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You're glowing, I smile and say to my laptop

Jordan 2017-11-28

When I was in middle school I read 1984 by George Orwell. There’s a chapter where everyone’s stretching and Winston isn’t flexible enough, but the activity coordinator comes by and tells him that someone in his age group ought to be able to touch his toes, so he pushes extra hard and touches his toes. This is, of course, some kind of metaphor but I remember in middle school being impressed with his ability to stretch.

Alternate titles for this blog:
“I’m writing this for me!” I shout into the person-less void.
Trying so hard to be smart that I am no longer funny.
Trying so hard to be funny that I am no longer honest.

I watched Atypical on Netflix and realized that I’m not very autistic. I have some sensitivities but it’s not comparable to diagnosable autism, even high functioning. But has anyone in that goddamn show ever even tried thinking about their own social awareness? Dad: “Sam, does your arm still hurt?” Sam, autistically: “No Dad, you just asked me that 5 minutes ago, my arm wouldn’t suddenly start hurting for no reason in 5 minutes. Why would you ask me that?” Dad: acts stunned and has no response. And I just want to scream “explain to him that asking about the arm is a way of signaling that you care about him! These aren’t unanswerable questions!”

Alternate titles for this blog:
Single paragraph bits strung into incomprehensible lumps

At its best Atypical is a show about how we all sometimes have issues with nonverbal communication. How we all can get overwhelmed and feel lost. The charitable interpretation of the aforementioned qualms is that, yeah, that is actually how clueless real people are when you ask them a question about social convention. And anyway the introduction of Paige’s character nearly makes up for this, and hammers home the point that was brought up as early as the first episode – Sam is good at following rules once they are explained to him, though he can’t always intuit what the rules are.

As part of the Upright Citizens Brigade’s improv show, ASSSSCAT, a guest improviser will often deliver monologues given a single word prompt. Tina Fey’s monologue starts, “squish… squish makes me think of bugs,” and she figures out the rest of her point without stopping, wrapping up her slightly beaten parcel of thoughts with a little bow at the end, “… squish.” This makes me think of my manager, Robert, and how he admitted that he thought he was good at improv and immediately redacted it, perhaps sensing that he was in danger of being a Person Who Thinks He’s Good At Improv, a thought that only pops into my head because I’m projecting my own tendency to make the same pronouncement and subsequent redacting. (Acting is redacting.) And that makes me think of a piece I saw on the internet about how you get less funny when you get a day job, and how the author of that piece was trying so hard to be funny while writing about being funny because the only reason anyone would care what he thought was if we also thought he was an expert at being funny. Which makes me think of the time Brain told me that he thinks my calling is to make people laugh.

Alternate titles for this blog:
If I write that I’m a narcissist does that tell you that I’m a narcissist or just someone who is likely to tell you that he is?

I don’t feel the difference between liking something in earnest and liking something ironically. And if there is a difference I don’t think it’s as easily definable as people act like it is. As long as such pieces as Sharknado and Piranha 3D exist, which are meant to be consumed “ironically,” it’s impossible to separate ironic enjoyment from actual enjoyment. The makers of those movies knew that there was a market for so-bad-that-they’re-good movies. That means they made them for the exact kind of consumption that we’re calling ironic consumption. Doesn’t that mean our consumption isn’t ironic after all? The first time I heard of pumpkin spice lattes I managed to go a full year without also hearing that liking them meant you had bad taste. And once I learned that I was able to immediately transition from liking them to liking them in spite of their reputation. I made the quick and fluid transition from liking pumpkin spice in earnest to something that wasn’t quite ironic enjoyment but was at the very least an enjoyment that was partially derived from the fact that people considered my aesthetic to be a sign of bad taste. Through it all the thing that never changed was the fact that I like the taste of pumpkin spice. It’s cinnamony with a little tingle of spicey, and deathly sweet.

This is my revival blog. I am hashtag figuring out life. Read all about it please.

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Blog titles, mostly, and occasionally the rest