September 15, 2004

I received one of the better compliments of my young life yesterday:

DC, you're one of the few people I know who know exactly what you want to do, and it doesn't make me hate you.

This might make more sense if you are around NYU art students all the time, half of whom seem to want to be artists because they perceive it as an iconoclastic rebellious thing to be, like fifteen year olds more interested in studded belts and shirts with permanent marker on them, than, say, actual anarchy in the actual UK. They have no real sense that their disapproving parents are not, y'know, the world, and that the world at large is in fact way too forgiving of artistic pretension because it starts with the letters A-R-T and when the world is harsh on "artists" it's because most of what they produce is self-indulgent horsehockey of interest to no one but the twenty-year-olds the studded-belt fifteen year olds grew up to be.

And yes, I realize I used the term horsehockey. Before you scoff: imagine a bunch of horses, attempting to hold hockey sticks in their maws, skates clumsily grafted to their shoes, frightened into attempted stampede by the end-of-period buzzer and collapsing to the ice, whinnying and breaking legs.

Then watch your average student film.

I don't just pick words out of a hat here, people.


Case in point:

Chris and I had this idea, actually it's Chris' idea, we open an online gallery, because the overhead is so low. But then it's like a real gallery, with, like, hours, you can only access it at certain hours.

This from a girl sitting on the park bench next to me, talking to her boyfriend. It was actually a little hint-of-fall windy in the park and I didn't have a jacket but I figured I could rough it out 'till Psych class. This drove me in to the library, where if the people around me were idiots, they were respecting library policy enough not to pollute the air with it.


I like people. I love people. I swear I do. I just don't like the people I'm supposed to like all the time. The artists. The artists-in-training. People who do arbitrary avant-garde reinterpretations of Shakespeare, when what would really be brave and honest (and all those other things they claim to want to be in their first day of class introductory speeches in between the feigned humility and the feigned insanity) is to just do fucking Shakespeare. People who like all the things I like. I don't think I reach any more Holden Caulfield of a point than when I overhear somebody describe how much they love something I love. Not because I'm no longer unique. Being unique in this little world of kids whose every breath is spent figuring out ways to set themselves apart consists of simply not giving two fucks about being unique. Because there's a point and they're missing it.

And no, I can't explain what I mean by that. All I know is that if I have to listen to another circle of film-student types stand around exchanging "Family Guy" quotes for an hour, or read anymore variations on the phrase "dubious promise of the so-called American dream" in the summary of a movie, play, or novel, or hear something stupider than what I heard from the girl who gave me yesterday's best-compliment-ever, that her playwrighting classes' first assignment was to write a five-to-seven page scene about a young person breaking the controversial news to their family that they "want to be an artist," there are going to be problems.

Murder problems.


Not everybody is full of shit. Case in point, my Shakespeare For Writers professor, Deloss Brown. Irish Catholic. Reputedly heavy drinker. Prototypical badass.

None of you are permitted to committ suicide, he said in class on Tuesday. Singly the most sensible words that have been spoken on the subject.

Also (and this is paraphrased heavily):

Some of you may have been to The Globe, I don't know what it's really like, I've never been there. My whole life I've been in England a total of five hours and I spent all of them in a bar.

Posted by DC at September 15, 2004 02:02 AM
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