Monday, September 11, 2006
Sunny and cool
Brenda Braene’s poem “Elegy” on Circadian Poems commemorates the day.
If you are a citizen of the US, please do your civic duty – as important as voting or serving jury duty – and read the 9/11 Commission Report. If you expect to stay alive in the coming years, it is vital. If you really don’t give a crap about your future or your family’s, go ahead and skip it; keep your head in the sand. It is THAT important a document. Believe me, I didn’t want to read it; but it made a big difference.
I realize that life goes on, but I can’t help but feel slapped in the face when someone throws a party or toddles off on vacation today. My reaction is unfair, but there it is – yet another major flaw in my character. But then, no matter how much people were affected in the moment, those who didn’t live through it directly – people in New York or PA or DC or those who lost loved ones that day -- will be affected differently. And I am not able to hold holy every day that something horrible happened somewhere – no one could, or we’d be in a constant state of – “dismemberment” emotionally. I suppose we each have to choose our own days of commemoration. The world is going to continue to spin, for the moment, anyway, until it destroys itself, no matter how many horrible things happen or how many people are murdered. Thousands are murdered every minute. And yet we keep trying to cope, moment by moment.
A word on that poorly made piece of fiction called The Path to 9/11: It is a piece of partisan, right-wing crap (in addition to lousy writing and acting). I know several people involved with it (having worked with them in the past). Believe me, they didn’t do this out of a feeling of social justice or art – they were well paid to put this on.
However, I still could NOT, in good conscience, sign the petition asking that it not be shown. If I have a right to create a piece of art that others disagree with, I must also support the right of those with whom I disagree to present their views. It has to work both ways, or it’s not democracy and free speech. Free speech means many different points of view, without censorship. Do I think the piece is crap and hope that people aren’t dumb enough to think it’s fact? Of course. But the people who created it had the right to do so and have the right to present it. To me, the petition was a call for censorship. How could anyone who promotes free speech sign it? For these organizations who cry “Freedom of Speech” all the time to condone censorship of the piece because they disagree with it is simply hypocritical. Censorship is still censorship, no matter which side demands it. And neither side has the right to demand it. If you’re going to squeak about the Bill of Rights, know what it says in the document. If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk. Don’t expect it to work one way for you and differently for everyone else. I was absolutely insulted that organizations claiming to defend free speech even asked me to sign something like that petition.
Do I disagree with the piece’s point of view? Absolutely. (Not to mention the creative critique I have of material poorly executed on oh, so many levels, which to me is even worse than presenting a point of view with which I disagree). Do I believe they had the right to make it/air it? Under our Constitution, which we’re all supposed to be defending, for which all those soldiers are dying every day, absolutely.
Give the people their right to be stupid (i.e., thinking this is fact instead of fiction). Many of them are going to surprise you. The audience isn’t as dumb as the suits think they are.
I performed my own ceremony this morning. The rest of the day, I am going out of town to dis-engage myself from the public grieving. It is helpful to many, but not to me. Plus, no matter how hard (most) of the media tries to be respectful, there’s always going to be sensationalizing and going for the shock value and grief value. I think the majority of the world has seen the planes hit the towers so often that its impact is softening. And that’s dangerous.
The New York Times had an interesting article yesterday, publishing excerpts from Susan Sontag’s journals and notebooks. I loathed her work and her image. I didn’t think she was as brilliant and intellectual as the publicity made out; in fact I thought her work and her interview persona were narcissistic and self-serving. I never met her, so I have no idea what she was like as a person. Interestingly enough, in the notebooks and diaries, she addresses the very things about herself I found so vile. In other words, I like the flawed woman in the journals much more than the persona and the work I previously saw and read.
Made two involved pitches for freelance jobs that would be great if they came through and complex enough to carry me through the rest of the year. I feel good about the pitches. Now it’s up to the people paying to see if they think we’d be a good match. If either one or both come through, I’ll be thrilled. If they don’t, it’s fine and I’ll figure out something else. But the ads and the pitches felt right, so I went for it. I’m debating about another one – the fact I’m even on the fence about it makes me think I should pass.
Tweaked this week’s Circadian entries and wrote Wednesday’s Dog blog. The pitches took up most of the day, because I had to recreate my professional samples that were lost in the computer “fix”. But, if I get the jobs, it’ll be worth it, and at least they’re back in the computer portfolio for the next pitch I send.