Friday, March 28, 2008

This morning I feel...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Southland Tales

I saw Southland Tales last night, which was unbelievably strange and quite the mess. I wanted to see it because it was the follow up film by Richard Kelly, the man behind Donnie Darko, which is still my favorite cult film of the last several years. I really love Donnie Darko. Really. But not enough to forgive Southland Tales.

The movie’s story is hardly worth going into, which is convenient as I can barely put it all together. The film is a sprawling catastrophe and parade of former and current SNL players as well as Kevin Smith, Will Sasso, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Moore and, of course, the Rock and Buffy. And the only kid from American Pie who still has a career. There’s something about a bomb going off in the beginning, a lot of political jabs and slightly futuristic vibes (the film takes place in 2008), and, for some reason, lyrics from Jane’s Addiction’s song “Three Days”—an epic song revolving around the lead singer’s menagie a tois—are, in the context of this alternate reality, prophetic and deep. I fell asleep around the point where Wallace Shawn was going to unleash some sort of fury via his zeppelin, though it all gets kind of foggy for me. Even in my most alert moments of viewing, the movie felt hazy and awkward. The dialogue was laughable and the direction was mediocre, which is sinful considering the wonderful things Kelly did with his last film. Maybe I ought to go back and watch Donnie Darko again and see if there was anything stunning about the camera work. I’m a little afraid to do so.

The film bites off a lot and can’t chew it. I’m not one to dismiss things outright, but twenty minutes in I was ready to turn it off, though I decided to go the distance (I failed, mi vida made it the whole way). I laughed a few times, though I’m not sure I was supposed to be laughing at those moments. I was bored often. Really I admire this kind of ambition. Ambition is always used in criticism pejoratively. I don’t employ the term that way, but in this case we have an example of ambition run amuck and, sadly, running nowhere. Let’s hope The Box, which Kelly just wrapped up filming, fairs better.

Oh Hillary, please.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fuck Yoga Dot Com

I have to admit that I laughed. Yeah, there’s a glaring typo in the main page’s history, and yeah yoga is really good for you (it teaches, to paraphrase The Onion, the ancient and mystical art of breathing), but I tire of the yoga-yuppies who think they are somehow better than the rest of us who would rather ride a bike or go for a walk or watch a movie or fuck off than twist our limbs into pretzels.

(Note: mi amor is quite fond of yoga, though she goes about it by reading and self-teaching and eschews the high cost of taking a class and breathing in other women’s leotard clad odor and the self-congratulatory aura glowing from the Gucci Buddhists of Chicago.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thank you, Cinema

I fell asleep last night watching No End in Sight, the great documentary chronicling the massive mistakes of the war in Iraq. This morning I finished it. A few nights ago I watched Lake of Fire, a two and a half hour documentary about abortion. And then there’s the Nanking movie, mentioned a few posts back.

Last week I managed to watch Diary of a Country Priest, incredibly sad and beautiful, though not as much as Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar, which remains the saddest film I’ve ever seen.
All of these movies have combined to make me realize that the world is an ugly place and people are no damn good.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mina Loy

Along with Schultz, today’s website of deferral is this one which highlights some of the poems of Mina Loy, a recent literary interest of mind:

Bruno Schultz

I’m a sucker for websites such as this:

I’m pretty unfamiliar with the work of Bruno Schultz, though I’ve been seeing his name more and more in essays, manifestos and other forms of composition that join to credit the man with so much influence. This should more than indicate the need for further investigation.

Somebody had to do it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The morning of a good looking man

Any Arrested Development fan knows Gob’s theme, “The Final Countdown” by Europe. Of course, if you are as old as I am you’ll remember the song as a minor MTV hit in the glorious ‘80s when anything remotely heavy could pass as metal, even this keyboard driven psuedo-anthem.

Clearly the cult TV show has given the song a new life, as, just a few minutes ago, the barista in my building was singing it and playing air keyboards while steaming some milk. I thanked the guy, pointing to my head and saying, “it’ll be up here all day.” He told me that the song had to be from before my time, which is laughable considering I turn thirty-seven in a few months. I thanked him and left, smug in the knowledge that I don’t look my age. It’s the smoking and whiskey, I used to tell everybody, but now that I don’t smoke and only imbibe on the rare occasion, I’ll credit the nearly endless stream of green tea that fills my days.

