Category Archives: People Suck

Streak Day #25 Sucks (and some stuff about choice)

I stopped by my dad’s house Friday to get his phone payment from him. We have some shitty system in place where I pay for our phones and my parents are supposed to pay me back. Supposed to. I see it as a win-win for everyone involved. We get a slightly cheaper phone bill with me autopaying the bill, and dad’s military service also nets us a $10 monthly discount. They don’t have to worry about a due date, so no late fees to worry about; I don’t mind floating the charges until they get around paying. No fear of having the phone shut off because I’m taking care of it like a responsible adult.

Anyways, this post isn’t supposed to be about my parents’ debts to me or how irresponsible they are with money. No, it’s meant to be about TV and choice. Which fucking sucks.

I used to love TV. I remember watching TV as a kid where I was a huge fan of educational channels such as the History and Discovery Channels. I also recall my grandma shitting all over me for it. She didn’t have cable and had to watch the shitty four local channels. I told her how awesome cable was and that I didn’t know how she managed to survive off four shitty channels all the time. All she did was watch a single shitty soap opera in the day as well as the local news at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. I can’t believe I used a variation of the word ‘shit’ in each sentence I had written.

Sure I watch stupid cartoons and Power Rangers, but in the evening I loved watching the History Channel and Discovery Channel. I learned a lot of random facts from them and consider myself an armchair historian regarding World War 2 due to all the History Channel shows I watched as a kid. Hitler invaded Russia on June 22, my birthday! Cable wasn’t just something to vege out in front of, and as I tried to tell my grandma, I could learn stuff. I watched the Weather Channel during hurricane season and became a child weather expert. I knew hot and humid weather ahead of a strong cold front meant we’d have storms. I knew southwest winds carried the hot and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico thousands of miles away. And so on just collecting random and mostly useless knowledge about airplanes, history, weather, and whatever else was on.

As I was visiting my dad I was greeted by the show Two and a Half Men on the TV. He was watching it passively, not really engaged with the show and simply had it on to have something to watch. I used to watch Two and a Half Men years ago when my ex-girlfriend and I lived together. We, like my grandma, had a shitty antenna TV and had to watch the four local channels. I was a ‘fan’ of the show back then I guess with Charlie Sheen actually shitting up the show as he was supposed to be doing. Charlie was meant to be a total douchebag and Sheen played the part well. It was funny and witty enough and was better than anything else I could find at the time.

The Two and a Half Men that was on as I visited my dad was the shitty new version with Jake being all grown up and Ashton Kutcher playing, uh, I forgot his characters name Walden (what the fuck sort of name is ‘Walden’ anyways?). And for some reason, either me maturing to where I didn’t give a shit for the show anymore or the show actually being shit now that Charlie Sheen was gone, I didn’t find it funny at all. I mean the grating laugh track was giving me social cues to laugh at the jokes, but they weren’t that funny. In fact it seemed like the show was making the same jokes it always had been making. Alan being a bum. Rose being crazy. The housekeeper being a smartass. And so on.

My dad laughed passively at the jokes and I just sat there feeling dead to the world. Was this what TV was? Was this what American life has devolved into? Has it devolved at all or was this simply what ‘normal people’ like my dad did with his entire day? Stare at some unfunny TV show because doing fulfilling and life-improving things is too much effort? I can’t even blame him the coronavirus for him devolving this way either; for the past two years he’s sat blindly at his couch and watched TV. He used to enjoy photography and taking walks but has given them up over the last few years, probably due to depression (that he won’t acknowledge). Maybe TV isn’t the cause but the symptom here.

What bothers me most about TV is the lack of choice involved. Watching TV for him is already a lack of choice — he only watches because there is nothing else to do, at least in his mind — but TV pushes it even further because you don’t have a choice what to watch on network TV. You get what they give you and the eight channels or so offer him no real choice for what to actually watch. Cable TV, as shitty as it is, offers hundreds of channels so if you’ve given up and want to watch TV you at least have a choice what to watch. It’s all about choice for me, I think. If you choose to watch TV, that’s fine, you do you, but if you’re mindlessly watching for the sake of watching something, anything, that’s where the problem is.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a fan of the internet: you can choose almost endlessly what to give your attention to. I can watch anything fulfilling or interesting that I want to watch on YouTube. I can watch total shit on YouTube if I want. In many ways I think YouTube has taken over the role of TV, at least the educational show aspect which I used to love so much as a kid. That’s probably it’s own topic on its own though. The internet is a great tool, but it comes at a price. Since you can find almost anything to occupy yourself, you need to have a great deal of self-control to not let yourself devolve like my dad has done with TV. The power to choose comes with responsibility, the responsibility I don’t think many of us have. I myself am not perfect and this is probably why I’m on Reddit until the early hours of the morning. But what about the people totally addicted to low-quality social media drama, and shitposting memes on Facebook? They’re like my dad in a slightly different way, only social-mediaing it up because there is nothing else to do and people are scared of boredom. Keep busy at all costs, even if you’re not consciously choosing to do so.

