Saturday, October 26, 2002

Making the scene...I often have this scorn for the need others have for acknowledgement from their peers. When I was having dinner at S's I saw all the mid-thirties Ivy League professor boys showing each other their digital cameras, making academic jokes, reaffirming their boy love for each other...I am never sure if they love what they do or whether they just want others to love what they do.

It is hard because of my previous experience with scenes. Now that I am in academics it seems like just another scene. I've seen too many of these (ha ha) to be at all captivated or try to be a scenester extraordinaire. When it looks like a scene I just refuse to try but at the same time currently trying is a key to a future livelihood. This was not true of the punk scene (the first time I DID try...I must confess. The three previous scenes (I exclude mini-scenes) were: (1) The punk scene (2) The club scene (3) The Grateful Dead scene...In the punk scene I was what? 14 years old. So OK, I did try...I failed miserably but I tried...for a little while. I even remember when Jeff was in love with me cruelly cutting his hair with nail scissors at the Flipper show so that he would be more punk. His beautiful curly hair.

The club scene. Well, this is when the horrible truth began to hit me. I was of course magnificent at times and beautiful. I did not expect much attention. My one friend was a groupy who got someone from Alice In Chains to sleep with her, the other was an actual Playboy centerfold. But at the same time I noticed no one really paying attention to anyone...really. And I thought: This is interesting...Why? It suddenly dawned on me: They are looking to be looked AT. It was a sad example in utter self-defeat. EVERYONE was looking at everyone to see if they were looking at them. There were no potential admirers...only those hoping to be admired. I'll never forget sitting with Playboy centerfold for hours talking to the porn star's boyfriend. For some reason, Centerfold loved the porn stars' (plural) boyfriends. Yet, they were terribly boring. Then, when angling for a date with Axl Rose I told Centerfold how boring and dumb Axl Rose really must be. That sort of killed our friendship.

There was of course one exception--this was the case where one could be acknowledged by someone who everyone could not help looking at--e.g., a rock star, a celebrity. If such a person acknowledged you by speaking to you, having sex with you, etc. then this would break the cycle of self-defeat.

(3) Final scene: The Grateful Dead. Sadly, there was really nothing to talk about in this scene except...The Grateful Dead. Somehow...someway...people found infinite numbers of conversations that could center around such a singular subject. What was forbidden however was the 'meta-conversation.' Such as: What sort of social function does this fill? Unfortunately, I would engage in these sorts of conversations. I was truly hopeless in this scene. Yet, because of my ability to befriend stunning women (I'm not quite sure why) I was allowed entrance into certain levels of the hierarchy. These were the middling levels.

My one interesting conversation took place in a parking lot (lots of time was spent in parking lots in this scene) with an African immigrant. He told me that the Grateful Dead was, in his opinion, an escape valve for the meaninglessness grind of a capitalist society. Good answer.

There was the strange time I saw my best friend Julie C. from high school at the show. She told me she had stood behind me crying for an hour--but did not speak to me. She had hooked up and was traveling the country with a man who, although kind, had very few teeth left. I often wondered what happened to her after this. One thing I know: My other friend Julie told me that once she had asked to park their van in front of Julie's house. When Julie gave a party the other Julie--Julie C--had come in and dumped the entire bowl of rice pudding on her head and told her Grateful Dead boyfriend to lick off the rice pudding. Essentially, Julie C needed this guy to take care of her. I hope he still is...Julie C was relatively sane until her parents institutionalized her. After that, it all went downhill.

But I digress...Back to academia. My problem in academia is that I cannot engage fully, wholeheartedly and without reservation. I cannot make the scene in other words. I continue to think thoughts about the absurdity of the scene and although I am careful not to express them, somehow...I think people can tell...Again, it is easy for me to make friends with the women at the top somehow. So I see, but from the outside.

Now...I would like to reveal my own hypocrisy...In fact, I was planning on keeping this short and making a brief observation of this nature but needed to set up just how lengthy said hypocrisy has been...

I want to be worshipped. I don't just want to be loved, but adored and adored by all. At the same time when I observe others in their (often fairly successful) attempts for social group membership and acknowledgement I find myself unable to anything except thwart and destroy any attempts at such acknowledgement on my own part. I avoid at all costs the behavior that might make me OK with those who can (a) help my career (b) be my career pals (c) allow me to be a part of things.

I cannot claim that I don't share their desires. I am not above it all. But the pursuit of 'honor' as the ancient Greeks would call it somehow seems to me like a kind of slavery to the whims of others...an abasement to my (very successfully concealed) pride. Thus, I remain an adolescent at heart.

Somehow I thought I would be funny here explaining just how hypocritical I really am! It all seems so funny to me...but I believe this blog's template somehow thwarts any attempts I make at humor. It is probably just as well.

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