Friday, July 30, 2010

Change is the only thing that's constant

I'm starting to learn that many good writers write daily, sometimes for hours. I've noticed that I make usually about a half dozen entries on this blog a month. Maybe I should be writing more. After all the more I write the better I will become at it. Great writers also read a lot also. I read a lot on the internet. I read a lot of news, but a great deal of my knowledge lately has come from watching videos on YouTube that explain concepts of science and philosophy and economics. This is very typical of the young today who can't even deal with the cliff notes anymore and have resorted to watching and listening to videos instead of actually reading about any of it. It is a pattern that a friend advised me to not get comfortable with.

Spelling is not an issue anymore thanks to the spell check mechanism. But spell check cannot make you a exceptional writer. I hate the laziness that comes and goes in me. I don't even have to get off my couch to do what I am doing now, and still I find an excuse to be lazy and not do it. Remember when you had to actually go out to obtain knowledge about a subject, to the library in the freezing cold? Those days are long gone and with it, that energy one had to have.

I did keep a written journal for years at a time and wrote several notebooks worth of events, documenting various stages of my life from high school to as recently as a few months ago. I still have one that I stopped writing in and for some reason I guess I stopped, maybe because of this blog. But in my notebooks I would write much more personal things regarding my personal life, and on this blog I've chosen for it to not be about my silly mundane day-to-day problems. My old journals I burned and destroyed years ago so no one could read them. I guess I wish I could have saved them until now, they'd be fascinating to read.

I really wish I was writing about my experiences hanging out with metal heads in high school in the 90s. It was a great era and subculture to document since a lot has changed in New York in the past ten years, and also because the heavy metal culture that existed back then has significantly waned. Change is the only thing that's constant. And that's never more true than in the secular metropolis.

High school was tough. I had a really hard time fitting in. Even among my own clique I was kind of the outcast. It took me a really long time to find myself, and to find my place. I'm still kind of looking but I'm a lot more focused now. I really wish back then I had the knowledge I have now, or at least (since saying that has become so cliche) I wish that I was as passionate about the same subjects back then as I am now (namely atheism and philosophy). I was always into atheism pretty much, but never had the passion to really dig deep into the philosophy behind it and religion. Also, I wish I had payed attention to more of the cultural changes over the years as they evolved slowly instead being shocked by seemingly abrupt changes that were really just the result of years my neglect towards them.

I remember hanging out downtown in Manhattan back in the late 90s when for example, Washington Square Park was still a big hangout spot for skaters getting high, when drug dealers were ubiquitous, police surveillance was low, and it wasn't full of yuppie families. The East Village used to be a great place for people watching: Punks with crazy hair, Goths with crazy piercings and facial tattoos. Now it all looks so yuppie and uniform. Sure there are the hipsters, but they get boring to look at shortly and they are in no way as eccentric as the characters of yesteryear. As a teenager, traveling downtown was like entering a magical place, far different from my boring working class Queens neighborhood. It seemed like you could get away with anything there (except being square). Things that weren't acceptable in any other neighborhood all found a sanctuary downtown.

And all changed. September 11th, gentrification, crime going down, rising rents, artists and creative types moving out, yuppies moving in, family oriented programs, Bloomberg, Sex and the City wannabees, metrosexualism, and corporate chain stores on nearly every corner. Ahhhh!!!! Well it was all the inevitable. There were so many movies and TV shows that glorified the Cosmopolitan New York lifestyle. I partly blame New York's cultural downfall on this. Once something gets hot and demand goes up you can expect exactly what happened. Gone are the days where New York was a place where a struggling artist can go to, and cram down in a cheap, albeit tiny apartment in a seedy part of the Lower East Side. Now some Wall Street banker will be happy to pay $2,500 a month for that said hole in the wall. I do wish I was older to have had experienced the old NY more, but then I'd have to give up all that I've so become accustomed to (namely the internet and not getting mugged).

All I can do is reminisce over it, and watch old movies and documentaries about that bygone era.

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