Narcissus out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A reason to quit

My boss just asked me to polish all the wood in his office.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Juan Rulfo

A very nice article on Slate about Pedro Paramo, the iconic only novel of Juan Rulfo, maybe Mexico’s greatest novelist.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Cortázar, my dumb review and theirs

Go to Amazon dot com and enter “Hopscotch” in the search engine (select books, of course) and you’ll see a slew of positive reviews and a few bad ones. Maybe three bad ones out of thirty-plus. One of the more annoying positive reviews reads, literally, like this:

“Oliveira's attempt to do just that most impossible of things, that is, to bring together at last the ‘conscious’ and the ‘unconscious’ is what makes ‘Hospcotch’ [sic] one of the greatest books ever written, and also one of the last. Yes, literature, whether of the traditional, naturalistically dumb sort or by modernists like Morelli, ended some years ago. It followed its enthusiasts to the grave.

"A proof, good sirs? Simply read the reviews here - and there are only 31! On Amazon! For a book such as this! - and you'll quickly discover just how REMOTE any prospect of even understanding Cortazar's and Oliveira's project has become so far as the younger generation is concerned. Exceptions and social miscarriages aside, they are as incapable of grasping what ‘this is all about’ as dodos were of flight.”

See my quasi-manifesto post and my opinion on calling works of art “dumb” and you’ll understand my feelings about this reviewer.

I am reading Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar. I have a lot to say about this book, not all of it positive. I may (MAY) be willing to say that it exists in a world outside of normal criticism, but that is not the same as saying—as many people do—that it exists outside of criticism. I hear that loathsome and lazy phrase used too often when people just don’t know how to say anything about a work of art. Oh, I saw that movie… I think it’s very bold, very daring. Really it exists outside of criticism, so there’s no use reading reviews. The critics just don’t get it.


I tire of this sort of summation. Say something, for fuck’s sake, even if it is moronic. And, to be sure, there are some moronic reviews of Hopscotch on Amazon. One girl relays her personal experience of trying to read the book three times until she finally waded through the fucking tome. She now regards it as the best book ever written, but I suspect she adopts this opinion simply because she is proud to have made it all the way through the novel. Look at me, I belong! And she admits that she read it because someone once told her that she was like La Maga from the book. I don’t necessarily know that this is the compliment she thinks it to be.

What really bothers me is not the lame criticism of this woman, or any of the others who will trip over their tongues, by way of fingers, to praise this book (my thoughts on it in a bit), but the reviewer quoted above who thinks that a mere thirty-one reviews on Amazon, and none of them very intelligent in his assessment, means that literature died in 1966 when this book was published. I can think of no more asinine a statement.

First: thirty-one reviews (thirty-six as of this writing) on Amazon is quite good for a work of literature, especially one in translation. The Man Without Qualities only has Twenty-one. And that’s just part one; part two boasts a mere three reviews. We Love Glenda So Much, a book of short stories by Cortázar—a book I prefer to Hopscotch—has one lone review. Love, Poetry by Eluard, a book that has never been out of print in France, has no reviews on Amazon. Sure, there are some books with more reviews, especially if they are books written in English, but the point I wish to make is that Cortázar is not going to net much more than thirty-one and this gentleman should understand that. Besides, if Hopscotch were more popular it would rob him of the pleasure he surely feels being so fucking smart. (I am assuming this is a he, by the way. I may be wrong.) Anyway, how many people were reading Hopscotch in 1966 anyway? Was it a best seller? Were there teams of intellectuals numbering in the millions who were scrambling to buy this book? Were reviews copious? Was Cortázar a revered figure with an army of loyalists? Or has he gained more recognition with time? I’d be willing to bet that is the case.

The second point that irritates me about this review is the indictment of “the younger generation” who fail to understand Hopscotch the way this enlightened prick claims to. Pretension, pretension, pretension. He has the gall to cite a quote by Cortázar that tells him, the brilliant reviewer, that Cortázar had a lack of understanding of his own work. What would that tell you, assuming it was true (and wasn’t just a matter of the author having a different opinion)? It would tell me that perhaps the author’s intention was different than my reading. And that would be fine. Authorial intention is less important than people think.

