Saturday, June 22, 2013


A somewhat public artistic figure in nerd culture that I admire was embroiled in something of an internet snafu yesterday concerning a sensitive social issue. And it made my brain-wheels squeak.

Charles Bukowski (a writer I'll baldfacedly confess that I've never read) is quoted as saying something off the cuff that I find limitlessly inspiring, particularly when I'm struggling with both my work or its relevance.
"The writer has no responsibility other than to jack off in bed alone and write a good page."
As crass as the statement may seem, the core assertion, that artistry doesn't confer either responsibility or, in a more subtextual sense, relevance, I find myself mentally referring to constantly and attempting to hold my own work substrate against.

What I'm dithering about is, more or less, a disconnect between what an artist, particularly a high-profile one, does and how the community perceives them. The world's most acclaimed playwright (named, for our purposes, Shakespeare), for example, may have disgustingly intolerant, ignorant or backwards thinking but, as long as it doesn't influence their stagecraft one iota, it's, to my viewing, irrelevant. Nobody reads Shakespeare for his jingoist personal opinions – they read Shakespeare for his beautiful fucking poetry.

Perhaps this is narrow-minding thinking but, as far as I'm concerned, as long as a creator continues to create original, engaging and overall entertaining works, their personal, political or religious statements couldn't be less relevant. The notion that "with great audience comes great responsibility" seems almost immature on the part of said audience, an audience unable to separate their own lives from the work of those artists whose work they digest, as though every person is projecting their mutually exclusive baggage upon a creator too surrounded by taboos and perceived insensitivity that they're rendered incapable of creating uncensored artwork.

To this end, I feel as though, as a favor to my miniscule audience, I'm gonna refrain to publishing any opinion or argument that doesn't directly pertain to my work. Have personal sensitivity regarding abortion/gay marriage/the demonization of wolves by Montanan ranchers? Don't worry – you'll never hear my thoughts on the matter and therefore, I'll never disappoint you.

Now, having already typed what I feel to be a decent page, time to decamp off and complete my other writerly responsibility.

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