Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blogging is so 2006...

So I am trying this blogging thing (again) because Maggie has insisted.
This blog is not really intend for any audience. I do a lot of thinking, and I suppose that and a dollar will buy me a double cheeseburger at McDonald's. So I am attempting to record some of that thinking with the intent that if I am ever involved in a Memento type accident, or every "flashy thingy-ed" by Men in Black, I will have some vague notion of my past thought process. I do have a livejournal, however that is used for more of a scrapbook of articles, and poetry that I come across for me to look back on. For some reason, I feel I should not cross the streams - it would be bad.
So without further ado here it goes

Why my life is like the Theory of Evolution OR "Joe The Darwin"

One aspect of the Theory of Evolution is the idea of species evolving over time through a process of "punctuated equilibrium." Allow me to paraphrase an entire well researched and vetted school of scientific thought with a little help from Wikipedia:

Punctuated equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology which states that most sexually reproducing species experience little change for most of their geological history, and that when phenotypic evolution does occur, it is localized in rare, rapid events of branching speciation.

Taken that rather concise definition provided by psudonymic (real word? probably not) users on a collaborative internet encyclopedia, I will now magically put my own spin on it to relate it to my life:
Punctuated equilibrium is a theory in JOE'S LIFE which states that most SEX LOVING species experience little change for most of their EARTH-BOUND DAYS, and that when MIND EXPANDING AND LIFE CHANGING REVELATION does occur, it is localized in rare, rapid events of AWE INSPIRING AWESOMENESS.
Extrapolating to my past (this phrase means nothing), I find that most of my life has been spent in contented equilibrium, and that my worldview is expanded by these short bursts of extremely important events or ideas that crop up along the way. What is amazing is that most of them occurred completely by random chance. At no time did I decide I was going to sit down and have my mind blown, it just kind of happened:

Reading Chuck Klosterman: About three months ago, I picked up a book in Borders on a whim and started reading a random page. This book was Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman and the page I randomly turned to was an article on amateur porn. After devouring that tasty literary morsel (sounds extremely unsettling in context, don't you think?), I read another on "Saved By The Bell", and then another on the cereal industry. His writing seemed to be a transcript of the voices inside my head (is it also unsettling that Mark David Chapman probably had this exact same thought about The Cathcher in the Rye?) I still am continually amazed at the nonchalant profoundness of his writing.

Seeing Bernstein's "Mass": Knowing nothing about the work, other than that Bernstein wrote it and it is rarely performed, I bought up a ticket two weeks in advance of the performance at the Kennedy Center. Little did I know that midway through the first half I would be sitting there with tears running down my face at the raw genius of the work. Now I was sitting in the third tier nosebleed section of the Concert hall and the stage appeared like an animated postage stamp, but during the "Agnus Dei" I literally glanced around for an exit and contemplated how I would leave if I needed to because it was so overwhelming. It boggles my mind that this piece, like so many other great works, was largely dismissed in it's own time. Why do people have a difficult time accepting great art in the context of their own time? Maybe it has something to do with what Jasper Johns said that "Art is either a complaint, or appeasement." Maybe this is a topic for another time...

Hearing Jack Gilbert Poetry: One of the most unheralded poets of our generation, producing a sparse, yet concise body of work(at least by the standards set by Collins and Bukowski), and set back afar from the mainstream consciousness is Jack Gilbert. His poetry is straightforward and intimate in ways we generally think poetry should not be. No abstract allusions (unless you consider pedestrian Greek mythology abstract), and no regular form, Gilbert says only what he can't avoid not saying. I saw him recite his poetry as a frail old man, carefully and deliberately reading each word, not out of artistic sensibility, but as a testament to his fragile physical state. I can't believe the room was not even full.

These are just small sampling of the important events and experiences that have shaped my life.
If there is one thing I am bad at (what am I saying?, there LOTS of things I am bad at)it is writing adequate conclusions. Maybe because other than death, nothing in life is ever truly ended...

...or maybe I just am not that good at writing conclusions.