||[Apr. 1st, 2013|08:21 am]
So I just learned about Cat Marnell from Gawker, and that she's this spiraling, self-proclaimed drug addict, and she's blogged in women's magazines about fashion and beauty and health, and she's heroin chic for the internet age. She got maybe half a mil for her memoirs at the tender age of thirty one or two. My age. Her posts at the women's mags are coherent and druggy and witty and interesting, in the self aware confessional narcissistic sort of way that they are. She moves over to Vice, a publication I have mixed feelings about, for lots of the same reasons I have mixed feelings about Cat Marnell. And her posts are a lot less coherent, but no less interesting. Is she falling apart, or is it an act to get clicks, to get a book deal?|
And that's what we ask about all our celeb messes, it doesn't seem real, what they are doing, what they are saying, like a show, like a drama and a comedy. And then they die. And why is she so popular, such a lightning rod? Why do drugs sell? Why does misery sell? Why does being dirty and unable to think seem like such a draw, such a pull, can't look away, jealous and sad all at the same time?
I'd read the editor of Gawker's piece about a 'glamorous drug addict' when it came out a few months ago, and connected it today that it was her, and it occurred to me that they are the Hemingway and the Plath and the whomever other millions of addled writers you want to put on the list of our time, and why the fuck is it blogging of all fucking things, sitting behind glowing screens at three in the morning and in the day and so fucking dull compared to the romanticized typewriters, or handwriters, or cafes or whatever. I want to leave an impression in the world, I want to write something wonderful, something meaningful, something remembered, but I don't want any part of this. Madness and darkness and drugs and drink and smoking and lunacy have long been objects of such utter fucking fascination that it's trite to wale on it, trite to say that you can be a functioning adult and still have something intricate and real to say. I mean, I struggle with depression and anxiety and that's what I always seem to write about, obsess about, only feel compelled to write when I am feeling it. Why can't happiness be as complex and interesting?
There was another writer, at the NYT Magazine, who did a profile of her, and talked about how she edits ultra confessional writers for Slate, and how she values them because they tell a personal story and it's how you connect to other people, man, and it's the way you see other aspects of the world. But are we getting too much, this Slate writer asks? The tweeting and the journalling and the on and on non stop disco of bowel movements and instant thoughts that might be better left edited out...how do you know what's valuable?
But it seems like truth, right, at least to half of the population? The half that becomes your rabid fans, and the other can't see it, they think you're fake, you're a poseur, everything that you write is meandering and pointless. And maybe that's all the confessional style is, but maybe that's how I write too, but worse and more boring.
And it's just an echo chamber with millions of voices, and a lot of them sound pretty much the fucking same as everyone else. Most people are not going to read your shit.
There is this blog, and it's all about why you shouldn't go to grad school, and one of the reasons is that almost no one is going to read what you write. And when you write, you want people to read it, right? Of course, right? I mean, I tell myself that I want to read and research and write because these are the things I am genuinely interested in, but I care about readership, don't I? And reason fifty two, all the way up through ninety, is that academia is a political game with viciousness that can only be seen when the stakes are low. You're not going to be an academic superstar, you just aren't. And I don't do politics. I shut down more than usual, and I usually get nothing done.
And I look back at when I did drugs and maybe it was the most exciting time in my life, even though it was also the most fucking horrible. I didn't have any friends and I didn't fit in and I wanted the drug kids to like me but they didn't. I wanted to be a raver and I wanted to trip all the time, but I didn't have the connections and I didn't know where to get it on my own, so I had to tag along and take what I could get, and then have awful experiences with awful people.
I wanted it to be like my dad's ideal of tripping a real story, following an album into visuals, connecting with a friend, a lover. At this point even the thought of drugs shoots sour adrenaline through me, I've had so many bad experiences.
So if ninety percent of academics end up bitter old fucks who work at a fourth rate college why the fuck should they not shit all over one another? And I'm so fatalistic that I barely think I can pass my classes this semester, so how can I think about submitting papers to conferences and journals? I should be sleeping now to read and study later, but I'm up, my hours are still three and four but I'm not high or in pain or hungover or coming down and hating myself or so depressed I can't move or care that I'll never be a blip on anyone's radar.