Comically Variant.: Like, I’ll admit that I legitimately thought that dude was a sociopath...
Like, I’ll admit that I legitimately thought that dude was a sociopath when I first read his kickstarter page so I guess I didn’t get the “joke,” but even if you look this campaign through a satirical lens, it just doesn’t make any fucking sense. It’s getting him attention, sure, but I don’t think…
were I a betting man, I’d say the scenario looks something like this:
he just did a Kickstarter where he raised about $50k and promised the goods a few months ago. the goods have not yet been delivered. this being the internet, he’s probably gotten at least one (and probably several) emails accusing him of bilking people for money, when the reality is just depression. so he writes this in response.
5:44 pm • 20 September 2012 • 5 notes • View comments
Understanding Obvious Satire
A lot of people are having a hard time understanding John Campbell’s recent satire. I have gone through and replaced the word ‘happy’ with ‘depressed’ and ‘depressed’ with ‘happy.’ Perhaps reading the result will help some people understand the actual intention of the original post. (Note that what he wrote was more sophisticated than a simple word-filter change, but in reading this over now it would only take minor changes to work perfectly.)
It seemed hard at first to fake happiness, due to the amount of energy involved. I could not do it for long. By the time I got comfortable with it I found it necessary to allow this deception to extend into my private life. I believed one or more stories of myself as “pretending to be happy” could have distanced me from my chosen demographic.
My most prominent regret is not deceiving people and taking their money, and it’s not helping happy people perpetuate their negative thought loops via replication and display. I regret the borderline people, those who could identify the problems in their life, face them, and allow themselves to be changed, but instead found it necessary to conceive of themselves as “struggling with happiness” rather than being genuinely held back emotionally by some nasty and real situation. Any work participating in the “culture of happiness” has probably contributed to these sad and unnecessary cases.
I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and now believe it is my calling to be the first “artist” to admit to an audience “I’ve been pretending to be happy.” I’ve spoken with a handful of others who are interested to see where this experiment goes. As far as any of us can remember, no one’s tried coming clean about this.
At an early age I noticed a large number of artists and authors seemed happy, so I imitated them. It is natural to imitate the people around you, even if “around you” primarily means the people you read and watch on television or in movies. This is “around you” in a spiritual sense.
There seems to be a sense that “something is wrong” and as you fake this sense, and investigate it more deeply in order to fake it better, you begin to suspect that sense is the thing that is wrong. There are a great deal of things in the universe and most if not all of them are going somewhere else and becoming different things. So the feeling that everything is “not as it should be” is both accurate and appropriate. Things will be different soon.
The more I got to know artists, the more I desired to have confirmation from them, via communication of any kind, that they were also pretending to be happy. Not for confirmation that this was the state of things (because I know that it is) but for admission into their inner circle of relationships. This is the most honest two creatively inclined people can be with one another, to admit to each other that emotion and perception are rides that you go on, and the actual “you” is experiencing these rides from an enjoyable perspective.
The more people I knew who refused to admit to me they were faking their happiness, the more confused I got. Was I communicating incorrectly? Did they believe that I was the one who was failing to communicate that I was faking happiness, was I confusing them? I got more and more exhausted with acting happy and withdrew from the majority of my friends. I spent a great deal of time alone and extremely depressed, making art suggesting otherwise in order to attract others who were also pretending to be what I was faking.
Each of my comics can be read from a “happy” perspective and from a “non-happy” (i.e. healthy, self-aware and loving) perspective. From this perspective each of my comics suggests and defends the notion that happiness is not a “real” experience, but one of many non-real experiences that are culturally and socially enforced by language and the apparent limits we place on our own perceptions.
I am extremely sorry about this and I hope you will forgive me.
My new book will be available before the end of the year and I hope you like it. Your rewards will come to you around the same time as the book. I will send out a request for updated addresses from everyone when the book is close to being sent out. Thank you for your continuing patience and understanding.
(once again, this is just John Campbell’s original post with some word filters applied. I didn’t write this.)
5:28 pm • 20 September 2012 • 6 notes • View comments
Taking inventory before our journey:
a boat, the open sea,
our sense of adventure.
Does it seem like
we’re missing something?
