The Nutshell

The Nutshell is a creative collective under the government of Holly-Rose and Hannah-Rose with ODD and SPONTANEOUS tamperings by Logie-Bear; made up of writers, musicians, and artists. Here teacups are rife and insanity is always technicoloured.
 
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 Excerpt - Social Observations

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Hannah-Rose
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PostSubject: Excerpt - Social Observations   Sat 1 Mar 2008 - 7:12

Excerpt from my novel:

Social Observations: Internal dialogues of the self-diagnosed mentally unstable.

The almost singular familiar face in all these unknown (though perfectly well categorised and prejudiced) visages, approaches me and asked an automated question as determined by programmed social etiquette (this must make him normal).

“Having fun?”
“I’m being the token emo in the corner. Do you think I can pull of the pose?”

I think that this response is funny and clever; this is why I say it. Everything I say and do is carefully constructed to show wit and/or intelligence. I attempt to cultivate my personality, gathering that to me which I feel will add to my overall image, storing information which I believe will make me appear more intellectual. I am a very interesting person, I must be by now, I’ve been working on it for quite a while, with a careful combination of knowledge of literature and philosophy and art (just enough to be able to give the impression of knowing a lot more then I truly know) and ‘quirky’ clothes and ‘funky’ jewellery, the carefully constructed image is, I think, a very interesting thing.

The only other person to approach is one whom I do not know, and who would probably not have spoken to me had the effects of the alcohol in his system not been taking place. He asked me if he might wear my hat. My black beret was carefully selected as part of The Image, it is not usual; it carries the associations of artists, poets and foreign countries. It is interesting. One of the boys involved with the Columbine shootings wore a beret. I wonder if he thought it carried those associations too, I wonder if perhaps he saw it as a different place. A world away from where he lived? If he could have his head in a world away from where he lived may have been comforting to him, maybe if the rest of him could have been there too he may not have killed anybody. I’m not currently planning to kill anybody. But I do like my beret.

In order to entertain myself whilst I speak with no one, I apply dangerous quantities of wasabi to the sushi I eat. If I am eating and drinking, then I am not unusual to the eyes of others. If I am sitting alone and doing nothing, I appear unusual. Eventually I will have to give in and appear unusual anyway, but for a little while I will drink and eat. I drink diet coke and eat sushi, these things are feminine, and they are also part of The Image. The Advertisers make diet coke chic and feminine. Sushi is also chic and feminine, but this was not The Advertisers who did this. I do not know who did this, but sushi will not make me fat. And Asia is fashionable at the moment.

I like Asia. I also like Europe. Europe is where the Culture is. They have history in Europe; there is no history in New Zealand, none that they teach us anyway. New Zealand keeps its history hidden, like an embarrassing family secret. This is because there is not much history, and what history there is not grand, it is not littered with monarchy and nobility, New Zealand has no monarchy and nobility, New Zealand has no history. New Zealand also has no Culture. New Zealand has many cultures, but New Zealand has no Culture. As a white New Zealander, I especially have no culture, because I do not have a sub-culture. I am not Maori, I am not Samoan, I am not Chinese, I am not Korean. I am a New Zealander, and New Zealand has no Culture. I am not Christian, I am not Buddhist, I am not Muslim, I am not Pagan. I am an atheist, and atheists have no Culture.

It is not good to let my internal dialogues walk too deeply into the depths of my own identity when left alone at parties, as this often ends up with me flinging myself into the pit of self-induced despair and recriminating self-pity, interrupted at intervals by the biting realism that comes with a thankfully cynical mindset, to remind me that all I am doing is playing the currently popular role of the Tortured Artist, and that such dramatics are unnecessary. One does not need to be emotionally tortured to create art, and art is often better if dealt with a certain degree of impartiality and perspective. And I am not currently creating any art anyway.

I entertain myself further by regarding the night sky out the window. I think I prefer night to day, it has a more dramatic aesthetic then the bright and bold beauty of day. Night connotes death, the occult, danger, romance, basically all the things people are most frightened of. Many people fear the dark, I, sometimes fear the dark, I often fear the dark, but I often take that fear like a drug, allowing the effects to seep into my mind and make everything appear in a more beautiful way. Maybe fear makes things more beautiful, and that is why night has such an elegant aesthetic in my mind, indeed, in many people’s minds.

People are endlessly interesting creatures. I could watch them all day. See how they move, and define themselves by those movements. All we are, I think, is in how we define ourselves. Not how others define us, because how others define us will inevitably be how we define ourselves, one way or another. And of course we define ourselves in every movement we make and every movement we make defines us. He is loud and dances and smiles. She is quiet and sitting and chatting idly and making occasional complaints about the volume of the music. This she is flirting. That he is drinking. Those ones are talking loudly and cheerfully. They are all defining themselves constantly and irrevocably, it will all become part of who they are because it is done now and as such cannot be undone, it is all a constant evolution of self-definition.

