November 25, 2013
November 16, 2013
November 11, 2013
I’m sitting in Starbucks. Day after day. This fellow comes in and reads “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. I’ve read parts. I’ve listened to interviews with Ayn Rand. I’ve watch a couple of films based on her work. She is no doubt one of the most unattractive people I have ever heard interviewed. It is this unattractiveness that has made her career. People think she must be a serious thinker.
Anyway this guy comes into Starbucks everyday. Reads his Rand. Piece by piece. He is only the second person I have met who reads Rand. The first was a very attractive woman in her 40s who swore that Rand was our Plato. She was starting a new business and Rand was her inspiration. The guy who came into Starbucks every day and read was an actor, trying to get discovered. He was also in his 40s. I think Rand’s philosophy (Nietzsche gone rancid) suits those who are desperate and need a ‘rationalization’ fix.
I’m sure Rand is very popular with the ‘tea party’ clan.
November 8, 2013
Everything about the show is glitz. I have some sympathy for the writers involved who have to go through this ordeal. Its like a spoof from Second City.
November 6, 2013
November 2, 2013
October 17, 2013
A love affair with the arts. But not ideas. Books are published, given awards, and then seen no more. There is no discussion about ideas. Nor even discussion about the books themselves. When I first started writing I was told that mainstream couldn’t sell. You had to write genre fiction. Crime, science fiction, romance, horror, erotica etc. That was where you could make a career. What I have seen amongst writers and artists as a whole is what they seek is some vague laurel leaf. It would make Mark Twain snicker. Awards should be given to those books that sell the most. At the least, it would make some kind of sense.
(I find this little rant confusing. Are you against awards or pretense? Clean this up and bring it back to me tomorrow.)
September 8, 2013
People think that art is something else. Its spiritual. Or its economically viable. Or its eternal. Some say that art will save you. Meaning your soul. Or your sanity. All sounding like Madison Avenue philosophy. Something you could put on a cigarette package. Hallmark. Something written by Kahlil Gibran. Something glib.
Let me add my glib. Art is nothing. Do it. And then forget it. Look at it. And then go home and kick the cat. Listen to a whiff of it. And then pay your hydro bill.
September 1, 2013
Comfort food. I see it in films, novels, music. Its goal is not to challenge us. Its goal is to make us feel comfortable, at ease, safe. When I lived in Europe in the 80s I remember searching high and low for peanut butter. A peanut butter sandwich felt like home.
It is sometimes difficult to tell what art is comfort food. The outrageous may just give us a sense that we are on the cutting edge of change. It makes us feel safe. A lot of ‘avant-garde’ art is like that. On the other hand, movies like The Butler can also fill that gap. Making us feel that we are on ‘the right side of history’.
I see people reading, reviewing books that they would love to have had in high school. Books that carry them off to another world. That takes them away from the ‘pain’ or ‘boredom’ of this world, that is comfort food.
When you go into a Christian church and see Christ crucified on the cross, that is not comfort food. The sermon may be. Their doctrines may be. But not a man in the last moments of his life.
When art is unsettling, insightful, when it opens up the world to you, that is not comfort food.