond out bodies, learning true life extension or expanding our kind beyond our solar system... and one day no matter what we have achieved the sun will die and we will never have existed. Mankind as a whole will have been an insignificant blip in space time so each individual will infinitesimally more insignificant in the scheme of things.. So where’s my melon slippers and sock pipe... Bring it on.

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  12. Yes, I am aware I could slip into another place altogether. I often find myself talking to no one....it's just occuring to me that I haven't thought to tell anyone, though. I don't think anyone could do anything anyway. I have wondered if it is the price we pay to allow ourselves to be so absorbed in our work, our crazy visions. And speaking of crazy visions, I think I'll be lucid to fight the battle of my life. And no, I don't think that's part of losing my mind.

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  13. Bud: when I was a wee lad I took a lot of drugs, the toll has been taken on my mind so I suffer from panic attacks and hallucinations as well as memory loss and mood swings.

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  14. Would everyone please try and remember Daniel lost an aunt recently?

    Can we also remember the effect it had on Daniel, that her passing was almost a forgotten passing-mention in the family news?

    It is simple biology, not complex psychology which makes our lives demand importance. When we see others' lives--like the lives of the Afghan, Iraqi, and Lebanese children Daniel's seen wasted--treated as if they are worthless, it can really fuck with us.

    Plus the hectic work schedule. I hope you take proper medical care, Daniel, but understand the strain you've been under. Hopefully that can reassure you so you don't turf.

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  15. Man, Col. Dr. just shove it already. Everybody cares about Daniel, and you make it sound as though he's being attacked. Just fuck you. I care about my friend and what I have to say to him is heartfelt and sincere. So please remember my fucking ass.

    Sorry, Daniel.

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  16. Daniel--your post is this way of profound I'm not sure what to say, except to say (in what will elicit a post today on my blog)that whilst you are feeling the way you do, please remember very strongly that Marie, Marie, Marie is the greatest redemption of your (occasional mental) loneliness, so hang onto her tight!!

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  17. Daniel, i am really sorry to hear about how you are feeling. I too have been worrying lately about going mental in later life, because my gran has severe senile dementia (she is 78 and she is in such a bad state that it is worse than a lot of sufferers older than her) and we have to look after her in our house because we can't afford to put her in a home, and even if we could, most of them wouldn't take her. So that has made me very aware of the condition, and i worry about it a lot now. It also makes me wonder why so few people seem to worry about it - e.g. the media goes on and on about schizophrenia for example, you hardly ever hear about dementia, and when you do, it's just about the memory loss, not the other symptoms - why aren't they worried about it like I am?
    Sorry if that's a bit of a long post, i'm working on a blog post about it on my own blog, but i haven't had the time to finish it...
    Anyway, i just hope that somehow things improve for you...

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  18. Denise: thank you for stepping in but Col.Dr is a good man and he has not offended me and he speaks sense, I really appreciate your words but I am cool with the Col.Dr.

    Peace to all readers!

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