Think about what you’re doing and what you choose to give your attention to. This is your life, and it’s always up for you to decide. Is this what you really want to be doing? Is this what you want your life to be? Are you really happy reading this shitty low-quality blog post? Have you learned anything? Is there something else you’d rather being doing?

Streak Day #23 Sucks (and some stuff about Trump and Truth)

At least it’s only 1:30 p.m. and I’m working on this post. It’s much better than starting it at 11:30 at night.

I still don’t feel inspired so let’s talk about this goddamn coronavirus some more.

I’ve hated Donald Trump for a long time, but with a cold indifference and not the burning passion that appeared within me during the 2016 elections. I don’t want to be political here, and I don’t think I have to be, because I don’t like him as a person. Like if he was some guy I worked with, just some normal guy, I’d still despise the man. The early hatred I had for him was primarily because he was some rich, reality star. All I really knew about him was his random cameos in various movies/TV shows and that he had his own show The Apprentice. He said, “You’re fired,” a lot. I have a burning hatred for anything reality oriented (mostly because reality TV killed the Discovery Channel and the History Channel) and he was a natural extension to this. Cheap TV created for mass consumption. Packaged drama. Totally devoid of anything worthwhile or fulfilling. The TV equivalent of diet soda. Cheap, tasty, but nothing of value nutritionally. Refreshing but in a way that only makes you crave more.

Donald Trump has a tenuous relationship with the truth, and I think this is what I despise most about him. I like to think myself as a scientific-minded person. Someone who is open to facts, data, and willing to be proved wrong even if I am stubborn sometimes. I try to admit when I don’t know something and use the opportunity to learn about it. You can’t gain knowledge unless you acknowledge that you’re ignorant in the first place. To fill a void you must know there is a void to be filled in the first place.

Not that I need to get down to data and all of that bullshit. His relationship with the truth is so corrupt that he doesn’t seem to know what he said two weeks ago. Using the coronavirus as an example, he said it wasn’t that bad and that it was a hoax or some shit. Two weeks later he claims that he knew how dangerous it was all along and gives himself a fucking 10/10 score on how he’s been handling it. Once again, I don’t even need to praise or criticize his response to the outbreak to prove my point: he can’t even acknowledge what the fuck he said fourteen days ago. The man is a walking contradiction and you don’t need to attack his policies or anything to prove this.

I used to know a guy at work like this years. One day he said he was a pilot. He didn’t seem to know shit about airplanes even if he claimed to own an ultralight. There was just this feeling I had that he didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about, nothing to really prove he was full of shit but still knowing he was full of shit. I’m a pilot and can tell another fellow pilot when they start talking about flying or airplanes. There’s some shared experience training and learning gives you to where were all mostly on the same page with the topic. He didn’t have this quality at all.

An even better example was when this guy claimed his dad owned a Dodge Viper. Yes. My dad (who worked there at the time) tried to call him out on his bullshit. “Really?” he said, “I’d like to see it. You should drive it to work someday.” The guy then replied with, “I’ll drive it to work tomorrow!”

You can probably guess what happened. Or what didn’t happen. Obviously the guy didn’t show up with his dad’s Dodge Viper and when asked about it he said something so ridiculous, but not quite ridiculous enough to where you could call him out on it. “The car was in a wreck today and it was totaled.” Really. Surely this Dodge Viper existed, and surely he was going to drive it to work, but that damn car wreck messed up the entire plan!

It’s this level of bullshit that is classic Donald Trumpness. The ability to lie and bullshit to such disregard for the truth that it is painfully obvious. I wish I could talk to the guy one-on-one with a printout of some of his tweets. Just ask him, for once, “So what the fuck is this? Can you acknowledge you said this? And how goddamn contradictory this is?” I’m sure he would just say something like fake news and deny the entire thing and that’s the whole problem with him. It’s really okay to admit you’re wrong on things, but this aspect of truth does not exist within him. At all. And it’s shocking to see someone with such a total disregard for the truth as him. It’s so dissimilar to how I am I can’t begin to comprehend it.

I know I’d said this would be about the coronavirus and that’s what I initially started with. My idea was to circle this back around to him now calling it the Chinese Virus, which is another level of bullshit. But I think it isn’t the same as his failed relationship with the truth. It’s him trying to lay the blame on China somehow. Sure it came from there, but who gives a fuck? It’s been called the corona virus for the past half-year and sometimes COVID-19, but sure let’s just change the name to blame China in some twisted fucking fashion.

Let’s just continue the Trump hate some more.

