Aside from the demise of the careers of so many famous people, and not simply famous, but extremely talented people who might have contributed widely and deeply to our lives and culture, Social Media has been a disaster for truth and fact-checking. Once truth is thrown out you have anarchy. Now its more important to be popular and cool than boringly correct. Well known, rather talented people have torpedoed their careers through making some dumb emotionally driven, ill conceived rant or comment on SM, which is sad because the internet, as they say, is forever, and if you apologize and say you screwed up, well, that just makes you look weak and the trolls smell blood and go in for the kill. Rather unfair. but its good for business.
To Read Franz Kafka (1883-1924) To read Kafka is to be immersed in a world of psychologic rather than in a world of logic, reasonableness and cause and effect. The word Kafkaesque, which has become common parlance, depicts humanity in an alternate reality in which a person is gripped by a labyrinth of repressive, incomprehensible … Continue reading Reading Kafka
In the country I live in right now, Poland, I see the suppression of intellectuals, especially historians, and thinkers and writers, primarily through the use of the courts. A Warsaw court on Tuesday (January 2021) forced some historians to apologize to the niece of a World War II-era Polish mayor whom they reported in their … Continue reading History and Fiction, or Whatever You’re Having Yourself…
Donald Trump's disastrous destructive four years of US presidency, undoubtedly the worst POTUS in history and a cautionary tale for all leaders, is but the latest part of what makes up many decades of his toxic career. Its a career screened by a showman's capacity to obscure what actually went on. To himself and to … Continue reading The Useful Idiot
Essays can be on any subject. They can argue any point, give information, tell a story, try to solve a problem, or convince a reader about a certain viewpoint. In fact essays sometimes do many or all of the above things at the same time. In this short essay I will try to talk about … Continue reading A Short Essay on Writing Essays
ALLEN GINSBERG AND THE BEATS Bob Donlon, Neal Cassidy, Ginsberg, Robert la Vigne, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, outside Ferlinghetti's City Lights Bookshop, Bay Area San Francisco, 1956. (US NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART all rights reserved - Allen Ginsberg Foundation - ) My introduction to the Beats came with a bizarre conversation I had with a violinist with … Continue reading THE BEAT GOES ON
The Place of Literature.Art is the imitation of life by means of signs, symbols and plastic objects. Literature is the imitation of life using symbols and signs to tell stories. To understand what life means we use art as a skeleton key into what has always been the greatest of mysteries and challenges. Here in … Continue reading Notes for a 21st Century Artistic Manifesto
Writing is difficult, but its also something so basic to who we are as intelligent beings, that despite its difficulty, its something literally anyone and everyone can grasp. Art happens when the writer expresses something unique that emerges from the self and says something more than the contents and the tropes and methods learned from … Continue reading 12 Rules For Writers
The novel Infinite Jest is brilliant and hilarious, a true classic, and well worth the time spent reading its 1000 pages.
Aside from being a huge fan of the Alien franchise, over the last months I have started stargazing. Despite the endless rain we have in Kerry in South of Ireland, the night sky down here is mainly free of light pollution, that is when those clouds finally clear. Given a fairly clear night, an … Continue reading A Tiny Jot on the Horizon