Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Self Help Guide to Overcomming Anxiety: or how i stopped worrying and learned to love the dread

* you should read this before reading this post.  then all the shit i left out will make more sense.*

the gas station by my house sells caffeinated gum and something called red tilt malt liquor.   if you come looking for me, it might be best for you to try the gas station before knocking on my door, as i buy a lot of that shit because that is the shit that keep me going though the dread and anxiety of living in this post-modern nightmare that we call call "now."

now if you are like most people you just read that i drink malt liquor, chew caffeinated gum, and i talk a lot about anxiety, so then you started diagnosing me with some kind of depression, or drug problem.  a few of you may have worried that i was some kind of hipster.  note: i only write for the 2 people who actually worried for a second that i was a hipster.

don't you fucking worry though, i'm not a hipster.  i'm an old fashioned nerd.  i'm just broke and tired of drinking bud light.   but i'm too poor for sam adams. 

now for those of you who are worried that, "i think a lot about dread" let me try and ease your christian fears a bit.

you might worry that i'm a nihilist without understanding the christian roots of existentialism.  (yes, i just played switcheroo but hold on a bit and i will school yer ass, k?)

first, you are right about me being a nihilist.  but don't get ahead of yourself.  getting ahead of yourself would be like "but you don't fucking believe in anything-how can you believe in nothing?"

like most uneducated people i use my own definition of nihilism.  first a bit of background that you will all agree with me.  humans are the only animals that go around acting like their very existence is some kind of problem that needs to be figured out.

so the main "problem" of being human is figuring out just what exactly it means to be "human."  Agreed?  you better agree asshole, or just cut and fucking run back to mommy and the robed priest that likes to tickle your pickle before mass.

so let's get back to my definition. it goes something like nihilism simply means that all the old fashioned ways of  finding meaning no longer work.  things like belonging to your tribe, your religion, your nation no longer ground you to your being.

in other words, you can be religious, but how many people do you know wear black Nike sneakers and gulp sleeping pills down before suffocating themselves by wrapping a plastic bag over their heads?  i think the answer is 34.  but i didn't Google that. so who knows.

now 12 step helpers want to come in and solve the crisis of modernity by offering you up solutions like getting a higher power.

i wonder if the founder of AA knew anything about kierkegaard.  kierkegaard said all we needed to get over life was to get a "defining commitment."*

*(a defining commitment is just like submission to a higher power i won't go into why here i won't go into all the parallels of how k. and 12 step programs are the same, but let's just say that they both think that your "higher power" could be a door knob.)

a door knob.  you see the only way you can get away from dread is by positing something outside of yourself that you can base your life on.  it could be the god-man (k wants us to be scarily committed to him.)  it could be staying sober.  it could be making money.  but we won't find the solution in the distraction of every day life.

personally i don't like the idea that 12 step followers propose. you know how you get over dread? you get over dread by getting over it.  i'm not going to try a leap into faith into something that i know is absurd just so that i can run away from the contradictions of the human psyche (the whole what's the point thingy) by escaping myself and pointing my life in the direction of something outside my self.

i'm for dealing with the self.  even if that means living in resignation.  even if that means living in dread, anxiety, anomie, and nihilism.

i'd rather be myself.

just like you don't worry about being over 40 and coming off as desperate as hell for attention next to your prettier friend at the bar (yet still found the will to diss 3 douche bags who figured you were an easy score) and you earned mad props from me and my friend when you didn't even try and cock block your friend when it looked liked she was gonna get laid before you.  now that's "living" with purposelessness.

things we learned today:
  1. we never get to resolve the contradiction of being human
  2. that's why humans live in despair
  3. despair can be good because it lets us know we are human
  4. paradoxically knowing that we are human drives us further into despair 
  5. resignation to the impossibility of resolving contradiction is the only "solution" to suicide
What will we learn next?

nietzsche and kierkegaard had similar ideas about the possibility that we could overcome the crisis identified by k.  both were wrong.  i will show that the pessimism of schopenhauer was correct (although his prescription of aesthetic abandonment was wrong- which is the same thing as distraction- a concept loathed by k.) 

i will also show that the crises humanity faces ends with our mutual destruction (by either the typical ways i.e. war, famine etc.) or by replacement with non-human entities -you call them robots- who themselves will say they are simply the synthesis of the contradiction of humanity.  they are totally wrong and are non-human.  a simple task to show they are non-human is to show they do not live in despair.

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