Where to begin. I sat down five minutes ago and the tab I had left open distracted me with photos of prostitutes arrests. Like the Daily News Crime section, I think there’s an element in the modern subject (I’m trying to implicate more than myself here) that derives some sort of pleasure out of the misfortune of others. We love to hurl lofty judgement of people when they get caught doing bad things. Right now the trial of the cops who raped the drunk woman they brought home come to mind. In other cases it is something more pedestrian, like a killing over sneakers, reputation, a robbery or, more rarely, a (wo)man. In some cases I like to empathize with the criminals, trying to understand how a mother ties up her child and starves her to death (I’ll call that the “Misti madness”); I try and track back the insane thinking to something selfish that became a “logical solution” to an immediate problem. I have been there, but a) my selfish-logic never involved hurting people or taking their things because of my lack of ambition when high and b) I was, generally, too lazy when these schemes appeared to me in my selfish, fevered, stupid mind and c) I never got caught.
Like the Daily News crime section my phone has also distracted me, first by telling me someone (Mason?) has been in my iTunes account and that I won “photo of the Day for NYC” with a stencil “Dream is Destiny.” For which I had originally posted this:
To realize that for us/
‘Dream is Destiny’”/
Which is just another illustration of how distracted I can become with all of this internet technology. I am sure that I have wasted at least a half an hour of my 45 minutes of writing time fucking around with the internet, my phone, coffee and other negocios seglares (secular affairs according to the corrupt priest in Lazarillo de Tormes).
What I really wanted to do was write this morning. I think that my best writing has to come from a practice of writing. Write for 45 minutes is the goal. I want to just do it for a while here in my journal, but soon I want to turn to academic writing and them some creative writing. But if I keep letting my phone and its instant (publishing) gratification distract me I will never get anything done. Of course this might be the case, that I am just a simple worker bee with delusions of grandeur. I want to be F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I don’t want to spend the time, energy, effort or ego to do it. Strangely, I have to say that it is the last one that I think might be really holding me back. I am afraid of rejection (which I’ve gotten plenty of). So I don’t re-read all of my haikus because I’m afraid that if I really try I will be rejected again, and my ego is unwilling to face that; so I hide behind the distracted laziness of tweeting more rather than reflecting, collecting and editing the tweets I have for possible advancement.
Now I’m getting somewhere. … Also I think I should try to quit my phone and give up on the instant gratification (I like this phrase “time, energy, effort [&] ego”). The smartphone is a window into “away.” It is a window into related thoughts, history and other people’s predictions. It is rarely ever the vehicle for longer contemplative exploration. It is nice to be able to fact-check elsewhere, but it is not required for exploration of your thinking. I had a related thought as I watched someone check their iPhone as they waited in their car fro someone or something: I want to be less “productive.” “productive” in the modern capitalist state sense where I can check email from students, status updates from friends and tweets from interesting and poetic strangers. All of these distract me from myself. They keep me from having long, contemplative and thoughtful meditations on life, work or the world.
This has been a total wasted day writing.