failure and other things that only maybe matter
Ok so I finished Love Island Season 5 UK and in retrospect I'm like jesus christ why was I so invested in this. Like to the point of an introspective blog post about it? Like, what? I guess that's what it means to get enraptured by something, and I guess it happens pretty easily given that it's one of the most popular reality shows on the planet or something.
Specifically I'm thinking about this one TikTok I made (recently I learned that TikTok does not have a space in between the Tik and the Tok) where I said "I love Amber and Michael, if anything bad happens to Amber and Michael, I will do something horrible," and then like 2 episodes later something Michael did something bad to Amber and everything on the show went ballistic. I did not end up doing something horrible- or at least, nothing more horrible than my average and regularly executed horrible activities.
What must it be like to do something horrible to another person on reality television?
Having gone to school for acting, I became acutely aware of those who are visibly terrified of criticism. I've seen people who fight back against criticism, who shield themselves from it, and I've always thought of myself as above that on some level? I've learned no director, no boss, no person at all really, loves to work with someone they can feel getting defensive, or proud, so obviously I would never be that person... but oh my good lord do I hate being critiqued. Especially when it comes to character flaws, which I have to assume are ever present, yet somehow avoid thinking about constantly.
Especially since gaining an online following for my political takes and comedy- I worry so much about meeting standards for behavior set by a society that... somehow has not found a way to codify acceptable practices at an all encompassing scale. I always think if someone did offer an online course in "This is everything you should do to avoid ever being critiqued in any sort of fashion," I would be subscribed, and my parents would yell at me for wasting my money, and then I would buy another 6-8 week session to figure out how to avoid that in the future.
This morning I was talking to my friend Morgan about a project I have in development- it's an album of music, or a musical, or a novel, or something. Morgan is an amazing musician- he orchestrated the musical score to this audio-play I wrote,
And I talked to him about the trouble I've found motivating myself past the initial stages of my current creative projects. Without school classes or student groups that led to my insane level of output over the past four years, I've found such a lack of "fun" in my work, that has prevented me from producing with the same diligence that I did during my time in college. I only graduated in June, but even the admission of my troubles makes me feel inadequate, insecure, and god forbid, "average."
In response, Morgan said to me, "Ah, so I think I may have to dispense with a hard truth," which I was open to, as I threw around the potential critique in my head that "damn us early 20's artistic types must really be the most pretentious human beings on planet Earth."
But he said to me "The repulsive feeling of 'work' especially when it has to do with art-making is, in my experience, a manifestation of the fear of failure," which struck a chord due to the fact of it being, well, obviously incredibly true.
So what's my fear of failure? Where does the assignment of failure come from? I can't really think of a time where someone else has assigned me the quality of "having failed." Which isn't to say I've never done a task poorly, or didn't meet expectations. Technically I failed half the midterms I took at Northwestern. But those don't really feel like "failures."
I think the feeling of failure is, for me, to be substantially critiqued on something that I'm passionate about, that I think has merit, by someone that I respect. Such as a project of mine, a talent I've developed, or even my own personality. The resistance to failure, which is a resistance to this form of substantial critique, is the main weight that I find myself dragging along on the pursuit of my goals, creatively. So I wonder, what does this fear of critique keep me from, not necessarily as a "maker of stuff", but as a person?
The fear of critique can be a powerful motivator towards self improvement- I mean, that seems pretty obvious. I'm sure a fear of critique is a great tool for preventing a lot of social ills, but there are two sides to every coin. That fear of critique doesn't necessarily create good impulses, so much as suppress bad ones. I think that's one reason why Michael didn't hurt Amber until very late in the series, after becoming acclimated to the social environment. I'm flabbergasted by how someone would open themselves to critique by committing wrongdoings on reality television, but ultimately, I don't think that fear of critique is an everlasting motivator to act in a way that is good- I think it exists more to suppress.
Anyway, it's time for ...
New album that people are being weird about:
something i put in my body just now:
SUBMIT ANSWERS TO
@rishipuff on instagram or twitter to be featured on here
LAST TIME'S WINNERS:
YAMINI "one emotional inconvenience away from adopting a dog" NAMBIMADOM... i wish i was that dog
EMMA "i kind of miss the twist too lol" YARGER... would it be weird if i did that again. probably weird right? idk
@TSUXDXD "woyer girl" on twitter... does woyer girl have any relation to those warrior cat books at all. let me know. probably not im guessing
MARCOS "the bachelor and inkmaster, duh" RIOS ... the scramble may be easy but it's the SPEED that's hard, friend.
Soooo how does one "be good"? Well I don't fucking know. I'm still waiting for the online course. But in the meantime, I'm trying to reevaluate my relationship to criticism. Take it when it comes, but try not to make it up in my head along the way. Haters gonna hate, and other noble truths not to live by.
Thanks for reading this stuff
By your friend,