Thursday, 10 March 2016

London, Paris, New York

There are some people who realise possibly a little late in life that their pace is not in keeping with everyone else's.
Aged six, it's usually your identity, then commonly your forming views and interests. All of which are malleable to a certain degree until suddenly, without your knowing, some preferences set in for the long haul. You get more entrenched in who you think you are, what you will and won't be. Compromises become a matter of integrity and brings about fierce one-sided debates. With yourself. Regardless of if these are being asked of you by somebody else. The causal agent – their voice or their person – don't tend to feature in these arguments, even though assumptions are made about their thoughts or how they might give their responses. None of which correspond if that conversation is actualised. And don't be fooled into thinking this is a singular person's game, as long-term partners: two people, wedded or co-habiting, who've lived with each other for years and years, face this regularly occurring problem too.
Nor is it only for the principled, moralising individual, or for those considered anxiety-ridden or highly-strung. It is not a female occupation, although some would dispute that and say that this state favours the female brain. Notice the word 'some' is used instead of 'male' although the latter meaning should be implied, but then this is not a militant cry of feminism. But it should be pointed out that it was never then at its most militant against men, but for equality; in short, for a woman to be her own rightful property, to have a say and to earn her own money. To do with as she sees fit or wishes.
The feminist slant now is a little more divisive, sometimes unfairly singling out the male when it should be focused more on corporations - on the stereotypes they hold - and the images we unconsciously support or feed to one another. Our views are still gender biased and unbalanced. However, it should not be forgotten that men were champions too of grass-roots movements, and that some women did not approve. That same case can be made today.
But back to the debate about the way we relate to each other and each other's lives. Analytical politics, misunderstandings, misrepresentations and presumptions do not discriminate. They are not bound by gender, but are governed by mood and the plasticity of your brain. Your unique cranium.
As a race, we can be a very self-interested, self-directed tribe, and even more so in our interpretation of modern day. In this evolved age we like to believe otherwise, but humans are quick to judge and outwardly project. We just don't like different: those without the herd mentality. They spike our curiosity and/or inflict a contagious form of Sour Grapes: if it's good enough for me then it's good enough for them. We really have no idea what harm we cause when we pick and probe; when we try to convince others to conform or pour scorn on those that have turned away, walked away, or ran for the hills.
Maybe for a time you were one of those who tried to mould yourself to that accepted rhythm. London, Paris, New York. Your mind sprinted, your body hurried at the pace set by a series of large clock faces. You upset your own internal clock and your face became a mask like that of a plaster cast; a mask that eventually cracked as the act became less convincing.
Or perhaps the act convinced you and the mask took hold, is never removed, so that you scoff and don't recognise what you were once also like. Something jars about those we don't see our own likeness in or if our preconceptions of a person is shattered. They are something other than we thought which somehow alters how we talk to, how we behave with, and the view we have of them: it could enhance, it could detract. But the fact is: opting-out, choosing slow rather than fast, is no easy task for the person that does will have their conscience examined.

As featured in Twelve Strikes: A Play of Selected Writings. For further details, visit I Live to Read page.

Picture Credit: Clock Explosion, Salvador Dali