Future Mythologies

A Textual Journey with Maxwell Von Bismarck

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Lately I've been feeling more interested in reading books than listening to music or watching television shows that I am worried I won't enjoy as much as I want to. One thing that still cuts right through me though is Jonathan Richman's voice. Probably because I miss Boston, and Richman's voice is all about nostalgia. I never even heard the song until this year, but "Ice Cream Man" sounds a masterpiece of expression.

Of course, that's the problem here. I've only been enjoying things that are new, and I feel almost numb to things I'm accustomed to enjoying on a regular basis. Almost as if betrayed by old friends, I suppose.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Young bones groan
And the rocks below, say:
"throw your skinny body down, son"
But I am going to meet the one I love
So, please don't stand in my way
Because I'm going to meet the one I love
No, Mamma, let me go !

- Morrissey

I don't really know much about philosophy. Only what I learn in big, grand overviews of its history or in introductory classes to ethics. And it seems that this is hardly sufficient, as I couldn't begin to tackle Critique of Pure Reason with this knowledge. I do know that suicide is the topic that Albert Camus dealt with in Myth of Sisyphus and Rebel, though I don't know if he reached any helpful conclusions on it. He believed that the question of whether or not to live life is the one fundamental philisophical problem, and more significantly to me, he said that anyone who survives his own suicide becomes his own God. At least I was told he said this. I'll have to read the actual books.

Suicide is a tragedy, essentially. However, the confrontation of suicide holds an extremely romantic appeal to me. It was Professor John Coffee that distilled this by asking me to read Martin Eden for his class last year. Never mind that the author eventually took his own life. Coffee believed in the power the character would have had, had he survied. I just spoiled the ending, but nobody reads that book anyway, and I think the ending is spelled out on the back cover.

That's always been my take on the song "Shakespeare's Sister". We don't actually know if the main character commits the final deed, but I've always assumed that he does not. He walks away. I don't know if this is correct, but I suppose since the man Stephen Morrissey is still with us today, that the ostensibly semi-autobiographical verse can be interepreted that way.

Now, we come to the big question that everyone's been asking me. Why? Why? Why?

Is it a sick joke?
Is it a cry for help?

Well, I guess sometimes you need to explain things step by step.

If the Camus quote is true (I am not sure myself), there is a broad implication for all of us who have ever suffered depression, that if you can make it out of your depression, you can end up better than if you had never had it. Psychologists agree, and it's a very important point. You can gain a wisdom beyond your years. Now, I'm not finished with my current bout of depression, but I will be, and I believe that I'm currently on the swing back up to the top. And here we get to another important point. I really am not satisified with the way my life has been going. And simply a recovery into stasis will not do it for me. I need to become a new man. A man I have not been before, even though I have been a man since 2001. It occured to me that I could kill off the old man to allow the new man to live.

Things did not work out. If you are going to google-proof something, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT. Because people find things when you leave them lying around, even on the far corners of the internet (and I am far from the far corners, I mean you found this site, didn't you?)

Now I'm not entirely sure if I've totally switched and become a new person. It could still be a wolf in sheep's clothing, to quote the King James Bible. Things are turning a corner now. I can finally become the person that my brain deserves. Much like the last song on Mike Skinner's Grand Don't Come For Free, I can finally start over.

And I never, never came close to actually ending my life. Nowhere near it.


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