When you hear the words “queer culinary magazine” you might be inclined to envisage a kind of Good Housekeeping for gay men, some kind of conservative bible of new male domesticity. What you might not be expecting is an alternative publication where food and gay culture sit together against a post-punk backdrop, but that’s exactly what Mouthfeel is.
If you have been following me for awhile you might remember that I had been thinking about putting together a zine of my own. I have been trying to get into the culture of it all and learn about what other people are doing and how they are doing it. I get intimidated though because so many people are doing cool things I could never think of and this zine definitely looks like something different and cool.
Weirdly, nostalgia used to have a bad reputation—psychologists interpreted it as people avoiding the present, and it was even classified as a psychiatric disorder at one point. But recent research has shown that nostalgia can have positive effects, like making people more optimistic about the future and more willing to set new goals.
I’m not a particularly nostalgic person. My past isn’t full of a ton of fond memories so I have learned to only ever look forward, never behind. When searching for ideas for writing though I have started to tip-toe into my past and I realized there may have been a few good things here and there that got pushed out with the bad. Maybe there is something to be nostalgic for, and maybe it could fuel my creativity too.
By the mid-twentieth century, there seemed to thinkers like Albert Camus to be no answer. Life has no meaning. It is inherently absurd and purposeless.
So philosophy has always been sort of my thing, besides art and math and science that is. Lately, Albert Camus has been moving to the top of my list for favorite/most interesting philosophers. I have always been interested in questions of the meaning of life and I enjoy that Camus acknowledges the meaninglessness and the absurdity of life while also pushing for a life of happiness and pleasure. I highly recommend his essay The Myth of Sisyphus.
We all feel stuck sometimes — whether it’s on a creative project, in a job where we feel like we’ve plateaued, or in a mental state we just can’t seem to shake out of. These talks may help give you that jolt.
I love, love, love TED Talks, and I especially love it when they round-up their videos into nice little playlists like this. I myself have definitely been in a bit of a rut lately and I plan to watch everyone of these talks.
I’ve thought a great deal about suicide. Not too many days go by that don’t include a few thoughts of killing myself. That is the sad reality that me and people like me face. We don’t wake up in the morning and look for reasons to end our lives. We wake up and search for reasons to keep going.
I have barely touched on my own history with mental illness on this blog. One day I plan to start saying more but it isn’t easy, it takes a lot of courage to speak up and I haven’t quite gotten there yet. That is why admire people who can be so open and tell their stories online. The are brave and they are doing something that can help them heal and help others begin to heal too.
To post your suicide not online is a very brave thing. To encourage discussion on a topic that most people would rather not talk about is important. I was very moved by this.