less than zero.

it’s funny, see. i’m reading this book called ‘less than zero’ by a guy named bret easton ellis.

i swear to you, every sentence involves either someone smoking a cigarrette, doing cocaine, or meth, and saying the work ‘fcuk’. every single one. it’s about this kid named clay whose family is extremely well off, they live in westwood, bel air, or somewhere else where people are just stupid, stupid rich, and he does whatever he wants.

here’s an excerpt:

it keeeps raining. and that night, after i get three of the weird silent phone calls, i break a glass by throwing it against the wall. no one comes in to see what the sound was. then i lie on the bed, awake, take twenty milligrams of valium to come off the coke, but it doesn’t get me to sleep. i turn mtv off and the radio on, but KNAC won’t come in so i turn the radio off and stare out across the valley and look at the canvas of neon and flourescent lights lying beneath the purple night sky and i stand there, nude, by the window, watch the clouds pass and then i lie on my bed and try to remember how many days i’ve been home and then i get up and pace the room and light another cigarette and then the phone will ring. this is how the nights are when it’s raining.

this is the most hipster book that was ever written.

anyway, i find this book incredibly intriguing because this is real hipster. read it again: not because it’s trying to be hipster. this is hipster because it just is hipster. let me explain: my generation has a very hard time just genuinely being something. i mean, think about it, we are all our own, individual promotional companies. we have blogs. we have twitter. we have flickr. we have facebook. some of us even still have a myspace for some god-awful reason. we have to project ourselves to be something that we may, or may not, truly be. and most of us (myself included) project ourselves to be something that we really aren’t. i mean, even the people that admit they don’t have it all together admit it because they know that they want to project themselves as a person who doesn’t have it all together…

we pucker our lips, and take photos in the mirror just to look skinnier for a profile photo. we write about all the music we think we should listen to (who really likes bananarama, really?), the books we think we should read, the movies we think we should watch, the satisfaction we find so much satisfaction in not finding*.

it’s a rather sad way to live, if you think about it – never truly being who you say you are.

i’m not saying that if you do some of those things, you’re not being true to yourself – who knows, maybe you really do like bananarama. however, i am trying to pose the question: what if you’re only being ‘yourself’ because that’s who you think you should be? i mean, what if urban outfitters isn’t what defines you, and what if you really only like the music you’re listening to because someone told you that you should? what if you don’t really like what you’re trying to be at all?

and yet, we’ve forced ourselves into this situation. every new ‘social networking’ craze that comes along – we get an account, and start ‘connecting’. i’m guilty. i just got a facebook, and i’m struggling with what it looks like to present myself. i struggle with going through a day, and trying to not figure out how i would present each moment publicly. i struggle with what it looks like to just live life, and not feel this pull to present myself as some ‘rockstar’, or as some great designer – who’s done nothing worth shaking a stick at really. i struggle with being honest to myself, and therefore with others.


i’m just wondering what we’re all really looking for.
and if we’ll ever find it in the places we’ve been told that we should…

*let’s face it, our generation finds much of it’s satisfaction in never being satisfied. gloom is the new black.

2 Responses to “less than zero.”
  1. You know, you’re right. Personally, I’m one of those people who tried really, REALLY hard just to make people think I was something acceptable to them. I never truly had it in me to show the world what I could be.

    It wasn’t until recently that I discovered why I could be so untrue to myself. I don’t want to be what I act. I want to be who I am on the inside, free from outside judgment and criticism.

    When I grow up, I want to be myself. I just don’t have the training yet.

  2. “gloom is the new black”
    true true, too true

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