By Tom Flynn
Existential Crises of a Scatological Nature.
I’m writing this as I’m waiting for my This is Me project to render. I’m really not proud of it. In fact I hate it, and by extension I hate myself for not making it better.
The problem isn’t the idea, I actually really like that part of it, existential philosophy quotes twisted to make toilet jokes and written as bathroom graffito’s ? An absurd clashing of high culture and low humour that’s Tom all over. That really is me. And while the video editing and presentation is muck, I’m not too fused about that either, those things aren’t my strong point, I’ll work my damnest to make them passable skills in the future but I’m never gonna be Helmut Krone.
The problem is the execution. I could have done so much more with it but I didn’t, and it’s not because I’m lazy, of all the awful things that I am, lazy isn’t one of them, it’s because I was scared.
Where I grew up in, it was really uncool to care about anything that wasn’t cans or football. Any kind of creative inclination, any passion for something out of the ordinary, any desire to really be anything was shunned and discouraged, that kind of stuff was soft, or for saps.
“You wanna do what?… That’s gay” (excuse the inexcusable use of homosexuality as an insult, but as I’m sure you’re aware, that’s what they’d say.) It’s the kind of toxic masculinity that’s made suicide the leading cause of death for men under 45. Apathy is the opium of the masses.
Like fuck that noise, it’s ok to care about things and to want to be creative, I know that now, but that niggling feeling that you’re weird because of it still lingers like a sinister backing track to my creative process. Doing something half-heartedly, even if you’re really into it, because you’re scared showing too much enthusiasm would cause people to make fun of you or think you’re a freak is Tom all over too. Sadly that really is me as well.
I had so many ways I could have pushed the project, but I didn’t because I was scared. And in that sense I’ve failed, because I’ve let that fear inhibit my creativity.
Hiding behind a mac screen makes it a little easier. You feel safer since you don’t have to face people’s reactions in person. The same goes for trying inorganically to be funny, if you’re less serious, you’re less likely to seem invested and by extension less weird. But those are just techniques derived from cowardice, so I’m gonna keep carrying on the project, not for the course or for my book, but for myself, and I’m not going to care what anyone says or thinks about me for it.
My soon to be roommate told me he’s interviewed like a hundred people, about what they thought the meaning of life was or the like. Like holy fuck that’s incredible, the thought of having to do that physically makes me cringe. I’d bottle it so quickly. Seriously deep conversations with strangers on the street? My palms are sweating at the thought of what they might think of me. But it seems like he could do it no problem, I admire that, I’m gonna try and be more like him.