article, creativity, essay, individuality, Uncategorized

Clone Culture

“He had done so little artificially to change his appearance, but his expression, Tom thought, was like Dickie’s now. He wore a smile that was dangerously welcoming to a stranger, a smile more fit to greet an old friend or a lover. It was Dickie’s best and most typical smile when he was in good humor. Tom was in good humor.”

The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith

The ultimate single-white female: the doppelganger. Needing more than they can provide themselves, destroys another to become them. Sounds like a script, and is in fact the premise of several films, books, and television episodes, as well as a common reality of the everyman.

In these acts of self annihilation turned outward, the first seeks self-confidence, then when their desires are left unfulfilled the doppelganger becomes venomous to the one whose identity they were seeking to possess. Copy-cats are what children call them, while adults say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But when imitation goes too far, the imposter seems too close for comfort. They shoot air pellets at you, but on weekends wear your hand me downs. Words, wears, and where to’s soon become open territory. The thought they never thought of becomes their greatest idea. You then wonder how safe this pearly eyed porcelain doll is. Looking around you see that everyone seems to be someone else if they’re not focused on themselves. In the Age of Apple this has become increasingly probable for young men and women lacking a degree of self satisfaction. Critical? Maybe. But still a necessary fact to confront. Today, even artists and designers, and once taste makers scroll through blogs to help curate their next gallery or fashion show. Instead of starting trends they become the last to follow them. Where brainstorming was, now exists online idea-shopping. Because of this what  we find is that looking around, everything that we encounter seems the same, but only slightly different. A vague feeling, but eerie enough to keep us on pins and needles. Only a feeling is sure enough easy to ignore, but that feeling is also listed as a heart attack symptom, authenticity seems a more serious personality trait.


The historical greats, without data plans, lived lives of isolation. Working late enough into the night for candle light to become a second sun. The stories of older generations always have more color, not because of faded Polaroid film, but because they had the time away to cultivate their own life views, away from the watching eyes of others. The others who correct and urge togetherness. The defiance of neediness is what begets authenticity in its firmest stance. So the autonomous authentic is the who develops that rigidness within that allows them to stand on their own, as if a stone deific statue in their private salon.

If other would look within, away from online impulse buys and ratings, they would see what salon within needs furnishing. Ironically, what money cannot buy. There is no way of warding the doppelganger, only keeping more closely the same private salon. A place to preserve development and make new arrangements. The lonely doppelganger, eventually finds a new model figure. While the artisan sculpts himself in his own favor.


Featured Film: Purple Noon, 1960, Dir. Rene Clement

creativity, essay, micro essay, philosophy

American Wasteland

Less Than Zero by Bret Eason Ellis,  tell the story of a distant young man in urban environments, disenstized to everything around them. A online comment reviewed the book as a slow moving episode of The Hills, but this high end metropolitan media speaks to a larger culture that we live in, one of meaningless consumption. Norman Mailer called Los Angeles a “constellation of plastic” and that is exactly what this novel reflects, other than depression, a jaded sense of humor, and maybe too much cocaine. Fresh from college, Clay & co, move in and out of Fred Segal and house parties. Shopping here, tanning there, a bar later to dodge a friend who seems a little weird now but you’d rather not now know why. Compared to the girls of The Hills who make almost make busy work as interns look fun, and going to Les Deux afterwards let the flaxen hair down, where they gossip and make somewhat polite conversation, and meet over lunch the next day to discuss the gory details of a too close encounter with an ex-friend.

These ideas are seen as shallow, but so is your average American. Landfills rise to torment the environment, and public schools have stifling budget cuts. Libraries are losing funding, and what intelligent media exists online is now behind a pay wall. Information is always a locksreen away, yet Anti-Intellectualism is at its lowest low. Art imitates life, which imitates art, and again. We see that the world around us isn’t one with much constructive conclusion. We find that if anything, things seem to be moving downhill. One would hope that 30 years after its publishing that Less than Zero would be less relatable, but if anything it’s more.


The OC, 2005.

Your average conversation now, whether friend, foe, or coworker will mostly involve television and consumption. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these things of course, but when all down time involves consumption and gossip, without any objective at all, the question comes whether or not we are pigs instead of people. On television now we see jokes that convey that working out is for snooty over achievers, and we find the same ones from friends. If you’ve ever seen an eyelid flare open at the mention of a paperback novel, you may have found yourself approaching a threshold of no return. To have ever read The Washington Post could be considerd the same as using black magic in some areas.

Technology has become more affordable now than ever before. Whether desiring a phone, laptop, or tablet, there is always one available for less than $300, and wifi is about everywhere you sit, sometimes even outside. But there has been a shift in what is considered normal. We value intelligence for business acuity, for start-ups, and for what could bring about more entertainment, but for the average American, much less outside of that. The fashion designer you follow on Instagram was inspired by Taoism, the movie you love, inspired by Jane Austen, and sure, they both grossed millions, but there was a person present in the moment who found meaning in something other than buying and disposing of something.


The OC, 2005.

What the planet asks for now is less waste. A fun question would be what would we all do if suddenly if we bought to keep,  what would we do with our spare time and resources? Or one more pleasing would be, if you suddenly had the resources to buy all that existed in the world, with nothing left over, what would be the goal afterwards? One without consumption, surely. At the last stop of the party bus there is the need for more education, and new insights. The need to learn, the need to build, and the need to do more than only serve oneself, but also to serve a community.

creativity, essay, fashion, individuality, philosophy

Processing Fashion Emotionally

Clothing is the most intimate possession that can be bought or held. The fabric, however soft of light, weighs on the body and holds warmth with it. It holds memory. We wear a shirt and we remember the places we’ve been while wearing it, the people we have seen or haven’t. It touches us more than others and more closely than most could dream of. With clothing we can feel powerful or weak. We wear a suit and those of us who enjoy that feel apart of a larger working mass. Those who shirk at being a “joiner”, feel spiteful at thought. They may find an easy-iron shirt the same as an iron barred cage.  Clothing shows implicit attitudes to life and to the self. Not in how we choose to present ourselves, but how we like to feel. Do we love our bodies? Yes, and we want others to love it too. Or maybe it’s left hidden as a special gift for another. A cloak like silhouette may be out of shame. We don’t like our body so it’s a secret better left unknown. Or maybe the feeling of looseness is freedom, with nowhere to be but here and now as ourselves.


Dane Dehaan c.So It Goes Magazine, ph. Guy Aroch, 2014.

With garments being a direct extension of ourselves, those who enjoy playing dress up often display different attitudes towards clothing: as an extension of themselves. It relates to their own psychic sense of pleasure, both sensual and emotional, even intellectual. It unites mind, body, and soul.

Socially we ascribe labels to those who dress with a certain flair. There are hipsters, rockers, yuppies, hypebeasts, geeks, professionals, artists, the list  goes on. We categorize people into these categories rather off hand, when close up we notice their own private language being communicated. It may say: I’m happy. I’m sad. Look at me. Don’t touch me. I want you. I’m not too serious. I’m very serious. I’m silly. I’m angry. I like going out. I’d prefer to stay home. I’m busy. I have much free time. 

This is a rather basic impression that we have of others. But more deeply, fashion is parallel to art, only more material in expression. So with pain and joy comes different modes of expression. Most common is the idea of wearing black to subside negativity, or white to communicate purity and tradition. Bright colors for the bold with a child like expression. We see each color as a message of something. Often thought is that color only relates to complexion, but with autumn, spring, summer, winter complexions, there are colors of each hue that exist for every skin tone. Use of color then becomes nuanced, because no person is limited to one tonal family.

Pattern can  come with a strong personality. You could relate each detail to a subtle, incommunicable emotion. As it’s often thought that those more expressive characteristics have a strong neurotic tendency. What you cannot speak, you find outlet for in a less direct way. So those who enjoy pattern may have a sense of being more interested in the world around them, and maybe thinking more abstractly. Picking up small ideas or notes around them, and decorating themselves with them, much like a wild raven that collects trinkets from afar. It shows high thought capacity, as small details can be merged together seamlessly, finding similarities where most wouldn’t. The abstract thinker.


Dane Dehaan, c. Interview Magazine, ph. Steven Klein, 2014.

