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Submitted on
October 11, 2010



Lofty Thought Syndrome

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 11, 2010, 7:24 PM
  • Mood: Anxious
  • Listening to: The Bonnie Ship The Diamond; Judy Collins
  • Reading: Fatal Alliance; Sean Williams
  • Watching: Atop The Fourth Wall
  • Eating: Rather Bad Cookies
  • Drinking: Very Good Tea

"Neither sex, without some fertilization of the complimentary characters of the other, is capable of the highest reaches of human endeavor."

-Jean-Paul Sartre

One time Tom Arnold wished me good luck in my endeavors and ambitions to become a writer. It was one of the most poignant pieces of encouragement I've ever received.
I don't know whether it was the unexpected source… or the sincerity and kindness with which he gave the encouragement, or the familiarity and intimacy with which he could discuss the craft of writing. But if I'm ever in a funk of self doubt in my creative endeavors, I most often turn to Patton Oswalt's "Death Bed, The Bed That Eats People" sketch… or otherwise, remembering that little helping hand I got at a rather grim time in my life.

It's time to update my journal, as my last entry was far too self-indulgent and lengthy.
This entry is going to be equally as self-indulgent, but I'll try and be succinct.
Work looks like it's going to become all the more grim in the coming weeks.
Since I started at my company, today the officially fourth person who worked with me in my department has either been fired, or in this case, quit. Now I'm left alone to tackle the work of three people.
But I'm not composing this journal to vent professional frustration.
I'm here to give voice to my random thoughts.

- I know writers tend to be a whiny, needy lot. I've had some characteristics like that ascribed to me in my life, so I'll try not to bitch too much as this journal is not about venting or bitching, it's about giving voice to the cacophony of thoughts in my head. But as I've lately taken to watching a lot of the vlogbrothers videos on YouTube… it affords me the opportunity to get inside the head of someone who's actually managed to become a successful, and what's more, recognized writer.
James Cameron, who, depending on how keen you are on gigantic smurf/cat people, is either a visionary genius or an egomaniac, was hit with pangs of realization in 1977 when he, as a young man, sat down and viewed a little film called "Star Wars." Cameron quickly realized that if he wanted to be a film director, in accordance with his ambitions, he would need to quit his job as a truck driver and get started.
Ironically enough it was reading a Star Wars novel that inspired me to hammer out on the keys for months on end until my computer coughed out a novel. But now that I've seen creative writers actually succeed and thrive even while the print and publishing industry is collapsing in the horrible, agonizing rictus of atrophy around us all, it's only spurring and goading me all the more to finish my, by now, third novel, the one which I feel most strongly about and the one which, by virtue of my accumulated writing experience and the novel's subject matter, has the greatest chance for commercial success.
... Now if I could only finish this tangential side project i've picked up, one which is blurring the lines between the left and right hemispheres of my brain in terms of the ephemeral nature of the human psyche and emotions and the essential regimentation and orderliness that determines whether we all live or die, and pick up the threads of my current novel-in-progress, I'll really be in business.
That and I need to buy/borrow and read "Looking for Alaska."…

- I can't for the life of me fathom what would make a grown adult human male feel compelled to shout the word "What" as a complete and utter non sequitur and without any discernible provocation. Repeatedly.
The only thread I can possibly make here is hip hop artist "Lil Jon," who has nothing in common with the character from English literature from whom his moniker is taken, and who I know of only from watching  "Chapelles Show" back when I was in high school.…
But where the brilliant Dave Chapelle was able to add comic timing and charm to the seemingly nonsensical mannerisms of this performance artist, people I'm suddenly hearing shout this single-syllable declarative have no clear intention other than their own enjoyment, or any regard for whether anyone around them wants to hear it.
Beyond that, I have no way of knowing if Lil Jon is still popular. If Dave was spoofing on him back when I was in high school, surely he must have faded in popularity by now.
In any case, If it's not Lil Jon my new best friends are referencing when they randomly shout this futile attempt at... whatever it is that they're attempting, I can't for the life of me figure out "What" it is. Surely it's not the "Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater."

- Why can't we have more scrimshaw?
I know the harvesting of whales is frowned upon, even though it was us, the Americans who helped the Japanese blight the seas of cetaceans in the mid 20th-century, and us telling them now that they shouldn't be harvesting whales at all is a touch hypocritical, and there are plenty of sound conservational arguments for the preservation of the cachalots, I still think we're missing a good bet with scrimshaw.
We don't even have to use whale teeth. We have a renewable source of carve-able bone at hand: stag antlers.
Every year, deer shed and re-grow their antlers.
Now that we have a source of bone and we're not slaughtering our resource base, I say it's time to revive the art of scrimshaw!
For all we know it's the one missing aspect of traditional American values that actually WILL lead to unending peace and prosperity once reinstated.

