The Big Questions


I really need to get in touch with myself. I have become incredibly disconnected and lost. As a way to try to reacquaint myself with myself, I have devised this little old scheme. I will ask the big questions. I’ll try to do this regularly (ha, there is nothing that I do regularly). And away we go.

Who?: Hi, my name is Joshua Adam Morris. I was born in New York City, but grew up in Orange County, New York in a rural and beautiful area. I am about six feet tall and currently weigh a beefcaky 180 pounds, all muscle, toned, real horrorshow. I have dark brown hair, hazely greeny eyes.

What?: I am currently a student at Brooklyn College, I am attempting to get my Bachelor’s in Television and Radio production. I also am a member of a sketch comedy group where I write and perform sketch comedy, mostly in the East Village of Manhattan thus far.

Where?: At the moment I am lying in my bed in Warwick, New York. My dog (the love of my life) Sheba is taking up most of my covers and I am lying with her between my legs in order to be under some of them.

When?: It is 2:23AM, February 28, 2011. It is now. When I wrote the time and date it was then.

Why?: Because I want to be happy and pursue something I believe I am good at. What I believe I am good at is being funny, but I am starting to believe maybe I am not. If I don’t become a comedian, I would like to be a gardener or a historian. I like flowers and history. Gardening would be very relaxing, but ultimately, I feel, not very rewarding. Why am I writing this? Because I feel like I have lost touch with myself and believe I need to spend more time thinking about who I am and what my true feelings and desires are.

How?: I think by taking time out of each day and reflecting on myself, it is possible that I will reconnect with myself. I seem to preoccupy myself with very passive things, such as television or browsing the internet. I used to be very introspective and spent long periods of time just alone with my thoughts. That, I believe, is something everyone should do, and necessary in being a sane, thoughtful human being.

After writing these responses, I feel the urge to continue writing. So why not? Let’s see if I can come up with other questions for myself.

Why do you want to be a comedian?

Good question. For most of my life, I have been perceived as being “different” or “quirky,” often times even “humorous.” In fact, I was voted “Most Unique” in my High School superlatives. I think that I appreciated humor from an early age because my father was the most hilarious person I’ve ever known, and my older brother has the greatest sense of humor of anyone I’ve ever known. Even if you weren’t a very funny person, you would probably come to the conclusion you are hilarious if you stick around him, he laughs at everything. I know the joy I felt in laughing hysterically along with my brother thanks to my dad, and I know the feeling of accomplishment I got from making others laugh hysterically. In high school, the most acknowledgement I received was in journalism class where I wrote for a satirical part of the newspaper called “Yellow Journalism” and then for a completely separate newspaper we created called “The Shocker.” I even broadened outside of journalism class to be funny. Any assignment I received for any class, I would try to make it into something funny. I believe that school was very easy for me and therefore boring, so I decided to mock it in order to make it appealing for myself and possibly others, even the teachers who had to read so many mundane student assignments. In a way, it was probably a much more difficult task to turn otherwise dry assignments into humorous literature, but I was up for that specific challenge. It was more appealing to do an assignment and make it funny than to just do it the easy, expected way. The reason I find myself, now, having so much trouble being funny, might be in part in the fact that the things I’m doing are expected to be funny. It’s not risque anymore. Now that is the normal and the expectation.

Why do you have so much difficulty writing?

It’s weird, but I almost dread writing funny things. I think I have a fear that it won’t be up to my expectations before even writing something. I have such high expectations that I’d rather just not do it than embark on something I believe I will fail at. It’s so frustrating, I get this terrible, almost physical feeling of pain in my body, thinking of writing something. I am so averse to writing, I procrastinate in any way possible to avoid writing. I do come up with ideas, not as much as I would like, but when I actually venture to expand the idea and turn it into a solid form, such as a sketch comedy, I will just hastily write it down, just to get it over with. I don’t want to sit and struggle with it and turn it into the perfection that I so demand. I think it may come down to just a total lack of discipline on my part. I am not sure how to train myself. When I was younger, and not coincidentally most likely, prolific and creative writing, I was SO disciplined. I would get school assignments, and even if they were do in a month, I would work on that assignment the day I got it, and most likely finish it that night. The logic was pretty simple and smart: finish your assignments immediately, so they are out of the way, so that you don’t have to think about it, you won’t forget to do it, and you’ll just have tons of guilt-free free time. I always put work before pleasure, now I go through every length to have nothing but pleasure. But absolute pleasure is totally boring. I am bored with life. I don’t have a life. I don’t have close friends. I don’t have people I collaborate and share with. I don’t have people I want to make laugh. John Donne said it best, and truly, I used to always disagree with it, but the older I get, the more I see the unavoidable truth in it, I will post it here for clarity’s sake, and maybe to dissect.

