5.07.2020

If It's Worth Doing

I don't consider myself a perfectionist, though anyone who's watched me make coffee, hang a painting, or play a record might strenuously object. I'm a devoted fan of the detail, but it's insulting to perfectionism to assume what I do approximates it. People love to casually toss around the OCD diagnosis, but like all their half-assery, it lacks nuance. I'm not at your dinner table adjusting an errant fork. That's not my poison. I get high on a job well-done. That's my heroin.

It's a subtle distinction, but my affinity for order isn't rooted in being perturbed. I have a remarkable ability to ignore things. I don't care about your lazily hung art. I didn't invest the time, energy, or cognitive real-estate. Did I notice the placement wasn't symmetrical and that the viewing height aren't consistent between rooms? Of-fucking-course. But I clocked it and moved on. Dwelling on the negative isn't my deal. I'm not going to get twitchy sitting in your living room because you haven't calibrated your television to THX standard with cinema quality blacks. I will, however, turn off motion smoothing while you're in the bathroom because no human should have to endure that soap opera trash.

The gap between prints 2-3 is the same as 1-2.
It's the camera angle.
My attempt to dangerously approach perfection is born of bizarre pleasure. I recently framed and hung some silkscreened show posters in my home. After an embarrassingly long deliberation process, appropriately selected locations, uniform viewing heights, balanced color scheme, and matching frames were achieved. Typically I like to keep my obsessive projects to myself, but on this one I brought in the expert eyes of someone with unimpeachable aesthetic taste. I couldn't be trusted to handle this on my own.

My buddy Jawsh considers framing old show posters a hallmark of the aging punk's existence. Guilty as charged. Punk records on a turntable that costs a month's rent is my brand. Classy trash; high low-brow.

After measuring, re-measuring, and obsessing every detail, they were hung. And hung they were. Magnificently. Majestically. Gloriously. And here, dear reader, is where we reap what we've sown. The elusive and orgasmic payoff is at hand. Gazing up at my walls, I get a hit of dopamine, a chemical pat on the back from my brain.

Whether it's measuring my cocktails down to the tenth of a milliliter, or building internal braces into my Ikea Kallax to ensure every record is perfectly flush with the face, I am painfully aware I expose my streak-free glass house to your rocks of criticism. I get it. But to the good enough breed among you, I ask, How do you get high on fine? How do you not yearn  to experience the unadulterated joy of true level?

Or do you not build your sense of self on arbitrary, empty achievements?

Pinball. Cough. High scores. Cough.

Do you get your feeling of efficacy from the love of your children or the unyielding care and affection of your spouse? Is it from your work? Your art? Tell me. Where do you get your supply? I want to know.

My drug is excellence. It pays dividends in my heart. Perfection is my porn; I sniffed it once and now I'm chasing that dragon to the grave. I still giggle when I see how perfectly calibrated my TV is when I'm watching a dark film. No grainy purple shit blacks up in here. My mouth waters at a 17.42 to 1 water-to-coffee ratio, measured on a scale which Bluetooths to my phone and graphs my brewprint. I dare you to listen to a dust-free record, playing on an inch thick acrylic platter, with a perfectly balanced 1.8g tracking-force cartridge from the optimal equilateral triangle listening position and tell me you haven't felt the touch of God.

Or enjoy your good enough.

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