Undivided Attention

I’m the kind of douche bag who decides what kind of douche they’re going to be when they wake up.

Am I going to be a sunglasses wearing even though it’s cloudy outside kind of douche, or the doesn’t reply to the cashier when they ask “How are you?” kind of douche?

I feel that life is becoming increasingly more like a chore that no one has the energy to fake interest in anymore.  We’re all stuck to our devices busy ignoring life.  The ultimate measure of a decent life has become how well we can ignore it.  

I mean, look at the amount of apps there are out there!  All made in the name of efficiency when in reality it’s a contest of who can distract the most people the most effectively.  Efficiency is now just another name for convenience.

The truth is we have become masters at inefficiency.

No longer are we able to focus on doing one thing to the best of our ability.  We’ve been conned into thinking that doing the most things at the same time is what counts.  I remember a couple years ago when the psychology community was arguing with the public about the value of multitasking and whether it is truly a thing.

After various studies they concluded that the brain cannot effectively do what the mainstream has come to call multitasking, and that the human brain can actually only focus on doing one cognitively complex task at a time.

I mean truly focus.

That even though we can train our bodies to rely on muscle memory and a limited version of human autopilot, in order to truly perform any task to the best of our ability it is necessary to give it our undivided attention.  

 

Whatever happened to those findings, huh?

Doesn’t it strike anyone as strange that this verity was swept under the rug in the rush of amplified consumerism?  Technology has allowed us to become masters at distraction at a rate the world has never seen before.  Of course the powers that be didn’t want their eyeball-less sheep to reach the conclusion that came with this psychological epiphany.

God forbid they realize they don’t need any more stuff!

It seems that people have been duped into thinking that because the things they seek are less tangible and more metaphysical (in the sense that they can be downloaded onto their handhelds), that they have broken the bonds of consumerism and have bloomed into a much more evolved creature.  The self-help book that they downloaded onto their kindle about how to accomplish more and feel unhappy less, is not a desperate cry for help to the gods of consumerism, but a postmodern side-effect of advanced life that simply has to be dealt with.

Or so they tell themselves.

People have tried to mitigate this side-effect with things such as minimalist movements, but to no avail.  The people attempting to dive back into their primitive, more driven roots, inevitably come back more jaded and material hungry than they were before.

Back into the ocean of stuff they plunge.  The decision to give themselves over to a deluge of voices whispering, “Join us, join us.  You lost the battle because there is no war to be won,” lulls them into an apathetic slumber.

They cannot seem to wrench themselves from the grip of caressing hands murmuring,”There, there.  No need to fuss.  It’ll all be over soon.  Just pretend until it is.”
Do you know what’s so hard about fighting against the post modern wave of feigned sensitivity?  It’s the fact that we hold no ideology anymore.

How do you fight against a collective consciousness that has staked no claim in anything?

Can you fight against a wave that isn’t moving in any direction?

Can you argue with a generation who hasn’t bothered to say a thing?  

-LDA

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Esoteric Garbage

As I confessed in a previous post, I am quite a fan of cartoons.  Anime and otherwise.  I find that they hold a certain charm that programs generally more aimed at an adult audience don’t have.

 

There are two things that I especially enjoy about cartoons:

  1. They are not afraid to be obscenely ridiculous.

and

2. They are not so preoccupied with aspirations of meaning that they miss the whole point.

 

The ambition of greatness often gets in the way of actually obtaining greatness.  If one sits down with the intent of creating some great and masterful work, it is inevitable that the aspiration holder will never reach that end.

 

At least,

I find it is always the case with me.  I am only one person and can therefore only speak for one of the billions of people on this planet.  But it has proven infallible that if I ever set out with the goal of creating something that will stand the test of time and resound throughout the ages, I always, and I mean always, end up with a useless, ungrounded, piece of less than esoteric garbage.

 

It’s my theory that this is the case with many forms of television (and all forms of entertainment for that matter).

 

A person sets out with the Herculean task of creating something that will suit the pallet of the masses and ends up forgetting what they set out to do in first place.

 

Oh, wait.

That’s just it. 

 

Many artists set out with no other goal than to conform, which is a recipe for disaster in itself…Either this actually leads them to disaster or…to rampant success simply by virtue of suiting the mutual meaningless goal of the majority.

 

But that’s an entirely different blog post.

I digress.

 

In any case,

 

I think that cartoons (specifically when speaking of the television medium) have an advantage over the rest, because from the outset they are not expected to produce any form of revelational wisdom.  When one thinks cartoons, they usually think children.  And when one thinks children, they usually think of the ignorant bliss of nonsense which permeates most forms of child play.

 

I think that the mistake we make there is that we underestimate the purposeful potential of a child’s mind and inflate our own just because it’s been around longer.

