Saturday, August 8, 2009

I am Heathcliff.

School seems to infiltrate everything. Especially with me. I can't live in the world without relating it back to what I was told by this teacher or that textbook. I quote everything. Nothing I say is mine. I'm made of other people's ideas.

I argue with my mother about Kyle Sandilands and it becomes a question of media censorship and the idea of uses and gratifications (I say there should be no editing or delay because people have a right to both hear and be heard when it comes to self expression, Michelle says that if someone is being thoroughly outrageous editing is important). I'm regurgitating other people's arguments: think Marilyn Manson and Michael Moore, among others, in Bowling for Columbine. Or, basically, the summary by Evelyn Beatrice Hall of Voltaire's conviction: "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I discuss the situation my father and I share at work with Annie and it becomes some revision of Goffman's Front stage, Backstage theory. I bring up Anthropology practices while shopping for vegetables at the market. I quote novels when people ask me how I feel.

I can't help but assume that I'll never say anything as well as someone else will. Why try and compete? Maybe T.S. Eliot had a good thing going with the Waste Land. If I beg, borrow and cadge other people's phrases, perhaps I'll seem brilliant and not just plain boring.

So when I try to explain how and why I always express myself with other people's words ... I'll use other people's words.

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