Tuesday, 30 August 2011

"You will never sense things the same way"

Following my episode, the local council arranged several sessions in which I spoke to a psychiatrist, where I was instructed with 'advise'.

I've never liked the idea of advise. I've always despised all the fucking hogwash pedalled in 'PSE' classes, anti-drug presentations. Teenagers never swallow it, but they attentively listen to it.

Anyway, for most of these sessions with my psychiatrist I'd nod and say "yes" to all the advise she gave on how to avoid a relapse etc. etc. etc.

I completely forgot about this, though it re-surfaced a couple of hours ago, she said something along the lines of "You will never perceive situations the same way. Don't be surprised if you no longer engage or view your surroundings differently." Something like that - I'm not entirely sure.

But fuck, it's true. For instance, when I visit foreign countries - like now, I'm in Chile - I do not feel like I am abroad, I just 'float' by situations.

This could be due to all the medication I've consumed for nearly four years... My brain feels... scrambled... at all times, I feel drowsy... I have now reached the point where I need a clean mind.

Yet... All the fucking trauma I experienced... All those stupid delusional thoughts, all the hallucinations, all the hyperactivity... I'm pretty sure has immunised me to perceiving the world more sharply and that all new events that transpire in my life... simply pass me by.

Friday, 12 August 2011

It can happen anywhere

Having past over a month in a 'third world' country, two striking news bulletins of note crossed my eye, coming from very stable and prosperous 'first world' countries: Norway and (my place of residence): United Kingdom.

During my stay thus far in Chile, the social inequalities here are been protested by students claiming for fairer education system, something that, if amended, would be a stepping stone to solving the staggering class differences.

The right-wing government (the first since the dissolution of the Pinochet regime in 1990) are unable to handle the protesters, slipping down to an all-time low 26% approbation. An incompetent government, constantly changing tack and direction without a fixed plan, the social injustices have exploded all over Sebastián Piñera's face. In short, there's turmoil here - but in a 'third world' country.

Can delinquency, social unrest, carnage only erupt in third world countries? These two news bulletins to me completely refute this: social unrest can surface in any part of the world. If anything, it is very like to surface in tranquil areas.

The case in Norway is staggering, a terrorist act carried out by a single man, killing over eighty people in a country where nothing happens. I know nothing of sociology, but my gut instinct says that when a country is fully-developed and anesthetised, this can unleash many repressed feelings and... wreak havoc.

A few weeks later these brutal riots surface in England... A group of youths, perhaps bored with the mundanity of their every day lives, injected a dose of violence into this calm little island. Apparently there was no political motive, it was merely an anxious need for brutality in a world lacking it.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

My Good Reads account


Can't believe that I didn't start to use this marvellous website sooner.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

When curiosity is at a peak

Yesterday I met a childhood friend, with whom I attended school in Chile. Surprised by his extroversion, he talked to me exhuberantly until we ran into two female friends of his. We were in a mall heaving with people, we went outside, they smoked cigarettes and they heckled about all the juvenile sheananigans they get up to. Yes, I felt out of place, but I didn't want to be prejudiced, so I didn't shrug them off or anything like that.

They seemed overwhelmed when I told them that I have never drunk alcohol and that I have never 'passed out' in a party. "You have wasted your life" they told me.

Here I will elaborate on why this comment unsettles me. I don't want to give off an air that I am 'superior', but I want to say what I have in mind: I think I've had a unique adolesence.

I may not have passed out in parties (the very idea of this nauseates me, to tell the truth), I may have had very limited contact with others, but (but!) during the age of seventeen... curiosity is at a peak. The hormones kick in, they jangle and your neurons are alert... you perceive the world differently. It is time to explore.

When I was seventeen my virginal mind anxiously wanted to explore and discover new ways of thinking. I can't put in words how exciting scampering over to the local library to read about all these classical composers was, how to flick through all these modern classical music CDs in stores was and to later place these compact discs in a sound system and hear a Bartok piece for the first time. (Ah!) Not to mention my first readings of Borges and Cortázar, which without doubt changed my worldview and enoumoured me with literature and writing... To read Crime and Punishment in a park bench at the age of sixteen... really isn't the same as reading it as a mature adult...

Not to take advantage of that at this age... is a shame. I've heard many people argue "Teenagers are young; they have a whole lifetime ahead of them to develop their academic and artistic abilities. Let them have their fun while they can."

I'll say it again: curiosity at this age is at a peak. When you enter your twenties, you never sense these things the same way. You may tell me I have wasted my life, but in this blog post I won't be humble, I'll state what I really think: you have wasted yours.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Thoughts on religion, existentialism and the supernatural


The main factor that makes me uncomfortable about religion is that mulititudes of people, from different walks of life, adhere to a single set of morals. Whatever you may believe, think or aspire, the morals you stick by are from a religious creed, not something personalised.

What I admire about existentialism, Sartre et. al. is the necessity for an individual to construct his own set of morals... You can make whatever choice you like as long as it is a moral one, and this bars any choice of murder, rape, etc.

But for someone to read this ancient book, that in essence is a piece of apocrypha, and see relevance in it to contemporary life... I don't think that one set of morals can govern what different people, from different persuasions, believe.


Now that I have pointed out my admiration for existentialism, I will talk about my qualms with it... Existentialist literature is antagonistic to the supernatural and is often rooted in the concept of proactivity and, often, political change. On the other hand, I am often disinterested in many forms of fantasy because of its reticence to explain itself or make comments... But a lot of the time, this idea of the supernatural emerging out of this new world of moral choices is completely out of the question for many existentialists. (Albert Camus wrote a fulminating reply to Andre Breton's surrealist manifesto.)

Something that to me bridges the gap between the two territories is Franz Kafka. Admired by both existentialists and magic realist writers, his writing depicts both troubled characters striving to form their own take of the world yet at the same time... crushing defeat often results in the supernatural, like the metamorphosing of Gregory Samsa...