You can’t stop yourself from wanting worse

I deleted my Twitter. I don’t think Twitters in general are evil or anything but I do think that for a person like me (impulsive, given to over-disclosure) they are poison.  The brand called me can do without my <140 character deep thoughts, probably, and I can do without having another medium for obsessing about how friends and randoms respond to those deep thoughts.

Today, after years of listening to the song “Strange Loop,” I finally looked up what a “Strange Loop” is.  According to Wikipedia (so, salt-grain taken):

“A strange loop arises when, by moving up or down through a
hierarchical system, one finds oneself back where one started.

Strange loops may involve self-reference and paradox.”

Like writing on your blog about how you have deleted your twitter, I guess, or always finding yourself in the same fight because the part of your personality that attracts people to you is the same part that makes them hate you eventually.

18 comments to You can’t stop yourself from wanting worse

  • Gabe

    On anything as geeky as a strange loop, Wikipedia is pretty much inerrant. No salt required!

  • Rebecca A.

    Oh stop.

    I hate twitter. I do.

    But I think the part of you that attracts people IS NOT going to make them hate you eventually.

    Emily…you are approaching 30 right? I know you told me but I forgot the exact number.

    I watched another video of you, the “Digital Age” one, and I was struck by how insecure you seemed, how unlike anyone I’d actually want to chat with (only because of the insecure seeming hand and shoulder and facial gestures you kept making.)

    Now I am a stranger, who does not know you. You can and maybe should just delete this comment right now, especially if it makes you feel bad. (But actually, I don’t want to make you feel bad.)

    Your voice, Emily. Your voice. It is GREAT. You are so insightful and witty and fun to be around. Be confident.

    You rock.

    You rock.

  • Charlie

    Its not meant for deep thoughts or anything like that.
    Twitter is a more convenient way for posting funny pictures of kittens and for celebrities to have conversations with each other, pretending we aren’t there.

  • WAH, i knew i was missing a follower.

    your habit of deleting yourself from things is annoying!

  • I was on twitter for a while but man, it’s like 90% pedophile’s at this point you know?

  • Seeing as I just joined that site after much resistance (and just added you no less), I’ll go ahead and take this decision terribly personally.

  • Wow, thanks for the “Strange Loop” info. I had always just figured it had something to do with The Loop in downtown Chicago, which is where a lot of “business men” (by that, I mean people in the mold of Ferris Bueller’s father) work. Especially considering that, on the record, it follows the similarly geographically-oriented “Stratford-On-Guy”, in which Liz gazes down at her hometown from an airplane. That said, it’s always awesome to get new insight into a song after you’ve been listening to it for over 15 years.

  • I stopped following Emily’s twitter a while ago because I could see that her heart just wasn’t in it. It’s not that it was bad or anything, she came up with the occasional chuckle and bon mot. It’s just the artist’s dilemma: there are only so many creative pursuits into which one can pour one’s talent, and what seems like very few hours in a day (in the life) in which to do so (what an awkward sentence! But I’ll let it stand.)

    I’m sure if she put her mind to it, Emily could rock the twittersphere and rocket ahead of those pedantic bores, Ashton Kutcher and CNN.

    But she’s got a book to write and a life to live (not necessarily in that order).

    Coincidentally, I came across this incredibly germane book a few minutes ago: “Rapt,” which is all about the art and science of selectively paying attention [see how devastatingly on-topic AND au courant I am, Bec? Can I call you "Bec? Too late].) <–clear punctuation malfunction.

    I know Emily is concerned with this problem because it is through her recommendation that I’ve started using Freedom and even made a donation to it, that’s how useful I’ve found it to be.

    Well, now that I’ve selectively paid a little attention to Emily’s blog, I think I’ll start my own day.

    What to do? What to do?

  • The “strange loop” Wikipedia page linked to interesting pages on Efron dice, Shepard tones, and “I’m My Own Grandpa”. I tried to add a link to the page itself but it wouldn’t let me, just made the term bold.

    Hey, does LP’s “I always wanted more than I knew [that I wanted?]” constitute such a loop? There’s something self-referential about the expression…

  • Michael R. Jackson

    And how interesting that that album begins with “I bet you fall in love so easily with the beautiful girls who are shyly brave …” etc., and is filled with all this longing and this hatred and a sense that she is going to teach (Nash Kato?) a lesson living in this Guyville and ends with “Baby, I’m tired of fighting … I always wanted you … I only wanted more than I knew …” and is filled with all this longing and a sense of hatred but a sense that she can’t teach (Nash Kato?) a lesson and feels like she’s back where she started but with a greater sense of awareness. I think that too, is a a feature of a strange loop. And obviously, Liz is a genius and also, while the part of your personality that attracts people to you is the same part that makes them hate you eventually. The same part that makes them hate you is the same part of your personality that attracts [other] people. I’d keep that in mind, young woman, i.e., “and watch how fast they run to the flame.”

  • Amanda

    Emily, I had a different reaction to the Digital Age interview. I don’t think you looked insecure. You looked like you were trying to be poised, gracious, and thoughtful in the face of a really dry, conservative, and condescending interviewer. He was almost intolerable. You were yourself. Which was your whole point.

  • emily

    @Amanda — also weirdly inappropriately flirtatious! In a sad avuncular way!

  • I am quite sure he had, before that interview, never even seen a computer screen, much less read blog. I thought you did great. And boo about your Twitter … sorry, but the reasoning is weak.

  • dan

    See, you got all divulgy there at the end and then withheld key info. Could you please explain that whole ’same as end up hating’ bit in 140 characters? Please!

  • Sevi

    Why is “over-disclosure” a bad thing? It’s also called sharing.

  • there is this Bansky piece (YES I AM QUOTING A BANSKY PIECE) that says like “When you first meet someone, you know instantly why you will leave them.” cynical yes, but hey.

  • I lived alone in lonesome towns when those Liz Phair records came out, and while they were obviously Female in Direction, they were also just wonderful & painful records to listen to late at night, with a bottle of whatever, in the era before you knew too many people who could do the email and website.

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