When you live in a small Bushwick apartment with two roommates at the age of 32, you're going to constantly question the value of what you're doing. I mean, it beats doing work I don't find useful or meaningful [while] making a lot of money for myself and even more for other people.
From Tony Tulathimutte's interview with VICE.
Although I'm half-Asian, I follow young Asian-American male writers with interest.
I'm broke as fuck, so earning that cash cuts really badly into that writing time.
It's my own fault though, so no right to complain.
The thing about casual sex is that it's not always casual for the other person. It's unfortunate, but power is an intrinsic component of any relationship. The person who is more attached to the relationship - whatever it may be - finds themselves in a weaker position. Consciously or unconsciously, the person with greater power is usually aware of their strength.
I have been on both both ends of this, so I try to not to use my strength to emotionally exploit the vulnerability of the other person. When you tell a girl that, no, you don't want to be her boyfriend, it's not pretty watching the dagger slip into their chest. I take no pleasure in watching hope die. It's completely fucking brutal. It's terrible that it's so common. You can be completely upfront about your intentions and the type of man you are, and you still end up inflicting terrible pain on others. Few things hurt more than unrequited love.
Some people avoid the discussion entirely (hence the prevalence of ghosting), but personally, I think that's inhuman. If someone takes a chance on you, you don't spit in their face. You treat them like a person.
It occurred to me yesterday - walking home at 2 AM, the night sky illuminated by city lights, like a glowing canvas - that promiscuity is not increasing my happiness.
It has taken me a long time (years) to reach this conclusion.
My close friend, who I previously assumed was an incorrigible womanizer, recently got a girlfriend. He tells me he's probably going to marry her. He's been a ravenous pussy hound for seven years. It's not a perfect relationship, but he's doing his best.
People, they surprise you.
“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing.
I buried two friends who died by their own hand in their early twenties. The caskets are heavy, moreso because the white satin gloves they give to pallbearers have little grip to them. The weight of the casket slips past the fabric separating your palms from the metal grips drilled into their sides. There were eight of us carrying the thing, his friends, men in the full bloom of youth, and we could barely carry the thing.
The young have no concept of death, know nothing of its finality.
The first one died when I was twenty-one years old. I took a phone call in a hallway.
What do you mean, it wasn't a car accident?
If you want to see how deep love can go, you need only meet grief. When I saw his parents, I knew that I'd never seen anyone so completely devastated.
It is not enough to give someone a reason not to die. They need a reason to live. Supposedly, we are wired to survive at all costs. This is our genetic legacy, gifted to us from evolution. And yet, in my experience, survival and living are not the same thing. Survival is a prerequisite for the former, but it is not the same thing as living. To live is something greater than that. To live is to love and to be loved. Spiritual needs are as biological as any other.
I'm a flawed human being, but I'm doing my best not to lose another one.
I really, really love being hypomanic. Being on top of the world, my mind like a machine gun spitting round after round of stellar ideas.
I can only imagine how great true mania feels.
Hypomania isn't like mania, in that it makes you do really crazy shit, it's just super, super great.
And science agrees!
Recently saw the films Moonlight (breathtaking beautiful), and Arrival (perhaps even moreso).
Arrival in particular - the way it mimicked conciousness, those moments in life that are just sublime - was absolutely beautiful. I came out of the theatre feeling that film was the most powerful medium for artistic expression I've ever experienced. It briefly made me reconsider focusing on novel writing, and then I remembered how much I hate actually making short films.
Frank Yang has said that film is the closest analog to human consciousness, and that's why it's so popular - the de facto artistic mode of expression of our time.
I wonder, then, is VR the future of storytelling? Is that a step up in immersion that will one day supplant two dimensional film as the most engaging medium for storytelling?
I don't know, but I'd assume so. Maybe one day we'll all jack into the matrix and experience narratives from the first person, all the way down into the depths of our sensorium.
The world, it's nothing but change.
Possibly one of my favourite headlines of all time:
Chinese rugby player, 20, ‘kicked fellow student in the face and broke his eye socket after he was called a ‘chink”
The "victim," a Mr. Stephen Kent, was of course later found to have been the aggressor, and the charges were dropped.
Whoever Sidney Chan's father is, he did a good job.
One of the things I find most interesting about writing is the experiencing of improvement.
