?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Do you want my blood, do you want my tears - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Do you want my blood, do you want my tears
No hidden agenda, no expectations, not directed at anybody in particular, I just want to know:

What do you want from me?

Read 12 | Write
Comments
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 17th, 2003 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, you've raised a serious, difficult and worthwhile question here and I've given you at least partly a gag answer. You deserve better than that.

Let's examine the underlying assumptions here. I can want anything I like and don't need to worry about reciprocation, practicality or your consent in my answer in any way. Nevertheless, I do understand that my answer will affect you and how you see me and I would be foolish not to bear that in mind.

I like the way you make me think. What I want from you is for you to keep doing that - ideally bigger, better and more so. I most like the entries you make when you're happy, so I would like you to find a way for you to become happy. It would be great if you found something which worked for you which was spectacular and which you could do to a greater extent than anyone else in the world and that this led to some fantastic experiences. Do I want this from you, though? I'm not sure I definitely do. I do want you to keep looking and keep trying, however hard it is, however much I'm not doing the same sorts of things for myself that I ought to be doing too.

Now that last sentence has a definite jobs-security undercurrent to it to which, alas is part of what I'm getting at, but it's not - it's not even nearly - all I'm getting at; we are all much more than our jobs and our security, we are the sum of all our experiences. I want you to keep having experiences and keep sharing them with us. I want these experiences you have to stretch you and challenge you and for you to enjoy them and learn from them and develop from them and be able to give us good instruction, good advice and be an inspiration.

I want you to enthuse about the things for which you are the biggest fan of them I know, because I want to vicariously experience things at the most extreme level possible and because you explain them and their attraction as effectively and entertainingly as anyone else I know. (Small case in point: Rez.) I don't mind that I can't relate to most of them, have no interest in some of them and am actively opposed to a few, but the fact that they matter to you and that you are doing them and getting the most out of them is something that makes me happy and something I want from you. This isn't personal to you, it applies to everyone on my Friends list. It would be unrealistic to know, or to want to know, the world's superlative (x) in many different disciplines, not least because people are essentially generalists, but I want to know people are striving, are exploring, are trying. It doesn't matter what in.

On the other hand, I would hate to think that you would modify your behaviour to try to do the things that I want you to do, or to try to avoid doing the things that I don't want you to do, so more than anything, I do want you not to do that. (Which is strange and self-contradictory, I know, but I hope understandable.)

That's my serious answer to the question. I hope it doesn't contradict my gag answer and I hope you don't mind it as an answer.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 19th, 2003 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you -- that's an interesting answer. I wish I could reply to it with something of comparable depth but I think I need to go away and think about it a bit first.

Incidentally, I know this is only a small point, but I'm intrigued to know which of the things I do you're "actively opposed to"...?
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 19th, 2003 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I knew that was coming. :-) Don't worry, it's an entirely reasonable question.

Taking phrases from your interests lists, I have problems with you taking a proactive, practical interest in "altered states of consciousness", specifically to the point of using hallucinogenics and other narcotics. My opinion on these is somewhere between "each to their own but it's not for me" and "I wish that nobody felt the need to do it", but currently rather closer to the latter than the former. From your interests list again, real ale also, up to a point; more generally, just the general principle of getting drunk.

Part of me wants you to find something that works wonderfully well for you even on this issue, but part of me is very worried that you might prefer this altered state of consciousness, or the sensation of drunkenness, to the default one and we'd never be able to interact with you so well again. (*) It's a serious point. I know that these are parts of your existence and you would be wrong to deny them, but they are dangerous ones with potentially damaging consequences, so that's why I'm actively opposed to them.

(*) Sometimes I wonder whether I rely too much on the Internet; I say and do things on it that I would not be prepared to say and do in real life and I do feel that I like the part of me which is defined by my online activities rather better than the part of me which is defined by my real-life activities. I don't think I am addicted to the Internet as such, because I am capable of doing without it, but I do feel a lot happier about interacting with people over the Internet than I do about interacting with them in the real world. Is my Internet use giving me a very slightly altered state of consciousness, or at least a different frame of reference, a different sense of existence? Is this really a related issue or not?


