Are Dysfunctional Relationships The New Normal?

It’s difficult to label this movie as something that provokes an easy laugh. Rather it is the kind of movie that forces you to have a peculiar or uncharacteristic reaction that’s completely unnecessary, to begin with. And this aspect is the whole and sole of why Margot At The Wedding caught me off guard.

Beside the point, I specifically chose to write about the illuminating reality of conversations that bind the idiosyncrasies of two people in a kind of relationship that defines nothing but eccentric consequences. The characters walk in zig-zag lines to not only observe but shackle the bond of beauty itself into something self-serving and conceited. In short, you’ll find yourself bound to misery in its fullest dimensions. That is precisely what a dysfunctional relationship ought to explore as a deeply exhaustive yet thoughtful concept. Perhaps becoming unaffected to a point where showing little to no concern in matters besides yourself is the greatest normalcy of life, as we know it.

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The clever insanity and indifference portrayed is not shocking, but seems too real to be true. The kind of dispassion each character provokes in another through brutal honesty and constant justification humiliates the conventional families that are often plotted on-screen.

This same logic applies to Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).

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I loved the unorthodox display of unanswered affection and unresolvable temperaments of each character. At this point, I feel a part of me exists as all the characters in the movie, including Malcolm, Ingrid, Jim, and Pauline. Margot and Claude taking the leading positions in my frame of mind.

In whichever way the concept of “family” is portrayed in this movie, it certainly sticks, in my way of thinking, as the epitome of perceiving the out-of-the-ordinary as completely familiar and relatable. There’s more than just seeing, but feeling the characters unravel in front of your eyes in-between the socially awkward, yet seductive, language of storytelling. And that’s one of the expert functions of good films like Noah Baumbach’s Margot At The Wedding and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Both exquisite tools of knowing how often people wish to be confronted by their harsh and unwavering realities, within their own limits, regardless of how much or how little they care for it.

Hope in A World Without Sensibility

Hope in a world without sensibility is much like a world lacking the ability to change attitudes toward people, things, and experiences.

Considering how human relationships evolve or limit or furnish what is known and what is not, hope is a dangerous word to believe in without giving it any conscious thought. So what if the balance of hope and sensibility becomes one of the most enduring ideas of living? And in moments of meditation, its breakthrough leads one within one’s own mind and not without. 

How did we end up being so conflicted with hope and so intrepid with everything that defeats the purpose of it? It’s because we thought we’re born with sensibility and that it doesn’t require constant rehearsing. Journeying through childhood into adulthood is an emotional and physiological roller-coaster for everyone. One that offers no validation and forethought. The very fact that it leads us to inevitable phases of critical self-evaluation, which causes what most people refer to as a “frame of mind,” strikes me as a philosophy that is often side-stepped in the initial stages of the loss of hope without sensibility.

I do not mistake hope for anything else. Hope- without the sense of being present in the moment, with looking forward to pleasures so much you completely fail to enjoy the experience of it, and without the understanding of thought and the implementation of it – is, to me, the definition of its destruction. This is the main problem. With people and ideas and relationships with people, experiences, and things. Hoping has become as essential as breathing. What it is, has almost been forgotten for who we are and what we want to be. And here is its meaning- it’s nothing. It’s a void without the presence of fear. It’s not an escape. But it’s a routine. A routine to hope, regardless of what is available to you and what you have to (or want to) work for.

But since when did routine become unfavorable? Have we become so naive to think that routine isn’t a part of our “getting out of the comfort zone” fetish? That we constantly strive and desire and insist to reach. The fact that we do things to challenge routine is, in itself, a routine we’re so afraid of accepting. So hope is just like a routine that we have tried to and will continue to try to challenge, along with all our existing preconceived routines.

While this exists without sensibility. What is hope with it? While I do not know the definition of what it really is, I do know what the definition is deprived of. And that is obligation. Hope with sensibility is when I’m on my own. Essentially, I decide how I feel when I’m supposed to feel about something. That can be anything. Being hopeful about a new passion project, a new book, a new hobby, a vacation, or about writing itself. Hope comes in many forms, so many that it exists as an infinite loop which repeats itself in moments of solitude and the understanding of my existence and the brevity of it.

The difference between sensibility and the absence of it feeds my ability to have a vision. To remain perceptive of not just my own, but other people’s emotions, intelligence, wit, judgment, and presence. After all, aren’t I the only existing finality of my own sensations, insight, and discernment that I take so seriously- and that which keeps purposely growing every day through thought and action?

Why Are We So Insecure About Ourselves?

