Likes

The much, too much a cacophony of noise on my Facebook page brought me back here on my blog to write again. To do the quieter act of writing that I miss a lot. A writing that’s less angry and bitter. I have gone sick of what seems to be a pressing need for everyone on my Facebook news feeds in expressing his thoughts on almost everything.

Nowadays, one’s silence is considered scandalous, the highest and the worst form of apathy. No one has the right to be quiet anymore lest this silence be interpreted as complicity. Of not doing anything to correct the wrong. I suggest we stop or slow down a little, and ask ourselves where this loquacity has led us. It has made us too busy to listen, too self-conscious, too full of ourselves; oh how we enjoy staring at ourselves being reflected in our witty Facebook status. Our Facebook status has become the quickest way for us to be heard, perhaps the only one thing that empowers us in this space that functions best at deadening our senses. Our only pathetic agency. And the likes are concrete indicators that somehow, somebody’s listening, reducing us all to likes, reducing all existentialist questions to questions of likes.

This ephemerality of our chosen medium, of posts being covered, superseded by other posts supposedly more important than the ones before, not necessarily contending against each other but definitely competing for our fleeting attention, has been a bane to us. This ephemerality has brought us nowhere. Although we have this comforting feeling that as a species we’ve made giant progress, in truth we’re deeper into the void we’re made to feel we have escaped.

We’re still lost, maybe even more lost this time. We’ve lost touch of what we truly value. Reflectiveness is a forgotten value of our time. We’ve all fallen victims to the medium. We fret about concerns of deciduous significance. The present is the only thing that really matters to us. We’ve lost hold of our past. And how we dread the uncertain future. The only thing that’s real is this invented present.

All this because of our grinding desire to be heard now, of a want to express what’s currently in our mind lest it obsolesces the next minute, where we are currently at lest time steals it away from us, who we are currently with lest this person abandons us, what we currently eat. Now this is truly sad. Everything is too important, too important we cannot entrust them to our memories.

Perhaps, this is why I am back here now. I want to relish this page and its beautiful silence that I missed so badly.

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What now?

There seems to be almost always a compelling reason to speak up about anything. As if this irresistible drive to express, whatever it is, is enough to provide a dimwit, who happily calls himself a ‘netizen,’ every conceivable reason to spew rubbish for all to read. Of course, ownership of a smartphone and access to the internet only add to this imagined entitlement.

I have to remind myself that I have a choice to either participate in this sham grand debate or choose the issues I dip my fingers into. Silence has never been this sensible an option. The issues shift too fast, they change even before they trend. As the day ends, we all are left with this biting feeling of emptiness. After having lashed out, our lungs emptied, the void interrogates. What now?

Slew

My absence here for the past days, unlike the not a few times I went on a hiatus before, was not because of some complications I’ve gotten myself entangled into but because I found it more and more difficult to secure even a mere thirty minutes to reflect and write my thoughts down. My weekdays are jam-packed with responsibilities at work and my studies; my Saturdays, woefully, are barely spared.

Fortunately, however, because of some levels of criminality in me that I have successfully kept in latency, in between breaks (or classes), I’d clandestinely let go of my unexpressed resentment, happiness, frustrations, ennui, and sadness on pieces of papers that I always keep. I think that by writing them down I am purging myself of excess emotions that do nothing but keep me from accomplishing my tasks, or violence that I would, in very rare cases, manifest, although not completely because I am a good citizen of the state.

Silence, in addition to rest, has also become impossibly elusive; in fact, it is beginning to have that illicit feeling to it whenever I get hold of it in especially rare and fleeting cases, such as when I am sitting on a toilet bowl or when I am beginning to sleep and having REM. Either the metro drowns me in ceaseless, diaphanous noise, or I hear the monotonous sound of my voice, which can be very irritating at times, but quite often, as among narcissists of my kind, I’d find myself listening to its cadence, quality, and idiosyncrasy with furtive conceit. It was a mistake choosing to live on this part of the planet, but I’d be more mistaken if I think that there was a choice to begin with.

What makes this generation of young people unique (and superior) is that we think that noise is a given, that it is necessary in the unobstructed marching of time. We survive despite it, and even thrive in it. It is a surprise that we have not all gone mad, that we’re able to take hold of and keep our sanity quite impeccably. Silence is an underrated, if not a forgotten, virtue (?) of this generation. The more we talk (and hear ourselves talk) the more we think we are intelligent and that we matter.

I talk endlessly, and , on these days, seldom write.

Connecting the disconnect

We all have an image of what should be in our minds, and it pains us, like having our tongue scalded from drinking our morning coffee too hurriedly, when we find out that this image we have of that something or someone turns out to be a sham, untrue, or stands several notches below our imagined pedestal.

But it is even more painful if that image in somebody else’s mind is our image. And that that somebody who falls short is us. The feeling of inadequacy and nothingness can be unbearably painful, forcing us to find a place in the corner, wondering why the image and us can’t be a singularity.

We may have repeatedly, in vain, tried to change or at least tried to be a good imitation of the image, but in the end we are only fooling ourselves. We will never truly become the image, and only by being a cheap imitation will be the closest we can get.

And so we either remain in the corner, eternally taunting and hating ourselves for being less than the supposed better version of ourselves, or we head for the door and walk away. And if both options are not viable, we still have solitude and silence to run to, at least they are less complicated, more comforting. The loneliness of solitude is not abrasive; the silence of silence is not painful. And with silence and solitude we get to retain a certain level of dignity.

Nonetheless trying to be the image can be the most diplomatic option. If we can’t afford to lose the person, if we want to be worthy of the other person’s love, then probably changing ourselves to become the image isn’t that bad after all. It does not really strip us of our individuality; in fact, it only proves our humanity and our desperate need to be loved, even if it means losing a portion of ourselves. Love is like that, ain’t it?

On why it is difficult to say smart things all the time

In a middle of a heated conversation about a generic topic (examples would be the weather, recent happenings in politics and show business, and the economy) saying something that is downright inconsistent with the intellectual tone of the engagement is not only a form of betrayal but also an impropriety.

People like hearing other people saying witty commentaries about unimportant things, inasmuch as they like hearing themselves saying something smart about something they think is worth their two cents.

That is why, these days, it is getting more difficult to say something smart and original because people are getting smarter and wittier. It is now harder to participate in cerebral exchanges as the probability of saying something stupid increases as the number of people who think they are smart climb.

And so for some, they choose the most obvious choice, to wallow in the comfort of silence.

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I almost forgot, today is my mother’s birthday. Happy Birthday, ma.