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13 November 2002 (Wednesday): since everyone else is masturbating

Come on, catch my attention. Snag my gaze. Come on, be a sky of stratocumulus, turning neon with the sunset. Be a man. Be a woman. Be someone who keeps us guessing. Roll over on your back and scream, because it hurts, because it always has, because it never felt so good. Come on, be my reason for escaping. For hoping. For not quite drowning.

Suuuure I'm going to write novels one day.

I am fascinated by the space between artistry and amateurism. I've occasionally been told that I write well, but that's in comparison to the general population; among novelists and professional writers I'm sure the assessment would be different. And I can feel how poor I am at writing when I attempt something grander than usual -- I'm lost when it comes to making dialogue seem alive, or creating some kind of distinctive voice, or juxtaposing words so that the result is poetic without being pretentious. I simply don't know how it's done.

In a sense, artistry is another manifestation of that ever-elusive prize: hipness. Any hint of earnestness, of trying hard, disqualifies you outright. Ditto with any annoying idiosyncrasies. You have to look like you just get it. Then you reel people in. You're not popular because you were desperate to have friends; they just magically showed up, drawn to your vibe. Because you don't need anything or anybody, you just are, you just do what you do and happen to be really good at it.

Hm. You'd think that Buddhists would be the hippest of 'em all.

I don't know where I was going with this, but I figure it's been a while since I posted something other than melodramatic whining.

posted by enjelani @ 05:08 PM PST

Replies: 5 comments

Hey... you're threatening my reign as king of pretentious blogging. :)

btw, if you want passage into the hip crowd, just use the word "deconstruction" early on in any conversation. It's the secret code word that gains access to the whole hip universe.

Oh, and wear docs.

posted by jim @ 13 11 2002 11:55 PM PST

Yes, yes - the fine line between "trying" and "being" is a rich irony. The less you need external validation, the more you "are"; the more you appear to seek that validation (a basic human need) the more you are "trying". It's like holding onto a cube of Jello(tm) while running; can't hold it too tight, can't let it go.

Buddhist teachings would have you simply discard the Jello(tm), as there is no need to desire to hold it. Not a bad answer. Maybe they ARE the hippest of them all?

Of course, on a personal level - anyone can be a dork. Ooops - still got my Jello. ;-)

posted by Bill @ 14 11 2002 12:41 AM PST

I would have eaten the Jello(tm) before I started running.

posted by echeng @ 14 11 2002 01:08 AM PST

everyone asks
a, why keep trying?
it's not that i'm up for the task
but it's hard just being
all alone
trapped here
looking to atone
for mistakes made along the path
of my life past

posted by McAdamer @ 14 11 2002 09:32 PM PST

Sometimes I feel like I AM the jello. *hugs* Engelani! Hope all is well with you! :)

posted by Moonpuddle @ 14 11 2002 10:19 PM PST