 

I was talking to a friend’s children this afternoon (ages 8 and 14), and I was amused at the fact that it felt like the most purpose driven conversation I’ve had all day.  Granted, I haven’t actually spoken to many people today.  After all, I’m the type of person who sits happily locked in their room, typing away at a keyboard for long periods of time.  But still, the fifteen minute conversation I had with those children seemed like the most refreshingly honest conversation I’ve had for a long time.

 

What was the conversation about? you may ask.

 

Well, cartoons, of course.

 

The conversation started off direct and to the point with the question of “What’s your favorite cartoon?”

 

No small talk necessary.  No setting of the stage.  No veiled meanings.  No aspirations to the politeness of indirectness.

 

The conversation was so unpretentious and obvious.

 

It just was.

It sat in the air and reveled in the sheer purity of its existence. 

 

I feel like with a lot of adult conversations or the lofty dreams of television shows, there’s this constant question of whether or not what is happening is actually happening.  And in addition to that, is it happening well.

 

“Am I succeeding at this conversation?” the conversational partner seems to ask at the end of each measured sentence.

 

“Am I impressing you with my wittiness and astonishing modern relevance?” the television show asks.

 

With cartoons, because the expectation is lower by default, the people creating them seem to have more freedom of expression.  I think that’s why things like anime and Adult Swim have managed such a booming following.  People are tired of failed attempts at wit and meaning and have slumped into the staticy arms of the cartoon industry.

 

Having abandoned the primary aspiration of societal significance, content creators have managed to attain the very thing they have dodged by focusing on the vapidness of simply creating what they feel like.  The amused masses coming pouring in as a side of effect.

 

Some of the most consequential and successful people seem to have the same general answer to that thirsty, desperate question:

 

“How did you do it?’

 

“Well…I just did what I love most in the world and believed in the value of that love enough to dedicate myself wholly to it.  The idea that others might love that I love it never really occurred to me.  But, hey, what do you know?  Apparently they do, and that appreciation has assisted me in continuing to do what I love.  So I thank them for that.”

 

Have you ever noticed how celebrities, whether they be international pop sensations or adored small town graphic novel artists, always go out of their way to thank the fan and how it’s all thanks to little ol’ you?

 

Do you really think they had you in mind when first creating their work?

Do you think that your amusement was at the pinnacle of their concern when they produced whatever service they were producing?

 

No, I think you are all much smarter than that, but sometimes just choose not to be.

 

You know that you are not truly the center of their universe.

 

They are simply acknowledging the fact that you are acknowledging them in the field of their choice.  They are simply appreciating that your appreciation allows them to recklessly do what they are best at.

 

I wonder what kind of place the world would be if we all produced with such creative abandon instead of producing with the masses in mind. 

 

~LDA

-~- Welcome Fellow Derp

If you’ve ever had one of those moments where you realized you’d done something so stupid that you just had to laugh at yourself, you’re in the right place.

You know…

One of those moments where you had to facepalm yourself just hard enough to verify that there was actually a brain rattling around in that skull of yours.

Or maybe just one of those moments where you felt like you had something interesting to add to this conversation we call life, but were too afraid to share for fear it wouldn’t come out the way you wanted.

If you’ve at all found yourself feeling like any of the above, I think this is just the little corner of cyberspace for you.

Why did I name this blog derp2derp?

Well, in order for me to answer that question I should probably clarify the meaning of the word derp, JUST in case some of you reading this don’t already know it.

  Sooo…

What does the word derp mean? 

Here’s a couple definitions:

Courtesy of Urban Dictionary:

derpy-awkward or embarrassing, especially pertaining to a person:

“Man, that guy is so awkward!”
“Yeah, he’s really derpy.”

Courtesy of Myself

herp derp (or simply derp)-a person who is doing or has done something unusually dopey and/or laughable:

“Ouch! I just walked into the sliding door because I thought it was open.”

“Hahaha.  You’re such a herp derp.”

(the terms “herp derp” and “herpaderp” have also been known to be used in rage comics in order to substitute dialogue)

SO, WHY THE SILLY NAME derp2derp?

If we’re honest with ourselves, we all know that we have moments that bring out our inner derp and this blog is a way for me to share some of those moments with you.  I find that my inner derp surfaces quite a lot (probably more than I’d like) and I figured if I’m going to be plagued with the disease of herpaderpitis, I might as well do something productive with it.  From failing at holding simple conversations to everyday ruminations about the value of life, I’d like to give you a chance to both laugh at my silly everyday mistakes and hopefully, share some of your own derpy stories in return.  I’d also like to share my thoughts on various matters and hear what you guys think yourselves.  It doesn’t matter if you think my thoughts are off the wall bogus or genuinely interesting.  I’d like to turn this into a space where everyone is free to share their thoughts.  I’d like to hear from you.

Life’s too short to waste time being embarrassed by failure.

Why wince at failure when you can laugh?

Let’s derp it up.

~LDA