Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day one.

"Flattened. That's what our culture is. It is flattened by the abundance of our media and our fluid access to it and ability to interact with it." My heart undulated in response to my professor's speech, heaving and sinking as he weaved the web that spanned backward into our cultural history, dragging it kicking and lurching into the open air and away from the vague darkness of common knowledge. "I don't believe in high art and low art anymore. I have no ability to discern between them. To me, a piece of art is a piece of art, and I take it as I see it." I sat in wide-eyed agreement, stirred beyond my own comprehension and immediately compelled to riot against the forces of idiocy. I had forgotten how much I loved him, but wouldn't be forgetting again anytime soon. It wasn't lust, though. It was academia. This man had rekindled my flame for it within minutes. Not out of the self-righteous pursuit to see my name printed across the cover of a haughty, barely comprehensible book, but because I wanted to be apart of an academic history of theory. I wanted to be apart of the Vortex, but I had never wanted to master it. But the prospect had presented itself in my mind before I could deny it. I wanted to become its master. Master of the cultural Vortex, a god-like being capable of connecting any cultural icon to thousands upon thousands of other relatively insignificant cultural icons at the drop of the hat. Infinitely interesting and confounding. To be all-knowing and all-seeing without the pressure of providing a response to anyone. My weight shifted in my seat. I wanted to follow the cliched desire to destroy and create. I wanted to deserve my victory.

As soon as the moment had passed, so had the class, and I shuffled out amongst the sea of undergraduates feeling like a predator whom was capable of lashing out at any moment in unforeseen and unmatched brutality, but I was heading toward a class that forced me to contemplate my own mortality. Visions of cadavers that were being monitored in natural settings for days, weeks, months in various climates. Rotting flesh and the microorganisms that make it all happen. Mold. Mice. One's own body. Bloated stomachs and greying flesh. Pooled, congealed blood resting at the bottom of the body cavity against the damp earth. Bottle flies who laid their eggs on the surface and their young, hungry maggots covering the toughening flesh. I was resting my upper body despairingly across the table's surface, trying to remain unseen to the 29 other people in the room. I'm interesting and well-deserving of your attention, but I don't want it. You're all at the beginning of this journey and I am very near the end and have nothing to say to you unless you ask me very specific questions. Even then, my tongue is tied around my future, and I am unable to express it. A Joycian artist on the verge of brilliance but failing to just make it happen. There is a waiting game afoot and I feel very unwilling to play it, but have no other way of approaching my current state. My heart is in my potential greatness, but there is a very specific way in which I must approach this and haven't yet.

I haven't done it yet, and that's what I must do.

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