I'm prepared to accept that I could well be way out of line with my opinion on this one and this could be due to fear, closed-mindedness and a lack of information on my part. Again, it would be wrong for you to change your behaviour just to please me. However, I would hope that you would consider again whether the benefits outweigh the risks and whether you really do want to take a practical, rather than a theoretical, interest in this one.

That's the way I feel right now. Thank you for being open-minded enough to let me challenge you directly on this one.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 19th, 2003 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Again, it would be wrong for you to change your behaviour just to please me.

<movie-hagrid>I shouldna said that...</movie-hagrid>

Saying anything is right or wrong is an unhelpful value judgement. What I ought to have said there is that "I hope you would not". Apologies.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 19th, 2003 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

long comment (part I)

I have problems with you taking a proactive, practical interest in "altered states of consciousness", specifically to the point of using hallucinogenics and other narcotics.

For the record, I've never taken hallucinogenic drugs. I won't deny that I'd like to; I'm interested in the reaction that I'd have to them -- in much the same way that I'm interested in my dreams, and in the reaction my mind/body has to lack-of-sleep, and alcohol, and fever, and caffeine, and pain, and sex, and ... well, everything, really. (I might write about this some more in a separate entry...)

I've been fascinated by hallucinogens since reading "The Doors of Perception" at a probably-far-too-impressionable age. Have you read it? It's very interesting, and carries no direct risk except papercuts. :-)

"I wish that nobody felt the need to do it"

I'm intrigued by this way of phrasing it. Why do you feel that it's a need rather than a desire? I don't see drugs as an escape from "reality", any more than fiction; but I believe that altered states of consciousness (natural or otherwise) can provide insight into the way we perceive and define "reality". ("Reality is what you can get away with.")

From your interests list again, real ale also, up to a point; more generally, just the general principle of getting drunk.

Well, I don't drink nice beer in order to get drunk; I drink it because it tastes nice. Same as I don't eat nice chocolate in order to get fat. (Though, in both cases, there are potentially bad side-effects to the good bits of the experience. That's the way with most experiences.)

part of me is very worried that you might prefer this altered state of consciousness, or the sensation of drunkenness, to the default one and we'd never be able to interact with you so well again.

Good grief. I certainly don't prefer drunkenness to sobriety, and I doubt very much if long-term I'd prefer any state of mind that damaged my faculties of thought, conversation, etc. Similarly, I don't prefer dreaming to real life -- I find the dreams fascinating, but if all I ever did was dream, I'd never be awake to appreciate them.

I know that these are parts of your existence and you would be wrong to deny them, but they are dangerous ones with potentially damaging consequences, so that's why I'm actively opposed to them.

Everything, from falling in love to crossing the road, has potentially damaging consequences. Basically I it's a question of risk assessment, and I believe that this is the responsibility (and, to some extent, the "right", though I'm very wary of that word) of the individual. That said, I think it's generally a good thing if other people have some input into the risk-assessment process; so thank you for offering your opinion.

(Incidentally, if you're actively opposed to risky practices then I suspect there are one or two other items on my list which you might disapprove of...)

Is my Internet use giving me a very slightly altered state of consciousness, or at least a different frame of reference, a different sense of existence?

I'd be extremely surprised if it wasn't giving you a different frame of reference, a different sense of existence. I know I think, speak, interact and react differently when I'm talking online (particularly in realtime text conversation).

Is this really a related issue or not?

I think it is.

What fascinates me is the way the brain makes connections between things. All kinds of things affect that, and all kinds of things allow different ways of experiencing that connection-making process -- from psychoactive drugs to hypertext.

