september 9th, 2021

Anonymous asked:
i would really like to be closer friends with you than we currently are, but honestly, your
posts constantly make me feel mired I'm a suffocating self-doubt that I'm not interesting
enough to deserve speaking to you. I'm worried that you'll quickly judge that I'm not
"individual" enough for you and lose interest, or, worse, feign interest in order to
not seem mean to impatient. in general, the way you seem to view other people -
especially those you seem to not deem as individuals, but rather as copies of
some archetype - is incredibly dehumanizing, and I'm unsure of how I'm
supposed to relate to someone who can't seem to stop constantly
analyzing others' personhood. it feels like it's just barely
one level removed from the 4chan "NPC" meme.

disclaimer that i may have done better at all of this after a nap, but i really wanted
to think about it & get into it. maybe i'll come back to it after a nap at some point

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

thank you a lot for telling me this. if i am expressing myself in ways that are bad by some fair reasoning, then it is
immensely better for me to have someone put in the care of waking me up to it, rather than being left to flounder in a
lack of self-awareness & go on making a total jerk or joke of myself. i think hierarchies & value judgments can really
suck, so to let myself get entrenched in thinking that's inappropriately dependent on them is pretty unacceptable to me

not that i want to establish an unequal dynamic where i just take in your evaluation & change
my whole outlook on myself, go "oh, i'm bad!" with no room for argument or interpretation,
cause i think i'd just feel kind of histrionic. but i am giving the ask a lot of thought

also, this goes without saying, but this answer is just some random thing &, despite its formality & length, not remotely
an "apology" for a "callout" in the social media sense, or anything like that. i find this incredibly obvious & it probably
goes without saying, to the point that it's puzzling that i would point out such an arbitrary thing, but i have in the past
noticed a very strange tendency on this site for an interaction to happen to stray into the superficial form of an established,
like, canonical sort of interaction, like "callout-&-apology," & for people to engage with one another in specific ways that
are simply befitting of what it appears to be, even if the content doesn't warrant it. for instance, i once made a post that
referred to how people were benignly misinterpreting a joke i'd posted earlier. the post inadvertently had the superficial
appearance of an apology & spurred someone to send me an anon where they backed up the vitriol around
the joke that didn't even exist because i had only inadvertently implied its existence. okay

i want to try to make this answer comprehensive because i think this is something it'd be easier to have a dynamic
conversation about (specific examples of things that seem dehumanizing would help), but being an anon ask there's
no guarantee of this being more than a one-shot back & forth. i guess maybe it doesn't matter as long as i'm
prompted to think about myself & do so fairly, whether i end up agreeing with you or doubling down

i guess all i can really do is try to examine & illuminate my feelings on individuality, relative to the assertion that they
can lead to dehumanizing sentiments. i am going to try to play defense, with the disclaimer that the overall intent
of the answer is not defense but the presentation of a bunch of things that i am inviting holes to be poked
in or comments to be made on, by you or whoever may or may not have the investment to do so

so: i would like to think that what i am asking for in others is a very broad bare minimum for which it is ideally an
exception not to reach it, but that exception is now... not ubiquitous, but absurdly common in this sociohistorical
context, like a disease, especially given the technologies available to us, which should make it easier to escape
conformity & normalized attitudes/culture but seems to only make it possible to spread it into the air, make it
really unified & inescapable. i have this awful gut feeling that there are realms of realms to be divorced
from, each person vulnerable to that fate, & that far far too many experience that fate, living
in not even one realm of realms but one realm. this is how i see it

i guess i should clearly state here that i'm really entrenched in this social conflict viewpoint where normality,
whether in the form we see it as now or any other, is kind of set up to happen through the normalization
& encouragement of wired screens in every home & business, radios in every car. et cetera

& i don't think i really get along with people who are significantly influenced by it all. now, i know people are
just trying to live their lives, i don't expect everyone to be doing cartwheels & splattering paint everywhere
& etching poetry into every free surface just so i can feel engaged. but i have to wonder if something isn't
wrong, if there would be more, to whatever extent, if various background processes weren't affecting
day-to-day social life. maybe i am just completely misattributing my inability to get along
with lots of people, but in a lot of cases i really feel the same deep rift

i would like to say that i don't really harbor any resentment for people who seem to just give me nothing to
feel, or talk about with, (in a way that... feels like it pertains to all of this, as opposed to them just being a jerk
(although you can question too whether certain modes of being a jerk are emphasized in our climate)
but at
the very least i will put more focus into not harboring any resentment going forward. "individuality is good"
is a value judgment that i don't think i can let go of, so i will say i do absolutely harbor resentment
for any process, any disease that may really exist, but not the people reflecting its presence

with respect to individuals, i guess i might feel disappointed in certain people that i feel just aren't trying, i guess,
when they very well could. & if anything i'd like to think i just feel frustrated & sad that "something" has snuffed
out both: 1. the greater baseline potential i see in anyone unaffected; 2. my ability to really get along with them.
because i would like to generally get along with any person i come across, because that... brings
about in great amounts the natural joy of connection to fellow human beings

although, with respect to that disappointed feeling: if i've "got it so figured out," why am i not trying to spread my attitude to
them. lack of confidence or fear of being smug or moralizing, maybe. does that count as an admission that the prioritization
of individuality is inherently smug &/or moralizing? i don't know, i think it's possible to avoid presenting lots of things in
smug or moralizing ways when it'd be easy to. it's really important to not speak down to people, to not let that hierarchy
develop, no group should be relegated to just the butt of the jokes & nothing else, like that's their deserved fate, not
even human beings so afraid of the government or victimized by disinformation that they're eating horse medicine

