The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘existence’

Real Life Still Isn’t Represented In Media

Posted by BigWords on October 26, 2009

People are so varied that sometimes, just when you least expect it, an individual will emerge from an unlikely and obscure place and their story will take on a life of its’ own. There are the bona-fide experts on subjects who make ridiculous statements with all the seriousness they can muster, and some – Edward De Bono – are even taken seriously by people who should know better. There are the bored code-monkeys who discovered how to make money from thin air, kids who fool the world with balloon-related pranks, and actors jumping up and down on Oprah’s sofa.

Great way to prove you ain’t gay, Tom…

Oh the joys of seeing the things that go on. If I tried to write a novel which encompassed the absurdities of life, and kept strictly to things which have actually occurred, it would be laughed out of town as unbelievable. Life is complicated, and sexy, and hilarious, and ridiculous, and disgusting, and horrifying… Simplifications of what our existence amounts to in fiction makes reality even more ridiculous when viewed through sober eyes and a clear mind.

It’s hard to put down on paper (or type, as I do) fiction that contains just enough absurdity to reflect reality, but doesn’t fall into unbelievability. I still haven’t worked out if I should try to explain why people are so wrong when they claim that some fiction is like life ripped from reality and pasted on the page. Does it matter that such a feat is impossible? The ailments, observations, minutia, boring bits, slapstick and bowel movements of the average person (though such an individual arguably does not exist) cannot be captured on paper without some degree of editing.

“Literary” still has some growing up to do before I take it seriously.

Any ‘reality’ is a skewed one when put on paper. The digital superhighway – such a stupid term, but a useful way of comparing the internet to a neverending traffic jam – is filled with supposedly ‘real’ moments in private lives. I’ve got no time for moronic “Lookit me, I’m setting my head on fire” videos, and even less time for ten-minute-long videos of people bemoaning their pathetic existence. It isn’t real, because the artifice of display gets in-between the truth and the viewer. Big Brother, whilst listed as a ‘reality show’ is merely the end result of focus groups and sadistic producers. No reality involved.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and websites this past week which seem inclined to accept stories in newspapers at face value. The habit certain individuals have gotten into, of merely saying whatever in the news interests them, is a bad one. I’m tempted to start linking to these blogs and taking apart the news they hold dear, but I really don’t want to re-read their take on the news. Which is, as any intelligent person can see from the cover of a newspaper, nearly always skewed and distorted by reporters and editors.

One of the funniest things about British news is the insistence that half-naked women are of urgent importance and news worthiness. No. Sorry, but I’m not impressed. It’s trifling and irrelevant scum journalism which borders on the stalker-ish. Two-page spreads on forthcoming television shows? Hackery of the worst kind. Giveaways? That’s a sure way to increase readership, especially when a national tabloid decides that cartoon DVDs will boost readership. Can I say “The Sun / Daily Star / Daily Record was grooming children” without a lawsuit? Fuck yeah. Try and stop me.

Only when all barriers between subject and audience has been removed will reality be represented in anything other than a superficial and meaningless way, and we ought to start taking what we see, hear and read with a pinch of salt. It is especially important that people come to realize that Hollywood – that legendary vile den of iniquity – shoulders a fair proportion of the blame for ills which are now, sadly, all too common. Anorexia? Thank the airbrushed posters of skeletal good-for-nothings celebrities.

The rise in breast implants? Posters of Keira Knightley with massive tits ain’t fooling anyone. I’m shocked that people believe the ‘perfect people’ are free of cellulite, blemishes and zits; elevated individuals who have never experienced the delights of either diarrhea nor broken noses… It’s dangerous portrayals of ‘the body beautiful’ which infect minds and begin the slow descent into self-awareness in teenagers. And younger. Can’t we, as a species, accept that we’re fed so much bullshit from the media?

Yeesh, that’s a rant and a half… I’m stopping before I upset anyone else. If I’ve missed any targets, please let me know who to lay into next.

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Memory Is A Strange And Alien Land

Posted by BigWords on October 15, 2009

Memory is really strange. It’s almost another level of existence, and I’ve had good experience of those thanks to the use of substances of less than legal status. I can’t help but remember the strange events I have been witness to (and part of), but when I attempt to remember something important that needs to be recalled I’m left stranded. Things slip away like sand through my fingers, and I really hope that it isn’t a sign of early onset dementia.

My screwed up memories consist mainly of the everyday, but therein lies the problem. Did I have breakfast this morning? I’m not sure. Did I remember to unpack the groceries? Gee… I would have to go downstairs to check for sure, but I really don’t know. It has been like this for a few months, and I’m sure that it is down to the constant level of stress, walking, and a workload that just won’t quit.

My brains are turning to shit.

Waitasec. Before you start commiserating and hoping that I can get my brain in gear soon, think about this for a second. I can live in the moment without trying. This moment – right now – is all that really exists. I can drag up random events if need be, but I’m now able to box off the insane stuff and concentrate on writing and having a bit of fun. The extra hours in the day that I have thanks to insomnia are now being put to use.

I’m not sure how it is going to manifest in my NaNo scribbles, but I’m sure I can zone the world out for an hour and come up with a bucket o’ genius from the well of subconscious. Maybe I’ll manage to find Hoffa while I’m down there – there’s all sorts been chucked down that particular hole in the ground. Hell, I’ll probably resurface with the basis for a full novel if I try really hard. Not sayin’ it’ll be readable, still…

The one specific chunk of weirdness which keeps reappearing on the back of my eyes is the memory of an old film. Or maybe it was a television show… I can remember a blind guy standing at the top of some stairs, and a girl (his daughter perhaps) arriving at the house. Then he falls down the stairs. That’s it. The sum total of memories from a specific film. It has happened like this a lot recently, and I’m not 100% sure I didn’t just make it up.

Does that fucking film even exist? Not sure.

I also have a chunk of a novel stuck in my memory banks concerning a heist which is endlessly discussed, but no actual robbery takes place. Though I may have simply stopped reading after a certain point in the book, or lost the book. It’s not like I keep a great record of my day-to-day activities, and lots of stuff slips through the cracks. Maybe having a log of my activities – a diary possibly – would be a good idea.

Only… I would never write in the important stuff. It would just be another thing, like this blog – which details my frustrations, annoyances, meanderings and crazy-ass nonsense – to fill in daily. I would never manage to keep to the purpose of the excercise. It would be a new definition of pointlessness. I did try, several years ago, to keep a diary. It was the early nineties, and became a critique of the television I watched rather than anything useful.

I can’t stay on-track for more than a short time. It isn’t a fault, and it certainly isn’t a strength, it just is. Some people can stay focused in on things, others can’t. Somehow, despite the wonderful tools and technologies that exist, there is little that can keep me from having the occasional brain-fart. Yes, that is the technical term – I looked it up.

By the time I hit the ‘Publish’ button, I’ll probably have forgotten that I posted this.

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »