study, dream, write. + [listen] » i can’t give it up to someone else’s touch. // for when you need beautiful background noise.
01. genesis - grimes / 02. hanging on - ellie goulding / 03. crave you (feat. giselle) - flight facilities / 04. everything is embarrasing - sky ferreira / 05. feels like we only go backwards - tame impala / 06. kettering - the antlers / 07. paradise - wild nothing / 08. maiden - mø / 09. berlin lovers - still corners / 10. bluish - animal collective / 11. heartbeats - jose gonzales / 12. another girl - jacques greene / 13. take care - beach house / 14. laura - bat for lashes / 15. take care - florence + the machine / 16. infinity - the xx
Some people have asked to read the commencement address I delivered this morning to the 2013 graduates of Butler University. So here it is.
My own commencement speaker, who shall remain nameless, began with a lame joke about how these speeches only come in two…
Cause we all know when we’re coming undone
This. A thousand times, this.
I miss Germany more than I ever thought possible, wanly remembering my search for what home meant to me while I was living there, only to realize upon return to the States that it did not mean here, that I was looking in the wrong place. But, as the article suggests, it isn’t necessarily the America that helped make me, or the America that could be that disappoints, but rather that stasis that our country finds itself in that is so lacking. It is a country that is polarized on so many levels that it is unable to find steady ground on even the most accepted of basic premises about civilized society. Instead, it contains a magnetized population that would typically prefer to stare black holes of our smart-phones rather than talk to another because we’re sure that will simply be yet another gateway into rage.
If there is one thing I could place my finger on that I miss about living overseas it would be the greater sense of Reality. In America that sad truth is that we all know that we live in a media-soaked culture, an Anti-Reality, and one so perverted in its battle to make its narrative that victor that it overshadows any tepid pointing toward Fact or Truth, so much so that as Jean Baudrillard pointed out in the 1980s, both the Truth and the Fact cease to matter. The only point is the simulacra of whomever is telling the story, the creation of this meta-reality that we know is false, we decry as false, and yet (and this is the point) we operate within as if it is true.
I think of advice for budding novelists and their maxim being “show, don’t tell”, and I cannot help but think that every day the American people show exactly what they value, and after six months of being home, I am so, so tired of the bullshit that they tell me. This is a generalization, this is false when applied wholly, but we’re clearly beyond seeing any sort of story in this world where we are writing with an open mind and a sense of a finite limit to how right we can be, because frankly, we’ve given up the idea of even holding the pen, of ever responding to anything that wasn’t already digested half a dozen times.
In Germany I read philosophy, grew, and did something as blissfully simple as watch the birds outside my house in the hills of the Naturwäld. In America I ski to escape and talk politics when I can’t avoid it. The ultimate irony is that, when the first situation existed as status quo, I was always trying to act as if that moment were the other.
Coming home, I can see how wrong I was.