Ari Lipsitz, @arisayswhat, National Editor for NYU Local
email my name at gmail
Mostly just gchats people at work. Music writing is here.
Rarely reblogs, bad at Tumblr. Expect an essay or two.
I think a lot of pessimism can be explained by reversing causalities. People get sad, and then find reasons to be sad. Just happens sometimes. Sadness just is.
About a year ago, I stopped being able to trick myself that sadness was rational. “People suck, that is why I am sad.” “The world is finite, that is why I am sad.” “She doesn’t like me, that is why I am sad.” Nah, man. You sad because you sad. If any of that were true, how you explain all the times when you were happy? Did people suddenly start sucking? Did she ever like you? Nah, man. Sadness just is.
It becomes tedious, instead of crippling, that way. Sky is grey, I want to stay in bed, no work getting done. Not my fault. Nothing I can really help. Just let it blow over. Not worth stressing about. It’s the stress that gets you, you know. The sadness is an empty thing. Black holes only hurt around the edges.
Man, I’m so thankful it does blow over for me. Some people it doesn’t. That’s rough. Keep a heartstring out for them, ya? I can deal but some people can’t, and that’s why you gotta be nice to people, even if they seem prickly or aloof. They might just be sad for no reason.
Drugs are boring, and this one is so boring I forget to take it sometimes. Whoops. That’s what I get for missing a few days. That’s what I get for flaking. So maybe I can help it. Sadness just is, but maybe it’s not a hopeless is. Sadness ain’t death, it’s just a little black hole, big enough to plug. Plug it with whatever you got.
ALSO: Baking Is Really Fun, And I Make A Great Chocolate Cake
One of my special abilities. Can only be unlocked with a bundt pan.
I don’t know how to make Ari Online™ interesting. I’m not focused enough to get out of bed on time, let alone craft a coherent identity. The best online things craft very specific identities for their roles, so you can pinpoint Who They Are—this person writes about music, this person writes about OCD, this person is obsessed with dresses. They become a resource for online audiences, and I bet it’s not intentional—the most successful people are obsessed with things and follow their interests to the ends of the internet.
So this isn’t me being like “yeah, sorry, TOO REAL for online!” Not real enough, actually—I don’t do the things that should make me feel like a real person on the internet. Instead I’m a halfling everywhere—write about politics but never passionately, write about music but only too long, tweet but in spurts and never focused enough to matter. To the extent that social interaction on the internet has been gamified, I’m losing bigtime. But even as a person, I feel strangely half-formed online. Do I like books? Am I funny? Do I like hip-hop? Do I hate myself? Do I write essays? I don’t even know how to describe the things I care about, let alone why someone should care about me, let alone if I even care about myself.
Might spend time later painstakingly crafting a new identity from the ground up. I’d have to use a pseudonym. It doesn’t really matter for the audience, but it would matter to me. This one is weird and unformed.
Here is a list of things I like and do. It’s necessarily incomplete and stupid and too long.
- I spend afternoons reading whole books at the cafe a block away. I am a very fast reader. If I am going to start anywhere, I will start here. It is both the most recent thing about me and also my first defining trait. I just finished a book (Swamplandia) and was a faster reader before I was anything else ever. After doing rough math just now, I read at 880 words per minute. I am embarrassed about how fast I read, because teachers used to call me smart, and I forgot to learn how to work hard. It’s a party trick.
- I am a de facto vegetarian because I keep kosher. Don’t ask me why. It might be a long story without an ending. It’s easier to say I’m a vegetarian.
- When I was 9 I heard “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi and asked my mom which was the hardest band ever. She told me Aerosmith. I still love Aerosmith.
- I go to a school that teaches students to define themselves by their major. I am friends with actors, dancers, singers, producers, record executives, and writers. I don’t know many students.
- I like politics a lot. I used to be very conservative, which is something I don’t tell people ever, because I am afraid they will judge me. I am not conservative now, but I’m also not a liberal. I don’t like believing in things because I don’t like getting angry at people. Asking questions is more fun, anyway. Life is too complicated to get mad at people for believing in things. I don’t trust people who get mad a lot. I don’t like people who say they would never date someone who voted for whoever. I would date anybody who voted for anybody, as long as they were nice.
- I’ve taken to being open with my flaws, mistakes and insecurities, because I like being honest—it’s always weird to me when someone acts confident who is clearly scared. But lately I’ve been wondering if that’s just a defense mechanism to actual growth—”If I say I’m insecure, I won’t have to become a better person.” What if people just said I Am Awesome once in awhile?
- I flirt with depression and have manageable ADHD, and sometimes do drugs to help that or because I’m bored. Those things aren’t all that interesting, and I don’t have any patience for people who romanticize drugs or mental illness. I’m not that sad or bored.
- I have two brothers and two parents. I hope they don’t read this, even though it’s mostly true.
- Would rather hear stories about good people getting their way, instead of stories about good people getting torn apart. Maybe capitalism makes me believe in individualism, but since I do, I don’t care.
Getting hungry now. This wasn’t as therapeutic as I hoped it would be. There are people who keep scary hurtful things inside and channel them into their arms, so the arms get electrified and can pick up things in the real world. Their body tries to run away from the scary hurtful things—but since it’s all stuck inside, all they can do is run faster and lift heavy things. Maybe an engine runs away from the oil that powers it.
There are people who contain the scary hurtful things until they bleed from new sores, staining the world around them and marking territory like Cain or a feral cat.
There are people who think the scary hurtful things are the only real parts of the world, since they sting and respond to your touch. They think that’s love.
There are people who fall apart when the scary hurtful things surface, and spend life actively greying their skin so nothing hurts at all.
- I don’t think you are stuck as yourself.
How Do I Tumblr
Oh Whoops That Was A Private Message
godfuckthis asked: man dude why are you responding to these goofballs stop it they are not worth it unless you are leading up to a really funny essay on how muse's fanbase sucks (are you planning on doing that???)
Part of Muse is the crazy fervor of the fans: they’re demographically wonky (is there anything else both Twilight fans and guitar dorks can agree on?) and mostly devoid of a sense of proportion. Muse is the Best Band Ever for a variety of reasons—but come on, those reasons are after-the-fact justifications. Muse isn’t the Best Band Ever because they write good songs. They write good songs because they are the Best Band Ever.
Will leave it to funnier writers to deconstruct Muse’s fanbase (but if you’re curious, search “Matt Bellamy” in the tag bar, and hope it’s SFW), and honestly I think the fans coming out of the woodwork are really indicating how much people care about British dudes playing their sixth album of jetpack-rock.
Coming up: Muse
…and continuing to investigate several shades of uncool, we’ll take a look at the pop prog-rock extravaganza of Muse next week.
Ari Lipsitz is the week’s guest writer. Ari is the National Editor for NYU Local and has previously contributed to CMJ and the Village Voice.
See you tomorrow!
Hey I am doing this! (Aka sorry to anyone who has talked to me about music in the last month)