The Shallows

A while ago I was given a copy of The Shallows, which, of course, not even a little ironically, I failed to finish.

The point of the book, gleaned via skimming it in between tweets and likes and probably reading at least one other fiction novel, is a deep analysis of the long term affects social media (aka “the Internet”) is having on our brains. As you might surmise, basically, the hyperactive monkey mind has been allowed to flourish and override our ability to think critically about anything.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a LOT over the last couple months, because I know it’s something that’s had a huge impact on me. To quote Douglas Coupland: I Miss My Pre Internet Brain.

I’m sure there’s other things, mostly laziness, and the inevitable fading of youth’s idealism, that are culpable here. But still I am going blame rapid, careless consumption of never-ending digital noise, with it’s clickbait headlines and shallow, yet instant, social gratification, for slowly diminishing my ability to sit quietly and read something with intension. I no longer have the ability, or interest, in participating in social discourse, because why bother when the comment section is just a mess of unaccountable, idiotic misogyny? Also the jaded awareness that most online “journalism” is nothing more than pay per click ad revenue masquerading as infotainment means I might as well just click click click click over to the next article because there’s no point. Click click click.

The shitty thing is the end result is feeling super jaded and completely disconnected and MEH about pretty much everything. Anyway, I know I don’t need to bitch on about this because it’s really all my own damn fault, but my point is that right now I’m trying to figure out: how do I fix this? How do I repave, redirect and repair all these damaged neural potholes in my brain? How do I get SMRT again?

One thing that is sort of working, is changing media consumption habits to more active and less passive; i.e., don’t just read the drivel that pops up on social media feeds, but proactively go out and find publications that write about things I find interesting, and read those instead. One thing that is still hard, is actually finishing anything; all I do is skim skim skim, like a pool boy. Maybe I need to start making myself write a one paragraph response to everything I read, with the hope I might actually start to retain things again. Mandatory mini book reports: there’s a way to limit the amount of noise you consume!

The story I’m writing is also a massive exercise in fixing my post Internet brain. I can slowly see sparks starting to fire in there, which is encouraging. I also just deactivated Facebook again, because, it might be the root of all this evil. /me habitually goes and tries to check it for the umpteenth time today.

Last, I’m going to try and write more here, even though I really just want to delete most of the crap I write because I fear being compared to the million other stupid bloggers that are probably saying the same junk as I am. But what’s important, really, is that I actually sit still and fully develop a thought, and finish it. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

So I just started to edit the first draft of my novel, which shockingly ended up being over 70,000 words. I use the word novel with hesitation, because it wasn’t supposed to be a novel. I honestly don’t know how that happened. 
Anyway, I thought I would enjoy editing a lot more than I do so far, but turns out agonizing over and over my own words feels sort of like being stuck in a three way mirror on a fat day with the worst acne breakout I can imagine. The urge to annihilate my laptop with the neighbour’s incessant lawnmower is strong. 
At least a few times a week I want to give up. I get these intense pangs of fear and self doubt. I compare myself to real, actually talented writers. I read Kurt Vonnegut, and Margaret Atwood, and I feel shame. I think of creative friends and how much better their art would be, if only they had an opportunity to take time off to really develop their craft. I worry about the future of my career, I fret about what I will do for work when my writing inevitably amounts to nothing. I contemplate going back to tech support, just so I don’t have to face another second of my tedious efforts in word smithing. 
I think about all the other projects I could be working on, if only this story would just die already. I fantasize about writing short fiction, instead of this obstinate personal monolith. I intermittently pour over university catalogues while contemplating art school, because really the reason I can’t write is a lack of higher education. It has nothing to do with lack of self discipline, nor my tendency to task switch whenever things get challenging, right?
Wrong. So I’m going to suck it up and finish this thing whether I like it or not. And maybe I’ll even learn something along the way. 
image credit 

So I just started to edit the first draft of my novel, which shockingly ended up being over 70,000 words. I use the word novel with hesitation, because it wasn’t supposed to be a novel. I honestly don’t know how that happened. 

Anyway, I thought I would enjoy editing a lot more than I do so far, but turns out agonizing over and over my own words feels sort of like being stuck in a three way mirror on a fat day with the worst acne breakout I can imagine. The urge to annihilate my laptop with the neighbour’s incessant lawnmower is strong. 

At least a few times a week I want to give up. I get these intense pangs of fear and self doubt. I compare myself to real, actually talented writers. I read Kurt Vonnegut, and Margaret Atwood, and I feel shame. I think of creative friends and how much better their art would be, if only they had an opportunity to take time off to really develop their craft. I worry about the future of my career, I fret about what I will do for work when my writing inevitably amounts to nothing. I contemplate going back to tech support, just so I don’t have to face another second of my tedious efforts in word smithing. 

I think about all the other projects I could be working on, if only this story would just die already. I fantasize about writing short fiction, instead of this obstinate personal monolith. I intermittently pour over university catalogues while contemplating art school, because really the reason I can’t write is a lack of higher education. It has nothing to do with lack of self discipline, nor my tendency to task switch whenever things get challenging, right?

Wrong. So I’m going to suck it up and finish this thing whether I like it or not. And maybe I’ll even learn something along the way. 

image credit 

So I haven’t been posting much because I’m busy! Writing a “novel”, and also writing for a new blog I started with alrex, which you can find at eatplayrawr.ca 

So I haven’t been posting much because I’m busy! Writing a “novel”, and also writing for a new blog I started with alrex, which you can find at eatplayrawr.ca 

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I was having a bit of FOMO last night so I thought I’d cheer myself up by recording a mix. there’s some old favourites in there, plus a bunch of new stuff, and random whatever else acid dubby techno with a bonus of hoovers!

i was especially proud of the late 90s angry screamo punk moby drop followed by new school prodigy warriors’s dance. 

ALL I WANT IS TO BE LOVED!! #emo

People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.

Thich Nhat Hanh (via thegoldeneternity)

(via psychetronictonic)

the level of high energy dance pop in my life has gone up significantly so far this year. maybe these ladies are old news (no idea) but they’re just so damn catchy i can’t help but turn this up really loud and dance around my apartment in between reps.

an epic view from the top of cypress mountain. i would credit the photog but i just re-found this on my laptop and i’m not sure where it came from.
i love that it was probably completely dreary and grey below this cloud blanket… as the rain continues to pour down on us, it’s a nice reminder that something like this is lingering just beyond what we can see.

an epic view from the top of cypress mountain. i would credit the photog but i just re-found this on my laptop and i’m not sure where it came from.

i love that it was probably completely dreary and grey below this cloud blanket… as the rain continues to pour down on us, it’s a nice reminder that something like this is lingering just beyond what we can see.

i was reminded of oliver huntemann this morning, thanks revolution909.

scary love was one of those tracks i was super obsessed with  sometime in the mid 00’s. can’t believe i forgot about this. 

it’s always fun when you remember an artist and have like 10 years of songs to catch up on. 

(via revolution909)

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