I look around at the citizens of the world and I don’t understand what they are doing. I don’t understand their motivations. This makes me think that, perhaps, the citizens of the world do not understand what I am doing, and don’t understand my motivations. I know we are already two parts into this manifesto, but maybe we need to start again.
let’s start the heck over,
balckwell manifesto, part three
balckwell manifest two, part one
“The medium is the message,” “form is content,” etc, etc. These principles apply here, too. This series of manifestos’ lack of coherent structure is essential to your understanding it. I don’t even remember what I wrote in the last two parts. That is also important. My mind is revolving, and revolting. My mind is under the sun, and above the Earth; thus, it looks different depending on the hour, month, or year. I was born light years away from where our planet currently resides. So were you.
Six years ago, I was dead. Five years ago, I was undead. Now, I’m just alive. It’s that simple. Let’s start from the beginning.
I have an inherent desire to separate myself from any position I consider to be held by the majority. You might call this contrarian. If all people choose to do a certain thing, I will likely do the opposite. This impulse makes me an idiot. This impulse is my greatest weakness, and my greatest strength. All weaknesses are strengths, and all strengths weaknesses, but you already know that.
I like to explore ways of thinking and being that are generally not considered. I don’t gravitate towards ways of thinking and being that are hated; that would simply be masochistic. Instead, I prefer to reside in areas that are simply ignored. If no one has thought to do something, I want to know why. I never heard anyone ask about a rectangle whose length and width have a negative value, so I did. Maybe it’s a stupid question. However, maybe it is the key to the next mathematical breakthrough. (My current hypothesis involves anti-matter.) That’s just a small example. A minuscule example. In fact, I only mention this order to frustrate a specific person.
In high school, I stumbled. I could not find a way to commit my life. I knew that school was stupid; everyone knew that. However, they went through with school because they wanted a good job. I thought I could get a cool job without doing well in high school, or going to college. I didn’t realize that I would have to create that job myself. I didn’t realize that I would have to bend the very idea of the word “job” in order to make this happen. So, I faltered.
I worked in a drug store that damn near killed me. I tried to write fictions. My fictions were stupid. All I could write about was how much I hated myself. All I wanted was to escape. I had no imagination – that was my problem. I was so stuck in the world that, while I rejected everything that everyone stood for, I could not develop a mode of thinking outside of their paradigm. When you are stuck in a paradigm, acting counter to the paradigm becomes itself part of the paradigm. It is very difficult to break free. I don’t know how I broke free. I tried a few things, and they failed terribly.
As a joke, I decided that I would live until I was one hundred years old. This joke became the core of my philosophy. First, let me explain what this does not mean:
1) This does not mean that I am obsessed with my physical health.
2) This does not mean that I cling desperately to life.
3) This does not mean that I even consider living a long life to be valuable in any sense.
This may seem incomprehensible. The decision to live until 100 is not in any way related to the decision to TRY to live until age 100. They are entirely different things. If you are trying to live until 100, you will do things like eat well, exercise, avoid dangerous situations, go to the doctor often, etc. When you have decided, like me, that you WILL live until age 100, all those things become irrelevant. As Master Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
My decision to live until age 100 is a form of protest. I am protesting against everything in the entire world at the same time, simply by existing.
Deciding to live until age 100 provides several benefits. For one, I am not running out of time. My time is near infinite. I’ve lived such a long time, and yet, I am only a quarter of the way through my lifespan. Considering that I didn’t even start thinking until I was 18, I’m only 7/82s into my thinking life. That’s very slightly more than one twelfth. Heck, even if I stop thinking somewhere around 90, I’m still doing pretty good.
I would expound on a few other benefits, but they all sound pretty stupid. The whole thing is stupid, really. My whole life is built around a semantic conceit that began as a simple joke. It doesn’t mean anything, really. “Living to 100” is not the important part here. What’s the important part here? Let me think.
