Well I definitely need a mental health break. I am doing well but I tend to have issues. I am a bit paranoid and I feel that I am on the wrong path. I am difficult, obstinate but in a way I am actually ok. My daughter tells me that I am pushing people away with my smart arse attitudes. I have this ability to shut people down but it was never meant to be a serious take on events. I suppose I just felt that I could protect myself from the big bad world but it isn’t as bad as I make it out to be.
I am the sort of person who has an answer for everything even if it is absolute bullshit. I just hide myself away with words. I know I am doing it but it isn’t really helping me in the way I need. With my art I have gone so far into obscurity that I have most likely lost the plot. It isn’t all bad really because that was initially where I wanted to go but the issue now is I am in a very self directed hole.
I just wanted to do my own thing but it is a very lonely place. Occasionally, well more specifically last year that level of obscurity paid off in that I made a very good body of work. The thing is I don’t want to keep churning the same stuff out though it would be a better idea than pushing a dead horse with visual stunts. I am bored and I am starting to piss people off with my attitude. Over the last twenty years I was always about throwing in the towel on my aerosol work and here I am. The only reason I am painting is that I have had very good opportunities that I have never had before in terms of public sites where my work stays up for months at a time. The work is kind of unsanctioned and a little ugly and off the charts but we don’t push it on a lot of places as that would be a bad idea. This sort of stuff has a place but it is relatively small. The same can be said for my other artwork. It is a small kind of approach that does’t move mountains but there is integrity.
With my attitude I definitely could do with softening my approach and trying to be a little more understanding. On the weekend I actually felt a little bit unwell from the level of stress that has come over me. So I need to be kind to myself and others.
Well the latest theme I am on is my own personal mental health. The truth is I am not suffering but keenly aware of my minds odd machinations. At least I read the acceptable version of events or discourse then let my mind have a description. It isn’t just about misreadings though that is pretty common but about just entertaining an odd view.
I will usually have a run in with my ex because I can exude negativity when not even speaking but when I explain that I normally blame myself for not being normal it becomes clear that that is the real problem. A sense of guilt of being different. It isn’t really guilt but maybe frustration. In another sense I try to embrace it and I never push my ideas other than in writing because I see it as pointless.
I do get bothered when I seem to exude some kind of attitude when I am minding my own business but my ex is tuned into me. She has known me for a long time. We normally just ignore each other. I was having a coffee and she kept looking up at me and looking away. I was trying to ignore it and have my coffee. Of course in my own mind I am ruminating away. Initially I was playing a video game which I have never done ever until the last couple of months. She questioned my interest in the game and said that I was enjoying myself.
I could never get into games other than chess or weichi with the latter being my favourite but now I can actually play video games. I personally feel it is a good sign. The only game I enjoy though is minecraft. I enjoy the strategy and building. Initially I would simply farm and breed cattle not caring much for building or crafting. Now I will set up farms and cattle then start quite extensive projects where I build paths through mountains and integrate land forms into architecture.
My ex will usually come over to see our daughter who lives with me full time and this morning she went into grand detail about her ventures. I was playing my game and having a coffee. I am glad she is so ambitious and she is doing really well but I didn’t like the way she questioned me playing the game. So then I stopped as I had done what I wanted and had my coffee. That was when she kept looking up at me. I asked why she was stressing when she mentioned the shopping and kept looking at me.
She told me I was exuding negativity as I mentioned before. Then I got annoyed. Prior to this she kept telling me to leave the house this is while I am playing my game and having a coffee. I just said “why can’t we just communicate?” and “I am just having a coffee”. I am not saying I am the victim but I do have issues.
My main issue is that over the many years I had with my partner she could never entertain anyones ideas but her own. We rarely had two way conversations. She is naturally very competitive. Me being a little jaded about this one way street would lead me to say “that is great” etc. But it never gets any better. My positive tone just seems not good enough with her emphasising my remark with “its better than great”. I don’t know what to do to be honest so for years I just did my own thing not even mentioning what I had been up to as it met with annoyance and subject changing. I love her family but they are also super competitive. It is their nature. If I mention something I will get a dismissive stare especially if it is has annoying arty over tones.