It is strange really though, that even though I realise this, I am still no more careful with my actions then any of them. I gaze out the window and eat another piece of sushi and give far more thought to social constructs that declare that I should not be speaking to no one at a party then I should. And I allow the discomfort in being in discordance with this social construction far more sway over my emotional state then I should. I distract myself with another piece of sushi and yet more wasabi.

I have been to many gatherings of people in my lifetime, and will most likely go to many more. This is good, because I usually like parties. When I am not feeling so introverted, I like parties, and I only feel introverted when left entirely to my own devices, I sink entirely within myself when alone. But when not alone, and when with people that I like, people that are my friends, I am very extroverted. I am both at different times as are all people, this is why horoscopes that tell you your personality are always right. I prefer to be extroverted, I love to be with my friends, I laugh and I know exactly how to act. Because they all act in the same way as me. We form a solid whole, bouncing off one another’s personalities and forming one manner of speech and reaction. This is how humans function in groups, by agreeing upon a manner of behaviour that is understood by all members of the group. This is the way in which we agree to behave, we laugh and we make clever jokes, these often contain references to pop culture or current events, this way we make each other and ourselves feel intelligent, with the showing and the appreciation of quick wit.

I went to another sort of party last weekend. There are many different sorts of parties; there are children’s parties, teenager’s parties and adult’s parties for a start. And then there are sub-categories within those categories, children have girls parties and boys parties, and some times Barbie parties or dress-up parties. Teenagers can have costume parties too, or drinking parties, or sleepover parties, or DVD parties, or pool parties. And adults have two main different types of parties, friends’ parties and meeting parties. Friends’ parties serve the same purpose as the children’s parties and the teenager’s parties, they are for fun, for being with the people you enjoy spending time with. But meeting-parties are different, at these parties people go there to ‘mingle’ and ‘network’. They are for making small-talk and trying to appear like an interesting and intelligent person to those people whom it would be beneficial to you to know, or who know people it could be beneficial to you to know. Last Saturday I was at one of these parties, my father goes to these parties every so often, because he it would beneficial to him to know people who are in the same line of work as him, and I went with him. I like these sorts of parties, because everyone is trying to be interesting and intelligent, and if people try to do this for long enough, they often truly become these things. And maybe if I talk to enough people who have achieved this, I can as well.

The house that the party was held at was both ‘quirky’ and ‘interesting’. It seemed to be barely held together and for the most part joined with uneven rock paths that my high heels slipped dangerously on, almost sending me hurtling down the hill to the secret beach below. Inside it had a spiral staircase and a bath that seemed like a grave dug into the floor with steps leading down into it. And there was a lot of art. I thought it was enchanting. So much life, so much character! So interesting! So unusual! I want to live somewhere like that when I’m an individual. Because if I’m going to be quirky and interesting, then I need to live somewhere quirky and interesting. This is why I like to go to these parties, though I very rarely get to, they are always full of the individuals that have escaped their families. And I never do get to see individuals.

Individual adj. characteristic of or meant for a single person or thing; separate or distinct; distinctive, unusual. –n. single person or thing.

But somehow the meaning has become blurred within the connotations and euphemisms, does being a really mean having a complete distinctiveness from others. But many people are distinctive from most, but yet all these people seem to be like each other, and they are frequently still classed as ‘individuals’ simply on the merit of being distinct from the ‘norm’. For instance Goths, they are often classed as ‘individuals’ – by themselves and by those who view them as something other from ‘everybody else’. And yet, they carry a full set it seems of instructions on how to live, how to dress, how to speak.

Always wear black.
Always wear dark make-up.
Always listen to angst-filled and anger-driven music.
Never be open to others, always try to appear as forbidding as possible.
Always reject the ‘mainstream’.

Mainstream n. prevailing cultural trend.

But, by that definition, isn’t Gothic culture itself a manifestation of what it sets itself against? It is inarguably a cultural trend, and most certainly seems to prevail quite strongly in Aotea Square at the weekends.

Herein, I think, doth lie the true moronic nature of our oxymoronic society

And yet here am I, cloaked all in darkness, in an effort to prove myself apart … curious irony…

Do Goths wear berets? Sometimes, maybe. Drunkards, it seems, like the idea of berets but are not prepared to commit themselves to a long-term relationship. My hat has been returned to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Excerpt - Social Observations   Sat 8 Mar 2008 - 8:12

I love this character lol Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Excerpt - Social Observations   Sat 24 May 2008 - 10:28

^ qfe!!

How much of the rest of the novel have you written?
Will the rest be just as observing and observant?
When it's published, I wants a signed copy 8D
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PostSubject: Re: Excerpt - Social Observations   Sat 24 May 2008 - 10:36

I would buy this book. It's brilliant!

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PostSubject: Re: Excerpt - Social Observations   Tue 17 Jun 2008 - 6:03

Loves it.

I love you
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