Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Endings



Death is a breathtaking concept; a statement as figurative as it is literal. It's the fear in it. The finality. Therein lies the brunt of its beauty. Death is the only force mankind shall never prevail against. No matter what life lengthening drug or procedure man invents, accidents happen. As do murders.

Homicide, the grimmest yet most potent of muses, and the engine of countless plots. Passion or insanity, what else could make a man murder? To betray a rule so sacred? To take away the--

...I won't dip my toe in the dark waters, on second thought.

As a voice-giver for fictional murderers, I've found it's best to shy away from a mind contemplating the nature of immoral subjectively. Cold science can never lend an unbiased perspective to psychology, as to judge emotion you must cast your own bias--emotion-- to come from a place of empathy. Authors know this best. That's why our stories tend to end happily. The bond you form with a story's characters is but a microscopic fraction of a passionate writer's. While you spend a week or two with the story, we devote months, even years.

I now find myself facing such a conundrum.

How do you end that which has become so deeply ingrained into your existence and everyday process of thought? These characters, they're so much more than characters to me. Oh the humanity! The horror of ending the horror. Pushing a plot out of the nest, hoping everything you put into it will allow it to soar as high as your visions projected. Rewriting. Rewriting. Cuts. Edits. Do-overs. Why can't it ever be enough? Why is goodbye so hard? The endeavor feels like an endless escapade, but I know that's just the artist in me. My dreams are the painting, my love the paint, but ultimately this is for sale. A product. A part of my life is a product, one that needs to sell.

Ending a book is like ending a chapter to your own life. No one understands the importance of ending a chapter powerfully as an author does, I'd say. As such, we are critical of our own lives and the conduct that comprises its content. Once you set your mind to a creative perspective, you see life in stories, potential material and irrelevant errors to edit out. It's torturous yet magnificent, though ultimately unfathomable to the normal people around us. The more at one with the written word I become, the more alienated I find myself with society.

When this ends, I find myself parting with an amazing set of friends and enemies. Fortunately, I know this particular cast is one I shall revisit often, but that is rarely the case. Though melancholic that we must part, I relish my momentary triumph over the dreaded blank page. A finished book is a bittersweet victory in an endless campaign. One that comes after a bloody string of unsatisfying losses and defeats. Perhaps it is the deluded English blood pumping through my veins, but I find that marvelous. The life of the writer is a dark struggle, but as the ends of our chapters come... we manage smile. Writing is its own reward. Truly it is. The end of a book is a sad reward. It's like attending a graduation party for a friend you love deeply, but you know is going away for a long time.


So you write again. Starting a new beginning. Renewing a need for an ending you never wanted yet pined for the entire time.


- B
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

IQ

English: Albert Einstein Fran├žais : portrait d...
English: Albert Einstein Fran├žais : portrait d'Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By the time you see yourself as an adult, there's not much more the world can teach you. We make mistakes because we lose track of what we already know. If you're smart, you won't get Deja Vu. What I'm trying to say here... is that I am incredibly dumb. I take solace in the fact that stupidity is in my DNA, and I take even more comfort knowing it's in everyone's DNA, too. Mistake-making is the hallmark of of humanity, the way perfection defines a robot. In spite of my self defamatory-thinking, those around me still seem to think me sharp-- an opinion I've striven for years to quell.

You see, I've pondered an awful lot about the nature of intellect; how we measure it, regard it, et cetera. It's my belief that we will never have a clear picture of someone's ultimate potential. Even tests fall short-- unable to measure the millions of facets that comprise the complexity of ascertaining true genius. Don't you love how fleeting getting your IQ score is? Regardless if the quotient demoralizes or reassures us, we're disinclined to share it with anyone. For fear of what, though? Seeming arrogant?

My IQ is 162.

What do you feel when you hear that? Resentment? Disbelief? Are you impressed? Chances are the latter two are the more likely reactions. Mankind does not like feeling inferior, and as such it is difficult for us to stomach someone advertising their abilities. You can say it lacks humility, but why does that word even exist in the first place? It places the burden of guilt on the ill-performing party, the unfit. It's anti-Darwinist and seemingly illogical.  If you were advertising a product, certainly you wouldn't leave out details of its best attributes, would you?

The stipulations for someone buying your personality, liking you, are different. Majority rules. The accepted norm is not defined by the greatest, the outliers, but rather the mean-- the status quo, as it were. We are drawn to those who are slightly above average, but bitter to those too far above the line. That's because, unable to grasp and determine potential with any real accuracy, we give ourselves either an overly positive or negative evaluation. Humility is the outward expression, genuine or otherwise, of devaluation. It's a negative that attracts positive attention, encouraging others to compliment us and bring us up to speed. Arrogance is the opposite end of the spectrum, inflating one's ego to the annoyance of others.


This is where the misconception occurs.


Everyone likes to think of themselves as just above average. A perceptional fallacy, as a basic understanding of statistics tells us the majority IS average. True genius is a rarity and I believe that is because it goes unreported. Not even considering the expectations thrust upon those of high IQ, it is much easier to be accepted if one chooses to conform. As tolerated and revered as the eccentric is in works of fiction, in reality such individuals are outcasts; weird. 

Society celebrates an outstanding ability when it's acquired through hard work and practice, but there is something unnerving about the prodigy. They'd rather believe genius is the result of a trick, rather than trust it as the genuine article. The chance of being outsmarted is cause to raise any guard. Ever competitive, man feels the need to level the playing field by devaluing others and bolstering its own image.

"He may be able to _______, but I bet he can't get a girlfriend."

"Who cares if she can ______? She looks like a horse."


The price of one's excellence is the magnification of his/her flaws, to hammer down the fact that the individual is still human, like the rest of us. We need that reassurance, but in getting it... we demoralize the genius and isolate them.

Life goes on, apathetic to one's intellect. Respect is a sweet spot, and it's easier to exist as a lesser form of yourself. Or so I think. I can only speak of my personal experience. I know, having read this, you will think less of me. A rambling egotist. Genius is respected when it's the real deal. Just look at how history remembers Albert Einstein. I suppose that's why I think I'm so dumb, because he's quoted as having roughly the same IQ as me. Unlike him, I'm a man of grossly unproven talent-- a high score without matching achievements.

They say any IQ above 140+ cannot be accurately measured, but I say no IQ can. Stephan Hawking, IQ 209, says only losers brag, which is why before this blog entry I never divulged my official number. All that matters is what you achieve, so that's what I am working on doing. You don't need an arbitrary number to tell others you are smart, only action. But telling others you are smart... that's what causes the resentment... isn't it?

There's no need to prove anything to anyone, unless it's a scientific theory. That's my theory on IQ and the nature of why advertising genius is perceived negatively.


- B
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