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

I’ve always wanted to be completely independent. I won’t get involved in your life, you don’t get involved in mine, deal. I used to have the ability to be completely independent. I was creating things prolifically and creatively and I could be a total workforce on my own. Now I realize there are plenty of people more talented than me and that most great works are collaborative. I need help. I’ve tried to go it alone, but I need help from others. And in turn, I can help others as well. But, alas, I am incredibly intimidated by others. When I see others who have the creative output that I once had, I get really down on myself, I want to give up. I was in this sketch comedy class and I basically just could not keep up with the assignments, the things I was creating were hastily assembled, done at the last moment, and just not in any way quality. I was embarrassed to go to the class with what I had. So I quit. Like so many other things I have taken on in life, I gave up. That is such a pattern for me. To give up, to absent myself from obstacles or challenges. Just to excuse myself from everything and anything that is any sort of struggle or distasteful to me in anyway. That is how you become undisciplined. By not being a part of anything you need to fight for. I’ve always just gotten out of everything. But now, if I really want to be a “comedian’ or whatever the hell you want to call it, I need to face challenges and face them head on. For once. Truly.

What do you want to be, in all honesty?

I want to be famous. That is so shallow and trite, but it is true. From a very early age, I not only wanted to be famous, but felt that it was an inevitability. I still do feel that way. I am just less sure how it will happen. Let me tell you, the way things were going in High School, it most definitely felt like an inevitability and something that would happen quite soon. Definitely before the time I turned 30. I’d like to be famous for my own merits. For creative output. For something that comes from me and truly represents myself and is an extension of me and my identity. Well, I guess I first need to create my identity, because as of now I am an indistinguishable fog.  I want to write. I want to perform. I want to amuse and delight people. It’s the same old story. A kid who was a misfit, who just didn’t feel accepted by anyone, seeking the approval of countless strangers. That is all that fame is. Seeking approval on a huge scale. Recognition from masses, because I don’t feel I ever got it growing up. I want to be loved and revered and exalted. Not like bow down to me sort of shit. But just like, “oh, yeah, that guy is talented” type recognition. I want to walk down the street and people be like “hey, you, good job, I thought that was funny.” I want people to know who I am, and like me, and want to know me. Me me me. Fucking pathetic. But you know what? It’s true. This is how I feel. I can’t keep being ashamed of how I feel and what I want. For too long I have hidden my real desires and goals, but that’s what it is. And that is why I have put so much pressure on myself to write and be good at writing. And according to the Baghavad Gita, I am going about it completely the wrong way. Sri Krishna teaches in the Baghavad Gita that one should not seek the fruits of ones’ labor, but only seek the labor itself. I shouldn’t at all be thinking of the rewards or ends of what I do, but just enjoy the goddamn process itself. It’s not about the destination but the journey. And, believe me, I have not, at all, been enjoying the journey. I’m fucking sprinting through the journey to reach the destination, and making a slipshod pathetic product. I just haven’t had motivation or drive. I mean, yeah, the motivation is there, for sure, because I know what I want. But, I guess, for whatever reason, I don’t make a connection between the work I need to do and the results. I care too much what others think. When I was at my best, I didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought of me. I made a fucking fool of myself, and had a blast doing it. I wrote what I wanted, said what I wanted, and did whatever the fuck I wanted. I used to be bold, daring, different. Now I am so reserved and demure, it’s sickening. It’s such a wasted life. And who cares if I am rambling and going on forever with this? Who reads this anyway? This is for me, not for you. I need this, this is cathartic. I think even in this blog I have been more concerned with who’s reading this than who’s writing this. There’s a much better chance I am reading this than anyone else, so fuck it. Cock, cunt, balls, twat. Shitty dumpster fuck. How’s that you fucker? Oh, I put the question mark there for you. I knew it was a question, but I still put a motherfucking question mark. I have real work to do. Even the fact that I am yelling at “someone reading this” is totally the wrong tact.

What are you going to do?

