Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The way

"That's just the way it is." I think we all hear and think this a lot. Unfair, messed-up, twisted situations seemingly out of our control, trapped in fucked-up systems, rules that don't help but hinder, entities bigger than any one us. Often we have little choice but to make the best of it.

You can't fight city hall.

Steve put up this point system. It's both funny and accurate. Although unlike Steve, it does not amuse me to accept po-biz as a big game. It repulses me. It's probably healthier to approach it as a silly game and make the best of it. Laughter is good medicine. I do really enjoy laughing. I probably should be laughing. It would certainly be more practical to go with the flow. I am certainly capable of playing the game. I would get more sanctioned respect.

Except I don't want to be practical with my art. Not in that sense, at least. I have to be practical with everything else, just like everyone else. Sometimes I do things that others consider impractical, but I consider things like happiness and sanity to weigh pretty heavy on the practicality scale.

So when I asked below how people would imagine creating, learning about and sharing one's art, I'm really serious. Even if it could "never happen in real life." I want to be able to at least IMAGINE something different.

Sorry for being weird, but I'm feeling a lot less Bruce Hornsby and a lot more John Lennon these days.

Oh wait, I just looked over "The Way it Is" lyrics and Hornsby sings "Some things will never change / That's just the way it is / But don't you believe them"

I forgot about the "But don't you believe them" line.

CORRECTION: I am feeling both Hornsby and Lennon these days.


  1. Bravo, John Brown Hornsby.

  2. I think one of our greatest powers as human beings is the ability to imagine something better. I think that might actually be a quote I heard (or maybe not) but I still love it.

  3. Hey Reb, Yeah, I found myself unamused by Steven's point system thing, and I wonder if it's because I need a sense of humor in all this po-biz stuff.

    Also, I really like that Auden excerpt. Thanks for linking to it!

  4. Yeah, I take no issue with the use of humor to demonstrate the truth and absurdity of a situation. I think of how Catch 22 successfully does that. Steve's point list is funny in how it shows the twisted logic and rules of the po-biz community. I can be amused by the list, like I was amused by Catch 22, but not the situation itself. Considering the list (funny or not) does not make me want to learn how to be amused with the sytem, but it instead helps to better frames the rules and logic that I want to get as far away from as possible. What bothered me about Steve's post wasn't that he used humor to explain a situation, but that the humor seemed to set up a "this is how we cope with and accept it all, we'll play along." That we don't hold anyone accountable for promoting and continuing a bad system, we just throw up our hands and accept that's the way it is and its out of our control.

    We live with it with no resistance! We're trapped!

    So I don't know, is that funny?

  5. Also I don't want to hate people and I'm not satisfied with merely "hating" po-biz.

  6. Except I don't want to be practical with my art.

    I really liked this point you make. I try to be practical with everything else, but I see my writing as a space for me to spill. Thanks!

  7. With or without po-biz, I'm afraid what we do is nowhere near as important as we'd love it to be. Also, I don't think there's a utopian ideal for poetry publication/distribution/what-have-you. Anything that involves three or more people tends to get shitty quickly. Courtesy sorry if someone didn't enjoy my joke...

  8. Sure, utopian ideals may not remain utopian once in place, but that doesn't mean we have to accept and embrace living in a radioactive waste dump.

  9. But isn't pointing out the absurdities in an attention-getting way actually in itself a method of "doing something about it?"

  10. Chris, it certainly is. My comment wasn't toward the pointing out of the absurdities. but the impression I got from Steve's comments that he was amused by the situation and also resigned to it. Not that it's wrong for him to be amused, I was more commenting that I am not amused by the situation. Just pointing out a difference of perspective, it was not an indictment of Steve or his sense of humor.