Monday, November 05, 2007

i will post many things today.

I wrote this in an e-mail to Jesse in regards to whatever Mitzvah will become:

All Mitzvah is is a response to the smallness that I feel in the
presence of some vague but giant monster. I choose to give to people, to support art in a society that fails to acknowledge or support its artists (its kings and queens), to say fuck you to the capitalist infatuation with ownership by falling more and more into debt -- by taking back the resources that are our to begin with. (If money is the only construct that is going to get us anywhere, then I will, in a sense, steal that money. I will never pay credit card companies back the majority of what I "borrow." I will die $100,000 in debt and they will have no way to collect, because I refuse to get married and have children -- who to collect from then? No one. They eat it. . . .)

This is what I can do.

I have no sword. A blog is not a sword and neither is a chapbook press. Neither is debt or the refusal to pay debt. Neither are grandiose statements about art and artists. No swords here.


Time: 4:24PM CDT, 5 November 2007.

Place: Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Here is no monster. I know how all my dreams will end -- with me waking up. This is a not a metaphor for the end of idealism -- mine or anyone's. Maybe a bit of what Lisa Robertson got at -- resistance via softness, via nostalgia, via memory. We must make ourselves useless. We must give in to Nothing.

To what extent does our language create our world?


Anonymous said...

"Supporting" someone in their art or whatever is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and most people refuse to think about what it really means. I think it is the key verb here. I don't think you can do it (support people) simply by relying on the mechanisms of irony or sarcasm or inside jokes or whatever. When that happens, the group's language becomes insular and self-perpetuating. It becomes comfortable and stable, maybe, but not forward-looking or productive in a truly "building" way. And by laring bare what you mean to do with Mitzvah, or what you hope to provide, I think you at once gesture toward that obligation we feel in offering real support for one another, and (too) embracing the awkwardness that necessarily comes with understanding one another--the only thing that really matters? And by trying to get past what's comfortable or what comes naturally in our interractions with even our most lasting friendships, maybe we can stake out that ground where we, as you say, become "useless" because there is no stable vocabulary for outlining how we ought to interract? Refusal to feel comfortable in each other's company? An identification with sincerity and the vulnerability that ability generates? The "monster" can't be chased away if language is allowed to follow certain predictable patterns within groups.

John said...

T'ai Chi Chuan is ressistance via softness, so that idea exists in martial arts. In T'ai Chi it is more of an overarching philosophy. I don't know if that matters, but it is kind of cool.

Dennis said...

Damn, I love your work. You put some raw meat into it. Thanks for the comment to my blog, too, and forming a little group over winter break would be nice. Will you be around?