mitchellirons

rough notes

41. You know it makes things hard for me.

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It is a couple days before the start of September. I don’t know how many days it is before the start of September.  I cannot be any more precise regarding the change of months beyond a general couple of days, give or take a day or two.  The passing of time has all at once been compressed, shortened, lengthened and expanded by various forms of end-of-summer anxieties which are best described as a change-of-season turmoil.  Such a description, however, is neither “good”, “better”, or “best”.  “Best” is a superlative which demands a baseline I neither gave nor presumed to give.  And ‘turmoil’ would be a word more appropriately used in politics, epidemics, or war.

But a summer which ends flush of anxieties that can be best, however inadequately, described as a change-of-season turmoil it has been. That’s how we roll.

My inbox is full of unopened emails, and my desk is brimming full of unopened or unreturned letters.  It appears that I’ve taken on several psychoses this summer, one of which would definitely consist of wishing (or willing) away certain issues by ignoring the consequences that have already befallen my person.  One example of this would be my hair (left untethered for four months until a nice, but expensive cut this morning). Another example would be the taxes.  The Taxman is determined to make my life difficult by demanding reams and reams of paper to confirm that I’m a student, that I pay tuition, that I am funded by a federal agency, that I have employment at the same school, and that not one account is directly linked to another.  And here I was, all these years, expecting Revenue Canada to strike the hammer down regarding gratuities earned at one of several other jobs.  But no; it would appear that one arms-length agency (The University) refuses to correspond at all with two others (The Taxman, and the Federal Funding Agency).  Not so good. This mess will never end until I start paying tuition again, I suppose.

I begin another academic programme next week.  I’m putting on a brave and encouraged face for it, but I’d be embellishing, if not lying (nothing new there) if I didn’t admit that I am a little anxious about what’s to come by way of it.  I was admitted on a scholarship, but I’m still not exactly sure what’s to be done with the degree, or what’s to be done with my person to get the degree.  The programme is in a different, albeit parallel field than that which I am accustomed to.  It is also in a different faculty, and has an entirely different culture.  I’m a half-decent actor, and will be able to play the part fairly well, but in spite of those half-decent acting abilities, I’ve never been comfortable putting on a face.  Although I couldn’t ever describe my real face to someone (no one could do such a thing, except perhaps the blind), I certainly don’t like living with a different face on a face-to-face basis.  If all the world really is a stage, and we are the players, the cast, the crew, the front of the house and the back of the house, then nothing really is real.  I can live with that concept until the moment, however, when The World Out There demands that we pretend, whilst playing our roles on that stage, to actually be acting The Real.  That’s a little too meta even for me.  I can talk about it.  I can hype it up.  I can write you a beautiful piece of prose or fiction about it.  But I can’t live that second-order simulacra without feeling my person break up into its (in-)constituent parts.  Entering this new faculty, this new culture, has prompted me to constantly question my own person.  I might be in for a long week.

The programme also has certain social demands that might require me to use the dreaded Spacebook again. As well, there stands a good chance that I will likely have ventured onto the internet with yet another persona by the end of the first term to fulfill certain course-related or social-related demands.  There was a time I confidently portrayed a unified internet persona.  Those days disappeared this past summer, and I believe that latent anxieties about this programme may have precipitated this demise.  It could be that my internet persona will yet become even more fractalized before (hopefully) coalescing again.  Having fought the good fight, should I surrender my internet identity for the sake of a programme, and for the sake of a current and commonly-held opinion that internet anonymity is truly dead?  In many ways I think the war might be over, that Facebook.com has absolutely destroyed internet anonymity.  Perhaps this bullet should have been bitten long ago.  But I don’t know if I’m yet ready to lower the red flag of war and raise the white flag of surrender.  Time likely will tell the answer to this dilemma, though.  This programme will either offer me the water that will satiate my thirst for anonymity, or pass over the kool-aid and turn me into a devout convert of the cause.  And of course, whatever the answer is, I will wholeheartedly agree with it forever more.

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Written by mitchellirons

August 30, 2008 at 11:17 pm

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