My solution has just been to give up on saying anything. I just listen and exude negativity. Sounds quite fair. To me it is just an ongoing thing and I normally don’t care but this morning I wasn’t happy with the same old same old. My ex is great and she is highly functional. She is very attuned to positive people and that is great. She is on conquest after conquest trying to get ahead while I am stewing over something odd. The problem is I actually feel happy being a bit strange and off kilter. I feel like because of my natural anti-social emanations that I keep people away. I suppose I should have gone to psych-social therapy. Don’t get me wrong I love people but feel that a lot of people are full of shit.
That is very negative and thats why I am exuding these “vibes” but I actually love people and normally try and encourage those who are normally hard done by saying be creative and love yourself. I guess I just need to love myself a bit more. Its rare me and my ex lock horns and we do love each other but I gotta be crazy and she has to conquer. Busy times.
Any way I suppose I occasionally lose the plot. Since I went back on social media I just lost my marbles. When I was in my twenties I had issues when I drank alcohol. Not all of the time but sometimes I would get abusive or aggressive. When I was a teen I was verbally abused by an alcoholic for years and it really affected me for a long time. My solution in the end was to quit alcohol altogether and I have successfully done so and I am great to be around.
Social media has the same affect on me as alcohol. The endless distractions and various mindless debates drive me batty. So every now and then I don’t go on it for a few months at a time. This is good but due to my curiosity I will go back on just to see the latest goings on and it is fairly ubiquitous. Normally it wouldn’t be so stressful but due to current events and other factors it is a minefield. So once again I have to abstain.
I hope it can be permanent. I throw my ideas around fairly well but then so does nearly everyone and in the end the most entertaining posts win even if they are highly questionable. Even though it is a bit batty I feel that the distraction and entertainment value are problematic not just for me but for anyone. Funnily enough my youngest daughter has grown up with these issues in that school age children will use their platforms in exactly the same way as the adults do and with literally the same results. She has learnt her lesson in that she realises it is a waste of time. It is funny to think that adults are afraid of children becoming mindless zombies when in fact it is really the adults who are going down that path.
Who would have thought that Facebook would have a similar effect on me as alcohol once did. A kind of verbal tirade full of invective. But really I am like anyone else, I am totally annoyed at the government for eroding services and thinking people will just live with it. At one stage you paid taxes and hoped you could get welfare if you really needed it but the realities are quite the opposite though you are still paying your taxes. If I had a decent tax break I would probably accept that I need to be self reliant on healthcare and my own welfare. There have been times I have had to pay the government back in the past couple of years for fairly vague reasons. I just paid it and got on with it.
As a side story I had always voted since I was eighteen and then in the Howard years I was booted off the electoral role as I had moved almost twenty times over a number of years and didn’t have it confirmed until years later when I called them. I just reenrolled to vote as I can’t deal with the idea of Australia becoming a mad house like the US which seems on the cards. Hopefully the government can see that their credibility is at stake but they seem set on their agendas. I don’t want to lose faith in everything and I always hold hope that people can and will have more than their own interests at heart.
Just thinking about the flag burning in Sydney. See below
People have been pushed to the edge and then people wonder why a flag has been burnt. Flag burning has quite difficult associations when we consider the point it can convey. Flag burning is normally done by enemies of a state. Indigenous Australians as characterised as a minority and of negligible threat seem easily ignored on days that celebrate what is truly a day that should be contemplated. My personal opinion is that flag burning is symbolic but not the particular symbol we need. It is obviously impossible to communicate without symbols but what we need is to find a way to unravel the labyrinth. People have lost faith in symbols of freedom and it seems what we see on the streets are symbols of war.
A great change would be a clear positive force of leadership but instead we have parties with other interests. This possibility is probably dead in the water. We have a lot of problems and these problems need decisive thinking. We need to start again and normally that is the call of war to recheck the system. The issue though is too much is at stake. We need new kinds of leadership who aren’t distracted through populism. We all know business and market based decisions are a disaster zone. Input from the public is fine in regard to voting on leaders but who is really fit to lead in such difficult times? Sometimes I get the feeling we need a miracle. I can fully understand why the idea of miracles exist. To give us hope and symbolise solutions.
