Saturday, November 24, 2007


After nearly two decades of steady handwritten journal keeping, insomnia bested me and begat this writing spot. A physical journal is an excellent object -- a tangible record of your time -- but it can be a bad reminder, difficult to keep track of, or moot when your typing speed rivals that of your thoughts. When my cheap computer bit the dust and I lost two years of my written life, I began writing online. This particular blog came about when I was up late one night with a head too full of thoughts to sleep. I'm a firm believer that one shouldn't stay in bed when they can't sleep. For one, an association between sleeplessness and the bed will occur. Secondly, ideas will be lost forever if they aren't recorded. Erin's MacBook was a godsend: depending on where I felt most comfortable and inspired, any room of the house was game for writing. Somewhat quickly, that which kept me awake at night quieted and I began finding inspiration in articles, books, sound, etc., that kept me writing during other times of day.

Now, the circumstances of writing have changed so much that inspiration doesn't come at night from lack of sleep, but in the morning, on a full stomach. It's a great process: I wake, put on music, make a large amount of food (often a mushroom cap, Italian sausage, cheese, eggs and a bagel, yogurt or fruit, a protein shake, coffee or tea, lots of vitamins, and whatever else), and read. Sometimes there's a spark from an article or book, or a series of my own observations will coalesce into an idea I've been ruminating on.

[For a good spell, I was writing only fiction -- short short stories from an alternate world lost in a narcotic haze. While there's still much to explore there, spending time in the fantasy universe was cramping me up in the real world. I suppose I mean to say that my real world needs some work because the fantasy wasn't keeping me happy. ]

This morning, I was pretty taken by an interview with art critic Dave Hickey. While the entirety of the interview was a well of inspiration and hilarity, much of it commenting on the commercialization of fuckin' everything, the downright unfortunate state of the modern condition in the "creative" U.S., inability to explain the true reason why one might create, content vs. aesthetics (aesthetics -- throw your hands in the air!), there's this little nugget:

"Most famous artists are created by their work and the idea of them as a character, and if they're smart and ambitious, they reinforce that character because they want to win. They want their views to prevail. And you must want to win. I don't want to be rich, but I want to win. I want my enemies to fall to shambles. I do not want to be fair. I want the art I hate to go away. If you want your art to stay around, and I hate it, get your own fucking critic! So I am not in favor of art -- I'm in favor of the art I like."

Geezus -- thank you, Dave Hickey! This touches on so many ideas, I don't know where to begin. This is a terrible cop-out, but I can't begin right now; I've got a lot to do before daylight leaves.

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