His supporters also have this fucked up relationship with the truth. People who can’t see his two-week contradictions from his own Twitter page infuriate me. (I’d link examples, but fuck linking to Donald Trump’s Twitter page) Like I understand people can change their minds, but I don’t think he’s changed his mind on something like this. How can you claim it’s a hoax and then credit yourself by realizing it was a pandemic before anyone else did? And how can his supporters hear stuff like this and say, “Hmm, oh yes. He’s the best guy for the job.” Doesn’t anything click in their minds that perhaps this guy is a total bullshitter that can never admit he’s wrong? I’m really curious how no one notices this or if they do notice it how it doesn’t bother them.

Well, that’s enough I guess. If you’re a Trump supporter please leave me some hate in the comments. Maybe share this on Facebook to your rabid Trump-support friends so they can shit on me as well; I need the views. Like, subscribe, and comment. Day #23 is finished.

Manic Bluetooth Etiquette Sucks

Etiquette’ is a really screwy word to spell by the way.

It’s 7:17 p.m. and I’m on break at work. Sitting in a van listening to whatever music a coworker is playing over the bluetooth stereo I bring into work. This allows us to listen to music streamed from our phones without the hassle of using a physical aux cord. Before he started playing music, I was playing some Beach House. I hopped out of the van to use the bathroom and when I came back he was camped on the bluetooth, dictating our music for the next hour. The only issue I have with the music currently playing is that it doesn’t fit the vibe of the day. It’s cloudy, chilly, and the wind is howling outside. The van slightly rocks around from the breeze. And he’s playing some hardcore music that is semi-upbeat and angsty, a far cry from the Beach House vibe that I think is more accurate for the night. But maybe this is just my current mood and no one else thinks the vibe is as Beach Housey as I do.

I’ve been on antidepressants for 2 days now. They told me it’d take two weeks for me to notice any changes, and I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I definitely don’t feel like I usually do. I drove to work in a kinda sleepy and dreamy haze, going through the motions in a perfectly blah mood. This is typical but I was surprised to see this mood continue even at work. My job assignment this week is operating the k-loader: a large multi-ton machine that physically raises and lowers the containers the fifty or so feet to the airplane’s cargo deck. Usually this job requires a ton of attention and keeps me on my toes and mentally engaged. Nope, not tonight. I was up there operating it with the usual professional skill that I always have, but in a sleepy and detached haze. It’s like I wasn’t really there or engaged with the equipment, but somehow I was also more aware of what I was doing. Like I was in someone else’s head as they were operating it. But damn were they doing a great job at it.

It’s disorienting in a way. I feel like I’ve taken a handful of Benadryls without the complete sleepiness that they have. I’m laid back and don’t care to talk or to interact, and I’m perfectly okay with that. When I do think of something to say I’ll say it in a totally detached way, like I’m just saying something because I want to say it without any of the anxiety I’m used to. No thought how it’ll be received or anything. It was also disorienting looking at myself in the bathroom mirror; I looked perfectly normal. I thought I’d look totally dead and expressionless but there I was. The typical everyday Jeremy with a vague smile on his face like usual.

And I’m also equally…jittery I guess? It’s hard to explain. A half-hour ago I was sitting in the van having a good discussion with my friends and I noticed my hands and legs were shaking. Jittery, antsy, but still tired, detached, out of it, but very aware of everything. Was it the nicotine? Had I been hitting my vape too hard? Or was it the meds? Or was it neither of those?

Many of these things were listed as side effects, but they’re easy enough to deal with so far. I don’t feel like the jitteriness is turning into a full fledged anxiety attack and the sleepiness isn’t so crippling that I can’t do my job safely. So I think it’s normal. It’s enough to deal with and I don’t think I should jump ship just yet.

To further prove my point, listen to what my coworker is now playing. This is not the vibe for today. And now this one. Maybe the jitteriness will manifest into an anxiety attack?

The social laws involved with sharing a bluetooth stereo device at work are strange. Yes, it’s mine — I physically own the damn thing — so you’d assume I should be in charge of the music all the time. No, no fucking way. Despite owning the bluetooth thingy, bringing it into work primarily for my own enjoyment on break, I don’t think this gives me free reign to force a van full of people to listen to my music the entire shift. Depending on what I play, it could be seen as an extreme form of torture. I also bring it in as a favor for my coworkers so we don’t have to listen to the shitty radio; it’s like a community favor and the joy of the community overrides my physical ownership of the device. I think that’s why I put the vibe of the music over anything else. Like if someone is playing music and you want to recommend a song, request something with the same general vibe of the current music. Don’t upend the flow by demanding songs that have nothing to do with the current mood. Don’t try to force your musical tastes upon everyone else. But also be courteous and mindful of everyone else’s requests and needs. If you’re the one playing music, accommodate them to a degree even if they do break the vague social etiquette of van bluetooth music usage. Never sync up without being invited to do so. Once invited, you can sync up anytime in the future. If no one else is synced up for a period of five or ten minutes, feel free to do so, but only if you’ve been allowed to sync up before! And so on.

