donderdag, februari 09, 2006

Do you feel as though you’ve been especially summoned, that there is a
special calling for you as an artist? Are you particularly aliented
with a pronounced sense of being misunderstood by conventional wisdoms,
bourgeois moralities? He was asking me these questions, he the
unemployed poet, the aspiring artist, the man who couldn’t simply
allowing himself to drown in his drink and keep quiet about it.

What’s the point anyway, I ask pointedly. Isn’t this all some crutch
you use to get through your daily misgivings your dissatisfaction with
yourself in comparison to the accomplishments of the others? What
purpose does your art serve other than a selfish mechanism of petty,
egotistical indulgences?

What purpose does my art serve? He spat with incredulity. What purpose
do YOU serve, if we are speaking about purposes. What is YOUR utility?
Is there some very special yet hidden trait woven into your genomes that
will come to fruition and blossom in the latter years of the
righteousness of your purpose?

Calm down, Didier, I caution as other patrons are looking at us out of
the corners of their eyes like dogs at strange noises. What I mean to
ask is what purpose do you propose your creativity to be used for other
than yourself?

Why should my creativity serve any purpose other than for myself, he
asked, clearing his throat of Gitanes phlegm like a plumber snakes a
clogged toilet. I suffer enough from my choices, they make sure I do
suffer indeed for not being one of their productive members of society…I
could never calculate the psychological damage brought down upon me by
seeing the contempt in their eyes. And why then do you think I drink?
Who wouldn’t under these circumstances? What are you saying, simply
because I cannot subordinate my art into acceptable consumerist values
like writing commercial jingles about disposable diapers or creating new
superlatives for the unique comfort and absorption of a particular brand
name sanitary napkin, I should crawl into my preternatural cave to
wallow in my own isolation, fed on disgust, shat into neat little
pellets that can be easily swept up and disposed of as if I never

He was easily excitable this evening, either in a particularly foul mood
or unreceptive bowels jingling in his subconscious. In any case, the
monologue was spat forth with great intensity, with barely a breath
drawn. And just why are we suffocated with this doomed sense of having
to justify ourselves and our utility to others? Do you think the pimply
teenage bagging groceries in the Carrefour hypermarché is pissing
himself over his lack of purpose? A paper-shuffler, lost in a
bureaucratic labyrinth of spread sheets and interoffice memos is
scratching his head wondering why he hasn’t yet soared to the heights of
his corporate manager, fluent in corporate technospeak, the gibberish
dialect of managerial monkies?

This silly question of yours, questioning the purpose of my forsaking
the chain gang of subordinates, pacified by television soma, beaten into
submission by the overwhelming nature of keeping up, this is nothing to
me. I laugh at it. I am proud of being a poet, a craftsman. Proud of
not being nothing, beautiful for it, in fact. Look, Gautier once wrote
that only things that are altogether useless can truly be beautiful;
anything that is useful is ugly because it is the expression of some
need and the needs of man are base and disgusting as his nature is weak
and poor. - so I tell you, I am proud to be nothing. There is nothing
else to be.

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