Why is it easier to create when drunk?
It’s a genuine question, although possibly not one I’m expecting anyone to answer. I was originally going to write “easier to write”, but ‘create’ is more accurate. A more wanky version would ‘easier to be free’ or some such shit, but if I wrote something like that without some self-examination and censor, even while drunk, I’d probably punch myself for being a twat. Whether it’s actually twatty is a whole nother matter, but I perceive it as such.
Decoding this is probably a fairly serious task. But since I have little inclination to be serious or fair right now, I’ll make do.
- Part of it is the simple-not-simple element of how people self-censor. I say ‘people’, I really mean ‘me’, but it does apply on a wider scale. It will not be news to you that people filter their actions dependent on who will observe those actions. You will, in all probability, act differently when you are at a family dinner than when you are at home with your beau. Less swearing. Less genital-scratching. And so on. You monitor yourself. This was bought into focus for me recently when I came across Foucault and his Panopticon theory (and lest you think I’m a studious academic or somesuch, I came across it on a great sex toy review site called ohjoysextoy.com (which reviews sex toys, but frequently goes off to explain/explore a lot of sex-related things in very understandable ways. It’s pretty rad.)) Essentially, way back in the 50’s or so, this dude had a theory which was eerily prescient. Everyone, ever, who has has access to the internet on a regular basis (e.g. social media, motherfuckers) will monitor themselves based on who they believe will see them. But in our case, it’s not only who will see you, but who will see what you do. But not just what you do, but also what you’ve done. Your entire social-media history is there. Every new contact you meet can, potentially, see not only who you are now, but who you were a week ago, a month ago, five years ago. Your history is made solid, for all to see. Over time, this could well become ingrained, automatic. From conscious monitoring, to unconscious monitoring, to unconscious alteration. How long before you’re not just unconsciously monitoring yourself, but unconsciously changing yourself. Blocking or diverting certain parts of yourself, before they even have a chance to be a thing-you-can-not-announce. From building a dam, to blocking the source. It’s the difference between a reservoir of potential whatever that you are choosing to not let loose, to having no reservoir at all.
- Part of it is concentration. Seriously. I can’t concentrate for shit. Thing no 1 has a serious part here. The idea of concentration, without immediately second guessing/pre-emptively stopping whatever you’re doing, is a reasonably foreign one to me. It happens, but usually only if I’m being told to do it. Either by a job, or an authority or some kind, or whatever. Left to my own devices, my own pre-emptive protections will usually step in long before anything can actually happen. Alcohol is apparently a good way around this, to an extent. Even now I can feel myself self-awarely (awarly?) critiquing this, editing this, changing this. But the influence is muted, easier to manage. And while I’m internally distracted, I can (apparently), externally write (e.g. do something in the real world, as opposed to just sitting still, looking into middle-distance).
- Part of it is effort. Yeah, this is the weak-sauce of the bunch. Like, of course effort takes effort, it’s effort. If it was effortless, it’d be pretty badly named. But somehow, effort seems less effort when drunk. At least where writing/externally creating seems to be. Right now, as I type, I can feel the last 3-4 shots of gin hitting my system. As I started writing this, I was drunk (but not too drunk), in the time between then and now (which is probably between 5-10 mins) the next pint of gin and lemonade (classy I know) is starting to hit my system. I can tell because my vision just got a whole lot driftier, and it started to take a much greater effort to actually pay attention to what I’m writing. I feel like I was in the sweet spot for alcohol-induced-writing, and now I’m shimmying past it. Although frankly, I just said ‘shimmying past it’ as a phrase, which feels pretty fucking good, so who knows, maybe this is the next plateau of writing goodness. We’ll find out in about 6-8 hours when I’m sober, I guess.
Oh shit. Yeah I think I’ve surfed passed the hotspot. As I write, I have one eye closed so I can see what I’m writing. I will revisit this, and edit it (so you never notice this, the joy of the internet). But in the meantime: fuck you alcohol, and your apparent ability to allow me to write. There’s a fun letter I could write: Letters To My Drunk Self. (Written While Most Likely Drunk).