Sunday, April 22, 2012


Okay so in the first of this weeks attempts to post posts that are difficult to post and whilst meant to be confessional will almost certainly be apologetic and as such I apoloise if they fail to inform at all... I'm beating around the bush. Most of my conscious life I have thought I am 'better' than most people I encounter. I feel I need to describe to you what happened the moment after I wrote the above full stop. I gripped my head with my hands and closed my eyes for an indeterminant period of time that was at the least far more substantial than the blank line between the above sentence and 'I feel I need'. That like this was difficult to put into words, to confess and this is even a draft to me. I could still delete it and I don;t plan to, but I could. In theory. It was suffice to say, not a liberating experience. Rather a damning one. But it was difficult. Now I feel I need to apologise for my confession, there may even be a chance you reading this feel personally offended, that is I guess what feels worst, and you shouldn't because of the people I know who read this blog, you are very likely not amongst the 'most people' I encounter. Yes like a carefully worded statement to the press, as difficult as it was I leave many lines of retreat. But if your still reading, I guess I'm going to take the opportunity to talk about what this experience is like. Firstly, my experience in life is that this view gets reinforced a lot. I am encouraged and praised, my opinions sought out, I am asked for information I am attacked in debates. I remember most of what I hear, (although it's hard to be conscious of what you don't remember) provided it is interesting. I score pretty high on IQ tests, EQ tests (which are pretty bogus anyway), SQ tests (same), aptitude tests. Academia reinforced this, two fold, because I cruised through school. All these things though mean less than you'd think. Because of the loosely defined term 'better'. For example 'better' to me is probably closer to the term 'more capable' than 'more likely to succeed'. Life indeed has taught me that the two factors as near as I can word them that directly feed success are 'discipline' and 'risk taking' both of which are not intuitive skills of mine, most of my adult life has been spent trying to learn these things. Furthermore, 'better' does not mean 'more important' this is why most of my conscious life has been spent exerting a conscious effort to downplay both the internal belief that I am somehow 'better' than others and the external reinforcement from shit like VCE enters or test scores or even increasingly the informal reviews of my artwork, in order to keep myself and others aware that I am neither more important nor entitled to any special treatment. Because hopefully we are all the best qualified person to be ourselves. The person I doubt the most in their respective role is me. I feel though that whatever has fostered in me this conscious impression, seemingly reinforced is not something that was through any effort of my own. My ability to treat school for example like some sad kind of joke and be rewarded for it, I am sure is the product of some genetic lottery. Just as my ability to not be able to outmuscle and outjump every single NBA center that ever played in the NBA is also the product of some genetic lottery. What I feel I need to articulate is that whatever it is that makes the middle band of people I encounter comment that I is 'really smart' is exactly what makes the vast majority of people upon meeting my friend John comment that he is 'really tall' (and in his case I imagine they also comment that he is 'really smart') But while it is presumably no big deal for some borderline 7 footer to consciously acknowledge to themselves 'I am really tall' something in my social conditioning prevents me from having the same ease of observation in acknowledging 'I am really smart'. It is poor form, it is taboo, it is insulting. But does anybody want to be short? Surely no more than people want to be dumb. But for me it is just such an experience. Like I was just born able to figure shit out when presented with a puzzle, able to remember a lot of shit, to think about stuff a lot and on my journey through life I have met numerous people who either report to me themselves that they can't do this, or that appear to me to be less capable of doing it. And that's no big deal to me. I still know plenty of smart people, one's life tends to be arranged in such a way as to put you in environments where like attracts like and so forth. I admire exactly none of my friends for their smarts. Which is untrue, there are 2 people that in my life I feel are much much smarter than me. One is older and one is younger. There are also bookstores with shelves full of books written by people I know to be much smarter than me and I have never met these people, but their smarts lead to admiration. I generally though admire people for their discipline and risk taking. I am most drawn to people I find interesting, and some of the least interesting people I have ever met or know, are very smart people. The most desirable trait in anybody ever is unpredictability, this is my personal preference, just like I like short women. This is not everyone's preference. I discussed much of this with my psychologist, and told her of my Predictably Predictable, Unpredictably Predictable/Predictably Unpredictable and Unpredictably Unpredictable matrix of friends. If People are PP chances are they are not my friend. Using facebook estimations my Psychologist and I calculated that somewhere between 98-99% of people I know fall somewhere in the UP or PU spectrum. And in my life I have met 4 people that dwell in the UU zone. And none of this has anything to do with the qualities of intelligence, or likelihood of success. These are simply the people whose company I enjoy the most in all the world. When I think I am better than most people, it is on a case by case basis. It is a distinct thought that arrives and feels dirty, and bad, and must be put down, rebutted, and disproved. And all this by me. EXCEPT when watching a Michael Bay movie. Here in a Michael Bay movie it is easy to think 'I could make a better movie than this' because Michael Bay does not have a reputation for making 'good' movies. He will never be reinforced by anything but box office takings. The thing is that of all the people I have never encountered, the thought that I could make a better movie than Michael Bay is the easiest to rebut. I couldn't make shit. Because I haven't had the discipline or risk taking behaviours that would lead to me ever being trusted with a big budget blockbuster. I may think I am smarter and more creative than Michael Bay, but I have no means to test this because I am much worse at BEING A DIRECTOR than Michael Bay is. When I meet an insipid and vacuous stay at home mum who bemoans how lucky I am that I can take a contiki tour to Ibetha any time I want, it is also natural that I might think I am smarter or better than her. But this doesn't make her unimportant for example, and that's why to me it feels like being conscious of how relatively capable you are should be no different from being conscious of how relatively tall you are. Chances are I may be a better parent, there's a lot of factors involved. But being a stay at home mum is an important life, her importance to her children would exceed any importance I hold to any relationship I have. Furthermore I think the more people you meet in life the more of an unsung achievement creating a stable home environment is. So to me, rationally this post should not have been hard to write. The thing I am best at and always have been best at is learning. I can do so far more efficiently than most people I have come across. We will ultimately though be judged by everyone we come across by what we manage to achieve with whatever hand we've been dealt, in the context of what the people we encounter actually value. I am going to post this now. And try not to think about it.

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