I just looked up Dave Trott’s blog– he wrote a book called Predatory Thinking, which I enjoyed (at the bookstore) and bought and read and enjoyed again. It’s just full of little stories and vignettes of little victories and perspective-shifts and asymmetrical warfare. Kind of like Seth Godin’s blog but with a bit more of a menacing twinkle in the eye, which I like.
I dropped by and I found a post titled “Be Dangerous”, and it talked about the story of the filmmaker who wanted to make a deviant, different film– end ended up looking for a rock band, and then coached the rock band to be more dangerous, and they ended up being The Who– crazy, outrageous, loud, rambunctious, quite mad, and very successful.
I was looking at my Workflowy lists and the cues I had left for myself were things like, “What am I curious about?” And frankly on hindsight I think that feels really boring. At least right now. I know how curiosity can be a raging hunger that drives you to do all sorts of interesting stuff, but sometimes when you’re tired and frustrated, all you’re curious about is if there’s going to be any way out of it, if you’ll make it out in the end (spoiler alert: none of us makes it out in the end), if you’ll be okay, alright. (Alright, alright, alright, alright!)
Be Dangerous, on the other hand, is a bit more exciting. At least in present headspace. What could I be dangerous about? What is everyone doing that’s safe and normal that I find hilariously silly or superficial? That’s a bit more of an exciting thought. A little tiring, maybe, but everything is tiring. Life should be exciting, shouldn’t it? I start thinking about pranks. I start thinking about gags. I start thinking about David Ogilvy saying, make your thinking funny, because the best thinking comes as jokes. Maybe I haven’t been joking around as much as I ought to.
What would be funny? What’s weird around us? What would be the most dangerous thing I could do? Well, let’s start extreme. The most dangerous things to do are obviously law-breaking things. Kill somebody. Break things. Set things on fire. Throw things out of the window. But those are boring things, they’re the choices of the desperate. What’s next? Well. Hm. Making art? What sort of art could we make? Where? Public transport? Public spaces? What do we take for granted that’s really annoying? Train announcements are pretty annoying. Bills are pretty annoying. Where am I going with this? I don’t know. It feels silly. But let’s give ourselves permission to be silly. What would be fun, what would be nice? Music. Poetry. Writing. Okay. How can any of that be dangerous? Facebook status updates don’t feel particularly interesting. Creating some sort of fake or artifical account… feels boring.
What do I want? I want to solve procrastination. How can that be done in a dangerous way? (Lol.) I suppose it has to make seemingly unfair demands? You have to be unreasonable? There are a lot of assumptions about things that people take for granted– it’s like the water that fishes don’t question, because it’s just a part of their reality. Okay, so question assumptions. What’s a fun, clever way to question assumptions? I feel like I’m really forcing it here. Yes, that’s what we’re going for. Fiction? Can fiction be dangerous? How can fiction be dangerous? It has to speak truth to power. But what is the truth, anyway? And what is the power that it should speak to? Being angry and abrasive isn’t even all that dangerous, it’s just kind of silly.
Maybe we’re approaching things the wrong way. Maybe we should reinterpret what dangerous mean. I’m thinking outwards. What if I thought inwards? What if I was putting myself in danger? In particular, the ugly, boring, nasty parts of myself that I don’t like, what if I approach that with a more antagonistic approach?
Ugh, I’m really just not feeling very creative right now and I can’t force it. What can we remove from the equation? What can we kill? I suppose I could go through my todo list and eliminate things that aren’t relevant anymore, that don’t make sense to me anymore. Maybe. But right now I feel like I just want to write as much as possible. So I’ve done this semi-failed experiment of trying to write myself somewhere new. It’s not quite working out. Maybe I should go look at old Facebook posts. Shall I do that? It feels like something I’m in the mood for. Hardly dangerous. But at this point I don’t care anymore. I just want to have some output, and to have some output I need some stimuli. The risk is me wasting all my time getting nothing done. I have a couple of hours. I’d like to go through my old things. Do I really? Is there anything else I’d like to do more? I’m a little tired, I’d like to take a nap. I should probably exercise, but it’s a little warm for that. I’m feeling odd, I’m not at my best right now. Dehydrated? Yeah, I’ll drink a glass of water.
So this is one of those filler vomits. It happens from time to time. I thought my “what is done” post was pretty decent. I guess I can just think about what I was trying to do. I was trying to use something compelling (The Who, danger, different) to push myself to do something different. Sometimes that works. This time it didn’t. But that’s okay. We’ll just finish this up and move on to the next thing. I’m sure the idea will linger in my head and maybe trigger when something else comes my way. It’s all about preparing your lens, no? All about looking at things from a different point of view. I don’t have a particularly different point of view now, but we’ll sleep on it.