One of the effects of moving around all the time is that you’re never doing things for as long as you think you are. Even when you feel like you’ve been doing something too long, and that you’re becoming boring and stale, you have been doing things for less time than other people.
Well, that illustrates the problem, really, with comparing yourself to other people. Is the above paragraph supposed to reassure me? Am I actually supposed to feel less bad about doing the same things every week because I have been doing the same things every week for less time than other people I know have?
Nah fuck it, I can’t be doing the same thing every week. At the same time, I should focus and do the same thing every single day all the fucking time forever so that I can be really great at shit. Like Flaubert said, be boring in your life so you can be wild in your work, something like that.
You know what fuck Flaubert. Fuck listening to other people and quoting them and shit. People say that we have to listen to people that were here before us or else we have to build the universe from nothing and how far are we going to get from our birth to our death? How far is a human infant going to get in this world without instruction?
I don’t know the answer to that whole thing, but fuck it. I’ll tell you the thing is that I don’t really know shit about Flaubert. I read Madame Bovary, the English translation, and I read a couple of things about his life and I read that quote about being wild and original in your work and how it requires having a boring ass life schedule.
That’s all I know about Flaubert, but that’s enough for me to be like, oh I should change my life based on the teachings of Flaubert. You know what that is? That’s what Socrates was worried about when the first writing machine came out. People can go around pretending to know shit because they read it one time in a book. You can learn shit without effort, or at least appear to have learned shit without effort.
And the best part is I never read anything that Socrates wrote, first of all because he never wrote anything and second of all because I didn’t even read the shit that Plato said that he said, and yet I can talk about how he was scared of the danger inherent in book learning with the greatest of ease and pass it off as intimate knowledge based on some shit I’ve absorbed through cultural osmosis.