Subjective Objectivity – The Blog of The Reasonable Man

December 17, 2010

As if the past ten years never happened, courtesy of Science

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikeshotgun @ 1:02 am

I’ve been roughly wondering my relations with my fellow human beings have taken a turn for the retrograde:

The brain does not stop developing until we are in our 30s or 40s – meaning that many people will still have something of the teenager about them long after they have taken on the responsibilities of adulthood. The finding, from University College London, could perhaps help explain why seemingly respectable adults sometimes just can’t resist throwing a tantrum or sulking until they get their own way. The discovery that the part of the brain key to getting on with others takes decades to fully form could perhaps also explain why some people are socially awkward well past their teenage years.

Via Alex Balk at the Awl, who, never failing to come up with a dark take on matters, says:

Still, I have mixed feelings about these findings. The idea that I still have the irrational, self-defeating impulses of a teenager is incredibly depressing, because, my God, what an awful time. On the other hand, the fact that we’re all still teenagers totally explains why nobody understands me and how sensitive and brilliant I am and they just don’t get it and it’s so unfair. I knew there had to be a reason.

I’m doing the rumblings a long-form piece for the new year kind of roughly on this theme. Until I complete that 4000 word (at least) monstrosity, you could do worse than browse Balk’s back catalogue. I’ll leave you with this wonderfully dark piece of prose from the beginning of the beginning of Winter:

We all have our reasons for why we drink: We’re depressed. We feel as if we haven’t succeeded in even the modest goals we’ve set for ourselves. We’re nervous. We over-analyze the most rudimentary aspects of life, imbuing each detail with imagined tragedy when the sheer facts of living are tragic enough. We feel awkward. We are sad and alone. We like the taste. Reasons, we have plenty.

But in weather like this, yes, we drink. Have you noticed how dark it is in the mornings now? You lay there in bed, coaxing yourself to give it another shot while totaling up the happinesses and disappointments in your time on this earth thus far. The disappointments never come up short, and the ledger is always balanced in the favor of sorrow. You sigh, you pull yourself up, you turn on the light, and it starts over again. It’s all gray and the dusk comes early. Some days it rains. It’s hard to even try.

Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. I can’t ever figure out whether we lose an hour or gain an hour, but this is the one where you turn time back. In the end it doesn’t make a difference: That hour will catch up with you one way or another. So will the darkness. That’s how life is. That’s why we drink. Anyway, don’t forget about the clocks.


Cross-posted at Something Quotable


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