A great amount of the last ten years has been taken up by considering one statement, which was originally from Twisty. I used it in Best Scandal Ever, when Kira teases Aldous by announcing her intention to marry Sam Redwood, despite not knowing him or even particularly liking him at the time. This conversation, in common with many others in the books, actually happened. The real Aldous is a depressed and underconfident person who frequently needs to be shocked into forgetting how miserable he is for a few hours.
Anyway the quote from Twisty is:
“Famous people are just normal people minus the sense of shame.”
As pearls of wisdom go, this is one of his better ones. It is perfectly true. All the stuff you tell yourself about what you can and cannot do is largely about shame.
Likewise, as I was saying the other day about major religions determining which emotions you should focus on, such religions rely heavily on shame to keep you in your place.
Whilst pondering the enormous quantity of negative information that had been disseminated about Wolfe, buried now but very easy to find nine years ago or so, I considered how much of this information was useful, and how much was simply envy. Shame and envy pair nicely together if you want to keep people in their place.
TV and other media like to focus on these, as buying products and paying for them uses up a great deal of people’s time, rather than thinking for themselves or other equally dangerous pursuits.
As a repressive artist, who has habitually used shame, amongst other emotions, as a source of energy to create objects, shame is kind of useful to me, although it certainly isn’t useful when considering how to see a return for my work. It is my best friend and my worst enemy.
I was obviously horrified by recent events, but only some of it is my fault, and even then I am a victim of evident physical issues and a lack of boundaries because of a variety of other factors. It is much easier to deal with if it is all your fault, because then you have the option of taking action.
I’m a lot calmer than I was a few days ago, and I don’t really think I should beat myself up over it any more. It is very sad that my first impression was wrong, but I shouldn’t really be surprised or angry about it. Shit happens. It’s very sad.
Overall, I think I have seen massive improvement in some areas from dealing with my Wolfe issues. Now I need to focus on physical confidence and the shamelessness of disseminating information, both of which are a step forward in terms of ridding myself of shame. Once I have dealt with this, then I will have to focus on becoming more arrogant in order to return to the work I was doing when I met him.
I definitely feel more inclined to say what I have to say and to hell with it than I used to. I don’t feel as smart or as serious as I used to, but perhaps that is a good thing as it actually gets the words onto the paper, as opposed to feeling like one of my friends, who despite being an international political journalist, cannot bring herself to publish a book, even under another name, in case anyone finds out.
Shame is not useful, and it is there to keep you in your place. It is probably a good idea to work on that.