Clothes take on their own symbolism, and unconsciously we carry out the expression of those symbols. When going through a darker time, punk rock is the ticket towards lightness. Sailing out of murky waters, the punk leaves his lookout post, and the romantic comes to play captain. What was darker and more biting, too biting, becomes softer and more yielding. Gentler now, and with the same neutral palette, only more layered with fabrics. Still wearing organic textures, but less leather, and more cotton and wool.


Dane Dehaan, c. New York Times, ph. Bruce Weber, 2013.

What could even be deduced is that fashion shows our personal process of individuation.

Jung says of individuation:

“The individuation process is more than a coming to terms between the inborn germ of wholeness and the outer acts of fate. Its subjective experience conveys the feeling that some supra-personal force is actively interfering in a creative way. One sometimes feels that the unconscious is leading the way in accordance with a secret design…that Great Man in the heart, who tells me his opinions about me by means of dreams.” — Man and His Symbols, CG Jung, 1964.

We see something more than we had anticipated. The life of a rocker is one of much turmoil, because he is the sensitive one who stands too close to fire. But when these feelings are made peace with and the fire has smoldered, not too wild anymore, he graduates into the romantic. For we move through different archetypes to assemble our true selves. Instead of projecting the anima, the untamed animal instinct, we integrate it into the self, and we reform our identity. Then, once together, we have a sense of completion that allows us to travel the world easily, with ourselves neatly packaged.



article, creativity, essay, philosophy, spirituality

Fertile Desire: The Hunger of Maternity

Maternity is such that within intimacy the woman develops a life within her and with aid from a health practitioner, brings that life into being.

This experience is one that occurs within women and then within all those with mind. Mind being the active creative intellect. We can think of the birth process as one of discovery in which the initiate becomes aware of their own intuition through having this separate, but dependent life within them. That life is the idea and motivation of the self. In this, the will becomes the second life. The will being the offspring of the mind.

Meaning that any man or woman with an individual tendency towards action is facilitating a life before them. That life being that which will then become independent of their own purposeful cognitive functioning at some point in life. Much like a mother who drives her daughter to school in youth, and then in time the daughter becomes one fully autonomous, and driving herself to work.

But what keeps this offspring safe from harm is the care and protection given early on, much like a mother is protective of her young. While the will can’t be sheltered at all times, it can be given an additive, much like a life lesson, to allow it to exist on its own in good foundation. To allow the will foster within it must be given the allowance to grow larger, with the right substances that each individual needs. Aside from biological needs there must be an equal stress for the will to become more proficient, one in which the infant must work against itself to become more autonomous. After this is finished with the will becomes much stronger on its own, to the extent that it functions without the thought of the parent, because it has learned how to handle the limitations of its own facilitator, or that which surrounds it. Whether external or internal. Just as a tool is only as good as the hand using it.

Once this has existed, that will exceeds all limits known, until met with another force, much larger than itself.

What happens after this will has been exceeded is that it overtakes all boundaries concurrently existing. So with that, will needs a larger outlet in which it can become more precise. The will exists as a beast always. With the will being like a grizzly bear, it must still need food to satisfy its own hunger. When one food source is unavailable it looks onward towards another to fulfill it. When hunger is left unsatisfied, the beast’s body turns against itself, at all times. The cells within break down, because the body needs organic matter to sustain itself. So just like that grizzly bear each man or woman needs a special substance in life to keep itself alive. Without that particular substance the being becomes spiritually weak. Spoken of in Soren Kierkegaard’s, The Sickness Unto Death is “despair” in which he views man as being without union with a god as having despair. In modern day we can view this problem spiritually or more creatively. It should be known that even those pious often appear quite miserable themselves. Aligning with a higher power leads to joy, but the world demands material action. Which leads to the act of conjuring a deity within. You would imagine what may exist only in fantasy, then find the counterpart in reality.

