Daduchos

Our world is dying.
The gates have fallen.
The home-front lost.
No more can we tell friend from foe.

Our leaders are well-heeled parasites.
We lift fools up high and give them crowns,
if only they entertain us with their foolishness.

We admire nothing more than the mimic,
the successful imposter.
For we all feel imposters now.

We hold firm our faith in nihilism.
We pray that life has no meaning,
for we cannot bear the thought
that we have squandered it.

We still want to believe in the good story:
the chosen people,
the one true savior,
the master race,
the classless society,
the singularity,
the light fantastic.

We bear aloft these idols.
We nail ourselves to these crosses.
The Gods look down and laugh, and weep.

With increasing frenzy the masses rush the edge.
They do not know why, but they love the feel of falling.
They have lost the taste for stillness.

Once men fought for glory, then God, then the abstract good.
What will they fight for now?
What has this world given them worth fighting for?

A world is the conquest of earth by heaven.
A world is made by fighting men carrying the banner of love.
A world is born in fire, ends in fire, is reborn in fire.

This world is dying.
Pick up your torch.

I’ll Never Be Ray Bradbury

I’ll never be Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury leapt up from sleep with a story running electric through his body, racing to the typewriter just in time to let the sparks discharge onto the page, grounding the story out into this world. Ray Bradbury wrote every day of his life for over seventy years, never once uncertain of his way, or doubting that he was a writer. Ray Bradbury was in love with life and people and all the things of the world, dark and light, without stopping once to sneer cynically or wallow in self- doubt and pity. I’m not Ray Bradbury, and I probably never will be, and that’s okay.

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Begger’s Gods

I wrote an adaptation of Lord Dunsany’s stage-play Gods of the Mountain for the Samuel French short play contest last year.  I didn’t win anything (or even place).  Perhaps it was because adaptations, even of old and forgotten works, were discarded, or because the subject matter didn’t fit what the judges were looking for.  Issues of “social justice” and “current events” seem to be preferred. The winners for my year included a story about a robotic hentai maid, a disabled college student, and a high-school boy who hides in his room covered in blood and eating snack food. It’s also possible that my writing simply wasn’t up to snuff.  Regardless of the outcome, it was a lot of fun, if only because it allowed me to stretch out my long dormant dramaturgy muscles, and immerse myself in the imagination of one of the greatest fantasy authors who ever lived.

Since this script has just been sitting on my hard drive for the last year collecting virtual dust, and I don’t have plans to do anything with it in the near future, and a major writing project (notes soon) is taking up the majority of my spare brain cells, precluding me from generating any new blog content, I thought I would share it with you good people. I hope you find it as amusing to read as I did to write.

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The New Rules

gandalph_moria
One of the chief difficulties for aspiring artists of all kinds, is that we often misunderstand the relationship between what our art could be and what it presently is.  When we encounter great art it appears like the transformative power of the magician’s staff.  Great art opens a gateway to the realm of the gods. It reveals things hidden to our normal senses. It changes our view of the world and ourselves. Great artists seem to pursue their art as a sacred calling, as if it were the grail itself: a chalice of solace and renewal to which they return again and again throughout all of life’s vicissitudes. Even among those artists who are merely technically excellent, and not necessarily endowed with greatness of insight and expression, we wonder at the power their art has to move the world. We see it bring to some riches and renown. We see it used to shield the weak, humble the wicked, build communities of friendship and tear down prison walls. Our own work of course does none of these things.  It seems rote, mechanical, and immature.  Our enthusiasm for what art represents rubs against our experience of actually doing it. We stop. We balk. We falter.  Why?
There is a pernicious lie we believe.  It is the lie of the “inner genius”. The substance of this lie is that somewhere within us resides an homunculus – a tiny person. This “inner artist” possesses all the wondrous creative power we seek, complete and fully developed. In order for us to achieve the artist’s life, it is only necessary to contact this mischievous imp, who will then spin thread into gold, make the sun still in the sky, and open the doorway to Narnia. This is assuming of course that we are “real” artists.  Non-artists don’t have an inner Shakespeare, a miniature Gauguin, or a tiny Beethoven. Perhaps they have a pet genius for spreadsheets, or an innermost sacred accountant.  Having this model of the creative process, we are disturbed when we sit down to work and find our minuscule demon missing from his station.  Perhaps we have done something to drive him away, and should seek out some kind of artist’s penance?  There is a whole industry of books, support groups, and retreats providing this service.  Perhaps we are not sensitive enough and must “develop” our “creative intuition”?  Most occult and spiritual practices are substitutes for nothing else.  Perhaps we are – horror of horrors – not a “real” artist at all, and should resign ourselves to corporate mediocrity and mindless entertainments?  Whatever it is, we must do something. Clearly something is wrong with us, for the magic gate is closed.

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