rough notes

what i've been up to lately.

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hello.  here are some things i’ve been up to lately.

reaching for zen. i question whether buddha really is the one for me.  but transcendence is a relative beast in the end, so that’s okay.

wondering if i really do believe in contemporary popular culture. i realized this morning that i watch perhaps only one television series per week.  this is due in part to my disdain for serialized story-telling, i admit, but nonetheless i still prefer the film to the telly.  however, i don’t really watch films anymore, either.

wondering if i still really care about politics. i’m feeling apathetic.  i’m feeling like my opinions count for nothing.  i feel like ottawa is nothing but PR and spin control.  and i feel like politicians, when they speak to us with their canned speeches and party-lines, are offending our sensibilities and intelligence.  screw you, john baird and stephen harper.  but screw you, too, michael ignatieff and jack layton.  i’m not finding sincerity in any of their voices anymore.  nor am i finding passion or belief in their respective causes.  no one is emoting a sense of veritas any longer.  it’s all speaking for the camera.  now, the biggest problem in all of this is that politics used to be my fix.  i worry that if Ottawa has lost me, the person who followed the drama day-in and day-out, then they’ve got a BIG problem on their hands.

watching leaves fall. it’s autumn.  i haven’t really experienced autumn like i once did for many years nows.  the fall is, well, a fall.  it brings on a barren, dirty landscape that we call the winter.  but i’m trying to fix my sensibilities.  i used to like the fall, and i want to like it again.  so, down with seeing the dirty landscapes to follow!  up with living the moment in all its fall-colours glory!

questioning the value of literary criticism. well, not really.  i still do believe in lit.crit, whole-heartedly.  however, the other day i was surreptitiously listening to some students and faculty argue that only in Academy are we to find experts in the humanities, and no where else.  To a certain degree, I would concur – it’s the literature faculties in all of our red-brick schools and ivory towers and brutalist-beautiful monstrosities that read and analyze and argue about literature on a regular basis.  they’re the ones who have devoted their lives to understanding lit like no one else can, so the Academy does house a majority of the experts in this field.  yet, I can’t help but wonder where the author (in a pre-barthesian sense) lies in this debate.  Arguing that the Academy is the unequivocal  and  exclusive expert in literature (or drama or fine art or music or whathaveyou) is a little presumptuous and subordinates the primary work of the author to the secondary work of the critic.  The argument that only in the academy are we to find expertise in the humanities is a self-defense mechanism borne of the insecurity of arts faculties in the west today, I think.  now, i believe wholeheartedly in the humanities, and i believe there is a place in our culture for the study of the arts, but for god’s sakes, don’t debase the creators of art in your attempt to save yourself.  the artist and her work are more than just objects of critical study.  the artist and her work are as much a part of the cultural landscape (if not more) as the criticism is since it’s the artist and her work that actually produce the culture in the first place.  man…  to not include the artist as an expert in her artistry is disservice not only to the artist, but to lit.crit itself.

finding my way (see reaching for zen). there is a natural end to all things.  and there is a genesis to things, as well.  and that’s pretty cool.  ’nuff said.


Written by mitchellirons

October 25, 2009 at 10:59 am

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