This is something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now. I’m not sure how coherent this’ll be. One of those free associative posts, I guess.
The nice thing about writing is that, to my mind, there is a depth to it which is very hard to replicate in other forms of art. All forms of art can express ideas, but writing can express ideas with an eery, unmatched accuracy.
Course, I might just be biased.
This blog averages about a thousand clicks a month. Which is about four times less traffic than AlfaNL received at its peak, mostly because of a few posts ranking on the top page in google.
I’ve come around to the view that popularity, while important, can not be the focus of a blog like this. What we do is dangerous. Not like evil kneevil crazy stunt crazy, but just a little dangerous. Just dangerous enough for many people to go: hmm, I am not sure I want to touch that. Which I think is entirely understandable. It takes effort to unlearn knowledge, so a safe way of dealing with dangerous knowledge is to simply avoid it.
So, we’ve got a thousand clicks a month. That’s plenty. Big enough for me to think I am not a crazy man shouting in the wind, small enough so that I do not have to take this overly serious. What’s Alf gonna write about? even Alf doesn’t know!
Here’s what Alf’s not writing about: another book. I started writing, but it just didn’t feel good. So I’ve put the project on ice. It was going to be about women. Maybe I’ll pick it up in another ten years or so.
On to the main topic…
A thing I’ve been thinking about lately is that there seems to be a certain basic bitchness about life. Like a certain averageness that won’t go away, just because most things by definition are average. Now I’ve always sort of rebelled against that – I’ve always tried to be unpredictable, tried to keep my life as far away from average as possible. But now that I’m a bit older, I notice myself naturally veering towards a more fixed way of living.
I dunno, probably it’s the kid. Kids seem to require a lot of structure. But I’ve also come around to the view that a fixed pattern of habits is simply the only way to get stuff done. When you’re adulting, stuff needs to get done. Stuff like your work, your maintenance of the house, your family. All of which takes time, and all of which takes more time than you think when you’re young. For instance, replacing the exhaust hood took me about three months because of custom parts and installation problems and such. Or when baby’s teeth come through and he is in pain and needs constant attention.
All of this stuff is basic bitch stuff. There’s just no way around it. I partake in many diaper switches: basic bitch stuff. I brush my teeth, go to work, clean up my mess, take out the trash, do repairs around the house, console baby when crying. It’s all basic bitch stuff, and it’s all in a day’s work.
So, it is no surprise that the left attacked this style of life as boring, or as the Dutch condescendingly call it, ‘burgerlijk’. It is a bit boring. No way around it.
But, I think, that’s life. Life can’t be exciting all the time, because life is average most of the time.
Moreover, I think you can’t undertake the stranger adventures of life if you don’t have a solid foundation of basic bitchness. There’s this bit in Feynman’s autobiographical book where he talks about his adventures, of which he had quite a few. ‘People’ to paraphrase-quote him, ‘would sometimes ask me how I ended up in these adventures, or wanted to join me on one. So we’d go to a bar or something, but nothing happened, and they got upset and left. But you can’t force an adventure – it just happens, randomly, if given enough time. You can spend years visiting a bar with nothing happening, until suddenly the bartender needs help with his side hussle and before you know it you’re taming a lion.’
That makes a lot of sense to me. You structure your life well, and most of it will be average, with a few outliers below overage, and a little more than a few outliers above average. That’s pretty much the formula.
And that requires the acceptance of the basic bitchness of life. I think a lot of nihilism and black pilling has to do with a refusal to accept the basic bitchness of life. The quintessential ‘is this it?’ feeling. Well, yes, probably this is it. Even when things go well, they feel average. And inevitably, when things go exceptionally well, they either end, or end up feeling average as well. That is the basic bitchness of life. Just the way the cookie crumbles.
I feel like you can fight that, but I think Feynman was the smarter man in accepting it and reveling in it.