During this process, I realised how susceptible we all are to being abusive. Abuse is so prevalent, and so normalized, and often so much a function of our gut reactions that it is easy to do, without being even aware of it. Worse still, it’s even easy to abuse when you are trying to help someone.
Yet we’re in between two eras, where many of those teaching have been formatively educated in the objective journalism aka, the voice of God decades when their privilege had not yet been recognised.
Our word choices, even if–or perhaps especially if–unconsciously made, reveal our attitudes, values, bias, education, self-image and purpose. For a man of letters like Stephen, who has made his fortune from a personal brand of verbosity, that means his objectivity in linguistic matters comes under question.
We have always been in a post-truth era because our interpretation of truth can only ever be subjective. Today the difference is that Trump doesn’t pretend to be objective. As a narcissist, it is impossible for him to be anyone other than who he is. I’d wager he believes his own stories, no matter what facts might say.
People often wonder why I write so much. I’ve been called selfish, vain and self-obssessed. I over think things. That people don’t know me, don’t care to find out why and denigrate me according to their own judgements is something I’ve had to learn to live with. Because for me writing is the way I remember my life and my purpose. I write because otherwise I would forget who I am.
Authors write. They also plot. Plan. Dream. Re-order. Edit. Craft. Most suffer rejection, time and again. Sometimes, just sometimes, they receive encouragement that their stories may be well received. That their life and work as an author is not wasted. Today was one of those days. Seventeen pages of signed and initialed legal jargon mean I feel as Neil Armstrong might have felt when he stepped out of Apollo 11.
I believe it’s a measure of self-esteem to believe what you produce is worthwhile; but it’s a whole other level to demand money for it when so much writing out there is free. Yet last year I stopped writing for Huffington Post because they exploited millions of bloggers for their own gain. I don’t believe in exploiting others, so why would I let myself be exploited?
Anaïs was a memoirist, like me. Who was all kinds of fucked up, like me. Who followed love and personal growth as if it were a extremist religion, like me. Who was riddled with self-doubt, was dedicated to the confusion of her psyche and who wrote about her deliberations compulsively, like me.
And structure, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why this episode – even though filmed on only one set, played in real time, around the six main characters in order to save money as a so-called ‘bottle’ episode – was nominated the third best ‘Friends’ episode ever…
How many of us believe that one person’s public persona or piece of writing can possibly encompass the totality of our humanity?
It turns out, we all do or at least we all want to, including me.
I’ve never had any patience with the whole tortured artist thing. And now I am one. But as it turns out torture isn’t exactly the right word, it’s more like ‘itchy’ (but ‘the itchy artist’ doesn’t sound as good).
Survival is our ultimate skill, our ultimate goal and our ultimate curse. It is the most powerful instinct we have. It can turn the meek into indiscriminate killers, acting out of fear. It can drive otherwise loving and rational folk to protect their religions at any cost. It can force those people who identify strongly with their social status, to corporate crime.