Watched some Bjork, Radiohead, Blur, Garbage, and some other goodies. They reminded me how life back then, for me, was so much simpler. I wasn’t thinking about Syria or Ukraine or South Sudan. Back then, thinking about Beck and how cool he was was enough. And I realized, watching it on a regular basis definitely fed into my later desires to be famous and cool too, whether with my various rock bands, or as a fiction author. I feel that I divested myself somewhat of those misguided motivations, that would have (had they succeeded) propelled me to a pillar-like position of support for a system I now know to be corrupt and wrong. If I had never studied ideology or feminism or anti-imperialism at Montclair State, or become disenchanted with the self-absorbed, honorless world of the publishing industry, I might still be grasping for some semblance of fame-as-itself, some outward recognition and validation, whether the labors for which I received that fame meant anything to me or not.

I continue down the hard path of wanting to do something that means something to me, that is important to me, fulfilling to me, that I “love,” and watching these old videos of old times, old dreams, obsolete and broken, when I drank the spoon-fed syrup of the outwardly disaffected but inwardly hopeful adolescent music fan, came swimming back towards me in a sad way. All I really want now is to do my job, not in the “do your job, earn your living, and the American Dream will come to you” kind of way, but I just want to do something well and help people by doing it. I have not done so in a long time, too long. I just want to be a good personal trainer, not to be a famous author or perform rock shows in bandshells in Denmark or at the Olympics. Or at least, I don’t have to do those things now.

The early 20s seem to be for having great, insane, self-forming times. The mid 20s seem to be for trying to recreate those early good times, and in some ways succeeding, in others failing. The late 20s and early 30s? It appears their purpose is to realize that the old times are gone. How does one react? By giving up and hanging the warmer moments of your life on well-placed pangs of nostalgia? “Make new memories,” say my instincts. How does one most often make new memories at age 31? Marriage, children, and then it’s over. But that’s not me. I don’t want to create another human being to contribute to the current meaning of my own life, nor do I feel it a great gift to create the conditions for reproducing these eventual doubts and fears in yet another maladjusted twit (myself being the first, of course). Bjork and Beck were raised by devil-may-care life-loving artists in the 60s and 70s, when things were “happening.” My children would be raised out of desperation in a time when everything sucks.

A downer attitude, I know, but it is mine to overcome. What kind of a world is it in which we bring people into existence BECAUSE that world is dark and sad? A world tailor-made for failure.