I ended up getting a copy of “Blueprints of the Afterlife” and struggled to make it to the so-called fifty-page line where if you don’t like the book by then it’s okay to give up. I gave up a bit sooner. It just struck me as a mosaic of stdin to stdout. By that I mean what I suspected all along, that there is so much stuff these days along the same lines it creates a sort of endless echo chamber and the movies you watch the books you read are the shit you end up writing.
Our culture has a fixed number of sewer-lines through which flow the general genres and you end up with the same things more or less, for exampe, the archetypal hero quest mythical motifs from Star Wars to Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to The Avengers or Batman or Thor and bla bla fucking bla. Or it’s the futuristic dystopia filled with autistic (but attractive) teen savants who save the fucking world with their “powers”. Or it’s the biopic about the special person who has to fight his or her way out of the paper bag of conventional people who JUST DON’T GET IT. Or it’s the bad guy or it’s the good guy or it’s the stock photo character and stock photo storyline and every variation is just that, a variation but the theme is a preset generated by all the previous presets you had plugged into you all along the way, and where are the people with a vision that just stands out and makes you go “woah”?
They’re not always new, are they? They can be re-discoveries, lile these Cordwainer Smith stories I just came across thanks to an interview with Ursula K. LeGuin. Or they can be like Daniil Kharms who I stumbled upon thanks to Rowena Wiseman through her Goodreads recommendation. Or they can be R.A. Lafferty or Clarice Lispector or Cesar Aira or other rare creatures who simply had their own thing and were bold enough to go ahead with it.
That’s all I’m asking of myself right now, to be bold enough to go ahead with it, whatever “it” is. I have a few things I’ve been thinking about and I hope they come to something worthwhile when I throw them all together in the pot, but most of all, the courage to fail or do it badly or fuck it all up if that’s what I do. At least not settling for a rehashing of some predigested stew complete with plot points and necessary conflicts and painting by numbers and requisite gore and maybe some bondage now that that’s a thing once again. Just a little courage and some integrity, and no mad maxy retards and no blade runner retreads and no saving the goddamn world and no jesus fucking hero.
(and now for an unrelated but brief tv review: The Honorable Woman, with Maggie Gyllenhall, a very stately and curiously sedate miniseries about the Israeli-Palestinian situation. When was the last time you saw a protagonist raped, not once but twice in the same eight-episode series? I was at the point of calling the show “Jew Boobs, Arab Boobs” because that’s kind of what it boiled down to, once you got all the deceit and betrayal and barbaric terrorists and treacherous zionists and evil bogeymen americans and hapless feckless empire brits out of the way – breathy orgasm interspered with a bombing of the innocents – and then a convenient and ridiculous sacrifice at the end)