Sometimes I wonder if these pills have put me in a manic state. I think I’m in a manic state but maybe me thinking this is what’s putting me in the state to begin with? This post does seem rather…unhinged though, doesn’t it? Either way, I’m writing and I’m going to post it and to hell with how it turns out. Maybe it’ll be a good reference to compare what happens before and after you start taking SSRI antidepressants. You lose your goddamn mind. You write endless rambling things. You stop caring if what your writing is good and has a point. Maybe that’s a good thing after all?

Worst of all, two weeks? Really? Part of me thinks this is all some awful placebo effect and nothing has really changed. Maybe I’ve always been this way and taking pills for a few days is leading me to think I’m sleepy, out of it, and totally rambling on a blog post not because I’m naturally this way but because I can blame it on the meds. What if it’s all in my head tricking me for some reason? And if this is the case, what the fuck is going to happen when the meds really do kick in?

The Android Keyboard Sucks

So I’ve been sitting around the past few days making miniscule progress in other areas of writing besides this blog, totally stricken by writer’s block, just wondering what to do next here at Everything Sucks. It just hit me right now: I have been fucking furious about a certain something for the four days and I’m surprised it took me this long to realize it would make a perfect blog post.

As I’ve mentioned before (probably), I love Google Docs. I know it isn’t the most robust piece of software around, but since it’s for writing you don’t really need anything too complex. In case you’re a troglodyte: Google Docs is a word pressor program/app (like a free version of Microsoft Word because fuck paying to type stuff) that syncs all of your work across whatever you have Google Docs installed on. This is super handy for writing because you can access whatever you’re working on nearly everywhere. If you’re bored at the dentist’s office you can open Google Docs and write a fiery blog post about it. If you drunkenly wrote some stuff on your phone 4 a.m. you can open it later and properly edit the mess on a computer. Have some notes you need to jot down for later? Google fucking Docs! It’s great. You can also share your writings with others and even have them edit your work but obviously I haven’t made use of this functionality yet.

Nearly everyone is proficient with phone touchscreen keyboards. It’s a consequence of the world we live in; you send text messages, shitpost on social media, check your bank accounts, etc. Even the old and the technologically-ignorant can learn to rapidly fire off a text message with time, repetition, and practice. While I think I’m much more proficient than the average person due to all the actual writing I do on my phone, I think everyone is comfortable enough that they don’t even realize how intuitively they know their keyboard. No one usually looks exactly at what button they need to hit or anything; it’s all muscle memory.

I never really thought about this until about four days ago. I started writing whatever it was that I was writing be it a story or some proto-blog post, and I noticed something very strange and frustrating kept occuring. As my mind naturally flew along driven by The Process and my thumbs desperately tried to keep up, I realized for some reason I kept typing hyphens when I meant to type commas. So I’d have sentences- while grammatically correct- had hyphens instead of commas! What the hell was going on? There has been times before where by brain had shut off — I clearly remember one night where I couldn’t for the life of me remember my computer password — but there was no way I could accidentally type hyphens instead of commas constantly.

I have an idea but don’t know how to prove it. What I’m 95% sure happened is this: my phone recently had a software update and for some reason someone somewhere with way too much power and influence for their own good decided that replacing the comma — located on a dedicated button next to the spacebar — with the hyphen was a great fucking idea. And through years of typing on my phone and forming muscle memory to where I didn’t need to think about typing anymore I found my world turned upside down. I know the comma isn’t there anymore, but I can’t stop myself in the heat of the typing moment to not hit the goddamn hyphen anyways. This breaks the artistic flow; you need to backspace the hyphen and put the actual comma in. Adding insult to injury, the comma itself is now on the fucking long-press ‘n’ key. Yes, you heard that right. One of the most common forms of punctuation in the english language, the one used to break up sentences and ideas, one that I’m very fond of using, is a long-press character for who-the-fuck-knows what reason. Look, I understand the colon or semicolon being long-press characters, but the goddamn comma?! It’s second in importance only to the period!

The best hypothesis I have is perhaps the devs thought that a hyphen is used more frequently on a phone with typing in internet addresses or something. Hyphens are all over the place. So, maybe? It’s still a shitty reason though.

A random good idea? Customizable keyboards. Gimme a drag-and-drop keyboard where I can rearrange it myself, kinda like the tool menu at the top of Android screens. That sounds fun, right?

Making this even more frustrating is the fact that I don’t even know who to direct my hatred and blame towards. Who is in charge of phone updates? Verizon? Samsung? Android? Google? I have no idea. I only know there is this shadowy figure lurking somewhere in corporate America who has totally fucked my week over in the most evil, diabolical, and subtle way possible. Total chaotic neutral/evil alignment. I don’t even think I can complain about this to anyone else; someone ranting about an updated phone keyboard and commas/hyphens would come off and unhinged over nothing. But to me this is a really big deal and a huge inconvenience.

