Mad Men (The Wheel)
Or Thought Provoking Things by Myself and Others
"I think a writer’s job is to provoke questions. I like to think that if someone’s read a book of mine, they’ve had—I don’t know what—the literary equivalent of a shower. Something that would start them thinking in a slightly different way perhaps. That’s what I think writers are for. This is what our function is. We spend all our time thinking about how things work, why things happen, which means that we are more sensitive to what’s going on."
The Big Mess
Melissa shut her car door, slung her purse over her shoulder, and turned toward their house. A light was on in their bedroom but all of the other windows were dark just like The Man said they would be. She started toward the door and reached for the knob. It was locked, however her key was under the mat just like The Man said it would be. She put her key in and unlocked the door. She thought to herself how suspicious she must have looked but turned her head and checked for onlookers anyway; there were none. She opened the door and turned immediately to their bedroom instead of the kitchen where she normally put down her purse and made a drink before doing, or saying, anything to anyone. Silently, as if she herself relied on the element of surprise, she reached for the handle on their bedroom door. Clutching her dangling purse with her left hand she opened the door to find her husband dead, as she hoped; but it did not look like an accident, as she and the The Man planned.
THE BELIEVER: What’s your definition of “bad” or “unsuccessful”?
CHRIS MARTIN: Well, that’s a wonderful question, because as an artist it’s very interesting sometimes to say, I’ll try to make a bad one. And often the kind of energy around the bad one is actually great. And the real assumption behind this is the idea that artists know what they’re doing. Or that we have great taste. We have great, discerning judgment about what’s a good one and what’s a bad one. And this whole, horrible juggernaut of graduate schools and art schools in America is predicated on the idea that everyone gets together and they put up the work and they try to develop critical thinking. “This wasn’t so good because the purple doesn’t pop, and this linear quality is better,” and so young artists are trained to make it better and better. But I think that doesn’t lead to better paintings. The idea is that we know what’s a better one or what’s a worse one. And I’m not sure that we always know what the good ones are and what the bad ones are. I have photographs of paintings that I did in the ’80s and I destroyed them. And then I repainted them in the ’90s and I destroyed them. And a lot of times the ones that I painted in the ’80s were fine. I should have just left those.
But, again, the planet is flaming, we got serious problems. And so the question becomes: what are we doing about it as painters? We’re off here trying to make “good paintings”? Who cares what’s a good painting? How about a painting that’s disturbing, raw, or we don’t even know what it is? That’s probably more helpful to all of us than these very well-made abstract paintings.
All the children of America, up to age seven or eight or nine or ten—they’re really great artists. So here we’ve got this amazing work that very few people pay any attention to, and it’s not valued by the culture. In fact, one of the great dismissive lines by popular culture on painting is “My kid can do that.” And of course the truth is their kid could do that, but could they do that? Their kid’s a genius! They’re the ones stuck in some uptight vision of they can’t do it. And so one sees examples of paintings that we don’t understand, a wild energy or freedom. We see it all the time, looking at paintings that you find on the sidewalk, half-finished paintings, thrown-out paintings. You could buy paintings online made by elephants these days. And elephants are pretty good painters. So if an elephant can make a good painting, then who needs an MFA from Yale? I mean, maybe we should start accepting elephants into graduate school.
…Or great stories
(Source: , via explore-blog)
Gin Rummy: I always say the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
Gin Rummy: Simply because you don’t have evidence that something does exist does not mean you have evidence of something that doesn’t exist.
Gin Rummy: What country are you from?
Gin Rummy: ‘What’ ain’t no country I ever heard of! They speak English in ‘What’?
Gin Rummy: English, motherfucker! Do you speak it?
Gin Rummy: So you understand the words I’m saying to you!
Gin Rummy: Well, what I’m saying is that there are known knowns and that there are known unknowns. But there are also unknown unknowns; things we don’t know that we don’t know.
Gin Rummy: Say what again! Say what again! I dare you! I double dare you, motherfucker! Say what one more time!