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Miles away from fantasy there exists a certain feeling tone cherished, what each person finds comfortable or uncomfortable, and this becomes a complex. This complex is one that cannot be broken down, and creates movement, as it exists as facet of the self that only wants fulfillment. However which sensation is the one that allows for broader movement is the one that becomes the predominant sensation: A dominant drive. This becomes the appetite for beast, the unyielding hot handed motivation. When not stifled, the hunger boils over. It then becomes more broad rather than singular in definition, after having more exposure, with the beast needing more lower drives to satisfy it. If you imagine a man like David Beckham, being a soccer player, he would derive inspiration from movement itself or kinetic energy, and draw upon that movement as a sense of inspiration in what he does elsewhere. Even when outside of stadiums, he’s photographed playing games with his children , taking them to see sports games, and even in his H&M underwear campaign he’s seen running and jumping. Rambunctious activity would be the muse of David Beckham. So were he to have a serious injury, unable to move the same way, he would likely want to teach in ways that inspire movement. With that he could watch movement, and take that same enjoyment from a more separate vantage point.


For another, like Harry Styles, discovery would be the hunger that pulls him. Seen photographed carrying paperback books in one hand, and then noticed at art galleries, and exploring his sexuality openly, someone like Harry would feed off of new experiences, much more than music, what he’s known for. So those new experiences would crystallize inside of his mind, forming that same sense of maternity as previously mentioned.


Just as Harry Styles has his music, and then David Beckham his sport, we see these actions existing then independently, either in the eyes of the observer (the one who records the image in their head), or recorded in albums or DVDs of tours, whether music or soccer matches.

With this, the will, the creative offspring of the maternal harbinger grows on its own as a tangible or intangible creation, and then becomes the same crystallized aspect that fertilizes another, satisfying the drive of will and hunger in a separate entity. Will requires first being open to hunger, satisfying it, but also understanding that it exists as a closed circuit. It can never be fully satisfied, because it exists to satisfy itself, much like a child who only wants to play until their legs can’t carry them. But unlike the child, whose playfulness seems to have no construct at first sight, this playfulness of the harbinger, the man or woman with fertile desire, breathes life into the air to sustain life, and then give it.

(Editor’s Note: Sorry for the strange indentations in format. WordPress is being unkind at the moment.)





article, essay, Uncategorized

A Life Defined

A question that I keep coming back to is what constitutes a life or a person. We describe ourselves at heart as being many things that we in fact aren’t, but being aware of what drives us most as individuals. Then we think of memories, and interests, preferences in lifestyles, and when older maybe, the larger perspective of beliefs. But sociability comes into play. How many friends and what types, how many loves and what types. The end goals of those relationships, and what we do once within them. With much information compounded we begin to view our lives as small in comparison to the world around us, because in that moment we know that what we see and do is only a snapshot in time of what all exists at once. It’s not that any of us are insignificant, but only a fragment of a greater piece of existence.
Biologically we exist as a amalgam of microscopic and macroscopic particles and connected bits of organic matter. Then with the nervous system underneath is where our psychological component comes in. Intimately we know each other as described in the first set of descriptions. We say things like: “She’s athletic, and curious. He’s brave and chivalrous. And she’s romantic and intellectual.” But in the second set we see a view so pragmatic that it would be described as mentally unsound.
So while both sides are true, the question lies unanswered. How is life defined? It would seem that existence defines life. Not the fact of existence, but the existence that we all take part in through perception constitutes a life. A person is living, and the act of experiencing and more passively, breathing, is what we would know as a life made.

But what we believe to be a life has been assaulted with so much sentiment that life itself looks nothing like we have come to think of it as. We have understood life as grand experiences that can only be ill described and unforgotten. When life itself can be dry and without much dignity on its own. Life itself is almost a series of lusterless objects strung together without real polish. The assumption of meaningless occurrences becomes a hyperreality, both stiff and stoic. We wake up, scurry off to work, avoid work at work, come home and talk about what small and almost interesting facet of our day there is, and enjoy the company of whom we share our living, or fantasize about whom we hope to have this experience with, and afterwards we sleep and repeat it all.


Life, the experience itself is one that is almost paralyzingly lifeless on its own. Describing it sounds like a medical record. But the element of chaos is what keeps us on our toes. That is what we hope for. That one moment of confusion that makes us ask questions and write articles like these on what it means to be alive. We don’t live solely for those moments, because the biological bits of our minds couldn’t contain it all, but those are the moments that we think when we share anecdotes about our lives. Life then becomes what sustains our attention, in true honesty. Not just the time that we spend, but what piece of the drudgery, within the days that feel like nothing in which our attention is completely focused on only one thing. Life is joy. Does this mean that sorrow isn’t life? Life contains sorrow and sometimes too much to count, but those experiences also define themselves by life. Life is pain becomes the definition. That is, until the pain subsides and life is no longer pain, life is boring again.

