Thursday, January 13, 2011

Putting A Price On Pretending

Finally making some real headway on the western play I've been writing called, "Horseplay" it has been a really positive experience. Not always easy to write within a comedic genre, as so much true comedy is based upon impulse and capturing a moment in time. Comedy is either timing, or the viewing of something supposedly set in stone in a whole new light. Great comedy is something that combines both. The development and refining of work based around that belief system has improved my writing ten-fold over the past couple of months. I've learned a lot as a writer over the course of the past few years, but the crafting of this belief system has really opened my eyes and changed the way I write forever, and I can't overstate that enough. And what's cool is that it is all still so new to me and there is still so much room to grow. Exciting times for me creatively, I can only hope the job market is as friendly come the tail end of May.

Quick little pointless story that gave me a real laugh tonight. While shooting pool with some friends, I joked about saying that [we'll call him "Hoopz" to protect his identity)'s fly was down to distract him from his shot. As it turns out his fly was actually down at the time. A fact we noticed a few seconds later.

Advice of the Day: If you're going to use a phrase like "you know where it's going" to sink a pool ball, make sure you actually sink the shot.

Thought of the Day: An interesting idea was brought to my attention tonight by my good friend, Ben Kraus. He mentioned American Literature had no voice for this generation. The following musings are a collaboration of both his and my ideas. Rather than tell you who's point was who's, I figure we'll split creative inception evenly. To aid cohesion, I'll just toss the ideas together.

So much of what makes art and an artist great is often discovered in hindsight (with, I think, a sizable yet not blanket exception of music). Think of true pioneers such as Whitman (no pun intended), R.W. Emerson, Hemingway, Kerouac, Updike, etc. aka the guys we still read today because they, quite simply, had something important to say and knew what they were talking about. Some are more famous now than they were while they were alive. I do believe that there is such passionate and influential writing to be found within my generation, but there are many factors that in a way prevent these writers from being discovered and given the podium they need to change the world.

1. Publication is a big business at this point. Not very much "this is strange and different, but potentially profound," it's more, "this can make money, and if it can't we cut it." The overwhelming majority of books published today are non-fiction i.e. self help books, text books, etc. I'm not bombing on these books, but fiction kind of gets lost in the shuffle. What mainstream fiction we do find is very much popular lit. like James Patterson and the infamous Twilight saga. I'm not bombing on those books either. That fluff entertains millions and provides them the service of entertainment that I as an unemployed writer can only hope to achieve half of. The point is that poignant literature isn't even given half a chance.

2. The blame can lie, in part, with the consumer. We are, after all, the ones who purchase these books and go see the resultant movies at twelve midnight in costume. (By the way, Scream 4 comes out on April 15.) We don't seek guidance from an author, we look to television and the internet. When we are asked to read a book in high school, the first thing we do is see if they made a movie out of it and rent that if we even bother to go that far. We text and email as opposed to letter writing, and creative writing beyond school assignments has become the exception rather than the rule. It's the state of our world, sadly enough.

3. With that said, I know that profound fiction is present in America. I feel it's pulse each day in my classes at York College. I can only speculate that the same can be said for institutions of higher learning all over the world. The question is, will we as a nation be alert and open-minded enough to embrace these voices when the emerge?

Song of the Day: I Want You (She's So Heavy) - The Beatles
Jazz Song of the Day: Vicissitudes - Dave Holland Quintet

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