--More--
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 19th, 2003 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: long comment (both parts, my first part)

Have you read it? It's very interesting, and carries no direct risk except papercuts.

Can't say I have. I think I understand what you're getting at. I would draw a distinction between some of those stimuli and others, though; dreams and fever aren't of your own choice, the others are. We just draw the line differently at which things to try out on our own bodies to see the results.

Why do you feel that it's a need rather than a desire?

I hadn't considered that as an alternative noun to substitute. It certainly does have a different meaning. Perhaps I just hadn't considered it explicitly as something that people would want to do.

It looks like I had developed an incorrect opinion of how you tend to socialise; I had perceived that alcohol and its effects were a reasonably integral part of your usual routine that you feel most comfortable with. Now I don't believe there are addiction issues operating here, but if you've decide that it's what works for you to the point that you by default include it as part of your socialising routine then I think that's a fairly distinct step you've taken.

Now that's an awfully general statement which definitely doesn't apply to other aspects of your usual socialising routine like chatting, dressing how you like and so forth. I guess the difference for me is that you might choose to proactively introduce substances into your body in order to produce a chemical effect upon yourself where these substances might well have a long-term effect on your health and well-being.

Ah, jobblers! I've exceeded the 4300 character limit in my response to your response too. Let's go back and split this here.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 19th, 2003 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: long comment (both parts, my second part)

(Incidentally, if you're actively opposed to risky practices then I suspect there are one or two other items on my list which you might disapprove of...)

OK, I took a long bath today and spent a fair bit of time therein thinking about BDSM. Now this is slightly awkward for me to type not because I'm uncomfortable with the issues or with discussing them in public, but because (a) I have no practical experience in the matter and all my knowledge is based on reading only, so quite possibly completely inaccurate, and (b) what you do there isn't your own business just for you singular.

I know you're happy with talking about what you like to do and what you've done, but I'm going to refer to your BDSM experience with other people. I don't know who your BDSM play partner has (or partners have) been, I don't regard their identity as my business and I would hate to offend your BDSM play partners by asking for information that they regard as not my business. (I would hate to offend you too, but I am convinced you are unlikely to be offended by what I'm about to say.)

Nevertheless, two phrases you've used recently really got me thinking. You've said that you like to be made to beg and you've also referred to "safe, sane and boring" in the past when I've only ever previously heard reference to "safe, sane and consensual".

Accordingly - and I'm wildly hypothesising here and fully prepared to be told that I'm completely barking up the wrong tree, possibly embarrassingly so - I imply from these that you enjoy, quite probably among other things, the type of edge play (am I misusing a technical term here?) where you try to push your body to the limit; you may even have denied yourself safeword ability to stop a scene when you feel your body has reached its maximum tolerance. Only in the bath did I fully realise what a scary concept that is when taken to its logical conclusion. (However, if you've found it works for you, I'm pleased and somewhat impressed.) I don't have a problem with this in the same way that I do have with chemical stimulants - which, by contrast, I do not find even slightly impressive - and I am not sure why.

A second other item of which I might disapprove? I find it difficult to imagine what the second is, which tends to suggest that I don't understand it properly, whatever it is. :-)

My best guess might be that your penchant for weapon play is for the type where you come very close indeed to inflicting or receiving grievous, possibly permanent, bodily wounds - full-strength blows with a sharp sword blade which miss by inches or less, that sort of thing. That would certainly be highly risky, yet I wouldn't disapprove of it in the same way that I do of chemical stimulants.

I haven't considered the sorts of things that an out-of-control recipient body is likely to do when the method of being driven out of control is a physical stimulant rather than a chemical one, but I can't imagine there could be an analogue to "drunk driving" or "stoned driving" for hurt and/or scared beyond boundaries conventionally considered reasonable. (Maybe there is and I just don't know about it.) I also dislike the perceived creativity increase that is sometimes attributed to the drunk, the stoned or the high and again can't imagine there can be an analogue pertaining to BDSM play. I think this is probably more an issue and an inconsistency for me to work out than anything else.

