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Mark

omg your so rascist!!!

Has it really been almost nine months since I've posted here? The last post being a private, whiny rant about how I can't handle friends' vicious criticisms? I guess I just lost my interest in sharing the twists and turns of my everyday life. Especially as I'm not sure if anyone even reads this anymore. Haven't been mightily inspired to write, either, except for occasional Toronto.com and Digital Journal articles.

I still don't have a day job, and applying for them seems more futile by the week. The jobs I want are out there, but the competition for them is absurd. I have been looking since July 2011, and in all that time, I've had five interviews (three of them for paid internships). Qualifications, experience, suitability, enthusiasm... these assets don't matter anymore. If they did, I would be employed full-time. We all would. Who knows what they want. I'm almost ready to give up on editorial jobs and resort to telemarketing again... but I'm not that financially desperate yet.

I recently saw a Cracked article that talked about secret online blacklists that employers share with each other in order to avoid hiring certain people. It would not surprise me in the least if it turned out I was on such a blacklist. Yes, I've had bosses that petty and spiteful, who would do exactly that.

I haven't been at my most sociable over the last six or seven months. Not that I've been a recluse... I still go to movies and concerts and the occasional party with friends and whatnot. But I stopped going to literary events back in October, and have started popping up at the occasional one only in the last while (not to perform, just to listen).

It was back when I went to the last CFSW, in Saskatoon – a trip that I now regret – when I started feeling that I really didn't belong in the spoken-word community. The political correctness in the Canadian slam scene has just become way too shrill, even hateful, for my blood. It doesn't even seem as if people are passively getting offended by stuff anymore... they're actively looking for excuses to be morally outraged, either out of some misguided idea of good citizenship or just as a way to get approval from the cool kids. You just can't say anything anymore without freaking people out or being considered “unsafe”. Anything you say can be twisted into “rape culture”, whatever that is, and nobody takes a moment to consider context or intent anymore. When I hear about the Kitchener-Waterloo Slam banning a person and turning him into a social pariah because he made an innocent joke about the Trigger Warning; when I see a Vancouver acquaintance encourage a cult-like witch-hunt mentality in publicly shaming a guy on Facebook; and when somebody I've known for five years or so, and thought was a friend, suddenly turns against me and says she's not “physically comfortable” around me, just over a stupid misunderstanding... when all that happens, it's no fun anymore. I lost my enthusiasm for the scene and all my respect for these people.

My last attempt at dating ended in three straight days of relentless, bullying verbal abuse in Facebook messages. I barely even know what I did to provoke it. I kept saying, please leave me alone, I don't care who's right or wrong, I don't care if I “deserve” this, just please stop it... and it wouldn't stop. And then the harrassment started again for a bit two months later. I can't block her because we have several mutual friends and I now have to avoid events she's going to. I can't understand why negative, rage-fueled people are (temporarily) drawn to me and nice, calm, rational people show indifference or repulsion. It's clear that I shouldn't bother with serious dating in any way, as my track record shows that I have nothing of value to offer to a relationship.

These days, my unique talent for accidentally pissing people off, a talent that has never been slight, seems to have reached a peak. Sometimes I'm even hesitant to open my e-mail or check voicemail messages... wondering, “So who's angry at me today?” “Who's the lecture going to be from this time?” “What am I being accused of now?” People do seem to get a precious kind of joy from blaming me for their insecurities and troubles. I wish I could feel that kind of joy. I get so sick of apologizing, it's almost not worth it to deal with people in the first place.

But. On the bright side... I'm seeing the Stones in concert. Next Saturday. Go me.

Sometimes I have to question the wisdom of paying several hundred dollars to watch four 70-year-old men prance around trying to be sexy for a few hours. But then, will I get the chance again?

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