I’ve checked the list
and everything seems to be
in fine order:
You never know until you try.
“Are you sure
you know what you’re doing?”
Of course I don’t.
Isn’t that the entire point?
The unknown awaits,
so I flee the known,
You and me
against the world, kid.
You and me against the world.
Taking inventory while lost at sea:
no maps, no water,
We curse the blue skies that
first blessed our journey,
and pray for rain.
I’ve double-checked the list.
We have plenty of ocean,
enough for a burial at sea,
and irony to spare:
once you were gone,
the clouds we prayed for opened up.
Rescue is a strange thing.
I should be grateful for my life,
but feel nothing,
not even grief.
It was me and you against the world,
I guess the world won.
1:27 am • 18 September 2012 • View comments
Elegy for an Unwelcome Guest
You were the king of dingy bathroom tile,
or sudden lights
and stomping feet.
You stood there, just watching,
as the world moved by
your bathroom tiles.
Your reign was silent
infinite. The world was
yours, and you took your time.
When I was a child,
I was frightened of dark places.
Some things are always left unsaid,
little quiet ideas that no one
or just no one thinks to.
And these are the things lives are made of:
quiet thoughts and inner moments,
secrets that die out
before they are born, completely unnoticed
by any who might remember them.
“You are the only person
who has ever seen this part of me.”
We all make mistakes. Not every choice
I have trapped myself in a prison of ivory and metal,
vast beyond my comprehension. I should worry,
but everything seems at peace. I will know no escape,
but I need no escape.
I, alone among men, have known everything I desired.
The waters are rising. I will not resist.
You were the king of dingy bathroom tiles.
Your reign was silent
3:38 am • 14 September 2012 • View comments
when I was a kid there was a plaque on the wall of my grandparents’ kitchen which read something like “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” we spent enough time in that kitchen that I committed it to memory, allowed it access to the inner chambers of my brain, before I knew anything more than it was a convoluted sentence and that was supposed to be funny.
for some reason I was reminded of this the other day. a little fragment of childhood that fits so perfectly with my worldview (everyone is always wrong about everything, human perception is inherently faulty)—by my count there’s about eight levels of perception here. and that’s the point, isn’t it? by the time we actually receive a message in our squishy unreliable brains we’ve filtered and interpreted it half a dozen times. and, worse, it went through a half a dozen different filters while it was being sent. it’s like telephone, as people like to tell me when I’m talking to them about it, except your nervous system alone is capable of completely distorting its input.
all of which to say, I can’t help but wonder if this harmless little plaque has had some influence on who I am today, on my beliefs and perceptions. it seems like I would be who I am today with or without that, of course—it’s just a string of words, right? but we’re fooling ourselves if we think our brains don’t react to the littlest things. why couldn’t something as tiny as a silly phrase i memorized when i was a kid drastically alter the course of the future?
7:00 pm • 13 September 2012 • 2 notes • View comments
Bound Stems - Hooray Madame Corday! This is the song I have been obsessed with lately and also might make this make more sense, maybe.
1:55 am • 17 December 2011 • View comments
Sophie Swanson: Titular Heroine doesn’t quite return in episode 9, a story about krakens and revenge! I think we will be hearing from krakens more in the future. Please enjoy episode 9:
1:59 am • 7 December 2011 • View comments
Get Rich Quick
The eighth episode of Sophie Swanson: Titular Heroine is finished! This one is about dubiously ethical ways to make a lot of money in a very short period of time. Please enjoy:
GET RICH QUICK.
11:38 pm • 6 December 2011 • View comments
Deep in the heart of a Seattle winter*, I have written a seventh exciting episode of Sophie Swanson: Titular Heroine, which for some reason takes place in late summer on some fictional islands. Perhaps I am dreaming of warmer times, deep (or not so deep) within my subconscious. Regardless, please enjoy:
*40 degrees and rainy. that’s right. my winters are better than yours.
4:56 pm • 5 December 2011 • View comments
Mind Your Own Business
Sophie Swanson: Titular Heroine does not merit more than a passing mention in this shocking episode about mind control and do-it-yourself medical devices. Please enjoy episode six:
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
1:45 am • 5 December 2011 • View comments