Does any of that make sense? Incidentally I don't want to "convert" you; I respect your opinion, and your right to disagree with me. But I do care about your opinion of me, so I want to explain myself as much as possible.

Thank you for a full, detailed, fascinating and very respectful response. I think we have identified where our differences of opinion are. As you say, you haven't been trying to convert me, but I feel a little uneasy that we might have come to such radically different conclusions from the same information; accordingly, I suspect you may have been working from different information to me, so I am keen to expand my own perspective by seeing information that you might have seen which I hadn't. It may not make me change my mind, but at least I'll feel more well-informed in my decisions.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 21st, 2003 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: long comment (both parts, my second part)

I imply from these [...]

You infer correctly.

I don't like safewords; if I can't trust somebody to read me correctly -- and if I can't trust myself to make myself understood unambiguously with them -- then I don't want to put myself in that kind of situation with them. I've rarely used safewords, and haven't found myself being pushed beyond where I want to go. Maybe there are types of "play" (I hate the term, but it'll do for now) where it's the only sensible way to do things -- maybe they're just not my thing.

[...] I don't have a problem with this in the same way that I do have with chemical stimulants - which, by contrast, I do not find even slightly impressive - and I am not sure why.

I'm confused by the idea of being (or not being) "impressed" by either of these things. I don't see them in that light at all. They're not achievements -- except, I suppose, insofar as it's an achievement to pursue one's desires and interests.

My best guess might be that your penchant for weapon play is for the type where you come very close indeed to inflicting or receiving grievous, possibly permanent, bodily wounds - full-strength blows with a sharp sword blade which miss by inches or less, that sort of thing.

Hmmm. Actually, swords tend to be a bit unwieldy for "play" (and I know very few people whose swordsmanship would even come close to being good enough for me to trust them with something like you describe!). I tend to prefer knives -- much easier to control. And wounds (even "permanent" ones) needn't be dangerous, provided the people inflicting them know some basic anatomy.

I'm really not sure how much you want to know here. People tend to hit the limits of TMI a lot quicker in this area than most others, so I'm not going to go any further with this except in answer to direct questions.

I can't imagine there could be an analogue to "drunk driving" or "stoned driving" for hurt and/or scared beyond boundaries conventionally considered reasonable.

Personally I wouldn't even dream of driving soon after intense BDSM play. Driving too soon after good vanilla sex is bad enough -- the endorphin high makes me completely dazed and unable to concentrate or focus properly. Maybe that's just me, though.

I also dislike the perceived creativity increase that is sometimes attributed to the drunk, the stoned or the high

Hmmm. I don't think chemical stimulants will produce creativity which isn't already there. I think sometimes they release confidence in that creativity which is usually buried; but I think it's more that the experiences provide input, raw material, which the creative person can use. Grist to a writer's mill, and all that.

I could be completely wrong, of course. It's a bit hard to do a scientific experiment to determine whether creativity's innate, learned, or bestowed by drugs. Nature, nurture, Nietzsche. Moo.

and again can't imagine there can be an analogue pertaining to BDSM play.

Pain (at least, certain types of pain) centres me on myself, makes me feel that I am becoming closer to who I really am. It's as if there's a core of fire at the centre of me -- most of the time that fire is buried, hidden, stifled; but pain sets it free. If that's not a stimulus to creativity I'm not sure what is.

I feel a little uneasy that we might have come to such radically different conclusions from the same information [...]

Most of my information is experiential rather than authoritative. On the other hand, you've made me feel that perhaps I should check out some more statistics, some more facts and figures... Maybe I will. The problem is, it's very hard to get facts on drugs which aren't being used for propagandist aims... actually, no, the problem is that any "facts" are malleable, and are usually being used to further somebody's agenda. I don't trust "facts". At one extreme there's the people who say that drugs are perfectly safe; at the other extreme there's Lorna Thingy's parents who KNOW that DRUGS ARE EVIL. The truth, as Kate Bush says, "lies somewhere in the middle".