Do you find yourself stuck between feelings of resistance, doubt, confusion, and at the same time self-morale? That’s your mind telling you to string your loose ends of insecurity together and to get back on the horse because life proceeds only in one point of compass, and it doesn’t stop for you. We are so frustrated with the achievement part, the productive part or even the fulfillment part of life that we’re unknowingly casting a shadow over how things really are instead of what we see people get out of them. Our brains have learned to measure and not matter in experiences that are inevitably labeled and not perceived.

What isn’t making you insecure makes you stronger. And what makes you insecure, realizing that it does, also makes you stronger. The problem with insecurity is that it’s either all or nothing at all- so the only way humans can embrace insecurities, vulnerabilities, and whatever is by looking at the gray areas that account for what you do rather than what you get out of what you’ve done.

The thing about insecurities is that they’re not, in their truly real state, coming closer to an absolute “secure” point if humans act on it. They just keeping on swelling persistently until there comes a moment that destroys everything that you love or that loves you back. Artistic realizations compel you to do more and achieve more, but when in reflection of how artistic you are- that’s where we begin to answer our most challenging questions. Questions such as:

  • Who are you when no one’s watching?
  • Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?
  • Do you think you’re enough for yourself to live with?

While these questions are better answered by experiences than by words, it is through words that we train ourselves, without any external cultivation about life that really matters. The solution to societal and media schooling of how it wants you to look like, feel like, and portray like, we don’t need to abolish the system. Instead, let’s try thinking from the beginning. Let’s start worshipping not what has been taught, but what’s out there to grasp. It’s simple to have been told by others the ways of living as much as it’s easy to listen and not act on what you are possibly going to believe in. But that doesn’t mean you can’t say no.

Robert Downey Jr. says “Listen, Smile, Agree. And then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.”

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It’s not difficult to solve your problems, what’s difficult is deciding which of YOUR problems are actually YOURS. There’s beauty in solving problems while there’s absolute disgust when you don’t accept and truly understand the only thing you’re born with into this world, your mind, and your soul.

Stop looking at magazines, movies, and other sources of visual information as means to obsess over and feel insufficient about. Not everything is about you unless you’re actually there. Get over yourself, and go do something that matters genuinely instead of building up imaginary standards for yourself from robotic life, boredom, or simply of the loss of you.

If you’re feeling insecure because of rejection:

Understand that life, inevitably, leads us to either negative or positive outcomes, just like any other chain reaction. Any feedback aggravates retaliation, but the thing to remember always is that that’s not it. There is more. If there isn’t already, then make it for yourself; limitation is just a word and it’s all in your mind but if it isn’t your door, stop knocking.

If you’re feeling insecure because of what others want you to become:
Be willing to let people down because you’re no longer their idea of perfection when perfection itself is such an incomplete concept. Accept yourself, struggle to learn, fight to grow and then live to reflect positive qualities in yourself, then in those around you.

If you’re feeling insecure because YOU want everything:

Don’t let emotions, cravings, and materialistic things affect you. Everyone has dreams, everyone wants things in their lives, but that’s not something to feel bad about. It’s a choice, not a privilege. You are not any less or any more than the person sitting next to you who’s got everything you feel insecure about. Insecure people will always disapprove of what is and consistently accuse their minds by making others feel like shit. That’s aggressively self-inflictive, if you really think about it.

The Creative Genius

The Rebel’s Manifesto says that one should do the opposite of what one is taught in school. So it also says that one should simply make a mess.

This is me gracefully spawning what I think, believe and act on daily to enhance the creative genius of the world. This isn’t the creative genius that will get you money. This isn’t the creative genius that you want to become in your twenty-something or thirty-something. And this isn’t the creative genius that you read about in an extensive book.
In the astronomical sense of existence, each mind is neither too young nor too old to be labeled explicitly that. Enhancing the creative genius of the world means revealing that what is already stocked in our minds. Enhancing the creative genius is saying what needs to be said, felt what needs to be felt, and finally, having to deal with it as the ultimate tyrannies one swallows daily as an attempt to make it on our own, and not to sicken our sorrows in still silence.

In light of enhancing the creative genius of the world, I’ve dictated a poem.

. . .

They say I’m young
but I’m not the only one.

They say I’m different
but they know that’s not how it’s done.

Creativity is a cloud
and we’ve got each one
don’t stare too hard
but jump to another.

The truth is we’re grounded
but living a transparent lie
it doesn’t matter if
they say you’re creative
or they say you’re fly
don’t buy in that.
Because creative geniuses don’t forget
what matters in this world
and what’s left to rest.

