I realized yesterday that I used to enjoy blogging a lot more when I would primarily post various ephemera from my life and I also realized that email is far from the only artifact of self.
However, I am a legendary emailer…if such a thing exists.
I am going to work on an art and communication project that is completely off the internet grid.
Yesterday, I went to a show in a basement and I watched fireflies in the trees that ran along the edge of the backyard field. My brother was playing drums and the damp-concrete-and-sweat-smell was familiar. He informed me that he had started a theatric jest metal band and that their first song was an homage to watching clouds as velociraptor spirit rose up in the people, transforming DNA through a single Christly cloud drop.
Anyhoo, his pants for the band called ThunderKrotch are reportedly white and bear a lightning bolt up the side.
I love my brother.
I asked the people at the house up the street where my brother played ghost music if I could come take cloud pictures in their backyard and they said, “Yeah, sure, anytime…”
I noticed that people seem to be posting more cloud pictures on social media and so that’s good.
Today I went to work and I printed off a Rilke excerpt and handed it out as a form of peer support.
I drove home and heard some fascinating little segments of playlist.
Here are portions of the letters I have been involved in over the past two days:
1. In Which I Am Answering A Question
Hmmm, sounds like you’re working with some pretty linear-minded folks, perhaps comforted by the familiarities of the common rubrics of narrative personal account…
It’s good that people are confused. That means they felt something and wondered about things. Yet, confusion is often experienced negatively, and you probably want people to like your film.
(Speaking of confusion…I get a little expansive right around here…)
I would think I’d find it somewhat nerve-wracking to encapsulate my honest life in a media that is known as much for its critics as for art itself.
Representations of self can be almost sacred, if the representation becomes a part of who we are.
If people don’t “get it” – that says more about them and the limitations of their thinking than it does about you and the limitations of your expression…upon which there are no limitations, no right or wrong way…but, if you want your film to do well, people have to like it and, unfortunately, most people do believe that there is a right way and a wrong way and will focus more on what they think those ways may be than they do on the way a thing is, just unto itself, as a story told.
For consumption and broad accessibility, yes, 1st person may be better. For nuanced conceptual poignancy, I’d keep it as it. I liked the chapter names alright, but the words Childhood, etc. are really appealing.
To further open the angle you brought up re: title changes:
What feels really satisfying to me is the thought of concrete (but, actually arbitrary) life-stage eras (childhood, etc.) as titles with the mystery of 3rd person (“he, the boy, etc.”) and pretty much everything else the same.
If you’re into over work-shopping things, two words: test screening
…with the two different versions, structured as an “experiential film event” at which participants would be offered a free viewing of a randomly assigned version of the film, in exchange for their participation in the “experiential film event” at which they would be offered a blank pad of paper and a box of crayons, with which they would record their feelings and thoughts re: the film, and afterwards attend a small dessert party at which they would complete a qualitative questionnaire about their experience and what they liked and didn’t like…and we can write a paper or something about it.
Christ, I am insufferable on Fridays.
Do what feels right to you. Your sensibilities are good and your film manages to walk a fine line between high art and simple storytelling, and the camera work is an amazing example of fine home cinematography of the late-60s/early-70s.
You tie it all to the bigger ideas of what is normal and what is safe and…dang…it’s a good film and a brave film.
Hope this wasn’t overbearing.
Have a nice afternoon,
2. In Which I Am Responding to A Phrase
(this comes off as a little strident at a couple of points…)
I like the phrase epistemic violence, because I know (sorta) what epistemology means. Could epistemic capture be considered a form of ontological violence, or just ontological privilege?
I think a lot about how the language and cultures that these (ultimately universal) ideas are expressed in can make them inaccessible to the people who are most impacted by the phenomena described.
It’s a common criticism of academia, but I do think it is valid and also bears particularly problematic implications in regard to studies relating to mental health
(…and the tendency for ideas rooted in critical theory to get lost in the intellectual boutique that is interdisciplinary studies…especially when these ideas are not rooted in critical theory, but in revolutions and art…which I guess might be rooted in critical theory.)
(Note: I know nothing about critical theory.)
My point is that when I was 22, I tried to read Foucault and I flat out couldn’t. I was intelligent and had known how to read for years. I learned about Foucault in college, but I couldn’t read him…because I didn’t know the language well enough, though the words were written in English. I also could not “get into” the tonality and variant structure of what was being expressed. It just didn’t jive with me, though I could see that it was lovely and important work…I couldn’t really connect with it.
Which leads me to what I’m really getting at which is that it seems important to figure out messaging of collective liberation that can be effectively implemented into broad culture and practice in regard to mental health and everything else.
Yes, it is important for academics to address the realities of epistemic violence and epistemic capture, and to acknowledge the academy’s role in perpetuating these mechanisms…so that these vital ideas might leave their cloisters and the people who likely need* them most are able to access them within the contexts of their own lives.
Hmmm, I also noticed today that the content of my participation on this listserv speaks volumes about my mental health and current functionality.
Anyway, thanks for giving me something to think about on the drive home from work.
* re: need, I rarely suggest what I know what people need, and certainly not massive groups of people…but it seems like everyone *needs* to have awareness of how systems do much to determine who we are within our lives and what we think of ourselves and make of our experience and purpose.