Look, I don’t give a fuck if people do stupid stuff; all I ask for is that they have a reason for the stupid stuff. I can forgive stupid actions if mistakes are admitted to and it’s okay to say you’re wrong. But for the mysterious individual responsible for fucking up my beloved Android keyboard? I have no idea who they are or if they even understand their egregious mistake. I sure hope someday they become aware of the utter atrocity they committed against Android and Google Doc users in general. I know I can’t be the only one with this problem.

Quiet Introspection is Awesome

This week I’ve been in a strange mood. The total emotional vomit of the weekend has been replaced by a hollow yet comforting feeling. It feels like I’m myself in my most fundamental way, not trying to search for anything or trying to discover anything, only existing. This is me: nothing.

I don’t recall the last time I’ve really closed up, introspected, kept busy, and was dead to the outside world. It’s strange too, because I’m a huge fan of closing myself away and existing. Maybe that’s part of myself I’d lost in the past few years? My tendency towards “growth” usually forces me outside of my comfort zone into socializing, being open, etc. and maybe this isn’t how I really am. Under the guise of “growth” and “challenging myself” I can ignore the fact that maybe I’m just trying to be something that I am fundamentally not. I’m a quiet, unsociable hermit, so why am I trying to be anything else?

Or maybe it’s just depression. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think my realization on Sunday might’ve spooked me or something. My tendency to rely on others, constantly seek social approval, and wanting to be ‘special’ or ‘part of the in-crowd’ might be another way for myself to play right into my own insecurities. To recap slightly: my mom wasn’t very loving so I think I carried that right into adulthood as insecurity, self-loathing, and a lack of self-esteem. My thinking goes like this; do I feel pressured to socialize to feel accepted? Just in a general way? Even if I don’t want to interact, do I force myself to (once again under the guise of “self-improvement” or “putting myself out there”) be someone disingenuous because of my insecurities?

I don’t know, but I’ve been embracing a “minimalistic” approach to myself lately. I feel naked as a person, totally exposed, to where I don’t even know who I really am as a person. Am I the person who makes silly jokes at work? Am I the person that is quiet and sulks? Am I a reclusive writer? And I bipolar who is very sociable/quiet depending on my mood? Who am I really? I don’t know and I’ve gotten to the point of exhaustion even caring about it. I am who I am. I show up to work and fucking sit in silence. I don’t ignore people — that would be forcing myself in another disingenuous needlessly hostile direction — I just don’t try to force anything. If I have a question, I’ll ask and if someone asks me a question, I’ll answer. No elaborate replies, not big complex stories, no obvious fake smiles or anything. Just me. Or the most basic and genuine me that I can find, whoever that even is.

We have plenty of downtime at my job. Yesterday we had a three hour break. Yes. I sat in our crew van — a normal 15-passenger Chevy Van — and listened to music. Most people were off socializing or sitting in their own tugs (tiny little tractors we use to pull shit around), and I was able to listen to four full albums. Dead Kennedys Frankenchrist, and Radiohead’s In Rainbows, OK Computer, and Moon Shaped Pool.

As a side note, I’ve really been embracing punk music in my current state. There is something so visceral, cold, and fun about punk music, especially the Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra’s lyrics are always cynical, sarcastic, and political. What better way to give up introspection than to blast heavy, fast, loud, violent music with lyrics that don’t give a shit about anything emotional? They contrast wonderfully with all the introspective, emotional, and difficult to listen to music I’ve been playing lately. It’s a form of beautiful escapism and I’ll always have a place in my heart for the Dead Kennedys because of this.

Even after we start loading our airplane we have at least a half-hour of downtime. What do you do with all this time stuck in an airplane? Most people talk — people seem to not be able to escape the need to fucking talk to each other, even if the topics are about the boringest, blandest, most unfulfilling shit possible — and obviously I had zero patience or need for it this week. So I sat cross legged in the airplane and stared at whatever object I could find to stare at. Kinda like a loose form of meditation, just accepting that this is me and this is who I am for the next 30 minutes and there was no escape or even purpose to escape. This is Water, I thought.

People on my crew (in general?) can’t seem to stand still or to not talk. One girl walks to the rear of the plane and back, over and over, getting her “daily steps” in or some shit. She’s kinda a health nut so I understand. Another two people can’t seem to stand still — even if they’re not “getting their steps in” they’re still nervously pacing around the plane for some unknown reason. Another few people feel the need to socially interact every moment of their lives. Their conversations are always about the, once again, most boringest, blandest, most unfulfilling shit possible; usually the unholy trifecta which is work, weather, and sports. These people constantly roam around going from person to person or group to group trying to find someone, anyone to talk listen to them ramble. And a few people I consider friends stand and talk in a small group of two to four people about whatever topic they’re talking about at the time. No judgement to them because you can tell they’re having a fun, laid-back, mutual discussion about whatever they’re talking about. There isn’t any twisted social reasoning for their talking; they’re just talking like normal healthy human beings do.

