Wednesday, January 14, 2009

“…keep it moving as fast as you can, citizen.”

I’m fairly certain I’m capable of many forms of sabotage. I may have decided, months ago, the proper course for my life was not to take an unlively job—full time or part time—simply to make ends meet. My ends have always met; they are not meeting as well now. They are frayed a bit & get more tired than not about having a schedule that invokes more than one existential crisis per week. (My capacity for dramatization only increases with the increase of things present that seems dramatic). That’s over now, and I’ve sent some cover letters accompanied by all the proper application forms and supplemental material. Sometimes, I’ll even generate an automatic response via email. More often than not, I see nothing as a result.

It is snowing and remains cold. The Tribune went tabloid.

When I was in school I had great external pressure telling me what was due when, what was best to pursue, what not best to pursue. A chemist asked me last week what is the value in taking in something if it has no truth to it? He meant, clearly, fiction or poetry. He wanted to understand his daughter, too. I couldn’t make that possible over lunch. I couldn’t say much beyond defending the value of language in giving us an account of some part of the human condition (poetry’s power to highlight this inside a single word through the use of many words strung together) or humans’ potential for destructive or reconstructive acts (fiction’s power).

Why did the newspaper go tabloid?

“…get on with it, keep moving, keep in, speed, the nerves, their speed, the perceptions, theirs, the acts, the split second acts, the whole business…” –Charles Olson

1 comment:

Keely H. said...

I would take issue with the idea that poetry or fiction have no truth in them. Poetry specifically is more invested in the nuances and subtleties of what is true than most journalism. Only poetry in its often kaleidoscopic presentation of ideas can hope to capture the multifaceted nature of reality. As for fiction, entering the lives of fictional characters promotes empathy and introspection, two virtues which are in tragically short supply in our tagline-oriented consumerist society. Fiction may not itself be true, but fiction can and does have an impact on the perceptions of individuals who then go on to translate the illumination that reading fiction has given them into positive changes in society. Tell your chemist friend to stick that in his pipe and smoke it.