I’m going to try to get in touch with myself! I’m going to try to write more, even if it’s not funny. I’ll try to do like Sri Krishna said and take joy in the process, because I have no right to the fruits of my labor, only the labor itself. Damn straight Sri Krishna. Cool name guy. I like it.  No offense to Hindus, but I was about to post a picture of Sri Krishna, but the picture are so damn tacky. I’d imagine them being in the homes of retired seniors in Boca Raton. Come on, class it up, you’re an awesome culture, you deserve awesome artwork. It’s a little ostentatious for my tastes, but whatever, there’s probably a very good reason it is.

I really just need to be open with myself. Because goddamnit, if I can’t be open and honest with myself, who can I be honest with? I seriously lie to myself. Isn’t that crazy? I lie and deceive my fucking self. I do things and rationalize them or just pretend they didn’t happen at all. I need to fucking start facing things. I disconnect, I remove myself from everything distasteful or unsavory. I need to fucking face things. Fucking look at yourself, LOOK. Don’t turn away anymore. Look at yourself. Look at what you’re doing to yourself. You are wasting your time. You are wasting your life. Start doing something. Be Groucho. Be Woody. Be Josh. Maybe I need to come up with a clever name. Interesting that neither of those guys are actually who I just wrote their names as. Julius and Allen. I’ll need to come up with a good adjective name. I’ll sleep on that one. I’ve been writing for half an hour straight, and it feels good. I don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything and I am totally still ashamed and disgusted with myself. But at least I wrote. I made some sort of output. Some sort of mark on the universe. I don’t use the word “world” anymore for a superlative, because I don’t think it’s adequate. I’m talking big picture, I’m talking everything that’s ever been or will be, I’m talking the Universe. Everything, my thoughts, the air, the electricity in this computer, the numbers being processed, everything. Everything is everything. We’re all stardust man, that’s all we are. Forged in the furnaces of stars baby. That may sound like hippie bullshit but it is absolute pure scientific fact. Irrefutable baby.  Out of Hydrogen and Helium comes everything else. Suck on that bitches. Suck on that Mr. Pope. Suck on that Mr. Einstein. Oh, wait, Mr. Einstein likes that. Yeah, he also liked the Baghavad Gita, I’m sure that’s no coincidence. Maybe I should read some other ancient Indian texts, some other gitas, perhaps the Upanishads.  Right now I am reading Groucho Marx’ autobiography “Groucho and Me.” He’s such a great guy, he has the exact attitude that I believe I once had and wish I still had. The “life is a joke” attitude, the “absolutely nothing can I take seriously” attitude. It’s such an impenetrable defense mechanism, I want it so badly. I feel like Kurt Vonnegut also elicited that weltanschauung in his book “Slapstick,” and possibly in some others, I need to read more books of his. Another great one, of course, is “Cat’s Cradle.” Those are novels that I feel like, at my best, I would also write. I have a concept, a real whole idea, for a novel, I’ve had for a few years now. I need to actually put the time in to write it. Not just fly through it, because I believe it could be pretty good and actually somewhat powerful and meaningful. But anyway, “Groucho and Me” is a great book and Mr. Marx’ voice really comes through. Literally even, I totally hear him reading the book to me in that wonderful Jewish city yiddishy voice of his. He has some other books as well he’s written, I’d like to read those. He’s a great guy.

Someone once told me I care too much about dead people. Well, listen, it’s not my fault that I found out about them after they had died. If they were still alive I’m sure I’d appreciate them all the same. The fact is, there have been great people for hundreds of centuries and I wasn’t so fortunate to be alive at the same time as them. I don’t believe that diminishes their message any. I can still learn from the lives they lived. It certainly is not the fact they are dead that I appreciate them. I admire them for how they LIVED. That is what I admire. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just odds and lifespans that makes them dead people I admire. I admire their LIFE not their DEATH. So, that’s cleared up now. I think peoples’ lives are alive forever. I see it and hear it and read it, recorded. None of it was recorded posthumously. I’m admiring their lives damnit. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Or wanting to emulate it either. I’m not trying to emulate or admire dead people. I’m emulating and admiring living people who happen to now be deceased.

Well, it is now past 3AM, my doggy is sleeping peacefully between my overly-stretched apart legs. It is time for me to depart to the netherworld of dreamland. Tata. Please stay on this tact and move forward with life. Keep some consistency for God’s sake. If there’s one thing you can be consistent with, let it be this. It’s not hard. Keep this one damn attitude for a change. It’s really the most important stream of thought or personality you can strive for. So come on. Do it already.

 

goodnight.

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