Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fathead Redux

Notes from the Pop Culture Backwater: The Psychic Sanitation Vehicle Takes Another Dump

I have no idea what is going to appear from the depths of my brain until I see it here, in type. I've been making entries in this journal almost daily for a couple of months now, and I always surprise myself. I had no idea, when I began this journey, that I had the testicular fortitude to keep it up. On at least one occasion, the doubt that lurks within became so strong that I thought I might cease. I am still uncertain as to whether it is a good idea.

I have always been a deeply private person, especially with family, so it comes as some surprise to me that I am not only able, but willing to unburden myself, in this journal, of what I have kept private for so many years. The first time that I ever openly expressed my personal interpretation of spirituality was approximately eight years ago, to a coworker who I thought would be, if not sympathetic, at least understanding. I was wrong. One would have thought that I would have kept my opinions to myself after that, but . . .

The journey that one undertakes to discover oneself is not an easy one, and not lightly embarked upon. There are those who never even begin the journey. It requires a measure of solitude, and that in itself is not easy to come by. The frantic pace of today's world, with all its demands upon our time and attention, affords us very little opportunity to engage in introspection. But it is my sincere belief that we must do so, that we must discover who and what we are, how and why we have become who we are, before we can attempt to understand who others are, especially those with whom we may share our lives.

Those who read this journal must by now have observed that the words I, me and my crop up frequently. My personal journey of self-discovery led me to the realization that I was essentially a fathead; that is, I was self-absorbed. At first, I attempted to change my attitude - an exercise in futility. I am what I am, and I finally came to terms with that. I am not, however (at least I hope not) a selfish individual. There are occasions when selfishness can be useful, and there are even times when it must be exercised in order to preserve one's self-respect and dignity. On the whole, however, it is not an admirable emotion.


In the early years of videogames and the Internet, I remember, before I seriously considered becoming a Netizen, some people voiced concerns that individuals would retreat from personal contact to live in a virtual world, cut off from reality. With the advent of weblogs, how silly that seems now. We can be in touch daily, easily, without setting foot outside our doors, from one end of the country to the other. We have quick and easy access to a vast repository of information and opinions. This is a true marvel.

Of course, it is also a double-edged blade, because so much of the information found on the Internet is of dubious provenance, and not always to be trusted. There is much content that displays the baser instincts of humanity, and ultimately degrades us all. The Internet also affords the opportunity for organizations, inimical to the society in which we live, to keep in ready and constant contact, and to share information that could be destructive to civilization.

I am a proponent of science and technology, but I recognize that, though the people who invent progressive technologies may have nothing but good intentions, there are those who will always conceive ways to subvert those intentions and turn technology to their own evil ends.

I'm sorry - once again I seem to have no real point to make here. This is my poor attempt to make some sense of and to clarify some of the dilemmas with which we are daily confronted. It is just another page from Malcolm's Massive Compendium of Generally Useless Random Knowledge.

May you discover and enjoy peace.


sistercdr said...

I have no idea what is going to appear from the depths of my brain until I see it here, in type.
That's how I do my journal.  If I try to think it out in advance, fuhgeddaboudit!  I don't know what will strike my fancy or where my words will take me, but it works for me, and it does for you too.  By the way,  I don't comment often, but don't take that for absence.  I'm still reading. I just really have to measure out my internet time carefully, or I would live on the net.

mnchickluvsocc said...

My favorite journals to read ARE those that are more random where the blogger speaks his or her mind and whatever is on it at the time of their entry. Yours has become one of my favorites to read Malcolm.

As for being self-absorbed, I admit to being slightly that way too. But the key is to find a balance between the "me factor" and still being interested in those people around you. It can be done. :)

I think that letting people in on just a slice of our private lives is much easier on the 'net. You can not see the people reading on the other end(s) of their
computer(s) and therefore feel a bit more comfortable with opening up. We know that if there is a nasty comment left or if we just don't even want to read the comments left in our journals that we can block the person or just not click on that "read comments" button. It isn't that we become someone we are not when we are on the 'net (though some people may do that) but that we feel more comfortable.

I do enjoy your journal and hope that you continue to write.