thats a whole hour of my life i'll never get back.
For something different this week, I’m reviewing Danielgleesons untitled poem posted on 15/09. Daniel’s poem skilfully and uniquely comments on a range of issues that are relevant to our study of literature this semester- both Blake and White, those pf which are issues also of the wider world. Thematically, the poem delivers on the repetitiveness of our lives and constructions of society that are amplified due to our human tendency to conform. Actually, I’m unsure about whether conformity can only be classified as a human trait- so many animals must conform to packs and hierarchy’s forming some sort of natural order based on survival instincts- whenever I see those nature documentaries it is more often than not, the animal that strays from its pack that is targeted by predators. For alone, the animal is prey, it is single ‘solitary’ like white’s characters Miss Hare, Mrs Godbold, Himmelfarb and Dubbo. These characters have either consciously or unconsciously become separated from society, from the rigid tradition and discriminating culture (or, alternatively, as Daniel states in his poem, “the Bandwagon”) that crucifies them (himmelfarb literally) for this behaviour. They are watched and hunted and maliciously slandered for being outsiders by the beasts who are hungry to persecute. Daniel conveys these issues through his inclusion of dialogue that occurs between a child and his parents-we see that they may be the ultimate masters of our identities, who perhaps control the way we interact with outside world. The line “A lack of concrete stimuli (a lack of dirty nails) tempts me to leave” reminds me of Miss Hare, whose own stimuli is drawn from nature, and if she cannot be rooted to the earth in all its beauty and power, if she cannot be close by digging deep (and getting ‘dirty nails’), she cannot survive. Nature is her life source. The middle stanza of the poem is complex, owing to its conveying the formulaic nature of our lives, the rational, mathematical way of thinking and way of existing that ultimately brings structure, routine and conformity to a life that he believes is ‘addictive’. Perhaps this addiction is what brings us comfort in lives that might otherwise appear meaningless. I picture the chartered streets of London, the stacked, numbered, replicated and valuated shelves of consumerism, the order of churches, of worship, of dogma regurgitated every sunday- all constructs that we have forged to give us a sense of place and belonging.
Daniel’s piece proves to us that poetry can break this cycle. He has thrown conformity out the window using visual (unusual stanzas, the use of the asterix,the parentheses and bolding text) and linguistic techniques that are a step outside of the box of the ordered, the mundane.
so my point in writing all of this, is that Blake was spot on, and continues to be. for many, marriage= slavery. i dont think that people deliberately perpetuate this reality, i just think that despite the fact that women have advanced to such a huge degree in terms of their rights, alot hasnt changed. we still carry the fucking load on our shoulders,and i know even just in my own family that this is what is silently 'expected'. while i work at the family business up to 6 days a week my younger brother shits all over everyone and does exactly what he wants to do while everyone kisses his arse. i am now the product and perpetuator of this vicious fucking cycle and i only hope that i can be the one to stop this wheel from spinning to no end.
heres a coversation that took place on messenger between me and my male friend dro while i was writing this post:
me:why are men so fucked
dro:cos women r even more fucked
me:no, we're just as fucked
dro: ok but women r fucked AND annoying
dro: u'll never understand ur a woman
mood: pissed OFF
If you discovered some earth shattering truth, that would change everything the people in the world believed, would you tell them? Or would you let them continue on with their lives...
everyone elses arguments need to be read before mine makes sense but ill just slap it here anyway///
isnt it the universal truth that everyone wants to be 'saved?'. no one wants to find out that their life is meaningless, even if we do explicitly say 'this is all nothing' even if we are opposed to any notions of God or the afterlife. hands up whos comfortable with the fact that you'll be six feet under or burnt into dust some day? or are all of these ideas simply self-indulgent western middle class slightly educated mutterings that are, in fact meaningless when it all comes to that final breath? the truth is relative to the beholder of said truth, as is meaning.
to those of you who think our lives are meaningless... do you think you live your life differently?
jeez i can rant and rave...
i've been reading alot of Timbs posts lately. i think its amazing that i attend the same teeny tiny uni as him and i have never ever seen him anywhere (ive seen a photo on his journal though). Anyway, from my reading im in awe- Timb is an extremely intelligent, talented guy who has had to deal with a lot of shit growing up and even now at uni. this might be a little strange to some people- but i can see a lot of parallels between timb and writers of the past who have conscoiusly or unconsciously lived on the fringe. Like Blake, Timb feels as though he cannot connect with many members of society, or in this instance, our literature community, on the same level. I think the problem is that, whilst many of us understand and enjoy our work at uni, we dont really appreciate the privelege of being there. I have to admit that with all of my responsibilities outside of uni, i have become a slave to everything that Blake was against. the shackles of conformity and capitalism and not following my own heart. Timbs video poem, he states is
"about frustration, and agitation, evident in the shudders and flicker of the camera. It’s about feeling trapped in a barren landscape of meaningless clichés that is language, and being unable to find expression for something, which causes the frustration and agitation. It’s about looking for new ways to define something you can’t define because our lives, feelings and expressions have all been stereotyped through media into a kind of sub-reality that on the surface seems quite real, but deeper than that is simply meaningless."
i think that it is also a metaphor for the frustration Timb might be feeling about university. about the lack of interest of others and the lack of stimulation they provide. it saddens me to admit that, despite the fact that our minds have been opened up to the TRUTH about this world, to the shitty, raw, fucked up TRUTH, most of us will never do anything to change that. Timb has an enthusiasm that is infectious and i cant imagine why anyone would come down on him for what he does, all i can think is that theyre narrow minded and threatened in some way.
in the comments of his post,Timb reflects on the way we have become mindless slaves to the english language (like Orwells essay that we looked at in 2nd year). he raises a number of points about human society's "progress", about how widsom, knowledge and the quest for enlightenment have been traded for the material, the quest, rather for the bigger and better, newer and shinier. has post modernism actually hindered us and prevented the possibility of extending ourselves? are we living to some base, cliche, formulaic preconceived movie script telling us when, why and how?
we looked at 'apathy' last year, and again this all ties together- why arent we as educated, passionate young students rebelling against the status quo? against this nonchalant, lethargic, brain dead, stagnant society? Or are we missing something? i had a discussion with one of the teachers on prac about stereotyping, and i was wondering why my all-girl-year 10 english class hadnt written letters speaking out against the stereotyping of women in a task i gave them, rather, they thought that to change this traditional way of representing women would make people 'confused' or 'uncomfortable'. i was dumbfounded. i asked this teacher what she thought, and she pointed out that there is such a generation gap these days that kids dont realise that for a woman to be at uni or to hold a certain position at a job is anything significant. they are so USED to these things being the norm that any insight into the struggle that took place for us to get there is rendered insignificant. So maybe thats just what the problem is, we at uni are all so preoccupied with what is happening day by day- work,assessments,social life-family that attempting to do anything would seem futile. i am so exhausted living my daily life and fulfilling my responsibilities to those around me that to take on the world seems like stuff of the imagination. i wish things were different. maybe we might not change the world but there is some hope gamboge in his comments states that: "sometimes we do just escape into our own sphere and it is then that the true creative spirit overrides all the bulshit, clichés, foreign agendas, and lies. Poetry is the language of the soul. Poetry empowers us." . now someone else deem this statement as cliche, but there is truth undeniable in so few words.