Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Stigma of "The Stigma of Googling 'Birthday Suicide'" (after Derek White after Blake Butler)

It is Saturday night at 9 pm. I am laying on my bed eating creamy peanut butter and honey with a spoon. I don't like creamy peanut butter. I don't feel like doing anything tonight. Today on the internet Derek White posted a writing partially in response to a list I published in the newest issue of Burnside Review. You can read Derek White's piece here: THE STIGMA OF GOOGLING 'BIRTHDAY SUICIDE'. Derek White's text does the following: compiles logical statements, includes argumentative and perhaps edgy thoughts, talks a little shit, has images, rambles in a way that makes sense in the way thinking born from boredom tends to more than 'academic' or 'narrative' writing. I like that it is vague as to what it believes and does not believe in certain instances. I am scraping the last remnants around the edge of the jar using the spoon to hit the creases where peanut butter has gotten hidden. Derek White's text made me feel more inside my body in a good way. I don't think my reason for writing about suicide on my birthday actually fit into any of Derek White's ideas of why I did it. The list was actually mostly written the day after my birthday and some two days after. I did not feel sad when I googled 'birthday suicide'. I do not know anyone who has killed themselves, on their birthday or otherwise. I think I think about suicide probably every day or every other day but not in a way as if I want to do it. Not in a way as if I am actually going to eventually crack. Some days I will say "I am going to kill myself" after dropping something I didn't mean to drop, or banging my shoulder against a doorframe, or biting my tongue while I eat. I tend to bite my tongue at least every three days which is significantly less often that the idea of suicide enters my brain. I am sure I would never kill myself. I do not feel compelled or stigmatized by the word. I've often found myself saying out loud in public places that I think suicide is cowardly and too easy but I have also found myself in public places saying that I do not blame people for wanting to kill themselves and that it is impossible to know what goes into a person's decision to do so and that it is private to that person. Liam Rector killed himself last year with a shotgun while his wife slept in the next room. I had several brief conversations with Liam Rector in men's rooms while urinating and a few slightly longer conversations with him mostly in a cafeteria. There is an excellent piece regarding suicide in DIAGRAM 8.1 by Richard Froude that I read almost within ten minutes of having read Derek White's text. It does a similar thing to Derek White's text in a very different way. This is one of the lines from Richard Froude's text: "In Pole Position, even the slightest collision causes the car to explode in the same fractal pattern." I am laying on my bed in position that is not very comfortable and the heat of my laptop is burning against my crotch. I can not get a large enough taste of peanut butter on any one spoonful now to make it worth the effort. In Derek White's text there is a document from his father's suicide. Derek White is said to resemble the image on the cover of the new issue of Willow Springs that he and I are in together. Derek White talks a little about Tao Lin and the league of seeming followers he has gathered. I think he gets it wrong in comparing the "Tao Lin genre" in comparing it to Bright Eyes because I think the monotone sadness in Tao's writing is only one very minor and now over-associated section of Tao's work, though it is also the most mimicked. Tao Lin has inadvertently created a genre that is made up of a thumbnail of his own work, which is how most genres become perpetrated, I guess, so perhaps in that Derek White is also slightly correct. Though I greatly admire the writing of Tao Lin and I do not admire anything about Bright Eyes. I would like to have Bright Eyes smushed inside a little plastic box. I would like to be able to turn the peanut butter jar inside out so I could lick the remaining smears with some efficiency. Google should be marketed as a medication for depression and/or boredom. I would like to see Google search commericals on TV with people sitting in front of computers googling 'how will I fall through the mayonaise' and 'superior titty destination'. Derek White refers to 'accidentally' writing this text and then becoming consumed by it briefly, which is the way I get into a lot of my most favorite writing. I think more people should write in the associative mode of stating exactly what they think in the most clear manner possible, even if the thoughts do not follow out of one another. The effect is something like reading an encyclopedia out of order, if the encyclopedia was written by someone very bored and high on coffee. I have urinated 4-7 times in the last 15 minutes though I don't remember drinking very much today. The BLUE VELVET poster to the left of my bed keeps coming slightly off the wall. I looked up the word 'stigma' after reading Derek White's piece to see exactly how it could be literally defined and it made me wonder what Derek White meant about stigma. I am not good at making googlewhacks because I tend to either go too bizarre and get no entries or too broad. I like this line from Derek White's text: "Some people told me no words could provide consolation. Others kept saying they didn’t know what to say, which is a stupid thing to say because that’s saying something and that’s the most honest thing there is to say, though it’s better to not say it in the first place. Nowadays I say, “I’m sorry” in similar situations because it’s expected and safe and the easy way out, not because it’s what I feel like saying, which is usually nothing." In the last 2 months two of my uncles have died. At the second funeral another one of my uncles asked me how I was doing after we man-hugged and I said, "Great," without really thinking about it because I'd just drank a lot of coffee and the way I said it sounded inappropriate for the setting, a little too upbeat, and I felt like my uncle looked at me funny and from that point forward I felt strange around him and tried to say things that would more aptly reflect my mourning, which I never was able to do and I did not feel okay until that uncle later asked me about Guitar Hero. I don't think anyone should ever 'stop.' I would like to continue to write into the blogger browser for an entire day sometime. Sometime soon I will have a full-day blogging session in which I continually write what I am thinking without editing for 10 to 12 hours straight. More people should respond to texts in writing. More people should publicly discuss Google. It is Saturday night at 9:45 pm. I should go somewhere. I should throw away this peanut butter jar, or just throw it somewhere at all. I am not going to reread this blog post. I should have something more substantial to eat.

1 comment:


(from Derek White)

I woke up this morning and changed some things. Not a lot. That’s what happens when you reread. I need to reread. Most of the time I don’t get it right the first time. And I think I’m word dsylexic. Though I probably messed up the last word, I don’t typically mess up spelling, but the order of words. I got third place in the Oregon state spelling bee three years in a row. But never better than that. Maybe that’s what I meant by stigma. I was watching some sort of world skiing competition and some guy kept getting bronze like 5 years in a row and the commentator said I bet he would trade all those in for gold? There’s a stigma with bronze like there’s a stigma with suicide. A lot of people think it’s not really dying just like bronze is not really winning. A lot of people think it’s quitting or not giving it your best effort. Maybe not so much now, or with celebrities, but with common people, sure. I personally think that when I’m angry. It sucks to be left behind with it. But that’s selfish thing to think. I guess that’s what I was trying to say. I started to write this in an email back to you and now I am copying and pasting into your blog, 1) because like mine, apparently your personal life is public, and 2) because my “blog” doesn’t allow comments. So if people want to comment than they can comment here. Not that there’s much to comment about. Scratch that. I went to cut and paste and it doesn’t allow anonymous comments and I’m anonymous. Oh well. I woke up this morning and read Kurt Cobain’s suicide note because I never had before. It wasn’t very interesting. I think I added a line to that effect in my posting. I also added a line about being critical towards those I’m closest to. Because that’s true. Are we allowed to do that? Change things once they are posted? That’s not very much fun. You write a lot. I wrote that yesterday and was very tired and couldn’t do much afterwards. I don’t see how you do that everyday. Maybe it’s the peanut butter. I just ran around the park and I need to eat something.