Escaping My Own Prisons

My fixations seem to trap me. I mentioned this in Spectator Sports, but it’s a repetitive occurrence, so it shouldn’t be surprising that my (introspective) commentary is the same. Take my my outlook on Marilyn Manson as an example. I love the guys art, agree with a lot of his opinions, and believe he has given a lot of sharp, decisive, and irrefutable insight into our celebrity centered culture.

He’s a gateway into thousands of other things to explore, the latest (The Pale Emperor) leading me into a prolonged dance with the blues, with southern music, with devil music, and the stories associated with all of that. That’s what initially inspired the After the End story, which is still ongoing. It’s grown to fours pieces of flash fiction so far, which I could easily present altogether as a sort of Chapter 1 or a prologue. The torture session, one readers probably haven’t seen the likes of since Mathew Stover wrote Traitor, is probably next in the story line.

Or at least that particular aspect of the story, centered around Drew Stevens. There’ll be others too though, including Mephistopheles. But that’s enough spoiling for now…

Donald Trump is another good example, in part because it’s a fairly recent one. Fresh, newer. (Although tbh it’ll probably prove to be as durable as my fascination with and ongoing interest in Manson’s work and career.) Do you have any idea the number of ideas I’ve taken from his campaign methods, and from his overall business approach, in the way I’ve gone about my own trial and error learning? It’s all workable, practical, and I fucking love it. Case in point: boldness.

You can minse words a little in an effort to make it easier for people to swallow, but then you run the risk of censoring yourself, and further, falling flat with the people you’re sharing yourself with.

Better to just say what the fuck you think instead of trying to run it through a bunch of needless, counter-productive mental filters. Communication is only hard if you give up on it, if it’s not an ongoing process. If you recognize that it is, it shouldn’t be to hard to figure the value of starting somewhere, even if the start is clumsy. Fail to get your point across? Try again, reword it, add in more analogies or more evidence to support and amplify what you’re saying.

That ties into another thing Trump likes to tell people: Never Give Up.

It’s not that he shaped what I do in any significant way, it’s that what I do has a lot in common with what he does, albeit on a much smaller scale. All I’ve done as a result of his influence is tweak a few things, take a few chances. I’ve experimented and made a point of putting certain ideas and approaches to the test. Even so though, I’ve felt trapped by my fixation. On him, on Manson, on Dexter… that’s what I do. I find things that I really, deeply like, and I delve in deep.

As deep as I possibly fucking can. But then, whatever the fixation might be on a given day, it starts to blot out other things. Like my fictional writing. Blogging about Trump or Manson or anyone else, isn’t exactly why I’m sitting at this keyboard typing my black little heart out. It’s about me goddammit, and I resent my stronger fixations when they start to feel like they’re eclipsing other ones. They become almost… almost distractions, I guess. They start to get in the way.

When that happens, it’s time to break out. Out of their grasp, and into something else. It’s easier than you think, too, if you remember how inevitable it is that you’re not really abandoning them. In my own experience anyways, I just need a little distance, a little variety, and when I’ve gone for a while without talking about (or wanting to talk about) something I tend to fixate on, it usually ends up resurfacing. And that’s fine, because in that context it’s not a prison.

If it’s not eclipsing everything else or getting in the way, it’s essentially been put in its place.


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