Robert De Niro in Montauk, N.Y., ca. 1950
When De Niro was a boy, his father often invited him to art shows. “I wouldn’t want to go,” he admits. “My kids are the same way sometimes. Even though you know the last thing they want to do is hang with their parents, it’s important to do family things because you’ll miss them, and you can’t get them back.”
Kurt Vonnegut’s time working at Sports Illustrated was brief.
“Comfort-seeking missiles, we spend the most to minimize pain and maximize pleasure. When it comes to technologies, we mainly want to make things easy. Not to be bored. Oh, and maybe to look a bit younger.”
Paralysis by Analysis |pəˈraləsis bī əˈnaləsis|
A fictitious self-inflected psychological disease that results in periods of extreme indecision, bouts of social anxiety, and lost opportunities at normal life experiences. Normally, patients are found to be within the ages of 18-25, originate from an upper middle-class socioeconomic background, and have steady access to droves of unnecessary information.
"Michael was troubled by the idea that his friend Pat would openly help him with this economics project so close to the deadline when Pat had clearly finished his own project beforehand. Perhaps this was Pat’s genuine affectatious side that Michael was always suspect of: that Patrick was only helping him (Michael) to subtly exert his intellectual superiority; that perhaps Pat ‘got off’ on lending aid to others purely for his own ego-fueled motivations. These struggles of finding genuineness, authenticity, or credibility were always lost on Michael, who, inadvertently, was finding himself equally as lost. It would take Michael an unfortunate number of years before finally being diagnosed with a fake psychological deficiency called ‘Paralysis by Analysis’”
Welcome to the inception of what I truly expect to be the tragic downfall of my character. It has taken a good chunk of time for me to get to this physical position of actually typing these words, so I will do my best to make this introduction as coherent, funny, informative, and short as possible. However, I will warn you now that this piece is doomed to be infected with countless digressions that (I hope) should add to the overall clarity behind whatever this is suppose to be. I will probably employ a lot of asides to compensate for my anxiety about having my words be completely understood (which will not even be necessary because you’re most likely a very capable human being and my over-indulgence in self-clarification is my problem, not yours) in an effort to make the inner workings of my mind be as cogent as possible. So let’s start:
Paralysis by Analysis (PbA) has been in the works for the better part of two years (by “in the works” I mean that no real work has been done on it up until very moment you may be reading this) As the name and very fake DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) definition would suggest, I tend to think about stuff a little too much, sometimes. Even sitting here typing these words has put my mind in a free fall of trying to figure out how to incorporate all that I would love to say without having you Control-T a new tab to check your Facebook. But then I realized that trying to convey everything I’d wish to say on why I’m creating PbA in this singular piece would be a little nearsighted. After rewriting, deleting, and abandoning large portions of material, I thought it would be best to deliver a more condensed version of what I narrowed down to seven core truths that follow as such:
So that’s great and all Adam, but enough with the justification of something you still haven’t explained yet. What is this shit?
Right, well PbA is going to be my foray into producing original honest content, which will take shape in a couple different forms. The first will be start of podcast. A podcast in which I will travel the country (both home and afar) to go and “interview” some of the great people I’ve had the chance to come in contact with in my twenty-two years. People, friends, acquaintances, folks who respond to the Craigslist ad (joking) under the “Men Seeking Anything” tab (not joking). A good portion of my modern experiences with social interactions thus far has primarily revolved around pleasure-guided attempts at socializing. Coupled with this, a combination of alcohol, Top 40’s playlists, and low expectations. I’ve actively participated in such events, even enjoying a good amount of it for a short while, but over time I began to develop a growing sense of emptiness, of disliking the routine and charade of interacting with people in the same manner over and over again. The dread of performing small talk with others was enough to make me run for the door. Alongside all this, I began consuming large portions of a relatively new form of media, which harkens back to the days of boring talk-radio, but with people that I genuinely admired and wanted nothing more than to absorb all they had to say. This new media is podcasts and these people are comedians. The format of the podcasts that appealed to me most were always simple in design; often times just two people having real engaging, enlightening, and hilarious conversations that happened to be recorded in the process. The world of stand-up comedy and the concept of “funny”, and it’s relation to pain and suffering, has taken root in my foundation as a person. It’s hard for me to go through a day without thinking up dumb jokes, or to find new ways to get a laugh out of someone (often times at the expense of others). Therefore, the format of this whole thing is meant to be informal, casual, and hopefully funny. Simply put it will be you, me, and two expensive microphones that have been sitting on my shelf for over a year. Whether you’re in California, Texas, or Connecticut I will be ready to make these excursions all in the effort of having a chat. Hopefully I quite long one at that.
Getting back to the point, the podcast is my chance to develop and maintain real connections with people in spite of the fear of walking into my twenty’s, thirty’s, etc. having felt I missed the opportunity to. However, it’s not entirely up to me whether this succeeds (whatever ‘succeeding’ would mean in this case) because as much as I’m offering myself on this proverbial platter, I’m putting my money on the hopes of you, the reader, actually being slightly crazy enough to be interested in this. In speaking with a select few whom I’ve run the idea past, the reaction has been fairly positive and receptive. However, my goal for this project is to be able to maintain it for the entirety of 2014 (please don’t confuse this with a New Years resolution), and I’m hoping that for the few of you who may still be reading this soliloquy that it is in fact tempting. And if so, to please drop my line at email@example.com, or on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/extempor (Sorry, I feel the need to clarify this word “extempor”: simply put, it’s just one of my favorite words “extemporaneous”, meaning to speak without preparation, sliced in half). I will begin reaching out to those few who expressed interest and that I feel would be great examples of what I’m trying to achieve with this whole idea, but again if you have the slightest inkling of curiosity in participating in this do not hesitate (I’ve already done enough hesitating in writing this fucking thing).
Secondly, alongside the release of the podcast, PbA is going to introduce weekly short stories written by your’s truly. This has been a big deal to me for quite some time having slowly grown into the world of literature and trying to dissect what it means to make good fiction. Essentially, this is me forcing myself to write on a weekly basis (at least 750 characters or more) to try and help organize my thoughts into prose. As you have probably gathered thus far, I worry a great deal about being understood, and to somehow be able to transcribe all this abstract intangible musings into something real and relatable for others is paramount to me. In my day-to-day I’ve grown too accustomed to the constant consumption of really great media and original content, but have left myself no time to sit back and account for anything that I may have learned. It’s difficult knowing that the feeds will always be updating; the articles, videos, pictures persistently being posted, reblogged, shared and then slowly lost to the noise. But my hope is that both the writing and the conversing will somehow supplement each other and coalesce into this full court press of serious diligent work.
So, welcome to Paralysis by Analysis and please be sure to check in if you feel like it. I hope to hear from you soon
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“Serious fans always need to feel uniquely connected to the object of their fandom; they jealously guard those points of connection, however tiny or imaginary, that justify the feeling of uniqueness.”
― Jonathan Franzen, Freedom