I can’t tell if existential angst gets better or worse with age, but I bet it stops being cool pretty soon. I’ve always assumed this blog was a form of creative self-expression, but it’s morphed into a curated collection of amusements and interests more than any form of creation. Why? Because creating something worthwhile is fcking difficult and putting myself out there only adds to the angst. In me, the critic always wins the battle over the creative. The critic thrives off insecurity and validates himself by claiming ‘profound appreciation’ for the superior works of others. The critic curates. His collection is his only real act of creation - a work that can only be compared to the curation of fellow critics. He is a coward.
To create is to be brave. Defiant. To take something that exists entirely in the ether and display it to the world without knowing how it will be received, how it will fit. The collective consciousness is a scary place in which to birth something new. The whole critical, uncreative, lot of us suffer from a miserable dearth of bravery more than a lack of creativity. And bravery, above all else, is a belief in oneself - a belief so strong that action can supersede thought in the spur of the moment. I need to be brave. Bravery cures angst. Be supermassive.
Saatchi: An overrated lifestyle guide, unsustainable and largely ineffective, only succeeding in making people confused and guilty. For example: You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his house, nor his servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
This was always obviously a no-hoper of a Commandment. Coveting is all everyone does, all the time, everyday. It’s what drives the world economy, pushes people to make a go of their lives, so that they can afford the Executive model of their Ford Mondeo to park next to their neighbor’s Standard model.
And would you want to be married to someone who nobody coveted?
The big unsatisfying thing for me is when you have a bumper sticker that says, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” It doesn’t settle it for me. I was giving a talk in Texas a couple of years ago—this still circulates on the web—at McLennan University, which is a very interesting college near Waco and Crawford. I’d pointed out that it seems reasonable to me that whoever wrote Genesis, as translated into English, where God made the sun to light the earth and the moon to light the night, probably didn’t have the whole story. Because, first of all, the moon doesn’t always light the night. And even ancient Greeks realized that the moon was an object that reflected sunlight. So this woman in the audience picked her kids up by the wrists and dragged them out of the room, shouting, “I believe in God! Bill Nye, you are evil!” That may be, but the moon doesn’t give off its own light. I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do there. And we all laugh at that, but what we have to do is find the story that is more compelling. And I think we can find that if, instead of focusing on the truth, we focus on the pursuit of it. We focus on the scientific method, the way to find the truth.
The most terrifying thing I have ever read. The idle tragedy of aging alone and impoverished:
I am an old man in his sixtieth year. I have entered that decade of life which destroys the last illusion and beyond which lies death, swift or lingering, actuarial or real. I am also poor, incontrovertibly, humiliatingly poor, for the first time in my life… I am divorced and living alone in an alien city of 800,000 strangers. My aging body betrays me day by day; the ground I am losing now I lose forever.