Notes on the Self and Art

by Jonas Weaver

You are not your self. I am not my self.

We’re not vacuum forming selves. And we’re not original. We write, make, create art and things that masquerade as art in the hopes of reaching an audience. We create and recreate and vomit on the pages and screens boring and increasingly inane “art”. This isn’t some punt to a transcendent deity to explain why we aren’t autonomous self-creating selves (well, white people probably aren’t at least). We are formed by what we throw up and what is thrown up on us. The people that are thrown into (onto?) our lives shape and make us. Because that’s all writing is, a rereading of previously reread ideas spat on pages and screens…

I’m not sure what the point of this post is, if there is one. It’s more just an endless ramble, notes on a subject that’s been bugging me – namely, me. It might also be my attempt to get free from the b.s. that is significance and meaningfulness. I don’t write because I think I want something new to say, or that I’m good at it, I write because I have an urge to, an urge that makes me sick and angry and somewhat content all at once. I write what I’ve read, in the hopes of dredging up something from the muck of the many things I’ve gorged myself on. No. That’s wrong. The many things that’ve allowed me to become an I by gorging on them. We’re all parasites. We form by being formed by taking in as much as we can. Taking as much as one can without ceasing. Selfish? Maybe but is there really a way to be charitable in consumption? Isn’t consumption inherently uncharitable?

So, I don’t know why I write and I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t know that I am an I. In all likelihood I am a they, and so are you. Individuality seems excessively off putting. I’ll just let Nietzsche say what I think “I” might be getting at:

“The fundamental false observation is that I believe it is who do something, suffer something, ‘have’ something, ‘have’ a quality.”

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