Back into week in and gym. This morning was a mediocre: a mediocre showing and a less than mediocre podcast episode. The latter was from the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, [Link] as is the mode for Mondays, an interview with some “realist” fiction writer who fled Canadia for Gaul. That is a bit surprising to me but then what might one expect of an “artsy” writer?
I say the episode was less than medicore, and if this is the best of what this series has to offer perhaps someone should do it the boon of replacing it with something better, but somehow I doubt this. The episode included several snippets, presumably memorable or excellent ones, from the author’s work and they either left me cold or repulsed, nothing positive.
I have to admit that I have never cared for “artsy” writing. Like most freshmen in college I had to endure reading stercus as part of the freshman syntax courses. All of these books were “literature” and some had been best sellers sometime in the past. I had to force myself to read them and admitted to the TA instructing the course that I kept silent in class because I did not want to share my negative reaction. He was intrigued, I recall, that anyone would have this reaction. This led to a bit of discussion what I did read and I suspect was part of why I made a passing grade in an otherwise failing class – failing in the sense of failing to offer me anything.
Great literature to me then was a well written (and accurate) STEM text, or a well written (and less accurate) work of near classic science fiction, the “hard” stuff. Science fiction has its weepy, “artsy” stuff, which is not as bad as the real “artsy” stuff, but is still something I drop as rapidly as I identify it. As I have aged, I have added well written (and hoped accurate) non-fiction to that list as the quantity of good, hard science fiction has gone on the endangered species list. Modern science fiction writing is too often like the movies on the SyFy channel: absurd, blatantly inaccurate, fuzzy, emo, and extrovertist.
But what I find appalling and intriguing is that there are people who actually read this stuff and seem to find merit in it. I can understand people abusing themselves, after all Marshall county is the center of the methylamphetamine universe and only a serf or peasant would use such, but evidently we have great numbers of serfs and peasants in Marshall county Alibam. So seeing people ruining themselves with stercus is an everyday sight here in Nawth Alibam. So I suppose that this “artsy” literature may have a similar effect and physical debilitation.
I have also noted that bogs, especially if they are successful or aging, gravitate towards “artsy” things that it is patently obvious they learn to talk the “talk” without comprehension or appreciation. I am told by the more sentient of these that this is some pursuit of meaning and experience prior to discorporation. That at least makes sense and I suppose I should be grateful they don;t chase after STEM stuff and obscure the effort. Humans want to matter. Something like 0.9 of the problems in society are caused by people desperately trying to matter and either vertically copulating things or failing miserably and (distressingly) loudly.
That lemming rush to making a difference I can understand. STEMs do that daily but what I cannot comprehend is why bogs think “artsy” stuff does this? It must be an extrovertist thing? A bog thing? The Nerds Wonder!