And I sit there and stare not wanting to be apart of anything. I don’t have the urge to. It’s not me being anti-social or depressed, I just don’t want to talk. Or to force myself to talk. Or to force myself to be apart of something. I’m aware of my insecurities and don’t want to play into them or worry about them. So I’ll just sit, thank you, and exist as I am for a half hour. I make a point to not appear too sulky or depressive or happy or introspective. Keeping as blank of a stare as possible is part of the loose meditation. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, even with a facial expression.

Sometimes I am curious how this appears to others. “Jeremy this week seems a lot more quiet and reserved than he usually is,” maybe some think, but most likely no one notices or cares; this is how people are. That’s freeing in and of itself. I don’t feel any social stigma for sitting and being withdrawn. I’m doing my own thing and fuck anyone for thinking of it strange or weird, and if it makes me more unique by being totally accepting of myself and my actions, isn’t that what I’ve been after this whole time? The ability to embrace myself, without worry or care, and be appreciated as the naked and raw person that I am deep within?

I’m sure this phase won’t last long. Sunday was me realizing something about myself and wondering what the hell I even do with the realization. A half-week later I’m already embracing myself and reflecting on it all. And I’m sure in a week I’ll be back to socializing for some fucking unknown reason. Sometimes I hate everything being in flux; I kinda like to exist in my current mood for the rest of my life, but that won’t happen. Moods always change into other moods and if there is one thing that is true about life is there is nothing for you to hold onto. You can’t grasp happiness and hold it forever, and as comforting as depression sometimes is, you can’t grasp that either. Something about learning how to surf the waves, “go with the flow,” or some other trite bullshit you’ve heard countless times.

Facebook Still Sucks, but Instagram is Strangely Satisfying

Note: Appreciate the amount of links I have in this mess of a post. It was a ton of work. Oh, and the struggle to italicize company names.

I don’t know whether I should bitch about Facebook or praise Instagram, so I’ll probably do both. One social media perspective isn’t complete without another contrasting perspective. My hatred for Facebook translates into a love of Instagram, and my love of Instagram only makes me hate Facebook even more than usual.

One thing should be mentioned: they’re the same fucking thing, and I don’t mean that because they’re both social media. Facebook literally owns Instagram, not in any metaphorical sense either, they actually own Instagram. I don’t know if this is popular knowledge or not; I myself am only aware of this fact because I used to trade stocks and options. One of the main talking points of bullish Facebook investors (besides the company raking in buckets of advertising money) is the fact that they own Instagram. Apparently Instagram is really popular and the irony of people leaving Facebook for Instagram is hilarious. Those hip people who are fed up with the utter trash that is Facebook can happily migrate to Instagram totally unaware of the fact that they haven’t moved anywhere new. It’s like moving from a third story apartment to a second story one in the same building. Moving up in the world, right?!

But Facebook is shit, let’s make that abundantly clear. I love to shit all over the company/site and even published my first ebook by doing so. I had a ton of posts bitching about Facebook and social media in general, wrapped a big bow tie around them, and published them in a compilation. I thought my days of bitching about Facebook were over — move on to bigger and better writing projects — but apparently not. Let’s rip on Facebook again, but in a different way.

It’s taken over by old people.

I don’t think I mean old people in a strictly age way, just the site seems rather stale. While it isn’t overran by old-people and their posts, it is overran by old-people-eque posts. There seems to be nothing of value left. Instead of creating/sharing interesting pics and posts about life, you have people sharing the dumbest, stupidest memes, social justice signaling all over the place, while the literal old people share the “liberals find the flag offensive, let’s show them!” American flag posts along with any other fake news/dietary cancer cures that they come across. Sure there are young people on Facebook (thanks for all the signaling; it sure is interesting that you’re posting sharing deep, meaningful posts to make yourself appear deeper than you are) but the older community is killing the place. I really don’t give a shit about a police dog that is laying on a grave or whatever, and I don’t care to pray for some random person with cancer who probably died four years ago while everyone is unaware of the fact. It’s just a mess and the mess overrides any joy I get out of the place. Facebook for me is a place to mindlessly scroll at 2 a.m. when I want to feel a little more cynical about everything.

The only person to share shit like this is someone who has just went through a shitty relationship and is trying to tell themself that they’re really fine and all of that shit. Signaling. Denial. Etc.

