Monday, May 04, 2009

A Fate Worse Than Death

So I've been added to a Facebook spam list by one of my former classmates from that YA fiction class. It's related spam, anyways, Creative Things Going On Aboot Town That Are In Someway Related To Him. At least, that's how I read it. And maybe it's not a spam list, but when you send an invitation out to 121 'close' friends it's hard to feel like the invite was really personalized, you know?

Anyways, I was invited to a fund raiser for a literary magazine I'd never heard of. Not that I know of many literary mags. And I'm pretty sure the mark of a good lit mag is that no one has heard of it. Street cred, as I understand.

There was a nagging part of me that told me I should probably attend. Images of hanging out like Hemingway with all his writerly friends, discussing... well, whatever writers discuss, Post-Modernism, Derrida, liver cirrhosis. I had in my verdant imagination an idea of a culturally rich group of peers all riffing off each other. Discussing meaning and plot and illusion and intention. I tried to silence that ever present pessimist in me who knew that it'd just be a place for all the young hip cats to hang out and be ironic and possibly 'hook-up' with each other. Occam's Aftershave, "Given a set of possible and wildly wonderful reasons for a group to exist, the reason most likely is hooking-up".

But, yes, well, I'm an idealist. It perhaps helps that I keep myself socially sequestered from most of society most of the time. This keeps me from reality and all it's rude awakenings.

So, in a move that I'll ponder over for years to come, I decided to go.

Peer-something something! Creative co-working.. thing. There's a knot in my stomach though. A thick, hairy knot covered in razor-wire and small, shaped explosive charges: I Am Not Cool Enough. This will surprise no one who visits this blog or who has had halting, embarrassingly stilted conversations with me.

I was a Science nerd in undergrad. Arts undergrads were that much cooler, and Fine Arts undergrads were the coolest of the cool. I think the certainty of under/unemployment creates an aura of mystery and danger, don't you? Anyhow, that's who'd be at this thing. Fine Arts undergrads. People who see films, not movies. People who use the term 'slam' when discussing poetry, and think that words should not only be read, but spoken. Pall Malls, I'm sure, are smoked for their sheer irony. Same goes for Pabst beers. It would be a den of meta-ironic post-modernist pseudo-faux hipsters. A DEN, I say.

Going there would be a fate worse than death. I came to that clear conclusion the closer and closer I came to the butchershop-converted-to-art-space.

And I came close, I came within viewing distance of the Den of Hipster. But I could go no further. They were not my tribe. I was not drunk enough. I certainly was not nearly cool enough.

If it was group of nerds doing a late night showing of Robocop 2, maybe. If it was a gaggle of programmers discussing the futility of dynamic languages used by heterogenous coworkers with varied coding ability, I could grit my teeth and bear it. But, this. This was too much.

I'm glad I know my limits. And I'm even more glad that I went home straight away. Serves me right for answering spam.


Jeff said...

All you needed was a jaunty scarf and an affectation and you would have been welcomed with open arms, I'm sure.

Sounds like you really needed to be more drunk.

(you probably didn't miss much)

Chris B. said...

Jeff has it. And I'll suggest that your affectation is Hamms. Pabst just isn't your thing. No further reasoning necessary. Or a cane. Canes are interesting.

Niteowl said...

Jeff: yeah, even if I did miss a bit, the PRICE WAS TOO HIGH!

Cheese : CANES! Can i get a gun installed on one of those babies? And something ivory and tasteless for the knob. Like a baby machinegunning a nest of pandas, or something.

Jude said...

Of course the real irony is that your self-effacing, soul searching apprehensiveness and self-doubt are the very definition of the sensitive literary writer type and – AND - even more importantly, they are what is considered cool. Dude, you’ve got ‘sensitive’ and ‘nerdy’ going on at the same time. Not many can roll like that.

I think you should’ve gone. Even if you didn’t get to talk about Lyotard or metanarratives you could still stand around at the snack table looking simultaneously tortured and calculating. Chicks love that shit. Not that you were there to hook up, but you know what I mean. You’d be the cool mysterious guy who talks really fast.

Monkfish said...

I'm not sure drunk is the way to go. Do you think they would be down with the f-bombs and the hugging.

Mooseman said...

"Occam's Aftershave" Oh, that is a gem, a jewel!