So what ends up as life is scene after scene, boring stand still moments that only end up being an “experience” when bunched together. When life is viewed as the experience itself anything is seen as a fulfilling way to spend time. Existentialists are thought of as being depressed because of seeing the lack of inherent affect at play. Many intellectuals for this reason are very depressed, although their own biological make up would make them predisposed to this mental illness. We seek out more rewarding experiences because they make us high and give us something to remember while we’re waiting for the next. Existential drug addiction or “risk taking” is what it is. When we lack those highs enough we turn inwards. This is an artificial high sometimes worse than the real thing itself. When pleasure is only felt within the head, we recede from the same existence as all others, becoming almost as ill as those same intellectuals, because we seek to cherry pick those outer experiences that constitute life.


In the middle of the confusion we appear neither too extroverted nor introverted, making peace with the dull moments and taking the highs and lows for being only those still moments. The fixed state of normalcy isn’t what we crave, but what we need for repose. That is pulling back. Because at either end is extreme, a fact of polarity. When stuck only on highs and lows with no middle ground, there is bipolarity, another illness. So the middle ground becomes like an erogenous zone, and the true awakening of master autonomy. Understanding that those still moments are not fixed in affect. We see then that we are more powerful than previously understood. Then we know life to be more variable than only drudgery. So with that we write our own script of the perfect day and want to collect those smaller experiences, once lacking in affect, that lead up to it. The script most likely won’t include Sean Connery in a wetsuit, but a sensation more like toffee. Easily obtained, pleasant to the senses, and just enough so that we can continue to seek greater experiences. Or if none much greater were to ever be found again, we would still find solace.


article, essay, Uncategorized

The Crux of Temperament

An often thought of scenario, and every dissatisfied worker’s midday fantasy might be what would have happened if they had made different choices. How would life be different had they asked out that man for coffee, went to their first choice for college, practiced ballet as a child, or even communicated their feelings sooner. In any moment we’re presented with a myriad of options of how to construct our lives. We act with reason, and somehow find disappointment anyway. To silence ourselves we say that hindsight is 20/20, or the almighty trump card “Everything happens for a reason.” This quote sticks as the lasting salvation of minds who would otherwise overthink. It sounds hokey, sure, but there’s something there unrealized by many, which is that whatever choices we are presented we will most likely find again, whether or not we’d like to.


Bed and Board, Francois Truffaut, 1970.

Humans are limited by their temperament, the very backbone of personality that dictates how open we are to change, how extroverted, organized, compromising, or neurotic we are. Temperament is inherent, while personality is constructed outside of the womb. The two merge and there we are, created. Because we’re predisposed to certain inclinations dictated by temperament, we will always find them in every environment. So one with a more open temperament will most likely find himself fascinated by ballet, studying art, and trying to understand the world around him by studying philosophy. If this person has degrees of neuroticism he’ll also find that from time to time he has pangs of self doubt that stop from hitting the mark he would like in what he does, if he gives into it. So over the course of his life, this high rated dimension of temperament leads the way. Meanwhile, someone more conscientious and less open may find that they don’t enjoy theology or art, and find that subjects like math or science are more fulfilling. Someone with conscientiousness as a dominant trait would be as likely to compartmentalize their emotions as they do their household possessions.

With temperament now have habits. With openness as an example, one would seek out environments where he can use that trait effectively. He likes ballet, and maybe he’s too old to be a dancer, but he may work with lighting behind the scenes. Or he may write articles on art inbetween his own paintings, because both allow him to access to a degree of experimentation. That need for experimentation and desire of new experiences makes him likely to ask questions. So in a room full of strangers sitting down, if he is extroverted, he’ll find that he immediately talks to those who seem open, or at the very least, he’ll be a very chatty participant if no one else likes to talk. Overtime in this new environment he may become friends with several of the fellow chatty open types, date one of them, and make more artwork in his spare time. But still wondering about what else lies beyond himself, or what would happen if he had acted differently.


