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TOXIC THOUGHT SYNDROME - The Experiment



"Anyway, there I was on that line between being a postively charged cynic and a simpering jerk, and I knew I had to do something, but I had no idea what to do. I had never in my life been so far out of sorts, and that meant I had no real frame of reference to fix it. I didn't want to go medical and get some doctor to hook me up with happy pills to artificially green the grass, and a lot of the more unconventional methods just don't agree with my punk rock roots. The idea of owning my pain and locking it in my love chakra just doesn't pucker my anus, frankly speaking."

Jim Martin steps out of his traditional cynical mode and talks about an experiment in better living

COPYRIGHT © 2005, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A while ago, I started getting really bitter. I'm a cynical bastard, and it's no surprise that from time to time I get bitter, but this was out of control bitterness, the kind that makes you incapable of finding the up side of anything. It was getting so I didn't even want to be around me, let alone all the other people in my world.

It's a fine line, being a cynic. We're optimists with our eyes open, but it's really easy to slither into negativity, and then it's a real bitch and a half getting out of it. Some of us never come back up the other side and wind up bitchy pessimists moping pathetically about the world. I wrote a piece once for Newtopia Magazine that nicely covers off my thoughts on cynicism, so if you're curious then I suggest you read it rather than expecting me to re-write it here.

Anyway, there I was on that line between being a postively charged cynic and a simpering jerk, and I knew I had to do something, but I had no idea what to do. I had never in my life been so far out of sorts, and that meant I had no real frame of reference to fix it. I didn't want to go medical and get some doctor to hook me up with happy pills to artificially green the grass, and a lot of the more unconventional methods just don't agree with my punk rock roots. The idea of owning my pain and locking it in my love chakra just doesn't pucker my anus, frankly speaking.

I came up with this idea. I figured I would go out and buy a camera and force myself to find one thing every day that was worth photographing. It didn't matter what it was, but I had to find one thing worth seeing out there in the wild world. I figured at the rate of one picture a day, I'd probably wind up going through a roll of film in just under a month.

What wound up happening was poverty. I was going through a roll of film in a day, snapping pictures of streetlights throught the trees in the early morning or pretty girls walking down Stephen Avenue or any number of things we see every bloody day but filter out because they're too unimportant.

None of the pictures turned out. Despite the amount of film I went through, it turns out I know sweet fuck all about taking a good picture. And that was okay. I had originally hoped that I'd be able to turn it into some cheeseball self help book that I could shwack on the masses and make a little scratch, but that didn't work out. I may be shit with a camera, but I can see things a lot clearer now, and that was the whole point.

Having let my secret experiment out of the bag, I expect to start seeing brilliant photography coffee table books showing up all over the place where people talk about this brilliant idea they had to combat their growing negativity and NOBODY is gonna footnote ole' Jim, but that's all right. I'll take comfort in placing voodoo curses on your copyright-infringing asses and watching you beg for mercy.




ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER

Jim Martin is one of 3AM's Chief Editors. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and fronts the unheard-of punk band Johnny Incognito, who have just released a new CD entitled Rotten Dreams.





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