Saturday, January 24, 2004

Precisely how much can I edit myself in a single day? Tell me, how many times will my three second filter kick in and tell me not to do or say something? Sometimes, like now, I'm about ready to scream at my little plan. The plan, in its best loose outline, is to become some sort of journalist at some sort of magazine, perhaps leading into an advanced degree and professorship in visual communication. But I don't feel like playing this game. I'm too caught up in the details -- credit counts, living quarters, people, people, people. Lately, I've been fluctuating between total immersion in the ivory tower's moat and jumping out with a big "fuck this!" I don't want the life of a scholar and the snooty stigma and/or intellectual enigma. Nor do I want to be a journalist and sell my soul to a media conglomerate. And joining up with some alternative grass roots rag sounds like a dead end. Fun for a while, maybe, but not a direction. The nagging thought of diverting into studies of literature and photography comes up, but where do I go from there? Journalism is the easiest way to combine writing and taking pictures, and that's ultimately what I want to do. The easiest path might not be the right one. In fact, it probably isn't. Maybe counting on a direction at all is my problem.

Not related to current events, I swear:
I found this on a conservative blog I browsed through. It's part of one of General Patton's speeches, circa 1944. "Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. " Is this why I've been feeling so contentious, restless, and snappish lately? Because my inner revolutionary is itching to smack someone? It's not entirely impossible. Chances are, I've needed to smack someone for a long time. Physical fighting aside, maybe I need to stop surrounding myself with the most agreeable elements I can find. Stop burying myself in books and liberal outrage. The fight I need might involve part of me duking it out with other parts. That would explain this overwhelming desire to take up clove cigarettes (that and they smell good) and pick fights with my hallmates and bike through Mackenzie hall at top speed and enjoy myself at someone else's expense.

'Course, I'm just as much American as I am any other identity. Maybe the answer lies with militant papers and dissertations that slash the status quo to shreds. Or shave my head and wear too much flannel and dyke it up just to get in people's faces. Or start chewing granola like amphetamines and preach tree love. Or embrace my Hungarian roots with a big pot of goulash. Or become a first grade teaching copy of my mother. But I doubt it. I doubt all of these, except maybe the clove cigarettes bit.

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