The Horse Would Have Lived Except it Died

July 15th, 2008 § 0 comments

My interest in No Country For Old Men did not begin with the movie itself, but with other people’s reactions to it. With all Coen films, I find them aesthetically entrancing, morally interesting, and generally unmoving. I am impressed mostly by a kind of boyish insincerity, and I remain interested in them as filmmakers because I can’t decide if I believe they are intentionally so or not. There was an article in a recent new yorker that addressed their habits of deceiving and tricking their audience, how they play at references and cinematic customs—their movies are a little too gleeful of their own intelligence, and count too much on a viewer’s gullibility. I saw No Country in Richmond, in one of our old movie theaters that shows one “popular” film, and one less so on a small screen upstairs. As the credits rolled up at the end of No Country the entire theater moaned “no!” A young man stood up and said, “oh shut up, it was good,” as the crowd piled out. I was interested and surprised by both reactions, that our audience was annoyed enough to protest quite loudly, and that we were rebuked like children—it made the film ending odder than it was, after all, it is not the first time a killer has gone unpunished, in movies or otherwise.

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Wander, Walker, Tourist, Flâneur ?

June 9th, 2008 § 0 comments

“Americans are particularly ill-suited to be flâneurs…they are always driven by the urge towards self-improvement.”


This line, from one of my recent reads, seemed to underline the contradictions I feel as a wandering artist, and I found in writing my thesis that I always seem to come out somewhere in the middle of tourist and wanderer. Despite the title of the book (The Flâneur) I am still not sure about the rules of flânerie; not that it was the books intent to point them out. Since the author calls Atget a scientific flâneur, saying “a contradiction in terms, since flânerie is supposed to be purposeless”, perhaps contradictions are allowed. The Flâneur seemed like a collection of obscurities from a place that is overly scrutinized, stories intermixed with stories, bringing the marginalized to the forefront.

In my head I have the makings of a great tourist, another contradiction in terms. When I think about traveling the word that comes to mind is greedy, I want to see everything and go everywhere. I am annoyed that I can visit a country and not see the one right next to it. Perhaps what I desire most is some kind of endless vacation, moving from place to place after a few years, growing old and dying in a new place. This often sounds more interesting than confronting life, and life might look different in different parts of the world. When exploring a new city I want to see the famous things first, for the same reason everyone else does, so you can say you did.

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Thesis Anyone?

May 27th, 2008 § 4 comments

The graduate office finally sent me the approval notice for my online thesis, meaning the PDF is in the VCU archive and readable for all. I also had to make a few hard copies for the c/ms office and other various peoples, so there is also a bound version of it if anyone besides M wants to buy it from LuLu. Unfortunately it will come with a blank front signature page because I can’t tolerate the page number nightmare of trying to upload a new version, but otherwise it is very nice copy (despite the strangeness of LuLu’s sale preview). I can also email a PDF for anyone who would rather read it that way. Keep in mind I am posting this notice because friends and family alike have been asking to read–and those that have read want the final version–“precarious loss”. So, take what version you like, I only want to know what you think, if I have not already heard at length, in return. Comments can always be posted below…hint, hint, hint.

VCU Electronic Archive

Paperback Version

Between Writing and Making

April 18th, 2008 § 0 comments

Finishing what I call the first draft of my thesis, although it has been edited more times that I would like to imagine in the past few weeks, felt like losing a vital part of my body. I am not sure if it was just the stress of trying to get it all out and done and ready to read, finishing a paper of any sort always comes with a kind of relief. Writing long essays reminds me of giving a speech, it is really hard to remember exactly what you said and why, even if you have it printed out and can read from it. The words seem alien, different somehow when they are spoken. Reading through my thesis I read things I did not even realize I thought. It is a process that leaves me wondering a little how I got to the end result, when did the words mutate and change, when did new thoughts appear and why? I would say it feels like I am making things up were I not convinced that the great downfall to my writing, or perhaps its only strength, is its honesty. When I at last printed and sent all those words, hopefully with some amount of interest, it seemed like a part of my mind had been let go. Like dumping the trash on my desktop, my computer always runs a bit faster, I think I might be running a little different. Maybe there is something to seeing your thoughts on paper, stated without a way to back out or deny, that is like creating a new person from my thoughts. Editing is like assessing what that person is saying, trying to figure out if I agree enough to leave a sentence.

Making work on the other hand, feels like the complete opposite. Perhaps because I am making something hard and fixed, a cloth I can touch and hold, I experience it as something made rather than something lost or given. When I finish a project I feel like I have made something I can keep forever, even if the thing itself is far away or gone. I don’t think better of either, but I don’t think I could be a writer. It would seem like such a consistent drain. It would take years to be able to fill enough pages without feeling completely empty after. Perhaps writers, unlike myself, don’t like to collect information and hoard it away somewhere invisible, they like to release what might feel like pent up thoughts, stories, and words. My line of month seems to be “I never thought about that before” and perhaps this is what comes of writing more than I ought. While I think a good many people are driven by similar impulses, alike questions, I am interested to see how certain ways of knowing suit certain people. I hate the labeling of professions like that is all you are, or can be, because there is a huge amount of similarity between the inquiries. This seems like an example of that, while writing might be perfect for someone asking the same questions, it is not perfect for me.

The Only Thing I Wanted to Keep…

January 10th, 2008 § 0 comments

“contact is made and i reciprocate, from time to time i spy as the stuff here isn’t like what i usually find in flickr.

then. gone.

some time later contact again a new name a new profile.

then. nothing.

i reckon that she is off wandering, bored, re-inventing herself – at once the leading the pure life, then wondering about eve, a notable daughter… full of contradictions – a lover of fibre who doesn’t use it to hating photography/ers with a pro flickr account will she be back?”

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