The Swimmer, Frank Perry, 1968.

So if he does choose a seemingly new option he may see that even in a new environment, perhaps one with more logical conscientious types within, that he still finds the same chatty open type friends, just more interested in debating science articles. His life doesn’t change the way he had thought, even with new decisions. He dates one of them and still makes art in his spare time.  20 years from that moment, he would most likely be doing the same things: writing, making art, dating (if not married), and talking to every thing that moves.

Life never changes the way that anyone thinks it will. We choose options in life with our best judgment, or if that judgment is unavailable they’re made less consciously. Either way the stone is tossed we’re satisfied, or left wanting more satisfaction. But the only real choice made in life is yourself, which isn’t much of a choice, but a destiny. You’ll always repeat the same patterns, because your temperament is the final nail, and your temperament isn’t a choice.

essay, Uncategorized

To Birth A Demon

“I just knew what I had to do for survival.”

– Jennifer Check, Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Megan Fox plays a young girl, Jennifer Check, turned succubus in Jennifer’s Body. After a trauma Jennifer check becomes a demon and takes on compulsive boy obsessed role in which she feeds off of their human bodies to sustain her own tethered humanity. She seeks out pray when she knows that she has power over them. She becomes a predator after becoming pray herself. This trope is common in media. Jackson in MTV’s Teen Wolf becomes a similar monster. Coping with the fact of his adoption, and still young and trying to understand love, he becomes the kanima, a lizard like entity that paralyzes its prey and kills it, the targets mostly being attractive men. Again this is seen in the film, Chronicle (2012) starring Dane Dehaan. His outcasted character becomes a super villain after developing super powers suddenly. He trains himself daily to understand the limits of his strength, which haven no limits. His power soon grows to a level uncontrollable and leads to mass destruction. But because of his own child abuse, endured by his father, he turns cold, and seeks to cut down his still youthful friends who seek to care for him. While he has ambitions himself, that are pure, he gives into his pain out of fear of attack. Dane’s character dreams of becoming the apex predator: the alpha. Seen again in Jennifer’s Body, and then again in Teen Wolf. The two other characters representing the classic alpha male or alpha female: lustful, domineering, aggressive, and authoritative. This supernatural trope parallels the effects of abuse in reality. In which premature suffering breeds eventual strength, then later becoming mishandled due to limits of emotional resources, and lack of understanding of the emotions of others.


What we know of the demonic entity is that it has a one track mind for self satisfaction and self centered morality, or what most would see as a very large ego. In occultism, little matters to the demon but its own desire. In feminine characters this often comes to be sex (to subvert gender performances of chastity) or in masculine characters, a thoughtless destructive nature. But what separates the demon from man, is that humans do have empathy while the demon does not. Humans weren’t made for entities of other worlds. The internal drives clash. A human needs to maintain his or her own bodily needs for survival: hunger, thirst, shelter, comfort. A demon does not have these needs. A demon exists all on its own, for what we know of, unattached to anything. Humans however, do need attachment. Humans seek out warmth, and need warmth to stay alive, or else they give into their own destructive tendencies, choosing one form as the target: the self or the other. The demon having no need for warmth, compromises the human host body’s need, thus becoming purely self destructive. The human body, to maintain its own integrity, psychically and physically, needs substance. It needs love, warmth, comfort, and and safety. This need for one’s inward sense to be matched outward is what can be known as stability. Which is what these characters have all lacked, because of their histories of personal tragedy.
Psychically, this vacuum of desolation created by the demon distorts the human host’s senses. This furthers their inner desirous striving. The search for warmth, the search for stability, the search for sex, all moves within them with the same hot bellied fervor as bodily hunger for one who craves what they cannot yet define. Driven to extremes, they become weak, as if dying, when their demonic hunger isn’t satisfied. Their search becomes an existential weakness. Meanwhile their virginal counterparts, with power of their own, handle that same internal power, not with frailty as perceived by the alpha, but with gentleness. The same gentleness that these half human/half creatures of the night have never experienced. What this comes to teach us is that without love, there can be no power to sustain the self, and thus no stability, and thus no life. The human being fails without it. To birth a demon demands a blood sacrifice, but to kill a demon?  The cessation of sacrifice, and an attachment to purity.