"...the earliest, most agonizingly written pieces presented here (none has been retouched) were the results of a crucial conflict raging deep within me, the products of an activity, dreamlike yet intense, which was waxing on the dark side of my mind"He goes on here to talk about this whole "renaissance man" concept, and how he may have come to be one.
"At stake here, beyond the veil of consciousness, was the question of what seemed possible for me in terms of self-achievement, and linked to this was the question of what was the most desirable agency for defining myself."
"...in the beginning writing was far from a serious matter, it was playing with the secret lore of a fascinating but less glorious art to which I owed, I believed, no prior dedication."..."Rather it was a reflex of reading, an extension of a source of leisure, escape and instruction. In fact, I had become curious about writing by way of seeking to understand the aesthetic nature of literary power, the devices through which literature could command my mind and emotions. It was not, then, the process of writing which initially claimed my attention, but the finished creations was, therefore, an amusing investigation of what seemed at best a secondary talent, an exploration, like dabbling in sculpture, of one's potentialities as a 'renaissance man.' "
"...ours was a chaotic community, still characterized by frontier attitudes and by that strange mixture of the naive and sophisticated, the benign and malignant, which makes the American past so puzzling and its present so confusing..."Still timely, methinks.
"The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike."
"I had undergone, not too many months before taking the path to writing, the humiliation of being taught in a class in sociology at a Negro College (from Park and Burgess, the leading textbook in the field) that Negroes represented the 'lady of the races.' This contention the Negro instructor passed blandly along to us without even bothering to wash his hands, much less his teeth."Here's a doozie:
"...I found the greatest difficult for a Negro writer as the problem of revealing what he truly felt, rather than serving up what Negroes were supposed to feel, and were encouraged to feel."
"In this sense fiction became the agency of my efforts to answer the questions: Who am I, what am I, how did I come to be? What shall I make of the life around me, what celebrate, what reject, how confront the snarl of good and evil which is inevitable? What does American society mean when regarded out of my own eyes, when informed by my own sense of the past and viewed by my own complex sense of the present? How, in other words, should I think of myself and my pluralistic sense of the world, how express my vision of the human predicament, without reducing it to a point which would render it sterile before that necessary and tragic - though enhancing - reduction which must occur before the fictive vision can come alive?"He kinda wraps it up after that.
Earlier today a brief wave of frustration washed across my being. I got
frustrated because I was painfully aware that it's been a few days since
I've written anything. For the record, let me say that the most
remarkable thing about this is that in the less than two months that
I've been writing here, my soul has so enjoyed it that it the lack of it
was...an irritant. An itch. It bothered me. To me, that's growth. My
artistic spirit is (again) awake, and I'm honored to say it. The icing
on that cake is...that was only my first epiphany of the evening.
The Second Epiphany
So on the heels of that frustrated feeling my inner frustrated problem
solver instinct kicked in.
"I must write something!"
"What do I write?"
"Wait a minute, haven't I posted in the past about what I would be writing?"
"Yeah, but I haven't come across anything lately that I feel like
writing about. No great books or anything."
"Okay...didn't I somewhere post about an exact topic that I would write
about in the future?"
"Yes! That's it. Let's do it."
If you are not a devout fan of Fox's 24, then you have absolutely no
idea what the hell I'm talking about
If you are a fan, however, you mourn with me.
For the uninitiated, Edgar Styles is (was) a character on 24. Played by
Louis Lombardi, we first met Edgar during Day/Season 4. He is (was) a
competent, if somewhat easily distracted analyst for the Los Angeles
branch of the Counter Terrorism Unit, a fictional version of Homeland
Security, if you will. On a show which heretofore has had a planted
double agent, or at least a tragically flawed leader, Edgar was a breath
of fresh air. Honest to the point of being vulnerable, and hopelessly
in love with another character, Chloe Sullivan.
Edgar's most endearing moments came last season when he was charged with
disarming about 100 nuclear plants which had been set to overload by
terrorists. He successfully disarmed all but a handful, saving tens of
thousands of lives, but then was hopeless to save his own elderly
mother, who happened to be in the danger zone for one of the nuclear
plants he couldn't disarm. He was told that there were just not
National Guard, police, and other public service personnel for one to be
spared long enough to go save his mother. When he threw a tantrum about
it, he was simply told to get over it and get back to work.
That's enough background story. Back to this season. For those of you
who TIVOed it, or plan on watching it soon, let me give you the short
version. CTU was compromised. Toxic nerve gas. They had to
evacuate. Edgar went to look for someone who he had snapped at, and
sent on an errand, instead of high-tailing it out of there. Finds the
chick dead. Meanwhile, those left in CTU realize that it's too late to
get out of there and end up sealing themselves in a few rooms that were
safe. They're sealed in. Looking out through the all-glass doors and
walls, and in stumbles poor Edgar. He already feels bad about the chick
that he sent to her death. He's probably flashed on the last crisis in
which he lost his mother. Sees the gas refugees in the sealed off room,
and instantly understands that he's a dead man. Everyone in the sealed
room who counts remembers what happened to his mother, and they're all
of a sudden very sad, and their eyes are getting moist, including Chloe,
who probably had a little crush on Edgar, too, but just couldn't admit
it to him, much less herself. Edgar collapses to the floor.
Probably the most tender moment to date I've seen on 24.
Know what I'm sayin'??
Okay...this is getting more interersting by the minute. Popular Culture has a Journal, and because there apparently so much Pop Culture these days, they're expanding from 4, to 6 issues. Also, apparently they distribute a commemorative poster every year or something, because it's really important that you give a good mailing address so that you can get yours. Also, I guess they put out the posters a year early, or maybe they are just collecting mailing addresses for next year's poster, because they are specifically talking about the 2007 poster. A little bit confusing.
I honestly have no idea how many people are reading this, but I keep
writing anyway. The reason I mention is that is because I'm dying to
know how many of y'all love watching Good Eats. I can't say that I set my TV to tune to it automatically, or anything, but if I see that it's on,
then my decision is made.
What makes Alton stand out from the rest of the Food Network shows is
that he doesn't just tell you /what/ to do. He tells you /why/ to do
it. That way you can take the knowledge and underlying concepts, and
expand upon them to your needs. He hates uni-taskers (tools or gadgets
meant and only useful for one purpose), and he is a big fan of common
sense. I watched it tonight, and he made a smoker out of two terra
cotta pots, a hot plate, and a BBQ grate. Like 50 bucks in materials.
An other thing I like is that the guy lives right here in Atlanta,
somewhere. Whenever he visits stores he flashes the name of the place
up in the corner of the screen, and I'm like "I've been there!". Cool
So, if anyone happens to know him, or can get to him within a degree or
two of separation, make an introduction. Hook me up.
Know what I'm sayin'??