This isn’t life
this isn’t forgiveness
you’re tapping away
while your mind is bleeding
store your ideas
store your fate
because once they’re gone
you will come again
but not the same.

Creativity is all you got
embrace
don’t disgrace
respect
don’t discredit
whatever you think
whatever you’ve felt
don’t worry
just make a mess
creativity has no label
it doesn’t fall in line
because your mind, you rules, your innate identity
what have they got to do with your time?

 

Against All Odds With The Internet

The essay, User Behaviour published on Aeon speaks about how designers, websites, and apps have more regiment over users who are curious and seeking to find more and more information to share, buy, sell and exchange with other users. The matter at hand is whether if the internet is addictive and if it is, shouldn’t the internet be put under digital supervision and moderation for its regimen and conventions? Michael Schulson wrote the essay to verbalize the praxis behind clichéd ‘infinite scrolling’ digital graces of users on websites and apps designed woo and impel users in ways to turn on to consumer data and money-making that ultimately siphons the entire foundation that the internet was built upon.

In the beginning of the essay, Michael, very smoothly illustrates how a simple pigeon experiment conducted by Skinner is, in most cases, knitted together with our contemporary digital etiquette of giving websites like Facebook, Twitter and other interactive feeds the power of persuade or even “coerce” us into getting hooked and addicted to how digitally we’re empowered by communication and information. Currently, psychologists have no way of figuring the veritable and descriptive list of how a user suffers from internet addiction and whether if it’s even a real phenomenon. As noted in the essay, I strongly believe that the internet has a profound level of utility for users to exhaust and grow with, but such kind of utility is not for everyone as much as it is unique to each user’s psychological awareness to it. What this means is that grace of surfing the web for one user may be more productive and useful than the seemliness browsing for any entertaining and distracting purpose for another. The brain wave of how conscious a user is towards the internet is linked to how disputable it is to say that internet addiction is conveyed by triggering users to react and re-react consistently in a controlled digital environment by designers to ends that satisfy both the internet-creators and users. That’s addiction, but that is only confined to one user’s psychological habits.

Comparing the internet to institutions that require assured regulation like casinos or drugs is inevitably biased because moderating the internet would be an alternative and ultimately a license that users may or may not prefer. Casinos, on the other hand, are neither privilege nor preference; it is an outcome of human behavior’s drive to mismatched lawlessness and chaos.

Read the essay here.

If a user wants to exercise willpower, responsibility and self-control with the help of websites like Facebook, Twitter, and other gaming companies to alert them when their usage patterns resemble any psychological problematic behavior, it will be a choice, not a complete regulation by itself. Users concerned to keep track of their digital graces will have already gained the conscious nudge of alertness and guilt when browsing websites and apps. They will stop when they’re obligated by themselves to do so. Most of the times, users don’t like to be told or consistently notified how much they should or should not browse any kind of information and while this remains unbiased and probable, regulations for the internet remain ungovernable and they will not shake the influence away from websites and apps to users conscientiously. If anything, regulation of the internet will discover new, twined and mind-boggling tactics and strategies that users will again spoil for. 

What is your take on this? Do you think the internet, in general, requires any sort of regulation or enforcement to alter the way users interacte and utilize the internet? Share your opinion below.

Feature image extracted from Aeon by Bettmann/Corbis. 

The Man Who Can’t Be Moved

Eloquence is expressiveness, as expressiveness is privileged. It cannot take one’s expressiveness to change another’s thoughts but it can take one’s eloquence to persuade another’s way of thinking.

Human mind is a strange box of insanity; we think what we ourselves discover, and mind those whose ways of thinking is no same as ours. The interval between changing from one’s today and tomorrow is a long journey of discomfort, struggle and then harmony.

Can man change for himself ?, Or will he change for the world in which he is destined to live in?
We’ll never know.

No matter how conscious psychology is, it cannot fathom one’s direction of change and its drift. But what psychology dictates is a different tale of circumstances that lead to change in one’s life. The push, the effort, and the animosity of the situation that we’re in, defines that reasonable interval of our past and our present. We want to learn everything there is to know; we do not regret of that we don’t know, but, we remorse when we’re wrong about something we know. That is what makes us change. The lacking of correct direction that leads us towards the mistaken road, even if it’s not discovered by us. The expressiveness is being able to communicate with mind and soul, by one’s own strength, and passing the energy to those whom you want to make feel a difference; to those whom you want to feel a change. That’s eloquence that changes a man into a life that best suits him.

Street Photography By Ayesha Dhurue