Western introspection

I like to blame my lack of creativity (laziness) on outside factors. While I enjoy putting ink to paper – or in this case finger to glass screen – it is an art I seldom engage in.

It is an expression of thought that I would partake in more often if it weren’t for the lures of my surroundings. Invariably, writing leads me to think introspectively. I suppose, by its very nature, that is a natural occurrence. Yet, Angry Birds, Two and a Half Men and the football each (in their own way, time and place) lead me away from engaging with my active brain and instead into a mind-numbing abyss of Western life.

That’s not to say I don’t engage the foibles of Western life. If given the choice between a walk through the wilderness or a day on the couch it’d be the latter that would win – but I would still mope about the decision.

This blog serves as yet another vessel to impart blame on factors outside myself – so here I will unashamedly follow that path.

It seems important to actively engage with the world, with others – to improve oneself continually (through the vehicle of a book or a treadmill) yet I seem engrossed by the notion of plateauing. I will happily spend evenings with friends discussing movies I haven’t seen, books I never got through or films I’ve only heard about. Apparently, it is of no consequence to many whether you are a person of substance or hot air.

History is something I love. I delight in uncovering lost mysteries or characters – yet would go only so far as to read a Wikipedia page to learn about a civilization, never the library. I suppose I’m a product of my time (lazy). It is of greater consequence that I garner a general feel for a large amount of subject matter, to get me through a conversation with a stranger say, rather than know something as well as I should know myself. To learn, to grow.

Perhaps it’s a jaded view. We live in a time surrounded by easy answers. To cooking recipes, to mathematical quandaries, to the winner of 2010’s Masterchef, to the name of the Southern General in the American civil way. Yet, I’m not sure my mind has evolved to be able to grasp such information. That, whilst I enjoy learning and discovering things I had not previously known, I feel inundated by how much I do not know.

It’s the pop-culture, Gen-whatever view of the world which I feel detached from yet formed by. I feel I can not read a novel on existentialism when I could use that time to learn about the fall of the Berlin wall. Incidentally, I’m brought back to my childhood. To a time where a would know two shows were on at the same time and not knowing which to view. Torn between my love of watching the Simpsons and finishing that episode of Home and Away (I didn’t particularly care which I watched, and minutes later wouldn’t remember to switch channels anyway). I am seduced by knowing that something else is there, to be consumed, studied, viewed or indulged.

Essentially, whatever the subject matter may be, I feel the knowledge of these subjects doesn’t matter so much anymore. It is a habit. A habit of the time and the ease of the technological age. A habit unique in the history of human history to the peoples of the previous 20 years in the Western world.

There are places, within these spaces that people still go to reside in, however. I feel it is a way of people bringing normality into a universe that still makes little sense. Forums and Facebook are two sites that achieve this purpose in my opinion. While there are millions of sites on the web, there are only 12 in my favourites, 10 of them are sporting ones. Within these spaces, I can gravitate towards the creation of an identity and the withdrawal of information that I want – scores and stats mostly. In these spaces I don’t need to know everything, I am familiar with the domains, the content (how to explore it) and these occupy too much of my time (perhaps for that reason).

I am involuntarily, yet transfixedly, drawn to the need to know everything. Yet whatever we do, whatever we eat may kill us. Knowledge is power but knowledge lies beyond the grasp of those who have been raised in the technological age, those who believe all achievement lies within a google search, to those who care not for human engagement.

In the end – I think you’ve got to search for whatever answers you need, back yourself to be interested in what you think will enrich your life. Beyond that

I’m a mess.

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