Really the problem comes form this reviewer’s opening line: “I'm finding myself at a bit of a loss for words here.” Nine ponderous paragraphs later, the review ends. Much of the review focuses on the “generalist” reader who misunderstands poor Cortázar. Calling the pre-modernists' work “traditional, naturalistically dumb” is another offense. So it took Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot to pull literature out of realist stupidity? Wow. Read Dostoevsky and shut the fuck up.

Anyway, enough ranting for now. I get more than a little tired of people claiming art is dead, that’s all. Art is not fucking dead. Anyone who says as much is a real ass. Grow up and look beyond your own myopia.

As for Cortázar… well, I have mixed feelings, yet I keep going back. I think the short stories of his that I have read are quite good. His poetry, which I’ve been reading concurrently with Hopscotch, is often very good, often full of throwaway lines. This stands to reason, as Cortázar's poems were mostly written haphazardly throughout the years and collected in a book he advised be read as randomly as Hopscotch. He wrote poetry constantly but seems to have devoted less time to the revision of these quick verses. Regardless, I like many of them.

As for Hopscotch: it deserves the reputation it has the same way Ulysses deserves its reputation. But I fear that many are praising both of these books for their flashes of beauty scattered through the longer sections of “experiment.” There’s an admirable amount of literary playfulness and invention that is impressive and, often, enjoyable, but there is also a great amount of tedium and disappointment. Cortázar was reaching for something in this book and I dare say he achieved it, but his achievement is not as pleasurable as it is intellectually fascinating. And this is far from the first novel where ideas and emotions combine. Or the conscious and the unconscious, for that matter. It’s not even the first to combine these elements and mix in jazz references, though it may be the first to mix these with maté. I don’t mind that this is not the first book to do anything, but the reverence for the novel seems predicated on that claim. It may be the first book to employ a sort of cubist approach to breaking the conventions of the novel and offering an unconventional manner of reading it, i.e. the second method of reading where we are invited to jump through the book from chapter seventy-three to chapter one to chapter two to chapter one hundred and sixteen, and so on. This alone assures the book’s reputation, but this alone does not make for a great work of art. The tail should not wag the dog.

And it doesn’t. I can say this because I am reading the book from start to finish in the conventional manner. Chapter one leads to chapter two to chapter three and so on. My explanation for this boring choice is a bit pretentious, I admit, but I stand by it: I am still so awed by the act of reading a good book that I need not enliven the experience through these literary hijinks. That said, I may go back someday and reread Hopscotch in the second manner, hopscotching around the book from the middle to the start to the end to the start to the middle until the idea of start, middle, and end are erased. I have that to look forward to, which, depending on how the rest of the book plays out, can be the equivalent of looking forward to visiting an old friend or visiting the dentist.

Until next time, I’m off to get some lunch and get on with the goddamn day.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blog Adultery 3

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My name in tiny digital lights

Gee, I'm a poet now.


My brother is doing a thing on his blog about the Beatles, Stones and The Who and their best ten songs in his humble opinion. He mentioned The Kinks and admitted that there are many (myself included) who would argue their superiority over those other British bands (though The Who were the perfect rock band). So I’ll let him do those bands and I’ll talk about The Kinks and my favorite songs of theirs.

First off, let me say that The Kinks may never have made a perfect album, like The Who did with Quadrophenia. But The Beatles never made a perfect album either. Sgt. Pepper could have used some trimming. I love The White Album with all of my heart, though I admit it has a few clunkers (only two, really, that I can’t stomach, neither of which is the underrated and oft maligned “Revolution 9”). All things considered, I’ll still always take peak era Kinks (Face to Face, Something Else, Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur) over The Beatles any day. Here are some of the reasons why:

Little Miss Queen of Darkness. I’m a newcomer to the Face to Face, a record I’ve always sort of ignored. Boy was I remiss. This is one of their best collections, and while I admit that the bonus tracks on the re-release are really some of the highlights of the record, the original release is quite great as well. This song especially has captivated my heart, and though the lyrics don’t really apply to mi bella niña, I like to think of her when I hear this. She’s my little miss queen of darkness, even if she’s not Ray’s.

Shangri-La. One of the most devastating songs I know, maybe due to my associating it with riding in Xtop’s van, Edgar, on the way back from Kansas City and nearly dying on the road. After a blowout and an ungodly amount of time sweating over our fates in an Iowa auto boneyard, we manage to get back on the road and this is the first song Xtop plays. And he plays it loud and life seems so absurd and sad. We could end up in a ditch in Iowa or we could end up old and useless in some god forsaken home with nothing but bills to worry over after a life spent working so fucking hard. “Life ain’t so happy in your little Shangri-La.”

Do You Remember Walter? I always wondered if when Xtop gave me The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society as a gift if he meant for me to hear this song and think about how little I was leaving my apartment back then and how we were seeing less of each other. Hmm. Regardless, Xtop introduced me to the joy of the Kinks, and god love him for that. While most fans agree that record this is their best effort—and it’s hard to disagree—I am perhaps a little burned out on some of it. Or am I? I think I am but the moment the piano intro to this song comes on I get gooseflesh excited.

Waterloo Sunset. Just a perfect song. Even with the sha-la-las it manages to sound more morose than a pack of doom rockers. Really this is what the 60s pop song was meant to be. Absolutely beautiful.

Big Black Smoke. A bonus track from Face to Face, this song uses one of my favorite subjects, a girl running away from the small town and losing her innocence in the big city, and runs with it. Wonderful chord changes, wonderful song. Just top notch storytelling from master storyteller, Ray Davies.

Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home? Another song about a daughter who left home, though this story is not of a runaway but of a girl who left her family and “joined the upper classes.” When everyone was decrying small town life and the nuclear family, The Kinks, ever the contrarians, presented a song about the parents left behind as their children go on to better lives.

Big Sky. Not much to say for this song except that it fucking rocks.

All Day and All of the Night. In an interview for MTV back in the late 80s, Ray Davies said that he thinks this song still blows away Metallica and all the metal bands that were so popular at the time. I agree.

Stop Your Sobbing. Such a funny song to me. I’ll want you if you’ll quit crying all the time. Hilarious and sung like a good old love song.

Victoria. The best opening to any album. This song just kills. The chorus is so simple, so perfect, so infectious you just want to shout along “VICTORIA!” and laugh with Dave Davies in the background.

A Well Respected Man. Long a favorite, this one always makes me smile, though when Ray sings “He adores a girl next door / cause he’s dying to get at her” it makes me shiver and feel the worst kind of sympathy and disgust.

Mr. Pleasant. Another bonus track from Face to Face, this one predicts “Shangri-La” and echoes “A Well Respected Man” though it does so with a catchy melody and some haunting background vocals. And cabert style horns and percussion.

She’s Bought Like Princess Marina. People compare The Kinks to the Beatles, which I usually think is a fucking stupid thing to do, but I’ll admit that this song reminds me of what McCartney was doing on side two of Abbey Road, especially in the “Brother can you spare me a dime?” section, though Ray’s lyrics beat the shit out of Paul’s.

David Watts. Mi bella hates when I play this song. The Fa-fa-fa-fa chorus bothers her, so I save it for when she’s not around. I love this song. A great opener to Something Else and the best song about jealously ever written, maybe because it's about jealously outside of a love affair. “And when I lie on my pillow at night, I dream I can fight like David Watts. Lead the school team to victory, take my exams and pass the lot.” I know the feeling.

Harry Rag. No one seems to like this song but me and mi bella. I think it’s damn near perfect.

Party Line. Again, I think this song gets dismissed because it is so poppy. Dave Davies’ vocals are so serious though, and that’s what makes the goofy line: “and I’m not voting in the next election if they don’t do something about finding out the person who is on my party line” so great.

Village Green. The song most Kinks fans will tell you is their best. A mini-masterpiece, this is unapologetic nostalgia complete with harpsichord and rural ruminations from big city eyes that still remember “all the simple people” and the American tourists who take photographs and say “golldarnit, isn’t it a pretty scene.” The closing lines about returning to the Village Green to sip tea and laugh with a former girlfriend still make me sentimental for something I’ve never seen. That’s art!

Celluloid Heroes. I don’t even own a copy of this song, I just pull it up on YouTube when I want to hear it. Or I wait for it to come on the radio, and when it comes on I drive around for blocks until it’s over. Or I pull over and listen to it. It’s so beautiful I can’t describe it adequately. This is an example of a standout song from a not-so great record, which would be the modus operandi of The Kinks for the rest of their career. Still, it might be worth getting this record for this one track because this song is that fantastic. Really it is one of the ten best songs I’ve ever heard.

People Take Pictures of Each Other. This and “Picture Book” exist in the same place for me, so it’s hard to pick one over the other. Luckilly, they’re on the same record. Both songs seem conjoined and each makes me think of my family and their incessant picture taking. “People take pictures of each other, just to prove that they really existed…of the time when they mattered to someone.” Exactly.

Apeman. A silly song, to be sure, but fun, and it makes me think of a bad movie from the 80s, Club Paradise. Not that this is a good thing, but I remember liking the song when I heard it in the movie, long before I knew anything about The Kinks. This is on the same record as the famous “Lola” and while there are some real gems on this record I always seem to go back to this ridiculous song.

Some Mother’s Son. The best anti-war song you’ll ever hear.

Sunny Afternoon. Another perfect gem where Ray managed to please the record execs pressuring him for another hit while sticking to his preferred brand of narrative songwriting. A great song for the bachelors or anyone whose girlfriend “ran off with my car" and went "back to her ma and pa, telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty.”

Till the End of the Day. A sort of step forward from “All Day and All of the Night” though I prefer this cut, maybe because it’s less played. There’s an intensity to it that is impossible to ignore. The best of the early Kinks sound.

Come Dancing. A late one in the career of The Kinks and their first gem in a while at that point, I used to watch this video on MTV with my brother. I still get nostalgic when I hear this song. I think that is why I love The Kinks so much. I don’t mind nostalgia when I get it from them. Ray Davies knows how to serve it and not overdo things ala Carole King.

Father Christmas. Not a great song along the lines of their peak era, but still a fun one about poverty struck youth in England asking for money instead of toys, and for their father to stop drinking and find a job. What’s not to love?

Okay, that’s more than enough, though there are other great songs I’m surely forgetting. I haven’t touched Muswell Hillbillies, though I’m pretty unfamiliar with that record. I tend to ignore most of what came after all that anyway. Thanks for listening and go listen to some Kinks.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bolaño Review

So far, the best review for Nazi Literature in the Americas that I’ve come across. As many know, I have quite an interest, dare I say obsession, with Roberto Bolaño. This review best articulates the humor and imagination that I worry people miss when reading, and quickly assessing, his work. I can’t always explain why, I just think Bolaño is consistently funny and political, even when humor and politics are seemingly absent. Anyway, his books are usually celebrations of literature, which, of course, attracts me. This is no exception.

Where this review perhaps falters is in comparing Nazi Literature in the Americas to The Savage Detectives. There is a definite comparison, but after seeing Entertainment Weekly—hardly the place for good book reviews—make that comparison, as well as giving Nazi Literature in the Americas a B and applying the tired “post-modern” label, I’m weary of looking at the books as linked and more interested in thinking about them independently. Then again, I think Bolaño would have liked his entire works thought of as conjoined. He really seemed determined to create a universe.

Borges, Kihlstedt, Quarterly, Over, Under, Sideways, Down

The new Quarterly Conversation is up with the usual reviews, essays and so forth, though most interesting to me was this piece dealing with overrated and underrated books:

I like that one reviewer called the Bible dull and another called the Collected Fiction of Borges—which is held in equal regard as an untouchable, unquestionable text— overrated and lacking a rounded character. Now I love Borges, but his work is pretty much universally lauded, often I fear without proper investigation, so it’s funny to see someone come out on the opposite camp, even if I disagree.

Speaking of Borges, mi bella and I went to the MCA on Friday to see Carla Kihlstedt’s Necessary Monsters, which was fucking amazing. The performance—part concert, part play, but nothing like the Miss Saigon sort of thing that makes my blood boil and convinces me that theater is fucking horrible—was the sort of thing that makes me excited about art all over again.

The skinny:

The libretto, written by Rafael Oses, was inspired by Borges’ Book of Imaginary Beings, which ranks high on the list of imaginative literature (I’m loathe to use the term “speculative literature” as it has a bad connotation). As the reviewer of the Quarterly Conversation aptly points out, Borges was not concerned with characters as much as ideas. This book (though I’ve only read pieces of it) contains plenty. More interesting is the way in which the work of Borges gets digested and re-imagined.

Kihlstedt wrote the music that comprises the bulk of the performance. Anyone familiar with her from that incredibly odd and beautiful bit of futurism inspired Sleepytime Gorilla Museum will come expecting damn near anything. And that is what was served up at the MCA. Much of Kihlstedt’s compositions rely on complex Gypsy inspired rhythms, heavy use of strings, dizzying percussion, rapid tempo shifts, building melodies, quasi-operatic vocals, you know, what many would sheepishly label “avant-garde.” In short: my kind of music. In the accompanying literature handed out before the show, Kihlstedt states that she sees divisions in types of musical expression to be increasingly irrelevant. I agree.

The songs were book-ended with narration by fellow Sleepytime Gorilla Museum member, percussionist and orator Matthias Bossi. I was truck by the ease with which Kihlstedt, Bossi and other musicians acted on stage. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is famous for very theatrical live performances (and puppet shows), but I didn’t expect the players to double as actors.

There were cameras rolling the entire time, and I’m hoping that a DVD is released. I’d really enjoy a CD of the music as well. Kihlstedt and Co. bring a level of excitement to contemporary music that is desperately needed. It was great to see them invigorate theater as well.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A half-start manifesto by way of poetic statement for class

To be revised, of course, but here she is in embryo:

My Manifesto, GO!:

I am interested in poetry that communicates emotion without succumbing to sentimentality. I’m all for codes and metaphors so long as something is alive in a poem, something recognizable, even on an instinctive, intangible level—something on which readers can hang themselves.

I object to the intentionally vague. I don’t allow words like “experimental” or “avant-garde” to dictate my work or my reading. (I am first a reader of poetry, a watcher of films, a viewer of paint, sculpture, photography, a listener of music. . . music, by the way, may be the most perfect form of artistic expression, as well as the easiest to get wrong.) These words have no relevance in the post-post-modern world where too many claim outsider status. You may as well claim to have ten toes.

I prefer art to damn near everything, except love, sex, and food (all of which, I admit, can be forms of art, but still, there are distinctions). I know art when I see it. I know trash when I see it. I love both for their ability to more clearly draw lines between each other. I always know what is art and what isn’t and that’s how it is, so there.

Craft wins awards but art lasts. Randomly arranging fifty-cent words on a page can be artful but more often it is empty. Be careful. Forms have a place. High among them are the loosely formed. Everything has a form. “Free form” anything is pretty difficult to pull off. Actually, quite impossible. Automatic writing is pretty hard to pull off and usually incredibly dull. Or unpolished. Or just plain obnoxious. Over-wrought formalism is often wonderful, but it is always the content, the ideas, the language, the beauty, the ugliness, the truth, the illusions that captivates the reader, not the form. Only people who study forms care that a sonnet has fourteen lines.

I don’t know if poetry should be as serious as people seem to think it is inherently.

I have no patience for quick dismissals. Why don’t you like something? Saying a work of art, or even a work of trash, is “stupid” evidences one’s own stupidity. Form a better argument.

I am not on this Earth to “get” everything. I don’t need a McExplanation. Ambiguity is underrated. Understanding is always secondary to the experience and/or emotional connection. The mind is overrated.

Everything can be interpreted with varying results. Everything can be misunderstood.

The anxiety of influence is utter bullshit. Sure, it exists, but only if you let it. Time is the enemy: slay the fucker. Love your influences and wear them proudly on your sleeve. Your idols, by the way, should routinely be worshiped and toppled.

No one is allowed to tell me what does or does not belong in a work of art, my own or anyone else’s.

Originality is wonderful. Let me know what you find it. If you don’t, you are far from alone, and anyway your heroes are pretty unoriginal as well. You think Kafka was the first to write about man turning into a monster? Keep digging.

Unoriginality is not a sin, but it should not be celebrated.

Trust your instincts but revise so as not to have to rely on them. You’re probably a genius, but most likely a hack. I’m both, depending on the moment.

If you think art and politics are mutually exclusive, you’re not looking close enough.

Art need not be political, or anything else for that matter.