-Where do ideas go when they're gone? And what happens to a doctrine of belief once people stop believing in it?
If our old pal Jean-Paul Sartre is anything to go by: "Nothing can exist only partially." But can the same thing be applied to human thought?
Human thoughts unquestionably exist, but are they anything more than the electrical impulses in our brains, or is there some tangible element to the processes of the human mind? And if there is, where does an idea or a belief go once it's discarded.
Once I finish the body proper of the main piece I'm working on now, I'll have written three novels (none published if anyone's asking) And I've written a good number of short (ish) stories as well, relating to the main bodies of text or otherwise.
This isn't to say that these are the only ideas I've had for stories. I've had at least ten or fifteen ideas for novels in my lifetime, some of them I'm still hanging onto tentatively for possible future projects, but for the most part, I've been forced to cast these ideas by the wayside as they've simply refused to flesh out in my head or simply didn't work or were poorly-conceived to begin with. In which case I'll gut the ideas for any useful or worthwhile subsets I might have imbued them with and simply cast them aside.
Waste. Refuse. Litter composed solely of the gossamer fabric of human consciousness.
But what, if anything, happened to these discarded thoughts?
I can call them to mind if pressed hard enough, so are they even gone to begin with?
What happens to a thought once it passes out of us? And what happens when a series of thoughts or beliefs held by millions cease to be? These things exist. Gods, heroes and warriors all existed in the form of collective, cultural consciousness.
Where do old beliefs go? And where do forgotten dreams and discarded thoughts go?
I've found this question very interesting in the abstract in my time on this planet.
So much to to the point that it actually served as a crucial subplot to my second novel.
But outside my own work, I've never seen this idea expressed elsewhere outside of a classic episode of "Star Trek" and an issue of "Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose."
I'm not sure which of these two really handled the concept best. But seeing as how I have a good number of friends on here who, for legal reasons, can't get their hands on "Tarot" ... I'll go ahead and give it to Star Trek.
Come on.
Leonard Nimoy.


Wow, none of this turned out nearly as cool or insightful as I'd hoped.

Oh well.

"That's the best reason to get up in the morning; to do it better than you've ever done it before. And if you haven't done it better my nighttime; look at your globe, pick a spot. It's always morning somewhere."…


Lofty Thought Syndromeby SilverVulpine

Journals / Personal©2010-2014 SilverVulpine
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ceylon-tae Nov 3, 2010   General Artist
Totally late to the party on commenting (I'm digging through old journal notifications lol). But I wanted to second the recommendation of American Gods, if you haven't already inhaled it. All the rest of things that are coming to mind are about where dreams go when they're no longer dreamed about (a la Langston Hughes).

That, and I'm totally with you on the scrimshaw thing. XD Deer antlers might be a little smaller, but come on, think outside that whale-shaped box! What can you do with tinier media that you can't do with larger media? Thiiiink!
SilverVulpine Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I just got the Audiobook from Amazon.
Now it's sitting in the "To listen" file.
I know there are plenty of books that I should read but haven't. :XD:

And indeed! I'm glad SOMEONE finally realizes the awesomeness of Scrimshaw!
You're so amazing, my friend!
spacecowboy76 Oct 17, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Old beliefs never die, they just fade away.

Actually, considering how many cockamamie (spellcheck?) beliefs there are out there, I think it's probably a good thing that they're not piling up like autumn leaves somewhere. I mean, how would Glenn Beck ever get to work? The Fox New Building would be buried by a thirty story snow drift of....

Wait a minute, did I say this was a bad thing?

Actually, in a very literal sense I see beliefs as nothing more than electrical patterns flowing from synapse to synapse until the mind that caters to it decides it needs the space for something else - like catchy pop tunes or video game cheat codes. (Damn brain!!! I once had the meaning of life going around in there until DOOM came along.)

What intrigues me is why do some ideas refuse to leave, not until you put them in some kind of material form? You mention the backlog of novels - I've got that too, big time. I keep promising myself that someday I'll go back there and finish one or the other, but it's quite hard to do one the bright and shiny newness has been rubbed off.
You would think my brain would know this and just give up the ghost already - but the thoughts refuse to leave!!!!

I really have to wonder what my subconsciousness thinks of my consciousness because right now it's being very condescending in it's own quiet way.
SilverVulpine Oct 17, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
And they wait on far away planets and wait for spaceships filled with women in Starfleet-issue miniskirts to show up. :D

Oddly enough, in "Tarot," abandoned dreams literally take the form of fallen leaves... or otherwise they mutate into hideous serpents, trees that look like supermodels or topless ballerinas with kitchen knives for hands... Yeah, send Glenn Beck there. He'll feel right at home! :D

I'm not sure whether there's merit to the theory that there is something indefinable to the mind beyond the physical elements and the electrical impulses. Maybe that's just wishful thinking... Or maybe not...

