Control societies

Went and got a check-up with my doctor as I haven’t been to the doctor in a few years with Covid and different restrictions, I had put it off for a few weeks as well, I normally get a blood test once every year or two. It is just standard stuff and I decided not to go to Katoomba today as the weather is a little rainy, also I haven’t seen my Mum for a few weeks as I got caught up last week so I am seeing her this afternoon. I relaxed and bought some digital music on Bandcamp and have been for a walk earlier, it is nice having nothing much on, I am waiting for inspiration to strike with my next artwork. I will probably make some food in a minute and possibly a tea.

It is typical for me how after I make some art I really need a few weeks to not make anything, I think it helps clear my mind and get me inspired. I can make art without being inspired yet I normally don’t want to when I am not in the mood, sometimes your best work can be when you don’t feel like it yet I am a big believer in waiting for the right time. It isn’t even that I am inspired when I am in the mood, that probably doesn’t catch the feeling, it is just that I feel like the idea has taken some shape and is ready. Why I feel the need to make art has never made sense to me but it just seems to happen again and again. Why art I wonder?

Why a bunch of disparate graffiti that is totally disorganised and looks like a mess can seem to make perfect sense is beyond me, it just happens through effort, with people coming and going from the scene who may suddenly fall out of that way of thinking. Others stay in that world for decades. What is it then about anxiety and fear that seems so prevalent in modern societies? Why does the system so to speak create these problems? We could cite Marx and say alienation but it seems like there is so much to these issues. People are driven to compete for things that seem scarce, everything is out of reach and it is part of the social world.

We have heard people talk about feeling like they are a rat in a cage, like Banksy or bands like Smashing Pumpkins, everyone in some way feels like that. Yet we feel like anxiety is our own fault, we never question the system. Even someone in a Communist country could feel the same way so it isn’t just the political system but life in the modern world. So much of what we see is not people-friendly but more based on the function of technologies and now that we have the whole world in our pocket that sense of control, as noted by Deleuze and many others is even more anxiety-inducing.

Many people need a dissident side gig like illegal graffiti, drug dealing or any number of activities to feel like they are actually a part of the world as opposed to wholly lost in it through societal control. Yet what is it to be both in the functional world and somewhat against it at the same time? It can seem so predictable, so uncaring when you see people homeless on the street you can feel more inclined to keep doing what you are doing just so you don’t end up in the same situation, yet those people are sometimes alcoholics, mentally unstable, cognitively impaired or addicts.

There are services yet you have to be aware of the world around you and if you are no longer aware of the system, or at least how you connect with these services what chance have you got. People will even make them aware of the services but they may be more interested in the short term high that they are addicted to. So people do try and help yet they won’t help them with their addiction or impairment because, in reality, they can’t. When I was off the rails I still managed to keep working but I still had some sense of the world around me. There have been short moments when I have lost connection with reality. Reality just disappears for that moment. It is pretty scary.

I take that very seriously and try to keep that connection to reality alive through medications, abstaining from alcohol or drugs and a fairly healthy lifestyle. I personally feel that life is full of traps visible and invisible and it is hard to keep on track without a very strict regimen of self-care and awareness. I can only hope that I can keep on the straight and narrow and don’t lose touch with reality. Nothing is guaranteed, society is buildings and roads, rail corridors and somewhere somehow you have to remain as human as possible. In some ways, my need for medication has made me somewhat part of a larger system that I only hope can benefit me yet nothing is just for you personally. What is it to be human in a world that functions and controls something bigger than the individual? The individual can get lost in this paradigm. 

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