As you get better, the same sequence of words appear to you in different ways. A draft that once read really well to you six months ago looks like absolute shit now. This isn't a bad thing, it means you're getting better, seeing your words in a different way - in an elevated perspective, one that sees mistakes that used to be invisible, one that understands rhythm in a way that was once impossible.
If your old work doesn't read poorly, it means you're not getting better.
And yet, there are passages that hold their quality over time. I'm nearing the endpoint of revising Beta Male for the final time, and the overall rhythm, the overall fluidity of the story is (I think) congealing in the way I had originally envisioned. I set out to write a very specific story, and I feel that I've accomplished that. The critical passages that I wrote a year ago have held their value over time.
Soon, it'll be time to release it, put wings on that motherfucker, and watch it FLY.
How many people can one fuck before it becomes "too many?" Is there such a thing?
Every man I know who's slept with a lot of women is irreparably detached from others. Every man I know with a triple digit notch count is, at bottom, not a normal human being. There is something deeply dysfunctional there (or, if you'd prefer that I use non-normative terminology, phenotypically atypical). What is the process that underlies this degradation? Maybe I'm conflating attachment with monogamy. Maybe they're not the same thing. Perhaps only people who are broken to begin with end up pursuing a high number of partners. Maybe it's not the promiscuity itself that changes you.
My friend has a theory that every casual encounter acts to poison the well, to cheapen the value of intimacy with another person. Maybe the religious conservatives have a point, that there is some kind of spiritual cost to promiscuity. I don't know. Perhaps there is some threshold, some rubicon, that once crossed, permanently severs your ability to have a loving, functional monogamous relationship with another human being.
What I do know is that the intensity of emotions I'm feeling for the women I meet in my personal life is declining. Indifference isn't the right word. Detachment would be a better word. I do care about them. I do have a fondness for them, a genuine interest in their well-being. But were they to leave my life, I probably wouldn't lose a step. It's unclear to me if this is a contradiction. It doesn't feel like one. I hesitate to attach a moral value to this, since I do not seem to know what I actually want. Life is full of surprises. My friend, who I thought was an incorrigible womanizer, fell in love in a matter of weeks. He has a girlfriend now, a medical student. She's a good person. Hope springs eternal. Sometimes the sun surprises you. I'm happy for him, I think. Maybe I'm too picky. Or more likely, just getting old. All men must die.
Sometimes, for brief moments in time, I experience a mild sensation of derealization, the feeling that my experience is not real. This isn't always linked to intense, peak experiences (deaths, travels to exotic locations, etc.), but often happens during banal moments in my life - walking the streets at night, taking in the neon lights and the signage of the urban setting.
I think this is attributable to two things: one, a mild decrease in the acuity of my sense as I age (particularly my vision), and two, the increasing amount of time that I spend in front of a screen. Since most of my work and passions involve screen-time, the screen has become the primary conduit through which I interface with reality.
In philosophy, a quale is a unit of perception: the colour red, the taste of salt on your tongue, etcetera. I wonder if "realness," as it is experienced by humans, is some summation of these individual quales, that, together, makes us feel "real" and present. Increasingly, I feel a thin film of unreality placed over some of my experiences in the world, even though I practice mindfulness and try to always "be" where I am.
Maybe Nick Bostrom is right. Maybe this all just a simulation...
Guy thinks he's God's gift to women. But then again, so do women. Guy is a successful talent agent who dates models, pop stars and women he meets on the beach. He's a narcissistic, judgmental snob who rates women's looks from one to ten; a racist, homophobic megalomaniac who makes fun of people's weight; a cheating, lying, manipulative jerk who sees his older girlfriend as nothing more than an adornment. His only real friend, besides his dog, is a loser who belongs to a pickup artist group. Guy is completely oblivious to his own lack of empathy, and his greatest talent is hiding it all?until he meets someone who challenges him in a way he's never been challenged before. Darkly funny and utterly offensive, Guy is a brilliant and insightful character study that exposes the twisted thoughts of the misogynist bro next door.
So reads the Amazon description for Guy, a novel by Canadian writer Jowita Bydlowska.
Looks like an interesting take on some of the themes in Beta Male, looking forward to reading it (but I'll wait until after I'm done my final draft of my own novel, since I don't want to unconsciously pilfer from another novel that at first glance appears to be similar to my own).
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis