28 March 2011

March 28, 2011

Sometimes I start thinking new ideas, and suddenly it feels like everyone else is thinking them too. Like we all suddenly grew an inch taller. Like we all bought the same shoes. More realistically, I think I’m probably just more aware of that idea being out there, the way I’m also aware that half the cars on the road are white Nissan Sentras, just like mine.

I’m reading Reality Hunger again. This guy hates novels. He hates fiction. He thinks we’ve out grown it, that it can no longer tell us anything true, anything relevant, about ourselves, about our world. Why does an author have to make up this whole world, this whole cast of characters, just to communicate one idea? Couldn’t he just write a sentence or two?

I think he’s onto something, but I’m not sure what exactly. Most people don’t like the book. It’s sort of controversial. Most of it, he admits, was plagiarized.

But I think we need to evaluate why we do the things we do. What function our work has in society. What it offers to the people who consume it. Because no matter what we say about our work being for ourselves, for the pure value of making it, in the end it is the consumer (as in, the one who consumes) who brings our work value. We have to ask if it is offering anything valuable in return.

In almost everything I write, the main character is named Michael.


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