"My great debt to my parents is that they showed little interest in what I was doing. So many middle-class parents, when the kid comes home with a little painting, they put it up on the fridge. If your parents don't pay attention, you're not tempted to repeat the same drawing six times to get the same buzz."--Brian Eno
"That will be valued less in a future human culture - the ability for the artist to construct meanings, rather than to invent a language. Art is now, and will be increasingly used by the artist to put, to set the making of meaning, and the creation of experiences in motion, so that the user, and the viewer can participate in that process. So, in that sense, the situation is changing. But it's actually changing quite slowly, it isn't as dramatic as any of us thought".--Roy Ascott
Today my nephew and I went to the Harry Potter movie, which we enjoyed. Then I divided the afternoon between indoor leisure and taking young Ted-dog for a walk, as my wife had meetings and excursions planned for the entire day.
As my wife and my brother's wife finished their day on a shopping visit, they called my brother and I and suggested we join them for dinner. My brother picked me up in his large, comfortable car, and drove me to the Down Under Pub and Grub. I had a capably prepared trout, giving a detailed order rather like Meg Ryan's Sally character in the comedy movie, prompting my brother to order the "fish and chips--please place the fish atop the chips". We all discussed the holidays and things of little moment to anyone but ourselves.
Our new crape myrtle trees are now planted in our front yard, as well as the dwarf pomegranite shrub. I reluctantly agreed to permit the removal of our small cedar trees from the front garden, as they were getting too large for the space. They are now replaced with sage shrubs. I dislike uprooting plants which have not committed any offense. It always seems unfair to me. I find myself in the role of defense advocate--"but the tree hasn't done anything wrong!".
I'm still reading the book about John Wesley's American sojourn, a time in which he was still getting his sea legs, and frequently coming out all wet. I think it is a terrible burden to try to be a holy person. One momentone is calling a needed reform of society, and the next moment one is making a collosal error of judgment under the influence of one's own sanctity.
Lately I think about the related concepts of "glitch" and of the "theory of accident". The Wikipedia article on glitch points out that "[i]n electronics, a glitch is an electrical pulse of short duration that is usually the result of a fault or design error, particularly in a digital circuit". In electronic music, glitch has many different meanings, but it often describes a process of cutting up fragments of works in melding together a piece. Glitch can also refer to the intentional introduction or maintenance of recording errors in the work as aesthetic choice, or it can be a derogatory term referring to the unintentinoal introduction of such errors. Similarly, the "theory of musical accident" holds that error in the creation of the work is part of the experience of the work, and not something to necessarily be routinely edited from the work.
I'm not a musician, but I also see this theory applies in other contexts. I'm always quite willing, for my own part, to permit my weblog writing style to resemble my own rather wordy and enthusiastic mode of conversation rather than straitjacketing it into standard English. I often make errors I mean to correct, both in spelling and in grammar, and my usual journal post is edited a time or two after I initially hit post. I do permit myself grammatical and stylistic liberties in the journal as a kind of glitch--a perception on my part, whether insightful or not, that my writing style reflects my personality better than a more measured style might do.
I thought tonight about a number of assumptions and precepts I have about creative pursuits which are to my way of thinking analytically completely wrong and yet subjectively completely right for me. I'll set forth a few:
Rule One: "Any creative endeavor which requires non-typographic editing past the third or fourth draft
loses its creative vitality in the process".
Rule Two: "The Idea is far more important than its execution" .
Rule Three: "Anything which takes a long time to master runs the risk of squeezing the juice from the rind of one's creativity".
I could write five solid paragraphs about why each of these ideas is fallacious. But my point is not to debate the right answer--it's instead to note that to the extent I am wrong on these points, this is "glitch" I am willing to retain in the work which is the way I live life, because this glitch seems honest and human to me--a part of me that is "really me".
I think, sometimes, that even when a cedar tree has overgrown its boundaries, it should be allowed to stay rooted in place. In so many ways we marry our cherished ideas with just as much ceremony as we do our spouses (albeit, none of my ideas have the elegant simplicity of the green garlands in the church where we were married).
I find myself quite taken with the new thought notion "change your thinking, change your life", particularly as recent studies suggest it has a truth in a literal sense as well as a merely "gee, what a cool concept" sense.
Yet I also like the idea that self-knowledge can let one isolate those built-in ideas that are not going to be likely to change.
These ideas can be walled off from the action--thus, one's behavior and one's fight against misery are not defeated by such illusory notions. We all build our inner Maginot lines, and the ones that work do not imagine we can really wall off our insanities, but instead merely tries to set up enough pillboxes to delay things until the reinforcements of better judgment and stauncher virtue intercedes.
I think that thinking of ourselves as being able to block out the flood waters with a finger in the dike sets up a huge dilemma anyway. We are all sieves--virtue and flaw, good will and despair, suffering and exulting.
The water flows through the net, and all we can hope is to capture the guppy gently in the web, and transfer it to a cleaner tank. We're always re-doing that front garden, and we imagine the Bermuda grass will never come out.
Yet if we accept that invasive grass and our own flaws and mortality are just part of the equation, perhaps we can allow for glitch and still hunt out a really cool sound anyway.