Note from the Road

| | Comments (15) | TrackBacks (0)
I'm not home so I can't post a picture today.

I feel like saying this, though: It does not bother me at all when people don't like my work.  It does bother me immensely when people who write about me can't get simple facts right.  It makes me feel like there's no point to trying to communicate at all.  Why write a book explaining your point of view if people will walk away from it thinking it's the exact opposite of what you just wrote?

Why write this?  Why talk to anyone?

15 Comments

A story: In line to see some movie with my friend Ralph. He's telling me about his hockey buddy: early twenty something, underemployed, relatively uneducated, knocks up his girlfriend. They keep it. Have another. My stupid question: "Why?! Why do the stupid people procreate faster than smart people? They can't afford the kids, don't really even want the kids, but still, they have the kids! Here these two are with children when they are barely caring for themselves. So many lives weighed down by stunted economic growth. Argh, why?!" Ralph's very smart answer: "Karlynn, because we know better." Me: "But...but that means they will always outnumber us." Ralph: " *sigh* Yes, yes it does."

You, as is evidenced by your frustration, are one those people that knows better. And as such, you have the totally unfair, unrefundable gift of responsibility.

There will always be more stupid people than smart people. Firstly, they just seem reproduce at a faster rate. Secondly, its easier to accept a belief based on some faith in an ideology than it is to use your reason to find the truth, or whatever it is you are looking for, for yourself. Stupid people misinterpret, misread, and misinform so that everything in their world stays exactly in its place...No, they are probably, surely, CERTAINLY never going to get it. Yes, they will try, they will even think they get it, but most of the time, they are going to utterly fail. AND, there is always going to be more of them that fail than people who do actually put that thing on top of their shoulders to good use fitting the tens of hundreds of thousands of years it took chance and evolution to engineer it. But this is just WHAT happens. Why talk? Why write? Because if you don't, then those of us who are able to get it will never have the chance. And goddamnitall if I don't understand and appreciate what it is you have to say...about drawing, about porn, about sex, about music. If you stop saying what you have to say, all that's left is what the stupid people already believe. I am not inclined to agree with the majority just because they agree with each other. And as such, I do very much enjoy being in a world with someone I do generally agree with because, well, even among seven billion specimens it is a rare occurrence. So, being a smart person who somehow managed to think for himself, it's your responsibility to say what you have to say knowing full well most of the people out there are not going to get it, and worse, will surely pervert it. I think I speak for the rest of us who also know better when I say we sure do appreciate knowing that we are not alone. Its comforting, which as it turns out, is a big factor in adjusting to and living in this rather blind social reality. It matters, to us, few as we may be.

I think that the things you write about seem simple (at least to you, since you are just describing your life) but to people in the mainstream, which you will never be a part of, your "facts" are based on an entire framework that they can't understand. I'm assuming of course that the people who write about you are part of the mainstream art world, media, etc. although I don't know what writing you are specifically referring to. I poked around at your blog and read some interviews after seeing/meeting you at City Lights and it seems like you get really frustrated because of this rift. I think that is the tradeoff of being accepted into/noticed by the "art world" club, for whatever that's worth to you. In my opinion it's a pretty good tradeoff to have enough time to make art, enough $$ to help out the FNB folks and at least have the opportunity to try to reach outside of your circle of friends and communicate with the outside world. Maybe this is oversimplifying too much and turning it into some kind of us/them nihilist tea party, but why does it matter if people who didn't understand you before continue to misunderstand you?
Maybe I will tell you what I like about your book sometime in a "fanmail" rather than a "comment," but I don't think it really matters if art world (fringe?)pundits get you right or wrong.

nothing will change then /

re:
fang

Why do I care?

For the completely obvious reason that people (including me) often decide whether to read books based on what they hear about their contents from third parties. Nobody has time to read every book in the world.

If the contents of my book are inaccurately reported, then smart people who might actually enjoy the book may think that there are stupid things written in the book that are actually not there, and thus decide not to read it.

"the smart people" usualy think for them selfs and dont completly rely on other people's reviews

nick:

You've missed the point.

I'm not talking about reviews as a source of opinions on a book, I'm talking about reviews as a source of information about what is literally in a book.

Smart people decide whether to read books based on facts (not opinions) provided by other people all the fucking time.

"Moby Dick is a long literary novel about whaling written in the 19th century."

See: that is responsible reporting about what's in 'Moby Dick'.

This isn't:

"'Moby Dick' is a short non-fiction work about a car salesman in Skokie, Illinois written entirely in couplets."

If you've ever read Moby Dick, it's PROBABLY because somewhere along the line, you heard Moby Dick was a 19th century novel about whaling. That probably affected your decision about whether or not to read it and that's ok.

Smart people shouldn't trust reviewer's opinions, they SHOULD however, be able to trust reportage of simple facts about the contents of a book. Especially in the case of new books where there is relatively little public information about what's in a book.

Any reviewer who fails to accurately recount what's inside a book is as irresponsible as any other reporter who falsely reports the news.

Can we trust all news? No. Should we be able to? Yes. Are we allowed to be angry when journalists fail to do this job? Yes.

Zak,

There is what should happen, and then there is what happens. That's life. If a journalist, or a reviewer got the facts wrong, ask for a correction. That's why they exist. No sense in moaning over something that can be, well, corrected. I know, it's not the same. I also know, it's not fair. But that's life kiddo.

I think many of us are curious over what, exactly, sparked this disconsolate mood in you. Don't suppose you'd provide it for us?

Karl:

This may shock you to know, but most media will not issue corrections for arts reporting unless it's about someone with millionaire heirs who sue people a lot. Also, journalists tend to get touchy and vindictive when you point out to their bosses that they suck at their job.

Also, my name isn't "Kiddo". It'd be nice to be related to Beatrix from Kill Bill, but I'm not.

Also, it would be wildly counterproductive for me to link to an article that's full of misinformation and that I don't want anyone to read.

by the way those inglorious basterds were a blast

Your vexation is totally understandable. Why communicate? It is one of the most basic human things to do. An intelligent person doesn't want to exist in a void with no other intelligent persons. It can hardly not be profoundly frustrating to have your attempts to commincate with other intelligent people be derailed for no good reason. I hope that there is an upside to all this, and that sometimes you're reaching intelligent people and they're sending intelligent thoughts back your way.

Zak - First, if I ever screw something up like that I hope you would tell me. I also hope that you know I would correct it.

There are always going to be people who don't understand something. It's always easier for them to make some crap up that will hopefully make them sound 1. intelligent and 2. that they know what they are talking about rather than have to admit that they are clueless, have no idea what something is about and possibly make themselves look like a fool for reporting on or reviewing something they don't understand and they aren't going to try and understand.

It all reminds me of a recent thread on a certain message board where the movie Content came up and everyone was talking about how it made no sense, how the name Content was stupid, and basically, how the movie sucked and they didn't get it. Someone responded with "Its a Eon McKai movie. That explains itself."

Like I said in my review of that movie, people seem to have developed some sort of societal induced ADD and it takes an act of some greater power to keep anyone's attention for more than two minutes. If something requires any thought to understand they move on. They can't be bothered. It's really quite unfortunate. These people are also the sort who are very inclined to believe everything they see on the news or in the newspaper and can't comprehend that there is always some sort of slant to the stories and that we don't truly have unbiased news reporting. They have trouble thinking for themselves and just follow the opinion of the masses.

It doesn't make it all right but it offers one explanation as to why these things happen. People just can't be bothered to do their research and ask questions and their mouth overrules their brain and they spout of without stopping to think, often times without any understanding of the topic at hand, because they have an opinion and they must force it on the masses.

I HAVE FOUND VERY INTERESTING YOUR WORK...
NOTHING MORE TO SAY...
HAVE A NICE DAY

i hope he didnt stop posting his stuff 'cause of this stupid thread (comments) :(

nick:
Of course not--I'm just still on the road

oh :) your stuff just inspires me so much and its been to long. My dad is bringing me your Gravity's Rainbow illustrations from states so i hope that would help me :)

Leave a comment