Rambling now. Feeling only half-awake still, and not at my most coherent, I'm afraid. Hope some of this made sense.
ewx From: ewx Date: May 21st, 2003 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: long comment (both parts, my second part)

I don't like safewords [...]

Perhaps more appropriate for BDSM activities between relative strangers? Personally the only occasion I can think of where someone went beyond what I was happy with I was quite able to communicate my objection to it without using a safeword.

jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 21st, 2003 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: long comment (both parts, my second part)

I'm confused by the idea of being (or not being) "impressed" by either of these things. I don't see them in that light at all. They're not achievements -- except, I suppose, insofar as it's an achievement to pursue one's desires and interests.

This knocked me sideways. I was thinking about it while mowing and raking the lawn this afternoon and realised just how goal-oriented I am, even in situations like this where being so overtly goal-oriented cannot be helpful. Hadn't thought of things like that in that sort of way before.

Finding something which works for you is definitely an achievement, though I'm not sure whether finding something or the act of looking for something is more valuable.

I think I'll cut this short here, not through objection to the subject matter, but because I realise I need to do more thinking on the subject - probably not just hours or days' more, but mulling over it for a long time.

Apologies also for using inappropriate terminology. I know I hate it when Dad tries to have conversations about technical things with me - he keeps wanting to know where all this data on the Internet is at any moment. It's a pain largely because he just doesn't get it - and even patient, repeated, slow re-education doesn't fundamentally help. I have a strong feeling that I'm touching on subjects that, in the same way, I just don't get... yet. Perhaps things will start to make more sense when I have more experience of the world.

Hope some of this made sense.

Loud and clear. Thank you for your very straight talking on the subject.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2003 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: long comment (both parts, my second part)

Finding something which works for you is definitely an achievement, though I'm not sure whether finding something or the act of looking for something is more valuable.

Personally I lean towards the idea that the act of looking is more valuable; I think that's because I believe that we make our own goals, so the actual achievement of a goal is only as important as we make it. Er, it all gets a bit circular here...

Apologies also for using inappropriate terminology.

I don't think you did, did you? If you mean my objection to the word "play" in a BDSM context, it's the most widely-used term, it's almost certainly the "right" term to use when talking about it because it's the most widely-understood, I just personally don't really like it. Not sure why; it's certainly not that I think it's "too serious" to be described as "play" or anything like that. I think it's all part of my rather complicated hangups about the BDSM "community", and communities in general.

Anyway, I'm glad I've given you stuff to think about, even if it turns out that you come back and say "j4, you're talking absolute rubbish!" -- the process of thinking and debating etc. is usually a lot more interesting IMHO than the specifics of the conclusion. :-) (Back to the journey vs destination thing again...)
j4 From: j4 Date: May 19th, 2003 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

long comment (part II)

I'm prepared to accept that I could well be way out of line with my opinion on this one and this could be due to fear, closed-mindedness and a lack of information on my part.

You're entitled to your opinion. I don't think you're closed-minded; I can't really comment on the fear, and as for any (perceived) lack of information -- well, the internet is a wonderful thing. :-)

I would hope that you would consider again whether the benefits outweigh the risks and whether you really do want to take a practical, rather than a theoretical, interest in this one.

I want to appreciate the experience if I have it at all; my appreciation of it would be severely impaired by, for example, being dead. I like to think I'm well-informed enough to make the risk-assessment; but ultimately I don't want a risk-free life -- I don't believe such a thing is possible. Also, I don't want to give in to social propaganda about what is "high-risk" and what isn't. I'd rather look at the facts and make my own choices.

Does any of that make sense? Incidentally I don't want to "convert" you; I respect your opinion, and your right to disagree with me. But I do care about your opinion of me, so I want to explain myself as much as possible.
Read 12 | Write