it's not like i walk around feeling all condescendingly melancholy or irritated about how victimized people are
by ~the disease~, like... i'm picturing this one girl i order coffees from a lot, she doesn't particularly stick
out to me in any way but i've never even thought to apply any of this logic to her, really, she's just the
barista. it could be something that comes out situationally, i guess. maybe a feeling that is more analytical
than is suitable for consideration with respect to individuals, although i do that sometimes, maybe just when
i can tell that i am not going to get along with someone for some particular reason or set of reasons. maybe
i just have to relent to having contradicted myself there & just mull it over. maybe i have been
contradicting myself incessantly without noticing

it's all hard to pin down & describe adequately, i guess. i'm sure each paragraph still has a sentence that
could become its own tangent. i guess i am operating on a very instinctive network of observations,
perceived correlations, & generalizations, all with their own fluctuating degrees of confidence

i would say just the act of sending this ask makes you "enough," like, you're fine, unquestionably, at least
by... both my actual judgment, & the judgment of the me you've described perceiving, however great
or little of a discrepancy there may be between the two. not that i meant to cosign the idea that
you need my approval in the first place, but i think it's worth saying...

i think... that i'd like to say that for all intents & purposes there is a general safety. i think i'm more polite & casual
& understanding than all of this suggests, although the initial foray into becoming close to people often has some caution
& skepticism around whether i really get them. (for some rare people it is just immediate, which is kind of the counterexample
that helps me believe in all of this.)
for someone to trip all of these feelings egregiously enough for me to be put off by
them, i think is the norm among the overall population, but ideally an exception among people i would attract

but i have to acknowledge: if you had never sent this, & i had happened to end up looking at your blog, what would
i have thought of it? sure, maybe it's great, perfectly in line with my fondnesses, but what if it had left a bad taste
in my mouth, left me rashly thinking of you as someone going along with a big broad un-individual flow? it is
absolutely a significant possibility that in my problems with approaching others or communicating i have
developed a habit of putting people's surface-level presentation, which is all i tend to access, before
all of the conversations i could potentially have with them if i were willing to try

i'm almost certain that lots of people, upon closer interaction, do turn out to have a particular sort of listless
dispassionate approach to everything, that i just can't have anything to do with & which does seem perfectly in
line with the surface-level signals, but even then maybe i just didn't find the topic that makes their eyes
light up. or i didn't try to encourage them in any way to break themselves out of mental routines.
& regardless, i'm hardly opening myself up the opportunity of being surprised by people

look at me blasting through omegle & tinder sifting through for anyone who seems to really want to make any sort of
impression, finding nothing, feeling deeply alienated, then talking like some outside observer about the effects of
technology... i'm really unsure, though, whether it's a burdensome tool for enhancing how alienated i feel, or an
immense blessing, a spyglass that lets me know just how bad it really is & evaluate my situation accordingly

still: all of this could enormously be an artifact of my shyness & loneliness & assumptions of deep
fundamental alienation that i carry into many interactions with people who are unfamiliar.
it's hard to know whether i'm the one in the right position to make the call there


here is some input my friend had when i previewed this to him:

i think that probably your blog doesn't really end up doing a very good job of representing you as a person.
i don't think it's intended to represent you as a person, per se, but i think that's how people semi-inevitably must
read it. and as a result they might end up thinking you're more standoffish and judgemental than you actually are

do you think that you'd be capable of getting along with, and deriving satisfaction from the company of, every individual
on earth, if they existed in a way free of societal conditioning and affectations? and then further if you can say yes
to that- how do you know it's not just saying that you could enjoy the company of everyone on earth if they
happened to be conditioned and socialize in ways amenable to your personal appreciation

i think that. i don't think i can get along with most people. for reasons of conditioning or affectation or personality
quirks or whatever. deconstructing why in every case is maybe fruitless. i think i am capable of being very judgemental
and cold towards people i don't like for whatever reason. i think... there are a lot of people where i look at them, or
at least i look at what they put out publicly. and my reaction is like, god. i can't even recognize this cognition. it feels
inhuman. these people's minds seem so squalid and sad. maybe if i really make the effort to get to know someone they
turn out to be okay, idk. but i'm not generally inclined to make that effort even with people i think i'd get along with.

and i guess there's... idk how to express this. like i see somebody's entire public persona is based around being
a steven universe fandom blogger, and i'm like oh... no. and i conclude i'm probably not going to have a lot to
talk about with this person, and i kinda write them off socially. and i guess there's maybe a blurring between
"writing somebody off socially" and "personally disapproving of them in a moral way" or however you wanna
put it, especially since personal moral opprobium can also be expressed in social contexts by ostracism


here is a frivolous text post that this ask inspired me to type out:

drags the persona i've unwittingly accumulated as a mosaic of all the disconnected "serious ruminations"
i've posted on tumblr (all sharing the bias of having forms, & patterns, of thought & expression that
have over time become associated with the act of composing a tumblr post), & for which a clear image
of it exists for others but remains outside my own perception, out behind a shed & blows its head off

maybe i'm ultimately addressing a string of weird days where i simply embarrassed myself before coming to my senses

i don't know what else to say. i'll do my best not to let this answer be the be-all-end-all of this line of thought