It’s also complicated to use. Not really, but it isn’t simple either; there are options everywhere. Every little thing is a button that does something unique. Tagging, captioning, privacy settings, sharing, sharing to news feed, sharing to story, pic uploading, video uploading, galleries, notifications, email and text notifications, react emojis, .gifs, personal information (music, movies, work, sports teams, etc.), phone numbers, ‘like’ or ‘follow’?, featured photos, and the list surely goes on. That’s only involving personal pages too; the Facebook ecosystem goes deeper. Much deeper. There’s a messenger and all the social anxiety that comes with messaging a person on Facebook because you don’t have their actual number and is that, like, a weird thing to do socially or is it okay? Then there’s Messenger Stories: what are you supposed to use that for? There’s a marketplace, business pages, groups, games, and so on. Oh, and you can make your own Facebook pages too if you’re a big fat-cat entrepreneur like myself. (Gimme a ‘like’ and ‘follow’ guys!) These pages are their own can of worms to deal with as I’m sure you can imagine. Luckily I don’t know of many other things because fuck that, I’m not trying to do everything Facebook has to offer. For me it’s mostly a place to spam links to blogs/writings.

Which leads me in a roundabout way to Instagram; it’s another market to get my writings out there. I don’t even know how you market a blog/story/author on Instagram (it’s all pictures, right? How do you market writing with pictures?) but figured I’d give it a shot. Ya know, take a shitty and abstract picture and plop some deep, insightful text on it and, bam, done. Sounds easy enough to YOLO an Instagram account.

I also have a few friends who are on there. One guy is a big inspiration; he makes an artform out of Instagram and I’ve been blatantly copying his technique. He’s a master at taking these awful, shitty, low-quality pictures, filtering the shit out of them, and writing what is basically poetry for captions. And they’re great! It’s a raw, no-bullshit form of art that is genius even given the derivativeness that is inherently Instagram. Just for the hell of it, I’ll toss a link to him. I think it’d be hilarious if he ends up with a bunch of followers because of this stupid blog post. And I’m not going to say a word to him about it either. So please follow leftclickmicrocosm_ on Instagram. Please make this happen.

I finally made an account and started my own version of posting low-quality bullshit with deep captions. A pic of a vape cloud along with a caption about two souls dancing. A blurry 757 flying at night. Corporate artwork with a cold and cruel caption. I’ll link a few below.

Wow, Instagram pics look amazing on a blog!

What’s strange is how weary I was to getting into another social media sphere to market my writings. It’s exhausting. Was I really going to write a shitty blog post in 50 minutes and then spend just as long marketing it on social media? Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Wattpad, and Instagram? That’s a lot of work. And I was terrified that I’d be sucked in by Instagram the same way Facebook and heroin are known to do. The constant chase of social popularity and approval, farming for ‘likes’ and whatnot. I didn’t want any part of it.

There is something refreshing about starting anew and Instagram is no different. You get a blank slate. You get to learn. You get to experiment. Since you’re starting from nothing, you also have nothing to prove. It’s been great! I’ve been posting these shitty, heavily filtered and ‘artistic’ images just for the fun of it. I don’t care if something doesn’t get as much feedback as other more popular pics; it’s enjoyable enough just to spam total bullshit without catering to some overarching goal. In this aspect I’ve failed; I haven’t marketed my writings at all on Instagram, totally missing the point of what I was intending to do in the first place. But it’s okay.

I also love how Insta‘s UI seems ‘simpler’ than Facebook‘s. The menu (if you can call it a menu) isn’t littered with total trash. The app is very minimalistic with only a few buttons to actually click. The filter/editing part is simply clicking buttons and moving sliders until you find the look you want. You slide things around until your picture looks delightfully artistic with a quality similar to an indie, low-fi garage album. Feedback and static in visual form. Slap on a flowery caption and you’re good to go.

Contrived deepness!

I know the site is kinda trash with influencers and people taking selfie after selfie in exotic locations, totally gaming the system trying to make their lives look idyllic. In some ways I think this is the surface-level Instagram sort of how bullshit news stories and stupid memes are the surface-level of Facebook. But there is potential for artistic expression if you allow it; if you stop trying to play the game that everyone else is playing. Because it’s Instagram and it’s what you do. Throughout my Instagram ‘career’ I’m going to attempt to hold onto this mindset and only do whatever random shit I want to do (while lovingly stealing others’ good ideas obviously) and not worrying too much about playing the social media game. But a week into it? I love it. It stomps the fuck out of Facebook. It’s easy, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I find myself not taking it — or myself — too seriously either.

In case all that shit above wasn’t enough, here’s a proper link. Follow me for my silly art pictures!

Deadlines (and Procrastination) Suck

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday, the regular crowd shuffles in while I find myself staring at the screen. I have shit to do — things to write, but I’m really dreading the task. I have a deadline to meet and it’s the type of deadline I’m not used to dealing with. It’s a self-imposed deadline.

