Strong Stuff

“Strength” is what we call it when we do what we don’t want to, when we subject ourselves to a little obligatory discomfort to inch closer to that noble and intangible “prize”: maturity. I see myself aging like fine wine or cheese–because if there’s anything I’d want to bear a likeness to, it’s cheese. Age adds flavor, age is bold, age jacks up your price on the market. Age means strength.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that if I can’t be significant, I should at least be different; and if I can’t emerge successful, I can at least be strong.There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to be strong. Not everybody gets what they want, you just have to be strong. This too will pass, you just have to be strong. It’s usually a question of strength when I ask myself what the hell I’m doing pinned to this desk. It’s usually strength that’s to blame when I wonder why I didn’t become a writer.

Aside from strength, I also talk about “time”, I talk about “money”; it’s all a matter of allocating resources. This is what maturity has amounted to: understanding my life as a series of economic consequences. And this keeps me so busy that I tend to forget where things should go. I make lists, I draw grids, I try to keep organized but I’m never really organizing my life around the things I really want, so I keep forgetting. My more “mature” conscience, the “stronger” part of me says that this is okay. This is just part of it and without all this useless aging and all these initiations, I’d just be a fleeting glimpse of the person I am now.

Gold Teeth and a Curse for this Town

New Slang wasn’t the first name we came up with. At least it wasn’t the first name I would have come up with. I wanted something snappy and irreverent, just because. And while The Shins are awesome and Oh, Inverted World was a lovely record, Garden State kind of sucked (how do I clean up this mess of names I just dropped?).

Unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to come up with something to call it; something to call the baby Jaton, Marla, Pao and I spawned over scheduled rants masquerading as “meetings”. We took down minutes, we talked about what we wanted, we made plans. We all knew we just wanted to write, we wanted to write for ourselves, but we also needed to be directed. Eventually we had to call it something, and New Slang stuck. It’s still incubating, and at this rate it’s long overdue considering how much we’ve already gotten done. But we’re not pushing this thing out of the oven just yet because we want a binary launch date. That’s how we roll.

Come to think of it, there’s really no reason for it to exist. There are a lot of blogs out there; the four of us behind this project have our own respective blogs, not to mention the project itself was inspired by several other sites in the same vein. But a lot of things exist, just because: songs about food, furries, tube flops. What matters to us is the context in which these things exist and the way we understand them. We wanted to articulate our understanding of the world…and now that I’ve jotted that down, I’m starting to realize how dumb it sounds. I mean really, what for? And what makes us think anyone would be interested, seriously.

But that’s what writing is. You write under the impression that someone out there will read it and that it will spark an opinion or at least some sort of reaction out of its reader, even something as inane and inconsequential as, “It’s good.” We all know how hard it’s been lately to find some good in this world, and we’ll get there, and hopefully we’ll move past “it’s good” and be able to tell each other just why and what makes it good. I hate people who say that something it “hard to explain,” and then just don’t bother to, but I know what they mean because even simple things, things other people have already been through, things that are really nothing new to this world are all hard to explain. I do however appreciate the efforts to do so.

I continue to write because words are pretty much my only medium for letting people know how I really feel. And this is enough, considering some people don’t have anything else and don’t feel the need to explain why they do what they do or what drives them to do things that produce no tangible benefits. I guess this is why I feel the need to take advantage of it–just because I can, just because at the end of it, the worst reaction I can get is a glazed over stare and a few remarks of it being “Good.” Just good. There’s not a lot of prestige to what we do: it’s tedious, it hurts your eyes, it can either broaden or enclose. So far, the only foreseeable benefit is that I can edit myself and come off as more eloquent than I really am. But I write and continue to write because of the fluidity of possession and how easily [it feels] the things I love can be taken away from me; at least my words, my writing, I get to keep.