Logic’s Last Stand

May 4, 2008

Forever a Tourist

Filed under: Life, Philosophy — Tags: , , , — Zurahn @ 11:19 pm

There is one thing that I have begun to focus on in the past year or so, and have come to accept as simple truth. Often when people have travelled, they return with the simple exclamation, “It’s good to be home.” While I may have lived in the same general area of Canada for my entire life, I am more aptly described as a long-standing tourist, for this is not my home.

While it would seem that most people have a sense of being misunderstood or leftout, forgive me for coming off a bit pretentious in saying I am a bit of a unique case. If you take my basic living principles, I stand as a tiny fraction of a percentage in the society in which I reside. In virtually all aspects of life, from entertainment to enlightenment, I am in a miniscule minority at best.

So many can remain cheerful and expressive in this environment, a place of mutual similarity among all their unique differences. It may seem silly, but so many share the same general views in acceptance or rejection of ethics, religion, drugs, media, and politics. Though I do have many problems with the function of the society around me, with arguments to go with them, I recognize both the public’s contentment in its equilibrium and the utter audacity it would take to believe it could be changed.

Ethics and matters of principles I find to be fundamentally right or wrong all aside, imagine yourself in simply a foreign country, with a similar existence in stature and rights, but different in culture and certain legalities. I am in this foreign country, but I have not immigrated and I have no ticket back.

In my own naïveté I like to think of Japan as somewhere I would like to be, with so many things to which I feel an emotional connection, but I understand the cultural blind-spots I have to the parts that I would no doubt be at odds as well as even disregarding that, the complications in even getting there. It’s an outlet for a bigger problem without solution, in that I have a lasting desire to find my culture.

One point I have to consider is that in order for a purpose to be had, an acceptance of one’s environment must exist. Without that, the only purpose is to either find the right environment or change the existing one. I can’t change my country, and I have not a practical alternative.

At the least this provides one solace: The closest thing to a sense of belonging is the Internet, and consequently, my purpose thusfar has been tied to that. Expression flows freely, for I am in a place of comfort. And a sense of pride in all things it represents, however silly.

Ironically, however, this search for a comfortably cultural setting for myself is almost a contradiction, in that, my own standing is that almost without culture. That is, beyond the realm of societal quirks and where things are based on what is reasonable. A pipe dream, perhaps, and even this is at odds with an obvious mass number seen on the Internet.

Certain things permiate society so greatly that being at odds with it is in itself offsetting, and unfortunately, I am virually at odds with them all.

My thoughts have jumped around without reaching a point, but that’s really because the one point is rather indirect. All I can really derive from all of this is that I have another irreconcilable complication of life — an continual problem with no discernable solution.

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2 Comments »

  1. Yes, the internet is a great place but at times I also feel like I have entirely wasted 10,000+ hours of my life. Memes and infinite free information aside, it’s rather an empty shell. The people are what make the internet great… perhaps it’s a lack of access by people with cultural ties to the things you disagree with (idiots) that makes it great… although they’re starting to type away.

    This morning I was thinking something perhaps similar, although not society as a whole, just working. It’s my third day back to working full-time and I am completely drained in a way that only working has ever done to me. I have decided that I —CAN’T— work 40 hours per week for the next 40 years of my life. The very essense of my being will not allow it. Maybe the culture that I have grown up in has spoiled me to the point that I am no longer a willing, productive worker. But I feel there is a greater possibility that “this is not the way that things are meant to be.” So now I am stuck between not wanting to work which would make me a societal failure, and there is no society to go to in order to escape this. I can’t just die, so I am forced to choose a life of suffering horrible monotony.
    I still think my ideal society is a small communal self-sufficient farm of close-knit individuals who only work to survive, but like you mention I am probably overlooking many of the hardships and the fact that physical labour would be more intense.

    A program capable of consistantly making money while I do relatively nothing is my last hope :P.

    What specific stuff are you at odds with besides religion, though?

    Today’s TPFD comic seemed somewhat fitting also:

    Comment by Yarcofin — May 5, 2008 @ 6:19 am

  2. My starting point is that I’m a non-drinking, vegetarian atheist. That’s what, .001%?

    More problematic is not the alternative personal outlook, but the social order that results. Alcohol is in itself entertainment for people, as far as I can tell. Men like to sit around, drink and watch “The game”. Women…I don’t know. I really don’t know. Talk about the inane for hours? Help me out here.

    The interesting thing is that I’ve always maintained that I don’t necessarily even play videogames because they are a main source of entertainment, but rather they’re the only reasonable, sustainable means of entertainment for the society in which I live. How difficult is it to play a casual sport? A board game? With whom?

    The very existence of Entertainment Weekly supports my displacement.

    With what do Canadians identify, really? It is seriously beer, hockey and Tim Horton’s.

    We’ve gone over how screwed up the process of tipping is. The same with political correctness.

    It’s difficult to quantify, though, due to it really being the little things. I’ve taken to religious discussion/education by sheer fascination in its utter absurdity. It is equatable to smoking, it’s just inexplicable.

    And interesting contrast is also the existence of shame that society creates then ignores. A brazen nature that seems embarassing or improper based on typical association is yet common. The best example I can think of right now is that we have a show that is popularized by its mockery of bad singing. Granted, they shouldn’t be auditioning to American/Canadian Idol if they are tried, tested, and trained great singers, but it doesn’t exactly exemplify a welcoming environment to people to open-up and give it a try, either.

    The best way to put it is that after my final exam, I went to a classmate’s house. I guess it was classified as a party, though it’s hard to tell. I liked the few people who were left in the program, so spending some casual time seemed like a good thing.

    The problem is that seeming intangible contrast that exists once the setting crosses an unclear boundary from a few to several people. Ultimately what becomes is that the group itself seems content merely to be, as if they’re all waiting for something that isn’t coming.

    ~8 people sat on a patio for hours, not really talking, a few people going in and out, nobody really doing anything other than barbequeing food that only a few bothered eating. It was almost as if I were the only one who maintained consciousness while the rest functioned essentially like Sims.

    It wasn’t the start of my question of my placement in Canadian culture, but it was certainly the ultimate reassurance. This just isn’t the place for me.

    This does give me a thought, though. There must be a question that can cover this; that is, something you can ask that others will answer fundamentally differently. Perhaps, what makes you happy? Or what is needed to improve society? Something that gets at the core of the person.

    Comment by zurahn — May 5, 2008 @ 6:46 am


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