I think everyone is used to fighting with dreaded deadlines as they seem to be a part of life, especially for those in school/college or in certain jobs. Seeing as even high school imposes deadlines — study deadlines before tests, paper deadlines, essay deadlines, project deadlines, and the terrible speech deadlines — everyone has surely dealt with the stress of an ever approaching target that they fail to make progress on meeting.

Deadlines are obviously related to procrastination. I find it interesting that in over 100 posts I haven’t written anything about procrastination yet. This makes sense though because I avoid deadlines like the plague. I’m not in school and I have a stupidly cushy job that while having deadlines, these apply to our whole crew in general. It’s never a personal thing to deal with. Everyone suffers together.

Procrastination is a scary beast and I don’t have much to say about it that hasn’t been said already. A few years ago I discovered this magnificent blog post by Tim Urban from Wait But Why, and it says everything about procrastination that needs to be said. It’s awful, we know it’s wrong, but yet we do it. Instead of making progress on our goals well into the future distant from the deadline we take comfort in the time — the time that is always disappearing — that we still have left. Procrastination makes zero sense to the logical human, if you think about it no one should ever procrastinate. If you have time, just use it, right?

(He also did a TED talk on it. It’s like a watchable version of his rather wordy post.)

We all know this isn’t true and I’m guilty of it myself even if I know it’s wrong. I don’t even recall how many month-long papers I’ve had to write that I churned out the night before. And when I was in college I even involved alcohol in the process. I’d buy a bottle of vodka, dread the next few hours, drink, and start typing a multi-page paper. Reinforcing this process was the fact that I’d always get As on them along with a few Bs. There was nothing to turn me away from my procrastination habits besides the dread of it all, and the dread instantly disappears when you’re finally finished and receive a decent grade on the hastily and drunkenly written paper. Sure, I’d remember the dread, but then I’d procrastinate the dread of the dread itself. I’ll worry about worrying about it later. The layers of my procrastination are deep; it’s procrastination all the way down.

My life has been nearly deadline free for years now and it’s been nice. I don’t fuck around with deadlines. A popular way to be consistent with blogging is to force yourself to post on a set schedule: set a deadline. I’ve always thought that deadlines fuck with the creative process, plus the anxiety of procrastination was something I didn’t want to purposefully bring upon myself, so I never worried about a posting schedule. (I really think this dim view of deadlines and the creative process is really just me finding another way to procrastinate. Procrastination is a fucking demon.) Take a look at the WordPress display of my post: there is no pattern to it at all. I sit around taking my time and when inspiration hits I churn out a blog post.

Maybe there is some slight pattern? If there is, it isn’t on purpose.

The same is true with my creative writing. I only write when inspired. This is probably why only write at most three chapters a month. Progress has been terribly slow because I’ve had no reason to speed it up without a goal or a deadline.

Until 2020 that was.

One of my resolutions was to write a Morrowind fanfiction story. You can find a link to it here. I promised myself that I’d write a new chapter weekly and post it on Wattpad on Sunday. That’s tomorrow today by the way…I’m sure you see where this post is going and what inspired it. How hard would it be? It’s a fanfiction so I wouldn’t have to take it too seriously. I’d have a whole week to make a new chapter; that’s plenty of time, right? Yes, it is plenty of time until the procrastination kicks in and you find yourself starting the new chapter on Saturday. 26 hours until it needs to be posted. I need to write it, make it sound good, proofread it for errors. Read it again for errors. And then, after hours and hours of stress, writing, and editing when I don’t want to do any of it, I find success. Writing fucking sucks. And then another six days to piss away until it happens again. Repeat for a year or two until the story is finished.

The first few weeks weren’t a problem because I had already been dabbling in writing the story. I mostly had the first few chapters ready to go and I only had to clean them up before posting. But now? I’m in the thick of it. I’m out of pre-written chapters. This week was the first week I had to actually creating something out of thin air purposefully with a deadline. It’s awful and I’m dreading every weekend even more than I already have been. But I am glad to say it’s mostly done. I only have the dirty work of editing left. Yay…

That’s actually why I’m writing this post by the way: I’m procrastinating. I’ve realized for a few months now that this blog has turned into my procrastination project. Instead of doing the difficult work of writing fiction and being creative I get on here and bitch about stuff. It’s easy to do — well, easier than fiction — and I’m actually surprised I’ve turned writing blog posts into a project to procrastinate. It used to be video games and YouTube, so I suppose I am making some progress.

The anxiety is good though. I see why people set hard goals for their projects. If you always wait until you “feel like doing something” you’ll never get around to it, and if you do, it’ll be a much longer time than what it would’ve been. Procrastination sucks. Deadlines suck. Writing sucks. But despite this it is forcing me to make progress in the things I want to make progress in. It’s just highly uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing.

Well, now to work on that damn story…