Monday, September 12, 2016

The Devastating Boredom of the Above Average Lifestyle



One of two things must be happening. Either I am getting very old or everything is getting very dull. I am grudgingly going to admit the former but I’m really not that old so what’s the reason for this mood I’m in? This mood being of total boredom, malaise, and blank-stared unamusement. Some think that the concept of boredom is absurd, wasteful, equlivalizing a lack of imagination but it’s not about that. It’s not about the interior self but rather what is happening out there. There being the landscape of cultural and social output. 

What is this landscape? It is so neat, tidy and obvious that it makes me gag. It is the clichés of clichés that have become so familiar that it is not even worth fretting over because it is all so useless. Things like a wall of art books/Artforums stacked on a shelf, with a book end made out of a ceramic melon that is next to a plant that has a funky custom lamp shining its LED natural bulbs which illuminates the mid-century (knockoff) chair that is on the Moroccan rug that has clothes strewn on the floor by labels, Eckhaus Latta, Hood By Air, Vetements and Kenzo all over the hardwood floor with a matching reclaimed hardwood coffee table that has the retrospective catalog of an artist who died of AIDS or was a Performance Artist in the 80s.

Ripping my hair out!!!

The above is a sampling of the suffocating displays of the Above Average Lifestyle. In this sort of life there are facts and there are fictions. Facts include, the person you are which was nurtured/supported to a general degree, includes forms of higher education, probably white, probably never had to really, actually worry about money, liberal or perceive self to be liberal, city dweller or live in a university town. Fictions include, self-directed narratives of struggles, mythologizing, authority, legitimacy, higher consciousness, obsessions/anxieties. These are just a few things. Essentially, people who are participating in this type of lifestyle are content to have their lives/selves equalized through external objects and arrangements of lifestyle to defacto reflect their interior being and philosophies.

So who cares if people want to sip their cold brews and talk about mindfulness all day while wearing a crop top that shows under boob and says 'feminist'? No one, but what I have issue with is that this type of lifestyle has seeped into everything. What's in the magazines, what’s in the papers, what’s in the books, what’s on the radio, what’s on TV, what’s in the movies, what’s in the supermarket, what’s in fashion, what’s on sale, what’s being talked about. The narrative of privilege and privileged lifestyle is drowning me.

I’m drowning in it because yes, I too am an asshole that lives this type of lifestyle. I shouldn’t be in this strata but through a series of perceptually fortunate events I have ended up here. I eat organic, I wear second hand and young designer clothes, I read theory and obscure fiction, I listen to podcasts as I prepare a gluten-free, vegan dinner for twelve. I have mastered this Above Average Lifestyle and I have always sort of hated it but I have also obviously tried to master it thus reflecting the need to belong to this bizarre qualification.

Now as I live my life, interact, think, listen, look at art and everything else I feel dull, dull, dull. This internal/external reflection is just that but I highly doubt that I am alone in feeling a bristling repulsion to living a life that you thought you wanted but really you wish you never had. There is not much to do about it, there are ways to alter this, move somewhere else, move in with someone else, do more drugs, drink more, change jobs, alter sleep patterns, pretend to be another person. These are all possibilities but I have a sinking suspicion that there isn’t a cure to being a cog.

In general (as always), this is just me complaining about the state of things rhetorically but I really do wish there was something that would excite my brain, eyes, body in an ecstatic way. This is dangerous but necessary, the sense of razing, of burning it all down flickers in my mind more often then is healthy.

These pretty and successful lives we live may have been made by our own making but what they are built on and with is the same-same-dull-dull things. Perhaps that’s the point and problem. Perhaps the sameness is the thing that comforts and appeals and people like me(us) are just too annoying to admit the true averageness of ourselves.

Be that as it may, it doesn’t make things better or more tolerable. When the Above Average Life is being displayed, bragged about and curtained all over everything all I can do is close my eyes, breath in, count to seven, breath out, say how nice (whatever) is while in my mind I am smashing my head against a brick wall over and over again.