Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Wrote this entire entry on the 8-mile bike ride from my house to work, and, were the logistics feasible, would also have typed this entry during the same event.
Finally getting back into the habit of using my bicycle as a means of restoring good health, which I keep describing in my head as if I were William Shatner portraying a once-weakened superhero (“Cardiovascular strength! Returning!”) The lakefront is a wonderful place to speed by, besides the natural beauty of miles of water and greenery, there’s a certain primal satisfaction–and I say this confident that I love my girlfriend and could never do anything to hurt her–to being surrounded by joggers in sports bras.
Been feeling an increasing degree of guilt regarding my lack of response to my friend’s recent bout with ennui and depression, detailed in his Live Journal. This is a man who I describe to others as my capital-B capital-F Best Friend; the guy who’d be serving me in the capacity of best man if I end up having that sort of wedding ceremony, but I’ve treated him pretty badly for that. I did not respond to his palpable dissatisfaction with life with a show of support, and I’m not sure why. Nor do I feel that discovering why would give me any excuse–I Fucked Up, frankly, and I’m not feeling particularly better for admitting that in this journal, even though I know he periodically reads it. I’m sorry, I say to the journal, somehow not ready to say it directly to him. I hope you’re doing better. I don’t want you gone by 28. I don’t want you unhappy, I don’t want you breaking fingers because your parents are throwing trite platitudes at you. And I worry about you, because–and I’m trying to avoid the “p” word–you’re so much a better guy than a lot of the bastards out there.
My dry spell ended and I found the play again. I’m trying to work on it between actual salaried-position assignments, which seems to be going okay, but I’d really, really like to have it done soon so I can give it one reading and then send it off the Illinois Arts Council as a grant application. The play needs to be full-length and finished. I have never finished a full-length play. The grant application is due on September 1st, and I wonder if I’m better off not rushing the play specifically for the purposes of money.
Then again: money.
Yesterday I wrote a letter to Salon.com in response to an Arianna Huffington column, something I’ve never done before. Arianna was ranting about the inanity of the public education system, and I was inclined to agree, but she was making a point of saying that the education system, like any faulty product, should be recalled.
I should step back a second and say that I’m still wary of Arianna Huffington, as she’s done a political one-eighty since first I saw her, and it’s a little disconcerting still. Like anybody who’s lost religion and found a new one, she seems almost too zealous in her attacks on the old camp.
In any case, my question to Arianna was that I wondered what she meant by “recall”. You can’t recall the education system while you work on making it better, because what will happen to the students who are growing up in the interim? Unfortunately, the difficulties of education reform are in the fact that the product is faulty, has hurt and in some ways killed many of its clients and consumers, but the only way to work on it is while the engine is running and the blades are spinning.
Incidentally, what I did not add to my letter, as it was not relevant, is that I have in the past made the same analogy concerning capital punishment in this country. It is a faulty product and must be recalled. The difference here is that you are actually able to shut the product down while you work on salvaging it (or slowly learning that the product will never work perfectly at all).
Tomorrow is the simultaneous birthday of two friends of mine who are dating each other. I’ll say this when I see them tonight–and they do not read this journal–but Happy Birthday to Adam and Amy.
May finally see Planet of the Apes tomorrow as well. Looking forward to it.