Sunday, September 25, 2005

Self-Critique


This entry will not have a resolution.

I will not tie up loose ends, or weave some fabric of meaning from the frayed bits.

I will fight against my tendency to cram each and every experience into the thesis-antithesis-synthesis framework. I will not turn this blog into a Chicken Soup for the Soul-esque space where every story ends on a hopeful and moralistic upturn.

Because we don’t always get the weekly gym pass. And sometimes we go through life not realizing why it is that our bras don’t quite fit.

But fighting this tendency won’t be easy.

I’m a resolution addict and I hate ambiguity.

In my mock cross-examinations, I always asked that one final question too many. That extra question that was supposed to nail the witness down, ended up alerting her to my theory and allowed her to wiggle away.

I’m compelled to finish the sentences that people leave hanging.

I ask people to lay all their cards on the table before they even realize they have a deck in their lap.

On the other hand, maybe I’m unhealthily fighting against an innately human tendency. Doesn’t this desire for meaning, resolution, and clarity define our existence and explain why so many turn to religion and spirituality?

Shit! Did you see what I just did? Just there. Just above. I wrote that turning-point phrase. Under normal circumstances this is the paradigmatic shift that happens somewhere in the middle of my essay that allows all pieces to fall into place and tumble down the logical gradient into some point of clarity.

I decide to try on a double A bra. I break through the robotic exterior of the gym introductress.

The paradigm shift occurs, so said Thomas Kuhn (albeit in the context of science), when the bits and pieces of observed information no longer fit into one’s current model. In order to achieve cohesion and resolution, there is a paradigm change - a new model is created that can reconcile the dissonant observations.

Before all this paradigm shift stuff, there was plain old-fashioned rationalization. Things don’t make sense? No closure? No problem, just rationalize. You’ll ultimately come up with some conclusion that allows you to go on without that unsettling uncertainty to ruin your day.

No. I will remain strong in my fight against closure.

Again, normally at this point I would write something about my new found realization about the importance of embracing ambiguity. I might relate an anecdote about my photography instructor’s perceptive comment about my obsession with contrast. Or maybe I would take the easy-but-true route of criticizing North American politics. You’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists.

But that again, would edge me closer to resolution. I won’t do it.

The only problem with writing this way, is that I’m not sure when I’m done.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This week's entry was not funny...and that is normally what I enjoy about your blog. Go back to funny topics...serious stuff ain't as interesting. Next week I recommend....how to find the perfect dildo...ok maybe not.

M

6:52 PM  
Blogger Rye said...

Three at bats, and the shots deep in the center field bleachers. Naughty Nadine needs no naysayers needling non-chalantly. Just keep straight shooting from those fingertips and the people will come and find you.

I tell people to be interesting or exist at their own peril. You Miss, are an interesting and inspired woman.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

In "Sons and Lovers" by D.H. Lawrence, the protagonist is a perfectly normal, pathetic chap living a frustrated, normal life. What finally liberates him from the weight of his directionless existence isn't the discovery of a sense of meaning, but instead the discovery that meaning does not exist. Rather than throwing him into despair, it frees him from the emotional weight of seeking and expressing meaning. Although technically this discovery (made while looking at a chaotic tapestry) is exactly the kind of paradigm shift that you are seeking to avoid, on another level it renders all paradigm shifts irrelevant since no paradigm has any more value or meaning than another. Once you've embraced the meaninglessness of life and (by extension) writing, the logical conclusion and neat, tidy ending become irrelevant. All that matters is that there is writing on the page that expresses something. All that matters is that life be lived. All life and every piece of writing are equally meaningless and meaningful.

Although as a practical matter I personally find it neither possible nor desirable to embrace this outlook 100%, it is an important perspective to use in preventing oneself from easily subscribing to an arbitrary value system, particularly in our society which aggressively markets value systems.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Nadine said...

Hi there. Just got home to find a not so nice comment posted here about another blogger. I removed it. Not nice. Be nice.

Funny when one writes a word enough times how it looks strange. Take "nice" for example. What a strange looking word. Sorry, semi-drunken ramblings. Night.

1:32 AM  

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