It used to make me incredibly sad to think about how most people in the world are incredibly sad. It seemed useless to do anything, because it seemed like all paths led, at one point or another, to feelings of futility and inadequacy. This is why I did not want to live anymore. The thing is, I was judging other people’s lives by my own standard, and I was judging my own life by everyone else’s standard.
I looked around and I saw that people hated their jobs, so I thought that every job made people sad. The truth is that most people are simply working the wrong jobs. Also, some people who say they hate their jobs actually just like to complain. In that respect, their jobs are perfect for them. I don’t know what to do about these people, except try not to be within talking distance of them.
My ideal job is not a job. This caused a lot of turmoil in my life. My parents thought I was unhappy because I worked a dumb job and made very little money. They desperately wanted me to be happy. They thought the way for me to be happy was to get a better job and make more money. I pushed back; I stayed at my dumb job. Turns out, we were all wrong.
I did not need to stay at my job, or quit my job. What I needed to do was reclassify my job. That is to say, I needed to stop thinking of my job as “my job.” I had to think of it as a “thing I do.” As soon as my job became a thing I do, its ability to act as a defining aspect of my life disappeared. I do many things. The things that I am most proud of fit into the category of “scholarly activities.” Thus, I describe myself as a scholar, by profession. I already said that earlier. Now, perhaps, you better understand what I meant when I said that earlier.
Do you know what’s funny? I am on the clock right now. This is part of my job. That’s kind of bizarre, isn’t it? My duty in life is to write. I have chosen to believe in the power of literature. The power of literature to do what, exactly? Well, that’s part of the power of literature: that it doesn’t have to do anything. “To be” is the ultimate verb. It’s the only verb you need. “To do” is just semantics.
Go online, and look at the ways people are living. It’s crazy! There are so many different ways to live out there. Some people draw fan art for a living! Some people perform indescribable office jobs. Some people translate tourism-related articles from Japanese into English. Look at Kyle! That guy lives in Japan. What’s he doing over there? How did he get there? Who decided that he should be there? One day, it occurred to him that he could live in Japan, so he did. It’s actually easier than it seems. It’s actually easier even than Kyle made it. Kyle went to Japan in a somewhat logical way; there are always more illogical ways to do something than logical ways.
The possibilities are infinite! Are any of them good? Will any of them make you “happy”? Who knows! But they’re there. The key is to find the lifestyle that fits you. There’s a 99% chance that this will not be the way everyone else lives. In fact, there’s a 97% chance that you will have never met or heard of anyone who lives your ideal life. You’ve got to make it yourself! Try it out! (Guess what? No matter where you are, you’re already partway there.)
I started by trying to live other people’s lives. It went terribly. One problem was that in order to enjoy their lives, I would have had to change my personality to be like theirs. I tried, but boy, that ain’t easy. It’s a lot easier to be yourself.
No one wants you to know this, but we live in a state of near-total anarchy. Of course, this is only true if you do not fear death. In fact, this is only true if you don’t fear anything at all. In fact, this might not even be true, but what’s so good about truth anyway? Belief is more important than truth. No one was ever convinced of anything because it seemed like the truth. No, we are convinced because we find a way to believe.
What about reason? Reason is just a series of steps to take in order to discern what you want to believe. So-called “reasonable people” all believe in wildly different things. It’s arbitrary. Science is dogma. Politics is chariot racing. Mathematics is art. Physics is science fiction. Philosophy is linguistics. Metaphysics is religion. I could go on forever. I’ve already gone on forever. I think you get the idea now. If you don’t, just send me an e-mail.
Look, I don’t know anything about space. I keep saying I’ll learn about space, but I never do. I know that all galaxies are slowly moving towards a single point. They are all getting closer. However, they also say that the universe is constantly expanding, which would suggest that all galaxies are moving away from each other. I don’t know how to reconcile these two facts.
If you search online for articles about plastic bags, you will find one article from a man involved in plastic manufacturing, and another from a man involved in cloth bag manufacturing. Do you know what I mean? Perhaps, the universe is like that.
I should go outside soon, and check on the stars.