I would prefer to see creative disruptions that are augmented or orchestrated to create the world we want to be living in. It isn’t about rainbows or fairies. A lot of artists have been at it for years already. It is truly powerful but a lot of people are preferring violence and most likely aren’t creative enough to truly launch these offensives. So it isn’t just about leadership but the general state of the people. We are so many steps away from self reliance. Hopefully I can be part of the creative disruptions. I hope for peace. Prosperity should be shared. People have every right to protest and if a flag gets burnt so be it. Just hopefully we all can listen Indigenous Australians who carry the history of this continent and disrupt peacefully and creatively.
Alternatively spelled Wergeld. Ingham notes the philological connection between “money (German Geld), indemnity or sacrifice (Old English Geild), tax (Gothic Gild) and, of course, guilt”
——Geoffrey Ingham ‘The nature of money’
One thing to surmise is the notions of money as laid out by Geoffrey Ingham in regard to debt and guilt. Then think of applicable social barriers such as mandatory detention and the application of social guilt. The guilt applicable to being wrong is applied as a debt to the tax payer that for some unknown reason seems worthwhile with incarceration as part of the national interest. While welfare seems to accrue a debt socially and monetarily in terms of government policy and creating distress for those who don’t deserve it.
The policies are enacted against minorities as they tend to be the easiest target as big business skip tax and receive special treatment. This highlights the issue of accepting the use of incarceration of asylum seekers as it only widens the governments attacks on all minorities in a myriad of strategies.
The government can get away with it as on the surface it seems fair as all parties seem to have a debt of guilt to Australian society whereas in fact the concept is completely baseless as people are only wrong if proven so through institutional processes that are fair. The issue is the institutional laws have made the parties guilty even though they have actually done no wrong. Coming to Australia by boat in itself is of course not illegal but for the purpose of settlement it has become illegal. What a great irony we have enacted through law.
A concept I had held onto for a long time in art seems to have some philosophical associations I really need to explore more thoroughly. The idea itself is the “Shame Machine” a kind of social glue that in extreme cases is designed to find and shame the “Other”. It sounds ridiculous but if you think of it the idea is applicable to normal social situations all the way up to detention centres. It isn’t meant to just be the idea that the group of others is shamed directly but the way they are treated by the media and everyday people through stories and opinions adds to the overall workings of the shame machine.
The shame itself is what keeps the whole thing chugging along, whether it is the feelings of those that want things to change for the better. It isn’t necessarily even about shame itself either. It is more a machine of finding differences that can cause distress from wrong or foolish behaviour but as defined by certain groups. The idea of illegal asylum seekers is seen as wrong so they are seen as a scapegoat for the processes of the shame machine. The whole corporate owned facilities for processing them is meant to cause distress and a painful feeling of humiliation.
Tell me then what else are they for? It isn’t a uniquely Australian thing but is very much Australian. It happens from the personal social sphere as well If you are a very difficult person maybe a black sheep of the family the shame machine can be set in motion. It is a checkpoint and can be designed to create humiliation and distress to keep a ‘proper’ functioning family or group chugging along. It is mainly about fear, a fear of losing control and also about losing face. So at once it is about social control but about security and stability. The problem is the shame machine simply divides people rather than bringing them together.
I am sure there are similar concepts but I have just thought about it as an artist in Australia who tried to describe some of this concept through art. It probably works better as a concept on paper so forgive my ignorance.
It isn’t just about detention centres either but explains why the Intervention seemed so appealing to prior governments. It is just a system set in place to humiliate and distress. There are always good intentions but what you need is actually people in the communities having support and leadership roles that are part of these remote isolated communities. You don’t call in the military and expect real change.
The more light hearted version is Derryn Hinch!! “Shame”.
I am well aware of nazi propaganda as the first successful mediated take over of minds but I am no expert on it and feel that the environment we are in today shares parallels but so do the last sixty years or so. The real concerns are the flailing about of conservative types trying to gain an upper hand. That parallel scares me.