uplifting anti-drug messages
Wednesday, December 12 2001
Ah, another exciting day transformed from future into past by the digestion of the present. A recent generalized stock price slide is affecting my warm, fuzzy feelings of wealth. Ultimately, though, it's but a blip on the radar of life. I never really considered how stock-related financial matters could go wrong until the day I was left holding biotech stock and Merck announced a profit warning. Things sure have changed since the good old days of homelessness, joblessness, skinheads and Robitussin! However, soon enough I shall once more be collecting an unemployment check, thereby increasing my credibility as a genuine New Yorker.
Tonight while walking Sally, Gretchen was telling me about the dry soulless poetry typical of the output of contemporary poets. This stuff, celebrated though it is, doesn't speak to her at all. She seemed to be wondering how she could ever eke out success and recognition in a world that bestows laurels upon, well, crap. Hearing about the cloistered ridiculousness of modern poetry (and reading samples of its output), I was reminded of the behavior of other artistic and
even scientific paradigms whose increasingly bizarre web of internal self-referential and self-congratulatory feedback ultimately led to revolution, overthrowing the old paradigm and replacing it with one more grounded in what the field is actually trying to accomplish. See, for example, Thomas Kuhn's book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and this article in Salon about the state of the acclaimed modern novel and also this other article about the state of celebrated children's novels. I could go on and on about, for example, the ridiculous and increasingly-irrelevant excesses of "modern art," ultimately leading to the über80s notion called "postmodernism." In the long run, you see, if you want to be remembered by history for your creations, you have to address the magic at the center of your field. Impressing your colleagues can only work for so long.
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