Monday, 20 June 2011

Sunday 19th June 2011: Hermit-age #4 (Revenge of the Hermits)

Hello, I'm back.
I haven't had weekends like this in a long time. I have evaded human contact and am pretty much back to hermit-mode. This will not last long, since I've got loads of work to do tomorrow, including a gig in London which or may not be able to go to (rehearsals for this play I'm doing may run late). The rest of the week is also pretty much booked, and after that loads of things will be happening as well. But now I am here, alone. In the past eight months I've made so many new friends and, doing Stand-up as well as Uni, and being involved in theatre productions- I seem to have something we may even be able to define as – a life –. Not much room for vain, futile asceticism there, you'd think. But no, I still get to be quite hermity sometimes. And I don't like it. Not a jot. This stems from my belief that hermits are fundamentally more rubbish than me, a person with a proper social life. This is an acceptable belief system, one of the very few I live by, the steady social life. Confidence in social capabilities is therefore important. Only, a social life is never a steady thing. People leave, people make other friends, and people realise that obviously, meeting you was a mistake and one that they will learn from in the future; never trust the Dutch. If you're unlucky, this will happen over and over again until there's nothing left but the memory of friendship and the feeling that if something's wrong, it's you. That is the time to break open the yogurt and join the International Hermit Society with all the other oxymoronic losers.
Are people ever truly alone in this age of social networking? Is solitude ever achieved? Can hermits live in the 21st Century? Not really, if you're into the idea of social contact via likes, RT's, babies and cats. Because they don't want to be losers, or, hermits. You could say these things keep those who are rubbish at social contact off of the street (you know what I mean). Those who oppose these views (Luddite idiots, the old and Kate Bush) say: ooh! 'Don't do social networking! You'll die, or never leave the house again, or get curvature of the spine or become a famous tweeter or, worst of all, turn into a hermit! (shocked, sharp intake of breath)' Now you now precisely what my views on hermits are and I'm not prepared to repeat them (Why not look back at my November entries about hermits? Give you something to do). Hermits are sad. Even if I do sometimes resemble them. But I am better than them, for I have social networking. Which in itself only serves to make me a sad, hermit-type person, rendering this entire quandry an absurd Paradox of Zeno. Good. You can't touch me, Zeno of Elea! I got you on the paradoxes, bitch! (This is quite literally picking fights with the dead). The notion of solitude is changing. Do we expect more from it, or does it expect more from us? I think it may be the latter?
I sometimes wonder how well I would have coped on this exchange on days like this, say, twenty years ago, not having the internet. How would I cope? Would I have had read more? Would I have gone insane? Would I have been in the Tiddlywinks society? Would I have been dragged away and abused by a scary old man in the pub who then performed bodily reconstructive surgery on me, making me walk like a donkey? Probably not.
On the whole, I love social networking sites. This entails that I must also see their dark sides and thus I also believe that they are fundamentally shit. Skype tends to ravage my computer, rendering a reboot necessary and making my mother unfathomably angry. Facebook annoys me. I lose entire days on it. I try to make amusing comments but am, especially when I'm bored, rubbish at doing so. I also hate facebook chat since it reminds me of MSN messenger which was a waste of the 2000-2005 period. I despise most things on there, but -like- them anyway. I don't want a dislike button, I need one that says -burn this to the ground in Hellfire for all eternity and let the urine spout from a dying Narwhale's breast, all warm and yellow and surprisingly viscous, over this rotten, stinking idea, dreamt up by only the most vile mind who since this punishment, has drowned in hot piss-. Maybe it's a good thing Mark Zuckerberg didn't accept my friend-request. I like twitter but it doesn't have a like-function, making me feel like I'm shouting into the void. That this may be because I've got the mental age of a four year old and basically need attention every other second should not change this observation.
Tonight, on facebook, I was shown a Youtube-clip of The Room, which was both funny and quite unnerving. Have you ever seen something that is so utterly and completely wrong that it makes you doubt yourself and your facilities of perception? Well I think that The Room does that. It is so bad it makes me doubt my ability to process film and all forms of visual stimuli. Now I'm scared of leaving the house. Good. Thank you to the Award-Winning Angela Barnes.
Yesterday, all I did was to go into town, where I bought an external hard drive and some books including Howard Jacobsen's The Finkler Question (because I'm unoriginal and cheap) and Natalie Haynes's The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. I've bought the last one because, in Literature seminars, I felt I lacked a basic knowledge in Classical texts. I do know a fair bit about Greco-Roman culture, although I admit, this is mostly derived from Astérix. For someone who tends to rely on other people's conception of my own knowledgeableness, I needed some help. Badly. I didn't know my Zeno of Elea from my Zeno of Citium. I do now. Come at me, seekers of wisdom. I have biscuits.
Although the books I bought didn't add up to more than15 pounds, I had a hugely powerful urge to suddenly run out of the shop, stealing the books. I started making a massive Ocean's 11-style plan on how I would do it, which would involve a winch, several accomplices, a travelling circus and me running away very fast. In the end I cut that down to just the last bit -the running away- as I imagined what it must feel like running away from the alarms and getting beaten down by the police before giving back the books with apologies and -I don't know what I was thinking-s. Just before I'd gotten into the straitjacket, I was snapped out of my daydream by the guy behind the till asking me type in my pin. Still, odd. I know I'd never do it, but sometimes crime is just too wonderful. It is good to be evil.
But I seem to have drifted a bit. To come back to the question, does real, absolute solitude still exist in this age? Of course it does, for anyone who isn't rich, or is infirm, or homeless. But we, the moneyed, internetteyd classes, we can escape solitude and can create a whole new world for ourselves using artificial friendships, as deep and as rewarding -although not as socially well-regarded- as real ones.
In other news, after a laptop reset and format, my virus scanner has taken on a new voice to tell me it has updated. It's like I've made a friend!

I do live a ridiculous life.


And now, to watch Horrible Histories!

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