My Month in the Doldrums — Madvillainy (1)

Do we need another dude on the internet talking about how ‘dope’ a rapper MF DOOM is? I’m going to say yes, because by the time this series is done, there is going to be quite some DOOM in it. Madvillainy holds a special place in DOOM’s discography. One, because it’s a combo of DOOM as emcee and Madlib as producer. Two, because it’s just so good. MF DOOM’s discography, and Madvillainy and Mm.. Food in particular were a great escape from thoughts about my self-important self.

How DOOM going to hold heat and preach non-violence?

I think about myself often, so much so that post- and self- are staple prefixes in my life. Post- because I keep inserting myself into stuff and equate my views on stuff with those of all of culture. Self- is pretty self-explanatory.

I often hear unknown voices in my head saying things like ‘he’s grown into a fine young man’, and imagine myself smiling proudly. It’s embarrassing, this self-love / self-hate dialogue in my brain.

I’m afraid I’ll alienate my friends if I don’t get with the programme, insecurity and all. I’m twenty-six and self-obsessed. What’s the point of empathy if it isn’t directed to outwards? Am I not either too young or too old for this level of introspection?

What’s the difference?

Get on this ride with me. Trust me; it’ll be fun. It’ll be like a roller-coaster. Here’s one aspect of that cliché nobody explores. No matter how many ups and downs a roller-coaster goes through, it always ends where it began, therefore intersecting heavily with another cliché — the cyclic nature of life.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Segue: I hold myself to high standards, which would be great if I actually met them. It’s safe to say it’s impossible for most to meet those standards. So I set lower, more achievable standards for myself to meet, while being constantly aware of the ‘true’ standards I don’t and can’t reach. Those around me see me flailing, at war with this imaginary adversary. They just look on, confused. Classic bi-standard effect.

Is he still a fly guy clapping if nobody ain’t hear it?

I wonder what a human is worth? This isn’t just some academic question. A lot of those old introspective questions come from a feeling of worthlessness. The d word? The not-so-great? The not-feeling-so-great?

Does a human have objective worth? If the right to life is inalienable, does that not mean that a human’s life is invaluable. But if a human being is killed due to a government’s negligence, does the government not owe the human being’s family a specific amount of money commensurate with the value of that human life (and the ability of the government to pay)?

I find it so much easier to obfuscate than to deal with the issue head on, which is why all this pseudophilosophical psychobabble. I was dealing more with questions of self-worth, especially as it relates to societal checkpoints such as income, wealth, relationship status, etc.

The argument for moving to a new (read: Western) country is that the parameters on which the worth of an individual is measured might be more holistic. But as long as the poison is within me, I can’t blame any society for my false conclusions.

I bet she tried to say she gave me her all; she played ball.

The identity question has always been front-and-centre for me. If my life were an album, what genre would it be? Maybe experimental. Maybe post-punk of the art-punk variety. Almost certainly adult alternative — the sort that plays in cafés at 5 pm. I’m just a middle-of-the-road kind of guy at heart, I guess, like the grape in Mr. Miyagi’s long-winded analogy. Just like that grape, I’ll probably go ‘squish’ if I’m run over by a car.

I’m not done milking this analogy. Whenever I step onto either pavement, the other starts to entice. So I always find myself crossing the road, often just stuck in the middle between clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right. I go from clown to joker then back to clown again. And then repeat, just like a spinning record.

(That’s right. I don’t just have an alogy. I have two alogies.)

This brings me back to my original thought. If this cyclic life of mine were an album, I have no idea what genre it would be. That said, it would probably be like Madvillainy. I’ll spend the first few spins terribly confused, getting most of it wrong. After a few spins, things will start to make sense. After many, while most of it will make little sense, it will start to become increasingly rewarding and highly enjoyable.

If not, at least I’ll have this album.

All bets off; the villain got the dice rigged.

That’s the one thing I hope to take from these doldrums to tide me over the next — there’s no hurry to get anywhere if you’re running around in circles. It then becomes more important to remain constantly engaged. As King Kendrick said in The Heart Part 4, there’s a difference between accomplishments and astonishments.

Told ya; on some get-rich shit.

If there’s anything being part of a startup ecosystem should’ve taught me, it’s that you are allowed to make your own way, to define your own worth. That’s the sort of free-thinking such ecosystems are supposed to promote. Of course, most of them, this one especially, end up having their own twisted hierarchy — the poison.

The poison is within me too, and I see ladders everywhere I look. These ladderes don’t exist, mind you. It’s just that my cataract makes them up, and my schizophrenia imagines me on them. I should make a collaborative album with myself and call it Sadvillainy.

Probably kissed her that evening; I should be hurling.

Or maybe Radvillainy.

I was feeling mighty blue, and everything looked black.

I don’t even know what the point of all of this is. I made it through March, and the grass is os much greener on this side. Lessons have been learnt. Ladders have been climbed. Not too many lessons, clearly.

I carried on.

I guess I’m like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, throwing questions out into the abyss. That must make you Tom Hanks. He had Meg Ryan. You’ve got male.

Looks like it’s going to be a great day today.

All I hope is that as time goes by, I’ll be plagued with fewer questions of identity. The signs are positive, and as a long as I proceed with cation, an identity should crystallise. Meanwhile, all I can do is drop the weight of self bit by bit, become a little less than I (I minus), and bond with someone positive.

Forget about myself for a while.

And what a great way to start — with a little bit of autobiographical asphyxiation.

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