vostoklake: (KATE)
After I sorted out my, er, personal orientation issues at the turn of the milennium, I began pushing towards what I considered the next phase of my life - doing something that would contribute in a serious and permanent way to making the world a better place, and (not incidentally) gaining a serious measure of renown, professional respect and material possessions. To this was added very strongly ingrained messages from my childhood that I was unpleasant and repulsive in a number of ways, and only by achieving something big would I ever have anything to show for my miserable life.

So I kept rolling the dice, hoping that this time I had something that would allow me to think that my life had some kind of meaning. I got involved in revolutionary politics, believing that I was going to be at the spearhead of overthrowing capitalism in Aotearoa. Later, I moved to Auckland because I thought it was where I needed to be to make that happen. I got a PhD, thinking that this opened the door to a guaranteed career in academia, from which I would be able to make breakthrough research in culture and ideology. I struck out with Vostok Lake, my "weightless music" prog-darkwave act, believing that there was a niche market there just waiting to be tapped for a bitter intellectual being sarcastic behind a bunch of keyboards. I co-founded the Electric Salon in a similar belief that there was dozens of similar acts out there who just needed a logo and a place to play.

I was wrong. ("I was wrong to ever doubt / I could do along without...") Admittedly there was one thing I was involved in that has made a small and permanent difference - Au Contraire.  (Some might also argue that Chaos Marxism has had a tiny but non-negligible effect on those interested in such things.) And, of course I learned a lot and became a better person, found a way to support myself, found my future wife.

But... I never actually made anything real happen in the world that mattered to a lot of people and changed things. I never made that One Big Achievement that I could use as proof that I deserved to be alive, that all the hurt I suffered and caused was worthwhile. Perhaps I thought I was entitled to that kind of success, because the belief in it was what kept me going through all the years when having a Big Brain was a liability rather than an asset. But life is certainly what happens when you're busy making other plans.

For whatever I do with the rest of my life, it will have to be because it's worth doing in itself, or that it actually fills a niche that people want, rather than this square peg attempting to hammer her way into round holes with brute force. Hmmm. That came out wrong. But... I know my intensity and anger scares off potential collaborators. And so much of that is frustration and self-hatred that I "need" to do something great and I am continually frustrated in that aim. Perhaps it's time to relax.

vostoklake: (Default)
In the past twenty years, from time to time I have found myself wishing for:
  • the opportunity to perform on a regular basis to a sympathetic audience and not have to pay for the privilege;
  • a modest income doing something which uses my skills and talents but still allows me space for creativity;
  • to live by myself.
Yeah, I achieved all those goals. Why aren't I deliriously happy yet? Perhaps I should aim bigger next time.
vostoklake: (otterly)
Once you get over crippling fear, anxiety and self-hatred, exactly what is it that motivates you? I wonder this sometimes considering that I seem to have solved most of the major problems in my life - I've gotten over a lot of the issues inherited from my childhood, I earn a frugal but adequate living doing something I'm good at and uses my skills, I seem to have found somewhere "I belong". But it's weird no longer having that Push Towards Greatness which made me miserable but still gave me direction in my life.

I still want to accomplish something that will make the world a significantly better place for having had me in it, but now have to decide what that might be. Research and writing? Pop music? Opera? Political activism? There are so many things I can do but I no longer have a clear vision of what I should do. One option might be to give up and to spend the rest of my life having fun, but that would see to be rather an anticlimax. I do need "stretch goals" to feel fulfilled.
vostoklake: (pterry and neil)
A RADIO SHOW. I HAS ONE.

First broadcasting Tuesday 19th April, 9 pm NZST. 88.3 FM, probably not audible anywhere outside Kingsland. If you want to be interviewed or your weird band's insane music played, or you have requests, get in touch immediately. (Yes, probably some Vostok Lake will find its way onto the play list, but not TOO MUCH.)

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vostoklake

July 2015

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