Of this and of that; what the cat dragged in

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

It occurs to me, as an observer, that the world of “writing” is saturating the world of “reading” at least wherever computers, tablets, phones and internet proliferate. Unfortunately that is not a good thing though we were brainwashed at such an early age to believe with the staunchest of all faiths that “Competition” is what makes everything work. Even God had to put up with Satan so there would be a healthy flow of capital between the haves and the have-nots. Of note, in the case of God it wasn’t all one way either, not as we have it now in the New World Order of Rich eat Poor.

I suppose some level of competition is good in certain areas. But the nature of any art defies (and despizes) competition. Writing that expresses our humanity (not the kind used to make us better believers and consumers) is art, not a competion. Sadly, it has all become a competition as it is offered in the slave markets of capitalism. It’s turned into quantity more than quality as much of my recent forays in modern novels has shown me. There is a saturation of mediocrity and predictability. So much so that even the free stuff hardly moves at all.

About that free stuff. Free is good, particularly if it comes from people who love writing and have never thought of using their imagination to “make a living” among the capitalists selling oil, cows, toilet paper holders and coffins. Art never was, is not, never will be, a commodity to be bought and sold. When that happens, it’s no longer art.

Oh, I can hear the screams: have you never been to an art gallery where the great masters hang? My answer to that is, no. Nor would I ever. Let them hang, I have no sympathy or empathy to part with for them.

Whatever it is, when the rich buy it, whatever it was is no longer. The Midas touch destroys everything; leaves nothing natural or unsullied. The Midas touch is de facto, corruption at the highest level. I believe there’s a story to illustrate that point…

Of saturation. Part of the problem is the same mechanisms and technology that allow a thousand writers to perform on their crowded stage in stultified cacophony where there was only one declaiming his or her observations a hundred years ago. Computers, internet, instant copies, translations and transfers, digital imagery and so much more: these are the beasts stealing peoples’ time. There was TV, there still is, more pervasive than ever. I know homes where TV’s are never turned off.

There’s social media that clings to individuals like raw egg yolk as they drag their ball and chain of Smart Phones, Tablets, iPads, iPhones around so as to not miss one stupid comment, one idotic selfie, one brain dead tweet. Would these be the people who would download “For Whom the Bell Tolls” to read quietly while waiting for the [you name him or her, it’s all a waiting game these days]? That’s a rhetorical question.

We can beat our heads on a cement abutment trying for that magic touch that will make our book a best seller, possible but face it, it ain’t likely to happen m’dear.

The fault, dear writer, in not in your writing that it doesn’t catch the public’s fancy, but in the public’s complacency and laziness. Steadfastly offer a slough of gorf, garf, barf and tarf, or gross porn laced with extreme violence and you may catch a faithful if tiny segment of “the market.” Offer silly wizard stuff and perhaps some of it will filter into pre and elementary schools. Offer conspiracy theories… Offer… something, nothing .

I’ve decided I like writing my ideas down. Then I re-read them. I’m my most reliable and constant fan and critique (Well, except for Phil Huston, but Phil is on a crusade. He’s the Devil’s Advocate by calling, so we just stand well off of the path of his war horse and slashing double-handed sword and there is a modicum of blood anyone can live with. Those extraneous words that get their heads chopped off as he passes through town, they’re just pawns).

There are many advantages to being my own reader.  I don’t need to get those “Satanic” ISBN bar codes; don’t need to lace the material with copyright notices and best of all I can freely copy and paste any of it without asking permission. One has to look on the bright side of life, huh?

Some quotes to brighten your evening (here) or day (there)

Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life. — Pablo Neruda

Don’t despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don’t – surrender to events with hope. ― Alain de Botton

I think that one of these days you’re going to have to find out where you want to go. And then you’ve got to start going there. — J. D. Salinger

Out of the hobbled spirit of attachment, and the insecure need of belonging, come the gross judgments against those who do not belong. ― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. — Stephen Hawking

Be like the bird, who // Halting in his flight // On limb too slight // Feels it give way beneath him, // Yet sings // Knowing he hath wings. — Victor Hugo, “The Bird”

At times but more frequently now, I find myself enclosed, surrounded, imprisoned on all sides by a growing excess of civilization – paraphrase from “Super Sad True Love Story” by Gary Shteyngart. (Publ. circa 2010)

PS: Of Gary Shteyngart: I have no idea how this guy’s work got through… and I had no idea what I was going to be involving my mind in when I started reading SSTLS. Then I discovered it was quite prophetic of the Installation of “The Donald” as Tweeter Head of the Bi-Partisan party, no, I mean not yet, still the Repugnican Party as of today. The story describes a near future dystopian New York, and is carried along by a strange love affair between two most incompatible yet totally compatible people: Lenny Abramov and Eunice Park. The story also shows an America in tatters, militarily defeated in Venezuela and other South American sovereign nations with the EU turning to the East and China now in a position to demand payment for those trillions it invested in America.

