Since getting back from holiday I realise that I am now in a transition period.
I had such a nice time being away the returning has put me in some what of a funk.
Lots of regular life stuff all coming at once. The only way out it through. But honestly there is so much shit still to ‘go through’ in the UK that the route seems without end.
I just have to remember that we are all in the Archipelago.
I read Meta-Nomad‘s essay collection Exiting Modernity whilst I was away. Its really fun to re-visit posts and articles read several years ago. I think more people with blogs should self publish writing collections.
I particularly enjoyed re-visiting James’ essay ‘Dropping Out’. I remember reading it at the time.
It’s that books influence why I said the words ‘checking out’ on the show yesterday. A few people asked what I specifically meant by that and I’m not sure myself.
I’ll just start typing and see what my hands say.
One useful way of thinking about it is what James says about ‘Dropping Out’
In short then ‘Dropping Out’ is simply the – critical – process of ‘leaving’ the normalcy imposed upon you by society. It is to say ‘I would rather not.’, ‘I do not do that.’ or ‘No.’ in the face of assumed choices.
It’s really spot on to describe Dropping Out as a process rather than a destination. Checking out for me then is an active event rather than a passive one.
Checking out for me I think the process of withdrawing from parts of the world that bring little joy. I’m a big fan of the essay ‘Avoid News’ and have linked to it several times over the years. I also mention it in Your Attention Is Sovereign. I think now however, at least for a little while, I would extend the sentiment to a much wider sphere of the culture at large.
Sports, Entertainment, Politics etc are all examples of spectator engagement that suck up large amounts attention, time and brain power for very little reward.
I can’t really check out of any of those things as I don’t watch any sports, or films/TV. I’m going to make more of an effort to stop checking into the day to day derangement that is 24/7 liveblog Westminster Politics. Being infected by brain worms leaking from ‘Westminster politics’ is definitely the thing I resent the most about the Corbyn era.
This isn’t just me further railing against social media. More of a re orientation around the edges of ‘Normalcy’. It is my relationship to the entire meta layer of culture and media.
Checking Out for me, really means Checking In to other things.
The question is check in to what?
One of the biggest barriers in my personal life for a very long time has been caring very very deeply about what other people think of me.
Since I was a kid I found day to day interactions with other people baffling. Other people really are alien. As someone who struggles with the idea of ‘a so called emotion’ like ’empathy’ I had to find other ways to cope.
In adolescence, I ended up constructing complex, elaborate and recursive mental models of other people. Modelling peoples motivations and behaviours, based on past behvaiour, simulating future behaviour and then navigating by the results.
This of course created a tight negative feedback loop that put undue importance my own behaviour and actions.
This feedback loop meant that I ended up doing things and acting in ways to please my own mental models of other people rather than the people themselves. Or to put it another way:
I did things because I thought it would make other people, think better of me.
As a strategy for navigating the choppy waters of adolescence in a small town by the sea it was fine. But proved to be a disaster when extended in to my late teens and early twenties.
Since I turned 30 I have made serious efforts to get to the root of some of this stuff on the meditation mat. A process of learning to give less of a shit about what other people think of me.
However it’s easier said than done.
This sort of recursive self image worry is even worse when putting ideas out into the world, on the internet, or to an audience. I talked a little about this and my struggles with dyslexia the other week too.
Last year I realised that No Approval is Needed. I have since then, been trying to lean into it. Its been hard when you still have nagging thoughts about how other imaginary people might react or receive the things I do/say/write about.
Posting that long blogpost about making my first shadow puppet the other week was very helpful.
Then theres nothing quite like spending ages writing it up and posting it online and having absolutely nobody giving a flying fuck about it.
The puppet post has been the worst performing post (in its first 5 days) on my blog in the last 12 months. Hahaha
This hasn’t been the crushing disappointment, seen as a personal failure or damning inditement that I would have perceived it to be, even as recently as 18 months ago.
Instead it has been freeing. The finally piece of the personal puzzle. Really really good.
The honest truth. No one gives a flying fuck about the things I’m interested in. Some people might be interested in some of the things I enjoy. But not all of them in totality.
I realise as I type this that I’m repeating some of the things I said on 301 about getting new glasses recently too.
I know that almost everyone is too wrapped up in their own lives to give a shit about the things I think they are thinking about me. To think that people give a shit about things that I think that worry me late at night is egocentric behaviour to the point of absurdity.
Most of the bits of creative work I have on my hard drive are all things I think would be cool to make. Then I lost interest due to some self doubt about an imaginary audience.
So the process of Checking Out, I think is to just Check In to the things that I enjoy the most.
If you think that you see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel at all, you are mistaken.
The Ministry Of My Own Labour
- Only just back from holiday but diving in to a big big spreadsheet wrangling project
- Beginning to think more seriously about NaNoWriMo for 2021 and have set aside some time next week to do some plotting/planning/prep
- Trying to figure out a new short/mid/long term to do list flow. My current set up is no longer working for me at all for self directed projects
- Finally got paid for a thing I did months ago. Going to buy a new mattress lol.
Dipping the Stacks
After hearing complaints from the reporter that the game was totally sold out in Dayton, she was then asked to comment on the situation with the missing boy.
“What boy?” she replied.
“Plaintiff Leacraft would not have purchased the device or would not have paid as much for it had he known that he would have to maintain ink in the device in order to scan documents,” reads the complaint for the class action lawsuit.
In 1968, Cathie, a New Zealand airline pilot, novice mathematician and outspoken UFO proponent, made a curious observation. After pouring over UFO sighting reports across the world, Cathie became convinced he detected a geographic pattern.
I have Cathie’s Bridge to Infinity book somewhere in a box at my parents house.
One day in the 1950s, a quick-thinking IKEA designer on his way to a catalogue photo shoot unscrewed the legs of a LOVET table so it would fit in the car.
in The Rise of Skywalker, a weird sense of irrelevance finally emerges victorious. The movie isn’t just the end of the Skywalker saga — it’s the end of an era in which Star Wars itself mattered.
Well holiday was pretty good for books.
- I finished James’ Exiting Modernity.
- I read the Warhammer 40k book ‘Fire Made Flesh’. I really enjoyed its grimdark claustrophobic atmosphere.
- Started reading the Letters of J R R Tolkien: A Selection. It seems such a shame that people don’t writer letters like this to people any more. Some of the letters are answered by return post, even during the war. It’s remarkable how quick and swift correspondence was. Tolkien was answering letters to people quicker than I reply to a DM (except to his publisher lol). Really enjoying this book. Its great
- Finished reading Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
thejaymo.net Spotify Playlist
I’ve been listening to Ethel Cain all week. She is some kind of Southern Lorde, or a Florida Del Ray.
The Inbred EP has wonderful ethereal, dreamy vibes. The main emotion that it makes me feel listening to it over and over is ‘bittersweet’.
As a first full debut is amazing. I’m really interested to follow this artist as the whole thing is self produced, recorded, mixed edited etc.
I’m finding it hard to refrain from embedding the whole EP to be honest. Check these tracks out 😍