(normally I imagine Eminem’s Without Me playing when I write these ‘I’m back’ posts; now I’m thinking of Anti-Flag’s Hymn For The Dead. Huh)
Hello people in possession of both computer screens and eyeballs! I, James ‘I think it’s still funny to call myself pretentious eighteen times a day’ Casey, have returned from the inky purple depths of real life, and have resumed blogging for your amusement (except not really because I’ve still been doing that collab blog that I’ve only not plugged to you in posts on this site for the last two weeks because there have literally been no posts).
And that real life thing is a bit of a bitch, really: I failed NaNoWriMo, finishing with a paltry 24,000 words when my friend and fellow English student could bang out 50,000 after starting a few days after me, which was basically the reason I stopped blogging in the first place; then I had a bit of a tiff on the UCL Gender and Feminism Facebook page for daring to have opinions (that, in fairness, did amount to defending a convicted rapist); then SAVAGE, UCL’s generic ‘arty’ magazine told me to frak off after I’d written a review of this season of The Apprentice because they haven’t got a TV section, and it’s apparently unreasonable for an established publication to expand its content for one new writer with a sporadic writing style who’s written one piece on a topic more specific than the magazine deals with anyway; and I’m going to a formal ball this weekend, which means I might wear a pair of something other than trackies for the fifth time in my life, which always brings a small existential crisis.
And I was so optimistic about November last month! Does this mean the last two weeks without blogging have, not coincidentally, been totally depressing and disappointing and have made me yearn for the satisfaction of posting 600 words of half-arsed to a website for eight people to read and not respond to every day, like a weird modern art exhibition set on one of the moons of Saturn that involves an unusually long-term and intense commitment from its artist?
Well, no, not in the slightest; I started writing this post wanting to be pissed off, and wanting to bitch at you because I think my writing has become less scathing in the last few months – my NaNoWriMo novel wasn’t a comedy, my essays have become verbose and speculative as opposed to blunt and cutting, and I’ve had to tone down the masturbating jokes and unnecessary ‘funny’ intolerance for the sake of being published in other people’s works – and wanted to reset my twat-ometer. Because I know that being the designated ‘cynical’ writer is a bit of a one-trick pony, that you’d imagine becomes less amusing to write when you’re, say, 350 posts into a daily blog, but it’s something I’m comfortable doing, and think I’m at my best when I’m writing in that style.
For instance, the two poems I stuck on this blog ended with the lines ‘You bastard’ and ‘Lonely f*cker’ respectively, and I consider both of them to be quite good (*toots own horn*), as much for their blunt aggression as anything ‘artistic’ they bring to the table. And while it’s important to diversify one’s writing style – see my examples before – this black-backgrounded collection of URLs and comment threads has been a place where, for over a year, I’ve been a bitch on a daily basis, and a few people seem to find it amusing or interesting, or God knows what else, to read, and I still find it fun to write.
Furthermore, I’m much happier in life at the moment; that’s not to say I disliked my life in Sixth Form or over Summer – because there can be great joy in cynicism, isolation and sneering bastardry if used in moderation – but now I do things! I hang out with friends like young people allegedly do, on whims and as the result of alcohol-fuelled decisions! Those things that pissed me off before have all really made my life way more active and fun – the Gender and Fem thing has morphed into a Battlestar Galactica strike-by-the-tillium-miners type adventure where we (yes ‘we’) are pushing to save the Sabbatical Officer position of Women’s Officer here at UCL; the SAVAGE thing has made me appreciate gigs more than just live-action moshpits; my NaNoFail gave me a great story I’d like to write properly one day, not just as part of a daft writing race where quality is often shafted; and that ball – I’m going to a frakking ball! With other people! And, presumably, dancing and general merriment!
And I won’t be the life of the party, and I’ll probably piss off a lot of people with off-colour jokes, awkward silent smiling and moaning about having to wear nice clothes, but I don’t care; I’m a far cry from the guy that marathoned 250 episodes by himself of Naruto over summer, and even further from the ultra-disciplined exam-answering machine I’d become after seven years at secondary school. And I’ve played handball for UCL, stayed up till 8 in the morning after a friend’s birthday party, and am inching towards getting a First on one of my essays, all while I listen to punk and refuse to drink booze and squeal excitedly when a new episode of The Apprentice or Naruto is released.
Sorry if this became rambling in places, but that makes a rather neat linguistic point I’ll end on like I planned that; I like to think of myself as the same good-natured twat I was before, but now I’m on the inside of a bubble of activities and events and shit metaphors looking out, rather than sneering at other people’s bubbles from afar. And sometimes it’s nice to be in that shit metaphor.