MyTiredBlog – A Reflection

To start with, the idea of blogging is quite daunting.

wordpress-265132_1920

The daunting new post.

Most blogs seems to be written in a similar fashion, and read effortlessly and informally. For a student who’s been trained to churn out academic essays for the past 5 years, it was quite difficult to emulate the ‘blogger’ style.

Over the years I’ve been aware of and skimmed a few blogs, but never took the plunge (probably laziness, but we’ll say I was busy). When my lecturer told us we would have to build individual blogs instead of the routine module essay, I was quite nervous. I’d only ever really been properly aware of one blog – AnotherAngryVoice – and that was more out of my annoyance at modern politics than a love for the blogging format. I didn’t want to blog about politics, it seems far too many people now-a-days think other people should value their unoriginal thoughts and I didn’t want to add to that. Instead, I took influence from AAV in studying how the blog was filled with passion. With content that meant something to the creator, and something the creator actually seemed to know about.

What did I know about? – Bleak old books that all seemed to centre around depression. Books that have inspired several rabbit holes within my mind, and that I think are wholly underrated by my generation. If this blog could introduce some of my generation to these books, then I would be happy.

I had my inspiration but no practical skills, and so I looked at another blog for influence. This time it was FromTheFringe , a popular lifestyle and opinion blog. The biggest thing I took from this blog was how well it was written. It was casual, friendly and succinct – several areas of writing I struggle with. I prefer the long-flow format where I can write every thought I have, in detail, on a given subject. But this doesn’t fit with the format of a small-time blog. When writing I often found that I was already over the word limit for the assignment, and would need to delete whole sections and rewrite them to be more in keeping with the blog theme.

As a relatively computer literate student, the rest was fairly simple. I knew that if I was to use images they would need to be ‘labelled for reuse’ (/royalty and copyright free), and that if I was discussing something that could be ‘linked’ to another page then it would. Mainly to help flush out the blog for those who wanted more context on what I was writing.

AAV.png

The AAV aesthetic

On the aesthetic style of the blog, I wanted it to be fairly simple and functional. Much like AAV, as it didn’t make sense for what I was writing about to be presented in a polished and overly professional way. Instead I preferred the simple internet style, and so used a fairly basic but functional theme. The cover image I made in Photoshop, with a starry night sky (‘labelled for reuse’) and a shaded in circle to show the moon. As well as some ‘zzz’ marks to underline the theme of the blog – thoughts from when I should be asleep, extrapolated on with literature.

Are there any tips and tricks from more experienced bloggers? Please let me know below

 

‘Junky’ & 21st Century Drug Abuse.

Another prominent group of anxious thoughts that keep me from sleeping centre around drug use. Most people I’ve talked to either have experienced or know someone who has experienced the issues of drug abuse first hand. Several friends have a number of times expressed issues of not being able to sleep without illicit self medication. It’s clear there is an issue but no obvious answer to it. With the misinformation on all sides of this topic, it’s difficult to come to any conclusion that isn’t within 3 branches of thought:

  • It is not acceptable
  • It is okay in moderation
  • It is completely fine and wrongly marginalized by society

The trouble with these thoughts is none of them exist without critique. All have their individual failing and contradictions that (depending which side of the fence you fall on) ignore either the severity of drugs, or exaggerate their severity.

drugs-908533_1920

Most illegal drugs have established reputations. 

Fortunately for our generation, we are not the first. A long line of people have pondered, experimented, and concluded an eclectic group of opinions on this topic. If you want ‘evidence’ to support almost any opinion you have about drugs, it is only a quick google search away.

In a conversation with my father about books, he recommended ‘Junky’ by William S. Burroughs. Soon after my (ex-)girlfriend brought her copy to my house and asked if I wanted to borrow it. Both her and my father have good taste in literature so I figured that it would be at the very least a good book, and at best could provide a good insight into the issues of a drug-dependent life.

burroughs

Burroughs later on in life.

If you haven’t read Burroughs, there’s a chance one of your idols may have been a fan. Burroughs’ legacy has been integral to the ‘alternative’ lifestyle for some time now, with icons such as Bowie and pop acts like the 1975 expressing their admiration for his work.