I think my abnormal memory is the reason i can hold onto an idea for so long and then write it down years later and not feel like I'm writing in cold blood. If I can hold onto the idea for that long, it must be worthwhile enough to give a shot.... That's my theory anyway.

Oddly enough, it's the left and right hemispheres of my conscious mind that give me the most trouble. I think that's the source of most of my neurosis, the uptight, OCD left battling the poetic right.
My unconscious on the other hand... is Malcolm McDowell from "A Clockwork Orange."
spacecowboy76 Oct 18, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In college, for my sophomore year, I had to do a report on A Clockwork Orange for a course that somehow combined movies and writing. It was actually one of the coolest courses I ever took, especially since the "lab" part of it consisted of us taking over the college cinema and watching rare and hard to find films. This was 1990, so it was before netflix and amazon and ebay. The movie stores and video rentals? If it hadn't been released that year or was an absolute classic, they wouldn't have it, so I ended up watching the film in the college library on a TV with no headphones directly in front (with my back turned to) the circulation desk. Amazingly the prudish prunes working there didn't say a thing as I watched it four or five times in a row.

That's right kids (those of you besides Bill who happen to be reading this) your grandparents were far more psychotic in their prime than you and your punk friends ever were. :D

I do believe there is a spirit entity riding inside our minds, pulling levers and responding to what we encounter, but I don't think it's the same thing as a thought. I think that thoughts are more like the midway connection between the ghost and the machine.

Yikes - gotta go - a topless ballerina looking like a tranny Edwards Scissorhands just crawled its way out of the garbage disposal unit.
SilverVulpine Oct 18, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
... Your College experience sounds like it was a good deal more enjoyable than mine. Of course, you seeming to have a better grasp of reality than me and also being more self-aware probably helped matters too. Not that I didn't enjoy college. Far from it.

And sadly you're right. This coming generation is, sadly, going to be a lot less intense than it's predecessors. Doug Stanhope explains it better.

I think Joe Campbell had a point when he said that there was a dimension to the universe that science could never truly perceive, and that we as conscious beings could only perceive bits and pieces of it. And John Green was right too "Religion is a response to revelation, different responses birth different religions."

You give her hell, my friend! Give her a dwarven ax up her perfectly-toned ass! :XD:

(And incidentally, I am still reading "The Celtic Shelf" I haven't forgotten and I haven't given up. Im sneaking in passages whenever I can. I've been relying on my lunch breaks at work to plow through it, but now that I'm the only one left to do the work of a three-person department, it is tough. But I just wanted you to know I'm still reading and rather enthralled. :nod:)
spacecowboy76 Oct 22, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And that is a fine bit of hot-cross buns. Yummy!

The funny thing is, right now I'm watching "Friday the 13th the Series" on Syfy, a show I remember liking as a Sophomore in college, exactly 20 years ago. Wow. It did not age well. I guess I can't say I agree with everything I liked as a kid. I'm almost willing to say that I had better judgement as a 13 year old than as a 19 year old.

Doug Stanhope is rude but right. The early 90's were a wild time to be alive. Moshing. I spent many a Saturday night with blood flowing from both nostrils thanks to moshing, but you know - it was all in fun. If anything, the slam dancing defused a lot of the energy which in earlier days would have turned into fist fights in the parking lot. There was no bad blood between any of us - or at least it seemed as such to me.

Don't worry about the book, there's no expiration date on it. Plus it keeps me from having to admit that I misplaced the last chapter you sent me.

Oh crap!
SilverVulpine Oct 23, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Today's special, Hot-crossed buns coming up! :XD:

Well, you're one step ahead of me. I had equally bad judgment at 13 AND 19... Now it's not so much better. :XD:

Doug has a way of delivering very visceral, uncomfortable truth.
I envy you, not having to have your adolescence in the stupid ages like me. :/

I'm at the "Dragon's" chapter, so I have a good stretch of chapters behind me already.
If you want I can always send the chapter again, no worries. :)
spacecowboy76 Oct 25, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well you know me, I believe in reincarnation so it's only a matter of time until I'm growing up in a world that's even dumber than the one you grew up in :D
Sure. I think I was on chapter 5.
Crap. Say, have you ever gotten a computer virus over DA? This is the second time tonight that Norton has gone off with the viral alarm.
SilverVulpine Oct 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Like Kurt Vonnegut said; "So it goes..."
See you in the next lifetime, old chum!

Once I get a free moment I'll send it over.
And oddly no. I've never had virus problems from DA.
I don't know whether it's because I use a Mac or just have good karma.
Who can say? :XD:
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