Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
January 21, 2004
Excerpt & a surprise!
Category: Art

I got a bit of sleep. Feel a little better now. I'm not sure how substantial that last post was, and I wanted to do another post, so here, an excerpt on some loftier topics (I think/hope) -- not necessarily loftier than the last post, but loftier than M&Ms. It originally appeared as a response to someone on a Buffy posting thread, who basically reprimanded me for being overly analytical in my episode reviews. Enjoy! And at the end of the excerpt...I've got a surprise for you.

Buffy and Angel are pretty much the only shows I watch on television too. Well, I catch TMNT on Saturday mornings and occasionally random shows on SciFi, but mostly just Buffy and Angel. For that reason, I expect them to be good. They used to be good. Hell, they used to be great. Even when episodes were bad (and there were a few), usually the overarching storyline was interesting and coherent enough to keep me interested. Some episodes were made worthy of watching just because they participated in that great greater story. Now, even when there is a good episode (and there have been more of them on Angel this season than on Buffy), that they're part of the continuous story actually brings them down. And as I've tried to argue, this is largely a result of the writers' incompetence.

Given that you write and -- I hope -- care about what you write, I'd think you'd be a little more concerned about this. Or maybe you just write for fun? I dunno. When I write, and I'm sure I'm not always successful -- or maybe I'm never successful -- I'm trying to write something great. Something that someone can really benefit from reading, and not just in a cursory, entertaining sort of way. Contrary to your assertion that, "In fact, our world is crammed with entirely too many things taken too seriously. Including ourselves," things aren't taken seriously enough. Think about it -- how many television shows have you watched that were truly worth watching? As much as I've hated Buffy and Angel this season, I'm sure that they still represent some of the best that television has to offer. Look at the movies being released, the new music hitting the shelves, etc -- the quality of art being released, on the whole, is not getting better. It's getting worse, because that's what sells, because people don't care about whether it's good or not anymore. They just care about being entertained for an hour or two.

I could go on about how bad it is for society -- especially when one takes into account the degenerate ideologies communicated through inferior art and the consequences that will have, etc -- but I'll tell you how it affects me, personally. I want to write something great. Yes, something that would be intrinsically valuable, but also something that would be instrumentally valuable in transforming people -- into making them better persons, better able to affect the world in positive ways. But right now I don't think I'd have an audience. Nobody cares. When you shrug your shoulders and say, "It was entertaining," without caring whether the work was actually good, you do a disservice to both the art and the artist. And in order to be a good artist, I think, you have to be a good critic. You have to have a vision.

Okay, now I'm rambling. Admittedly so. In short, I care about art. I'd want people to be just as harsh in critiquing my art as I am in critiquing theirs. Admittedly, there have been a few things that I've liked that I'll admit are not good. Probably some campy horror movies -- but most of the ones I like, I speculate, are intended to be campy and explore camp with a kind of wit that actually makes them worth watching. Also, I've hated things that I thought were excellent -- "The Body" from Buffy season 5, for instance. But nobody learns from bad art unless one recognizes that it's bad art. And sometimes, bad art can be even more instructive than good art, insofar as one recognizes how it goes wrong and learns what not to do. Maybe I like the campy horror movies because they seem to have been made, in a sense, with the intent to teach. And it's much more difficult to explain how good art comes together. It's something magical. But eh.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, I give you...


I think he came out rather nicely, don't you? First picture I've done in a while...I miss drawing.

Gonna take a break from the other piece and try to pen a short story on the computer tonight (the others, including this one that's giving me some trouble, I write by hand). Hope that goes well. Wish me luck!

-posted by Wes | 10:15 pm | Comments (0)
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