Burroughs’ ‘Junky’ follows the life of Bill, a 30 year old man living in 1940s New York. Bill starts as a recreational user, with a particular infatuation with morphine. As Bill’s more normal interests diminish, he becomes more and more entangled in petty crime and habitual drug abuse.

Bill deals with the harsh realities that trap and confine him. His wife is seldom mentioned, and he begins to engage in casual homosexual sex. This gives the view that to Bill, drugs are an escape from societal trappings. Those who have dealt with these issues will often recognise the connection to escapism.  That drugs might not simply be a ‘fun’ trap for those inclined to rebel, instead drugs seem to be an escape from ones immediate surroundings. When those surroundings become unbearable, other realities that drugs can offer become an alluring option.

The book ends with Bill, after several failed attempts at kicking his habit, searching for a new drug rumoured to stimulate psychic abilities. This end left a large impression on me, that when people lack the environmental support and security of society, the want for drugs only ends with the next hit.

Is the real issue with environment and support? or have I missed something? Please let me know your opinions in the comments down below.

Existentialism vs. Millennial Existance

One thought that stops me from sleeping comes in the form of existentialism. Before Tumblr, before danisnotonfire, before millennial struggles, there was Sartre. Granted before Sartre there was Kierkegaard, but we’re going to ignore Kierkegaard here as Sartre was the first to call his work existentialist. More importantly I know more about Sartre, so it makes writing my first post a little less daunting. I first looked into Sartre during a long conversation with my father about books, he recommended ‘Nausea’ and said that I sounded very similar to him idealistically. this

I’m sure I’m not alone in this way of thinking, and wanting to explore the idea of existence is (in my mind) surely just a part of growing up. So why aren’t Sartre and his peers seen as relevant to millennials?

A quick search on YouGov shows shows that, despite his themes being very relatable to me, Sartre readers aren’t young. So are these ideas still relevant?

A key moment in ‘Nausea’ is the breaking of the meaning of existence. Antoine (our main character) spends his life researching a dead and mysterious French Aristocrat (Marquis de Rollebon). Antoine is convinced he must learn the truth of this man. He spends hours compulsively trawling through pages and pages of information. As none of this time proves useful in fully understanding this mysterious yet presumably important man, Antoine falls down a hole of existential breakdown. Eventually he understands.

“M. de Rollebon bores me to tears.” (6.15)

blogger-336371_1920

The tools needed for life in a Millennial society

Hours trawling through information that feels irrelevant, mind-numbing and tedious. And yet you can’t look away, sound familiar? Does Facebook’s newsfeed fill this role for millennials? Searching for meaning in a void of eclectic information and opinions? Both are inaccurate depictions of life and give empty rewards that never seem to quite quench the obsession.

Angst-y Antoine eventually realises de Rollebon is unknowable, his obsession can’t be fulfilled and that de Rollebon doesn’t really exist. Well, the character existed in this fictionalized universe but was dead, and so out of existence and broadly unimportant. De Rollebon didn’t exist in Antoine’s here and now, therefore he is concluded to be irrelevant (this is Sartre we’re talking here, and so this outlook will always be fairly bleak).

I think Sartre, Antoine and de Rollebon have something to teach us about anxiety over our whole existence. Especially for millennials, the lines are blurry between the fake and real. We have a predominantly mediatised society that has crept into all elements of our lives, and much of it is nonsense. How do we understand the truth of our personal realities and existence when we’re bombarded with all this information?

It’s very difficult to do alone, and so (from my perspective) Sartre’s writings are excellent tools that can enable us separate the facts of our reality from the fictional or meaningless. Maybe this conclusion brings more questions than answers. If Sartre’s take didn’t satisfy you, Antoine’s reached a similar conclusion – that you shouldn’t waste time attempting to understand the words of old dead men and should instead just live your own life.

Finally, was this helpful? Do you think that this analysis missed Sartre’s point? or if you haven’t looked into Sartre, do you think you will? I’d love to hear any feedback in the comments down below.