[lit-ideas] Re: Murder by Membership

  • From: "Paul Stone" <pastone@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 12:07:00 -0400

Okay, you guys keep prodding -- Mike trying [and generally succeeding]
to be funny, Lawrence questioning the 'facts' of my explanation, David
being the angry poetic young man (yes, that's flattery), and Irene,
well, he's just herself.


>AA: I agree with Lawrence that movies are a very reasonable facsimile of great
> books as well as literary in their own right.  I've suggested several movies
> and except for Rent that Lawrence watched, there's been no interest and no
> response.

Perhaps, next time you suggest a movie, you might watch it [all] first.

> Sometimes I think the antidote to this godforsaken 21st century
> is literature, is an escape into another time, but I can't seem to manage
> it.  Can't seem even to write the mini essays of phil lit days on varied and
> sundry topics.

I still write essays all the time, but I just don't bother writing
them specifically FOR this group anymore. Here's the genesis of THAT
decision:

1997:

Read thoughtful essay
Fashion similar (approximately 1 - 2 hours)
Read measured response
Reply
End

2007:

Read sentence-long ejaculation about something that sparks my interest
Fashion response in short essay (approximately 1 - 2 hours)
Watch as someone makes a joke about a a word I used.
Subject-heading changes and the thread is dead.
No further feedback on my original essay

People's attention spans are generally getting shorter because they
simply can't afford to spend as much time fielding email -- since they
now have so much more than they did 10 years ago. I understand that. I
really do. But at the same time, my output has been dampened because i
simply don't want to waste time doing it and falling on blind eyes or
deaf ears.

For a time I vowed to write book reviews as often as possible and I
did that for quite a few months. But it simply got too strenuous for
what I was getting back (pretty much nada). I like doing things for
people and it is gratifying when I can please others by doing a good
deed or making other people's days easier. But, like any selfish
bastard, I'm reciprocal altruist. I need something back too, but those
incidences are getting further and further apart. I'm just not getting
the bang that I used to.

I've had conversations off-list with friend and foe and almost without
exception people were/are very personable and sober in those cases. I
thank anyone/everyone who ever contacted me. And even though I've only
ever actually met two members and talked with a couple of others on
the phone, I feel like I know a little part of quite a few of you
folk. I think I would miss that if I stopped completely.

 Nowadays, I get virtually nothing back from any conversation I have
except for people calling me crazy, stupid, and purposely fucking with
my mind (ignorantly in most cases).

So... as I stated a few weeks back, I just have other priorities that
are more important than sidling up to the familiar bar. Even though I
still get some joy from reading those I like, some enlightenment from
those who I respect and even some laughter from those who I don't
agree with, it's just not in the cards right now to fully contribute.
I will remain, lurking and chime in from time to time, but I'm just
not very writative right now.

quietly,
p
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