May 7, 2017 (Sunday)

by Yule Heibel on May 6, 2018

Last night I put on headphones, to shut out the movie W. was watching in the next room, and powered through emails and open tabs. Inbox zero, zero tabs open on my laptop, only two on my phone (and there’s redundancy, insofar as one is in German, the other English: both Wikipedia, about Heiner Müller’s Hamletmaschine. I wanted to look for the “Cassandra / Ophelia” quote (mentioned by Huyssen with regard to Malini).

Before dinner I went to my old Wetpaint site, to transfer all my content to Evernote and then delete it on the wiki.

The old wiki’s name is victoria [dot] wikifoundry [dot] com, and ~10 days ago someone contacted me via Twitter to ask whether I’d be willing to free up the name since I didn’t seem to be using it. I thought, “Sure, why  not?” and then put it on the back burner. (I have to proactively ping the site admins to release the name / site.) This person who wants use of the name contacted me again – a woman? a man? a Twitter handle created just for the purpose of contacting me, @fawnaleigh: no fucking idea who s/ he is or what s/he wants the site for – but I got on to the wiki to get my content off and then contacted the admins.

And, whoa! I had a lot of stuff on there, holy. Some of it really good. All very Victoria-specific, sadly, or maybe not sadly, but all done in 2006 before Vibrant Victoria geared up, before there were any other outlets. Once VV started, I stopped posting on the wiki.

Anyway, it made me think about two things: 1) that I have consistently produced good – maybe even some great – content …which went nowhere; and 2) that I used to.

“Used to” is a very insidious, nasty idea which sneaks into one’s mind when one feels that one has messed up, not lived the life one was meant to live, has fallen behind one’s potential. Here, in the case of reading the wiki (which I called, full name, “Victoria City Style Council,” a nod to the band, especially My Ever Changing Moods), I started to think, “I used to write so well,” or, “I used to have an energy, a verve, a fluidity. And now I don’t.” (See above, s.v. “used to.”)

It’s a dangerous idea. I think there’s truth in it – I was certainly immersed in my subject then, and had at my fingertips half a dozen references at any given moment which I could use to shore up or enrich my argument. But it’s also true that all that verve and energy and fluidity of mind came from having an object to take aim at. I let Victoria become that object, and it was great – insofar as it was for a while a rich, multifaceted one. Until it wasn’t – and I should have moved on. But I didn’t, until I actually moved, as in, away. I’ve been somewhat rudderless, object-less since then, perhaps. I’ve taken aim, like every other Tom-Dick-and-Harry, at our politics, but it’s unsatisfying. It’s too big a beast, and all of us Lilliputians with our mighty (sarcasm!) pens are overpowered, hugely overpowered by the media machinery. What’s the point of adding to the amplification, the noise? Sure, if you get a paycheck out of it, pork away. But what is the point of someone like, say, G.A., who gets a nice paycheck from his day job in tech but feels compelled to sound off on every political issue, compelled to compete for alpha male status in this horrible social media world we all (?) inhabit? Maybe there are a dozen (at most) people who care what he spouts, but it’s all ephemeral, the digital fish-wrap of tomorrow.

I deserve a better object.

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