Friday, October 24, 2008

An Elaborate Excuse

I always wonder how much of myself I should bring to this blog. As people, we are always more then we present ourselves as. Whatever the context, whether it be a university class, a church pew or an internet forum, we pick and chose those aspects of ourselves that we want other people to perceive and so there is always a sense of theatricality embedded deeply within not only our social lives but our written lives as well. This isn't a matter of deception, however, and the at-this-point cliched notion that we all wear a variety of false masks, a piece of important-sounding psycho-vomit which seems to have been designed to suggest that we ritually select whatever personality fiction is most expedient at the moment and alter our actions accordingly, thus foregoing an "authentic" personality, is fundamentally flawed because those masks are not impositions of personality but rather manifestations of a personality too large to be constantly disclosed. We select the ways we represent ourselves not out of some deceptive agenda or because our "authentic" personalities are so stillborn as to receive whatever imprint stronger personalities may impress upon them (though I suppose both could be true in some cases, but not, I think, in most), but rather out of politeness and an unwillingness to burden others with forced intimacy. Full disclosure of a personality can be an awkward experience for everyone involved and so it is often best, and most simple, to present only those parts of yourself that a situation requires.

Anyway, when it comes to Babylon I've deliberately put certain restriction upon myself in an effort of guide my readership's perception of me (this readership is, I fear, largely illusory or at the very best rather small, which means all my efforts to guide others' perception of me has ended in a self-reflective knot in which I'm now discussing how I've deliberately shaped an audience's perceptions of me when I myself am in fact the audience. I am both perceiver and perceived and, I just noticed, both of me have a headache). I've kept gaming, a rather large element of my personality, and of my day, mostly hidden or at least I've relegated it mostly to the background, only letting that portion of myself out every once in a while to express either exasperation or affirmation in what I think are special situations. I've tried to keep the geek impulse in check, in other words, in order vainly to appear both knowledgeable and wise perhaps even charismatic (okay, some elements of self-representation are purely fictive) but also because personalities, despite their usually multiform natures, are so often judged on the basis of only one of their aspects and are thereafter slotted into prefabricated stereotypes. Personally, I'd much rather be sterotyped as an English student or a film critic than as a gamer. And since in the public consciousness one person can rarely occupy more than one stereotypical space, I often work very hard to ensure that some elements of my personality are privileged over others.

But now that I've rambled at length about it I feel it only appropriate to transgress my own self-imposed restrictions regarding personality disclosure, to transcend my self-fashioned self image by incorporating another image, one that might, it's true, damage that first so carefully laboured over image, which I can only hope is at this point strong enough to absorb such a decadent and low-brow disclosure as this (the fact that this post directly follows one on Dante has not gone unnoted). You see, all of this babbling has really been nothing more than an elaborate excuse to say that recently I've been playing Dead Space, an extremely violent and no-doubt violence inducing game, and that I love it so much I want to share this excellent trailer. Seriously, it's one of the best game trailers ever made. So, uh... enjoy. And hopefully whatever image of intelligence I've built up over the last year or so isn't about to be entirely reduced to rubble.


Life of Turner said...

I, too, have struggled with the balancing of focus on my blog, particularly as I entered a field in which I am publicly professional. I have tended often toward publishing posts that are more erudite and thought-out, but I realize that I must also make space for the lighter parts of who I am. After all, it's hard trying to be brilliant all the time. So I applaud you for breaking through the veneer and sharing this part of yourself. I can understand exactly why you would enjoy this game, and it in no way invalidates your authenticity or credibility to admit to doing so. Now, if you were to go see High School Musical 3, that might be a different story...

dcornelius said...

So I should keep the High School Musical element of my personality hidden? Good to know. That was going to be my next admission.