Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Hustle

Language is a shared resource and very few people are capable of original thought. It's fascinating how words and ideas oscillate, replicate, and mutate during their journey through the corrupting corridors of cyberspace and the mainstream media. Words are powerful, and the most potent, self-replicating memes dissociate themselves from their authors. Attribution is becoming irrelevant in our post-modern culture of assimilation and appropriation.

If you look at language and ideas in evolutionary terms then every advance is an incremental improvement on what's gone before. Language evolves organically. All we do is create a cocktail, mixing up the same basic ingredients and influences as everyone else. Hopefully, we can conjoin them in an interesting and deceptively novel way, and maybe garnish the concoction with an idiosyncratic little twist of our own. We use a magician's misdirection to create the illusion of originality, but we're little more than bartenders at the business end of the creative process. We synthesize the raw materials but the consumer filters the product through his own perception before passing on his interpretation of the experience to the next person in line.

We're not only custodians of the verbal tradition; we also have a duty to synthesize existing elements in new and surprising ways. We have to harness the true power of words and subvert the stiflingly narrow parameters and prevailing paradigms perpetuated by pop culture.

What I'm saying is that if you want to write, write, but do it for yourself and as an end in itself. Don’t emasculate your prose for commerce and don’t worry about the consequences. Don't be afraid to challenge people’s preconceptions and, most importantly of all, avoid perpetuating the empty catechisms, shallow ‘insights’ and lazy conjunctions of ideas and words that pass for contemporary discourse within our corroded culture. Bad memes are metastasizing exponentially, so take your words seriously. Making people think is tantamount to a subversive act these days.

Ewan McNaught as Frankie Sumatra by Nicola Cairns


1 comment:

goooooood girl said...

your blog is feel good......