November, depression, and the illusion of another world

“This is so depressing.” It’s a common expression. I don’t begrudge it to people and frequently use it myself. I don’t like the self-righteous condemnation some people will heap on you if you use “depressing” or “depression” as throw-away words in casual conversation. If you get horribly offended by that, you may need to get over yourself. LanguageContinue reading “November, depression, and the illusion of another world”

No, joyless fundamentalism isn’t an awesome way to cure my depression, but thanks for playing

Some time ago, a very well-meaning person decided to slip me a little pamphlet with the intent of helping me overcome depression. The pamphlet was made from some Russian Orthodox priest’s conversations with nuns, or, rather, his monologues toward the nuns. The passages highlighted involved two postulates (I’m paraphrasing here): 1. Gifted people get assignedContinue reading “No, joyless fundamentalism isn’t an awesome way to cure my depression, but thanks for playing”

“Do you like being unhappy?” “Do you like the fact that rain is wet?”

No one single instant of it was unendurable. Here was a second right here: he endured it. What was undealable-with was the thought of all the instants all lined up and stretching ahead, glittering… – David Foster Wallace. Someone asked me recently if I “like” being unhappy. It’s a strange and, at the same time,Continue reading ““Do you like being unhappy?” “Do you like the fact that rain is wet?””

Depression: at the Black Gate with Anton Chekhov and Leroy Jenkins

I admire Chekhov, and not just for his writing, and not just because he was startlingly hot either. To paraphrase Ivan Bunin, Chekhov was not a little bitch. Even when he knew he was dying from TB, he didn’t whine hysterically from the pages of Russian literary journals. He didn’t ask his readers for hugs.Continue reading “Depression: at the Black Gate with Anton Chekhov and Leroy Jenkins”

Good Music (Patrick Wolf) + Good Drinks (Spicy Screwdriver) + Thursday Car Rides (With Bile)

It’s Thursday evening in Amman, which means that the weekend has officially begun. Time for creative output and much corporal cuddling of kitties. You know, today, I was sick to my stomach already when I hailed a cab to go to First Circle. The cab was driven by a man who was 120 years old,Continue reading “Good Music (Patrick Wolf) + Good Drinks (Spicy Screwdriver) + Thursday Car Rides (With Bile)”