Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bright Face, Self-Loathing

Harmless shortcuts with people. Quick smile, joke, the tease, all on a probe, some moves to see if anything genuine is there. Some moves to practice for when there might be something genuine there.

You 'play games' up to a point, and then . . . they're more than a game, and they're playing you -- a social art has become the way you are. Has become the only way. Has become the 'who' you are.

And executing it, being who you are by then, is no longer a light-footedness, a spry agility, but stiff compensation for a lost ability. Nothing genuine, then, here.

(For the curious: I speak theoretically.)



  1. A quick anecdote: My beloved brother used to pay me to play chess with him when we were children. I disliked the game, anticipating moves, etc. But it is still the same for me today, metaphorically speaking. I have no time for games, be they on a social network or in life. I savor the moments and if they are not real, then it is like eating cotton candy, sweet but mostly air.

  2. When people are together in a big gathering, I'd much rather 'play games' officially than idly talk and avoid any controversy for fear of ruining everyone's time.

    But those games can't be just time killers. Some kind of creativity, some creative brain work has to be involved.

    As to daily 'social exchanges', I try to 'personalize' them through humor, and if possible a glint of true human connection. This is true even when money is at stake, when some business is being transacted -- like buying a house or a car.

    It's most difficult in a job since everyone may be cooped up together for years, at least some involved are there to have power over the others, and since your basic income is on the line.

    I guess prison would be worse than that.