Sunday, January 15, 2006

Seeking refuge in low lighting

I'm feeling irritable, a little down, this evening.

Today I did just what I had planned which was to lounge around in bed all day and read. I'm reading this (so far) great book called "Red China Blues" by Jan Wong, a second generation Canadian with Chinese ancestry who comes of age in the seventies and heads to communist China in an effort to enhance her thinking. The book has thus far been an account of her experiences and thought processes as a young and passionate person. She talks about the ideologies and books that she was reading and being influenced by at that stage of her life.

This and other things lately have made me feel like I don't know anything about anything. That makes me irritable. I find myself saying things like "I haven't seen that" and "I don't know anything about that" regularly. I'm dull and unknowledgable. I don't know anything about world history or theories or even pop culture. What do I know? I don't even know what I do know.

Last time I felt down it was Jack Johnson that I played in the light of my lamp. Today it's the Decemberists. You should check them out.

Sometimes I pretend that I know things or that I'm hip with some kind of underground indie movie and music scene. But I'm not. I think of myself as a smart person but I can't get my thoughts together.

I bought the book in an effort to learn something about China and some of its history so I can have a greater appreciation and understanding of what I see while I'm there. I guess that's what I need to keep doing to change what's bothering me. Or maybe I'm just bothered because a phone call never came. Or because I don't like sharing food. Or because it's Sunday night. Anyway.


At January 15, 2006 8:22 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this why you went to South Korea in the first place?

At January 15, 2006 10:18 p.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

I guess it is. And instead I'm more aware of the things I don't know.

At January 15, 2006 11:04 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well at least you are aware, even if it does torment you!

I would much rather know someone who is aware and open-minded to new experiences etc. than someone who thinks there is nothing more they need to know and would rather keep their eyes and ears shut to the world.


At January 16, 2006 2:53 a.m. , Blogger Tony Lawless said...

Bet you don't know what the Decemberists is an allusion to! (But if you do, then you aint nearly as dumb as you say. And if you don't, well, there's always the encyclopaedia!)

By the way, the photo of you bungie jumping was fantastic!

Anyway, I agree with Mel! You have a great outlook on life!

And what did Socrates think that made him feel he was superior to others?

At January 16, 2006 5:41 a.m. , Blogger Shells Bells said...

Jess don't feel badly, I find living in this country numbs your brain a little bit. I've always found your conversation to be stimulating and you definitely don't seem unintelligent so I wouldn't worry. Plus you look great! Nothing to feel down about :)

At January 16, 2006 8:05 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks Mel. It's true. I hate that attitude some people carry around that they know everything and are unwilling to bend or learn alternate viewpoints.

Damn, someone told me something about the Decemberists but I promptly forgot it. Thanks for nuthin' Tony. :)

Yo Shelly! As long as I look hot what does my mind matter!!! Ah ha ha. Luckily I'm surrounded by countless freaks so I really should feel just fine. You and the ladies uncounted, of course.

At January 16, 2006 10:47 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony erroneously supports the false dichotomy offered by Mel. There is a wide range between uncritical openmindedness and closed-minded pig-headedness. The pursuit of knowledge requires an open mind, but as Allan Bloom pointed out, teaching students to read without equipping them to decide what's worth reading is a wasted effort. I'm not sure Socrates would have visited South Korea in the 21st Century - it simply is not embued with greatness.

At January 17, 2006 4:29 a.m. , Blogger Tony Lawless said...


Decembrist: a member of a group of Russian revolutionaries who in December 1825 led an unsuccessful revolt against Tsar Nicholas I. The leaders were executed and later came to be regarded as martyrs by the left. (OED)

I don't believe that Anonymous is right to draw the conclusion he or she does. And what sort of "wide range" is that! "Uncritical openmindedness" at one end and "closed-minded pigheadedness" at the other?

I defy Anonymous to find me a single person who would proclaim either of these two supposed end points as their own. They are both other-directed descriptions which no self-regarding ego would ever actually subscribe to.

At January 17, 2006 4:32 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...


At January 17, 2006 5:05 p.m. , Blogger Tony Lawless said...


No one ever says, "as for me, I am uncritically openminded" or "you know, I tend to be a bit closedmindededly pigheaded".

Lots of people might accuse others of being this way, however!

For this reason, a range that includes these two positions as its end points is worthless. Because you would never get two people to agree, certainly not if you include the person being judged in this way.


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