Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Against Ambition

I love books that rail against things -- love, sex, money, whatever you have. Anger isn't an emotion I allow myself very often as a world-class repressor (hello stomach ulcers) and a conflict-phobe. And I don't really think of this as a problem. Must we vent every negative thought, impulse, and private misery? The demi-god of psychotherapy in our culture has made this the real religion and even though I am guilty of spilling my most personal observations and experiences (does everyone need to know about that Cinco de Mayo party? Umm, yes, especially when I get around the evil substance that gave me the story in the first place), I find myself skeptical about the therapeutic value of telling. Artistic value, sometimes. Does it make me feel any better? Not really.

I've come to understand that I'm old-school, not caring about being ambitious or having life-affirming experiences. While people are sitting around at dinner parties talking about everything they've given up and the difficult but amazing vacations they've taken or are about to take (the trip to Tibet changed my life!), I find myself glazing over and wondering what the hell happened to sitting around on your ass with a cocktail in hand wondering when "All In The Family" was about to air. I find myself terrified by the prospect of a visit to an REI store for camping gear I will never use and clothes I would never wear. I miss writers like James Baldwin who claimed to hate almost everyone and only enjoy food, drink, and a good camera. Women used to talk about having it all -- I can't imagine wanting even half of it. Of course, if I develop this idea, I'll have to write a book about it. Much too taxing.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"To be a good actor you have to be something like a criminal, to be willing to break the rules to strive for something new." Nicolas Cage

Cocktail Hour
Drinking cocktail suggestion

Strawberry Shortcake
one shot of vanilla vodka over one shot of cherry vodka

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!


jodi said...

Hey Sweet, Did you check out your vampire name? You are the first person, after me, that I checked out. It's pretty spooky! Pistons pre-game show televised 2 night!

laughingwolf said...

how the hell do you get strawberry shortcake from cherries? :O lol

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm with you. I can't imagine even halving half of it. I love that wall in the background of the photo.

Wastelander said...

Un burro y una bruja...Looks like another tequila Wednesday...That's about all of the suffering I feel up to tonight...

Devil's night..isn't that the night the pyros go trick or treating the fire department?

Scott said...

Michelle, sometimes my repressed emotions spill over into my writing. I try to vent as much as possible, but sometimes,it just doesn't happen.

I myself don't want it all...I just want to be happy. i don't think that involves having 'it all'.

Again, I have to compliment your pics...I don't get tired of looking at pictures of you. :)

the walking man said...

"I've come to understand that I'm old-school, not caring about being ambitious or having life-affirming experiences."

This is the class I excel in. Unfortunately the not caring leads to so many of the other.

jodi said...

It's me again. I have lived as both a have and a have not. I find my peace really isn't material or ambitious as all. Stuff and money comes with huge responnsibility--which I hate. Keeping your mind clear and simple is much easier when your surroundings are. Corny but true-it comes from mental contentment. Okay, I'm done now. xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

There's really no need to worry about materialism now. With a communist/terrorist like Obama in the White House, the stock exchange as we know it today will not exist.--John Templeton

Laura Benedict said...

This post makes me a little sad. Maybe it's because I looked at your zoo pic first. I'm not an animal rights zealot, but I do find zoos incredibly depressing.

You can come hang out with us anytime, sweetie. We've never been to Tibet and we watch reality television! xo