Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Have been listening to that record up there on repeat for two days, feeling good. The sun's like magic I only want to smile always even when I hear bad news.

Kept having weird flashbacks yesterday. We used to fight sometimes when we were drunk, like vicious, bad fights where one of us would stop and throw their bike across the road in anger on the way home, then pee in the bush and keep fighting and yelling and the more sleepy we get the less aggressive our voices become. Then you wake up in the morning, horrified, hold each other so tight you could break bones, reassure that it was nothing, because you're so in love and you want it to be nothing and "imagine if we ever break up?!" - shudder - and then it's two years later and you're broken up and somehow it feels pretty normal. That scenario makes me understand the concept of time a bit better but man, people are complex.

A close friend told me that her understanding of relationships is less like "forever" and more a "five year contract" and that in five years you can talk honestly and reassess whether you're still interested in the same goals, with the same person, are you even the same person? I think that makes sense to me, a lot. What do you think?

Unfortunately you can only see the breaking point of a relationship later on, when it's too late to fix it.

It was May 2010 in Montreal. My arms are too translucent to make an appearance.

I gave a little talk at Trampoline Hall last week. Thank you for coming.

My hands were shaking because I was so nervous but then after like three minutes I really got into it so whatever. It always gets better and funnier once you start. Here are some excerpts. My talk was titled "I TOLD U I WAS HARDCORE". 

I got really interested in "live" online deaths in 2003 when I first read about Brandon Vedas. Both Vedas and I used to frequent IRC chat rooms in the early 2000s. In the year 2000 I immigrated to Canada with my family and up until that point IRC chats were more or less my only real window into an English speaking world. That and having a bunch of pen pals from different countries, pen pals who just like me lived in shitty small towns where nothing ever happened. Vedas was a computer enthusiast, a recreational drug user and a member of the website - which is an online community that helps spread accurate information about magic mushrooms. He went online by the name “ripper”. Just so you know, my IRC chat name was "ninjababe". It was given to me by my little brother, also a computer enthusiast and a hacker. Anyway, one night Vedas logged into an IRC channel and announced that he “got a grip of drugs”. He turned on his webcam and invited people to watch him consume the drugs. Now this is 2003 and for me webcams were still kind of a novelty and probably for other people too. I feel like in the early 2000s a lot of people, and specifically women, were making money online by letting other people watch them live their lives. I found all that really boring because 90% of the time it just meant watching a messy bed or their cat grooming itself. You had to pay for the really sexy stuff but I wasn’t that desperate yet. So the idea of a dude getting shitfaced on a pile of drugs seemed kind of appealing. The situation escalated very quickly with Vedas becoming belligerent and aggressive as the crowd egged him on to take more and more pills. They said stuff like “eat more! That’s not much! I eat that every morning! PUSSY. ” Over the course of a one hour chat Vedas consumed large portions of mushrooms, clonazepam, methadone, vicodin and some other pills I’m not familiar with. His last coherent words were “I told u I was hardcore, fuck you pussys you are so fucking stupid”. When he disappeared from the chat his friends argued over whether or not they should call the police to make sure he doesn’t overdose but finally decided against it. His mom found his dead body in bed the next afternoon. She thought he was sleeping in. Some of the drugs he consumed the night before were from his mother’s medicine cabinet.

As soon as I read that story I searched for the chat log online. When I finally found one it sounded so pathetic that I had to find a picture of his face to match the profile. I found two different pictures of him online: one of a smiling young boy posing with his girlfriend and another of a cool dude with slicked back hair and frosted tips, wearing sunglasses in a dark room and gazing indifferently into the computer screen. That’s probably the picture he used for his IRC profile. Multiple memorial blogs and websites were started for Vedas after his death, ones that are still visited by friends and family to this day.

That’s the kind of stuff I obsess over. There are lots more stories like that. There are entire websites dedicated to cataloguing people’s online presences after their death and I visit all of them, weekly. Suicides make up only about 20% of those deaths. The rest are car accidents, illness, murder and my favourite – freak accidents. I’m not really interested in the deaths of terminal patients. It’s the element of surprise that attracts me most. Most of my “favourite” freak accidents involve teenagers. There was one of a boy whose latest blog entry was an excited invitation to the party he was throwing at his house that night. Judging from the comments on his last post it seems that he died in his bed that night, choking on his own vomit. If it were someone I knew I would be mortified and devastated. But somehow the distance between us made it funny to me. It’s like a joke except it really happened to someone, in some parallel universe. Then the story of three drunk eighteen year olds from a rural town in the Midwest. They decided to go party in an underwater cave where young kids hung out and drank. Somewhere in the tight underwater passage one of them panicked and caused all three of them to drown. The most terrifying one for me was the one of the stoner couple who offered a random man a ride in their car while they were shopping for chips and candy at the seven eleven at 5am. The man got into the car, shot them both in the head and stepped out, allowing the car to roll downhill until it gently crashed into a lamppost. The girl lived to tell the story. Maybe the reason these stories seem funny to me is because they’re so over the top brutal it’s like it could never happen in real life. When I told my roommate Val about my obsession she said that in German there’s a word for it – it’s “Schadenfreude” – which means taking pleasure  in someone else’s misery. And even though there is no English word for Schadenfreude, there are all kinds of different descriptions of it in other cultures. For example something called a “Roman Holiday”, which is defined as “enjoyment or satisfaction derived from observing the suffering of others” and is based on gladiators killing each other for the entertainment of ancient Romans. The term suggests debauchery and disorder in addition to sadistic enjoyment. Another expression is "morose delectation", which comes from “delectatio morosa" in Latin and means "the habit of dwelling with enjoyment on evil thoughts". The medieval church said that morose delectation was a sin. And even tho I don’t exactly have a self-congratulatory drink every time I read about a hand-gliding accident I definitely get something out of it and that is really disturbing to me, and it has nothing to do with the church. I don't just seek out blogs of deceased people. I google their names and look at their pictures and facebook profiles, I read their obituaries,  articles about them in the local papers, I read between the lines of their friends' and lovers' sad comments. Sometimes I just need to know why and how they died. And then I move on. 


I watched Girls and it really freaked me out. The same way that shitty Portlandia show did. I think these feelings are in self defense, especially with Girls. Every moment I feel like "I DO THAT TOO EW WHAT HOW DO THEY KNOW?!" and then I'm suddenly self conscious. I guess that's what market research is for. We're not that unique. 

Bye friends enjoy the sun.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

there's a song about you.