Retconning my life

This is one of the cases where the name contains the true meaning; like literally con your life into believing it could be something else.

Retroactive continuity (retcon) is a literary device often used to say ‘Hey, we screwed up but here’s everything in a completely new light just to mess with you’.

Sometimes it’s a major re-imagining of pivotal characters like Alan Moore’s Joker in The Killing Joke or just the equivalent of a girl giving herself a perm for one day as is often the case with sitcoms. From ground-breaking to campy they have long since been a crucial part of pop culture.

‘Reinventing yourself’ I feel, is sometimes, almost a parody of retconning. Not everybody will be happy with it; it might get panned and be reviled in equal measure and the producers (parental units) are definitely going to give you a lot of grief about it.

But sometimes, life can derail and not be the same as the story you had envisioned.  When this happens, some people choose to find familiar patterns to stick to in their lives, much like when TV shows try to find their niche crowd, quietly enjoying comfortable success. But the others try that elusive technique of successfully making something new which remains faithful to its origins. This could be an utter disaster (Ghostbusters) or beautifully preserved (Doctor Who); which brings me to the whole concept of ‘reinventing your own life.

To be honest, it doesn’t feel nearly as high stakes as altering a classic character backstory. Because, we all know the majority of the ‘new year new me’ stuff doesn’t last long. Sure it’s a nice idea to ‘start a spin class’. But once you realize how expensive yoghurt smoothies are, you’re back to lazing around on the couch with your cat the rest of the year.

However, I have a half-baked solution to this. One common trope of retconning is the practice of showing already established events from a new perspective. This doesn’t change what happened or how we feel about those events, but does give a deeper understanding and appreciation of the characters. In the same way that getting a pet, eating healthy or concentrating on your work is not suddenly going to change your core character, but instead, make you achieve a new perspective on things and provide marked additions to subtly enhance your personality and attitude.

So this year, why not do the same things you’ve been doing (let’s face it we are pretty much stuck with our habit repertoire at this time) but do them in an entirely new way.   I for one, will not be mourning the failure of all the ‘too ideal’ resolutions but instead be grateful for this world and the people around and the experiences that changed me, for better or for worse.

In popular culture, retconning has toppled god level beings and made despicable characters humane. Giving second chances is way underrated. This year, I plan on having a surprisingly tender moment with someone I hate; my life will be like a TV show goddammit.

P.S. Yes, I procrastinate so much that I have published my new year post on march.




Dear Audio-Visual medium,

As a person who spends an unnatural amount of time living in virtual reality I must agree that television indeed rules the nation. Even yesterday when I went “jogging” I found myself thinking “if this were a tv show I would happily go frolicking on the road without fear that the street dogs might fancy playing tag with me”. You have gotten so good at bettering reality that it’s hard to wrangle myself out of your grip.

I’m not saying television is the greatest thing ever but think about it. Where else would I be able to lie in the most awkward and uncomfortable way possible and still manage to keep people oblivious. Where else would a mishap be comically exaggerated and a white lie snowball into a complex web of lies and deceit.

If life were tv it could always have a soundtrack and I can tell what is going to happen by the way the music changes. I can recall memories in vivid high definition flashbacks instead of the actual grim version of reality where memories are created from scratch so in the process it’s different every time you remember it eek (1) There would always be an ever present breeze to flirt with my hair and the people around me would always be adept at spouting off anecdotes and analogies that would fit my current state of mind.

This perfectly unnatural neurotic obsession however took me down dark paths. Waiting for the new episode made me more anxious than if I were waiting for an admission notice. The end of my soul show became as traumatic as breaking up with someone. The inability to guess real people’s actions because they weren’t defined character stereotypes put me on edge. Everything in the box always seemed more high stakes than reality.

But then, (get ready for the zen wisdom of the day) reality is real (boom). It is more amazing than our boundless imagination because it is solid and it is within our reach.

I think about the tardigrades, the cool indestructible waterbears that can actually survive in space. I think about the feel of my cheek pressed against a dog’s fur. I think about the grossly romantic mating habits of the red velvet mite bug. I think about people like Tesla who fixed things that weren’t broken. I think about the warmth of my mother’s hug and I’m home.

baffled about the sudden cheese,