Monday, August 17, 2009

Everyone's a Baby Monster

There were a bunch of baby spiders in my bathroom last night. I guess some eggs hatched;

The music's by Hasegawa Tomoki from the Zoku Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei soundtrack.

Last night's tweets;

I'm twenty thousand leagues under sleep dep.
There's a flattened baby Kraken down here.
Pushing slowly through pea soup for each step.
Might find the English crown in Musgrave's mere.

PBS has been airing the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series lately, probably in anticipation of the upcoming Robert Downey Jr. movie. I caught part of "The Musgrave Ritual" during lunch yesterday--definitely one of my favourite episodes. Unobtrusive direction, nice, gloomy English manor house, everyone wearing scarves and black, grey, or pale brown suits. I wonder if Robert Downey Jr. will be spending an hour of the new movie deciphering a centuries old poem.

Running a little late to-day because I went grocery shopping. I stopped in at the bookstore and saw Caitlin's The Red Tree on the shelf, came close to buying it, but just couldn't. I got too sad when I picked it up. Even reading Sirenia Digest nowadays makes me feel like my guts are being scooped out with a rusty spoon. I can't imagine going through a whole book like that. It's not that I have anything against Caitlin, it's that she probably still has something against me.

I prefer not to see art as related to any personal relationships--Caitlin's a good writer, and good writers are too rarely given the remuneration they deserve by society, so I feel one should celebrate good art at all costs. But it's hard these days, especially following twitter now, not noticing the network of personal relationships that are integral to people making a living off art. I've been following Thomas Lennon's twitter lately--I never saw more than a couple episodes of Reno 911, but I remember liking what I saw, and having seen Lennon in a couple movies, I think he's a funny and very talented man. I saw him as Dangle (his Reno 911 character) at Comic-Con one year--the same year I saw Borat there, and I remember enjoying Lennon's improvised performance better than Sacha Baron Cohen's.

Anyway, I was surprised to see what a huge Morrissey fan Lennon is, and shortly after Reno 911 was cancelled a few days ago, he tweeted, "My top Moz song right now: 'Why Don't You Find out for Yourself?' when you understand the lyrics, you'll know me a little better too."

The lyrics for that song;

The sanest days are mad
why don't you find out for yourself
then you'll see the price
very closely
some men here
they have a special interest
in your career
they wanna help you to grow
and then siphon all your dough
why don't you find out for yourself
then you'll see the glass
hidden in the grass
you'll never believe me, so
why don't you find out for yourself
sick down to my heart
that's just the way it goes
some men here
they know the full extent of
your distress
they kneel and pray
and they say:
"long may it last"
why don't you find out for yourself
then you'll see the glass
hidden in the grass
bad scenes come and go
for which you must allow
sick down to my heart
that's just the way it goes
Don't rake up my mistakes
I know exactly what they are
and... what do YOU do?
well... you just SIT THERE
I've been stabbed in the back
so many, many times
I don't have any skin
but that's just the way it goes

The brilliance of this song, like so many of Morrissey's, is that it acknowledges without being particularly dramatic about it the layers of resentment and jealousy under the surface of people's relationships which result, really, from the simple fact that no-one ever feels they're compensated properly for what they do. "Too many stars and not enough sky" to quote a Tori Amos lyric. Sooner or later, you just have to get used to people being constantly rude, constantly too concerned with preserving self-esteem to go out on a limb for someone else.

Anyway, in a weird way I admire the stamina of people who manage to network online as much as they do, coming up with incentives for fans so that they can feel like they're participating rather than just reading a book, or just buying some music. It acknowledges how those fans are people who have a need to be valued in return, but there's simply not enough space in the audience psyche for them. I guess this is a side effect of the internet--less people are content being a silent audience, or rather, the internet has made it clear how one sided a connexion to art is, and people instinctively need to feel there's an actual exchange.

I don't have much stamina for networking--I try to be polite to people. When I'm asked a direct question, I answer it as promptly as I can, but I doubt I could handle a forum on my web site or even twitter enough to establish any kind of useful "personality" on the service. And it occurs to me that it really shouldn't have to be this way--there ought to be room for artists like me to just lock ourselves away and tie our stories and drawings to carrier pigeons which we release out our tower window from time to time.

I don't know. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm utterly exhausted with people to-day.

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