Have a look at the write-up on WikiP. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Sad_True_Love_Story

15 thoughts on “Of this and of that; what the cat dragged in

  1. kertsen

    Blame the internet and behind it technology. Most people believe writing is superior to reading because in writing you are a doer but in reading an absorber ; better to be creative than a sponge . Surely I say to my ego I’m much more than just a listener ; you listen to me I have a lot of very very unique things to say. Freud talked about the super ego and he is a dangerous fellow but he can be the talk of the town.
    I suppose the ultimate in conceit is the Preacher because he may claim your life depends on listening to him very carefully.
    Who wants to pass into oblivion without carving their initials on the tree?
    I’m Nobody! Who are you?
    Are you—Nobody–too?
    Then there’s a pair of us!
    Don’t tell they’d advertise– you know!

    How dreary- to be — Somebody!
    How public– like a Frog–
    To tell ones name — the livelong June–
    To an admiring Bog!


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Speaking of what the cat dragged in, good evening Kertsen!(one of these days I’m going to let the spell check have its way: it insists your name is Kerosene) Come on, be fair, observation isn’t blame. Blame is what people make of observation (and experience). Love your poem.


      1. kertsen

        Far to fiery for a benign old man rooted in the past century and trimmed ready to depart but I will answer to any name.


  2. stolzyblog

    well, that’s a tour de force 🙂 what is it, like three different posts? I think I will need to re-read this, even though I have things to write & miles to go before I sleep.


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      My apologies, Robert and all. I had the time due to my truck being in the body shop, no wheels, and my trusty cro-mo bicycle was stolen to make things even more interesting. Relying on runners… so when I’m homebound and sit at a desk I can run on fumes. Wilde Taylor (she’s in Toronto, I’m in Vancouver proximity) and I were exchanging emails into the middle of the night last!

      You get into that nervous energy place… It’s either blog, solitaire or a sittin’ n’ a thinkin’ Oh, reading? Yes, that too. I was reading “A Healer’s War” and got bored with the technical details-written by a ‘Nam vet nurse so had to dump it. Still reading Super Sad True Love Story – much in common with the Tom Dispatch article I just re-blogged! Synchronicity.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Not too sure if it would be good if I had lots of readers to my blog, since it bounces all over the place and as for my books being read by millions….ah me…Dreams must remain dreams….
    As Alfred E Numan encapsulated it so well …’What? Me Worry’
    I’m going for ‘A Healer’s War’.
    My head and my heart are in synch again and they are off on one of their voyages, they said I could come along….


  4. Phil Huston

    There is no blame other than “me too.” One person gets rich with clip art music, everyone starts doing it. Monet couldn’t pay his rent. The evil capitalists are trading big dollars to “own” an audience with his work. Beethoven wrote violin music that defies only the most stellar talent. Art fairs are full of colorful, derivative canvases. Music? Please. Writing is no different. I have read more poorly constructed, stilted crap than I thought imaginable. Witnessed more full on shit wanking YouTube videos. But who am I? My criticisms stem from those of any form who are en amour (fix my French) with their own voice. The stories will tell themselves if we get the $#@* out of our way and stop being concerned with being writerly. Or with being as opposed to doing with any craft we choose. Art is in the making of a thing that is bigger than we are. More characters, sonic subtleties, more washes of color than were blank space before. The trick, to me, is understanding, as a character in The Hot Girl says, Things only be as simple as you make them. Air be as important as substance. And if that is true, the substance after the air should be substantial, giving the air around it purpose. Debussy said that music happens between the notes. Like words, that’s where the story happens. Where what was takes a breath and becomes what’s next.
    Or, if you get it and the muse is on tap, the stories are written and ride the waves of the cosmic radio. How well they are told depends on how well the signal is getting through. We don’t create, we’re vessels. The moment we think it’s us it’s over.


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      No agreement… OOPS!!! I mean, No argument (heheheheh) with your comment, based on what I grok of it, which I think rates at least an 8 on a scale of 10. Simply put (who, me?) well said! Now if I could just follow such stellar advice. “Mais non!” dit la Muse, “Tu es francaise, c’a n’ira pas; tu ne pourras pas changer!”



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