Fragmented thoughts on political correctness and appropriation

speech-c47e4eee4626f6ef108008fd6c256b3a72f5e644-s900-c85

I don’t understand the problem that people have with political correctness. I’m on many sides of this issue. I think it stems from a conversation I had with my boyfriend about how people were outraged with Steve Martin’s tweet upon Carrie Fisher’s passing.

586430771500002f00e9d652

The responses: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-martin-carrie-fisher-tweet_us_58642c36e4b0de3a08f70427

Here’s one from New York Magazine:

I think Steve Martin was speaking from the heart here. People are allowed to be outraged. I personally don’t believe the tweet was in poor taste, but maybe deleting his tweet was. I can see that Martin probably got upset or tired of the responses he was getting. Keeping in mind that Martin is from a different time, I think of what he might have meant, which was probably thoughtfully considered, especially knowing that he knew her personally. Her fans knew her well too, hence the outrage. The public might have gone overboard, but in this place and time, today, if you’re going to engage with the public, you’re engaging with thousands, even millions of people. And they will respond in multitudes in real time. That is the hyper world we live in now.

This all brings me to the controversies in Canadian literature and western literature as well. Here’s the latest: Editor Resigns Over an Article Defending ‘Cultural Appropriation’https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/arts/editor-resigns-over-article-defending-cultural-appropriation.html

Now I’ve spent a good portion of my writing career talking about appropriation. I’ve written about the ethics and colonization aspects of it within the literary establishment. But I want to note that a lot of this conversation, a lot of this backlash is coming from writers of colour. This isn’t about being politically correct, or being too sensitive in this day and age,  or “political correctness” gone haywire. These are legitimate concerns that people of colour have had for ages. We were rarely heard though even though we’ve been shouting it out from the mountains. Why are we not giving more people of colour and the disenfranchised more opportunities to flourish and to be heard?

I like to think I’ve been “woke” since I was a teenager. The Gulf War and the Human Rights Now Tour of the 80s really made a impression on me. Reading the Charter of Rights here in Canada and the Universal Declaration of Rights from the UN, empowered me and made me feel like anything was possible. So when I began writing, I noticed a few things that I was told to brush off. Why weren’t there only a few people of colour at poetry readings, book launches, literary parties, and the like? Why were there so few people of colour as editors to magazines and publishers in the industry? The more I questioned, the more I got consoled.

“It’s not true. We’re trying. It’s all in your head. We’re a community.”

Nevertheless, after a few poetry readings I started to begin my sets by looking around the room and if I didn’t notice anyone like me, or my colour, or diverse like community in Toronto I live in, I would say, “Thank you for inviting me. It is a privilege. It’s great to see people come out for poetry. Looking around the room, we need more people of colour, more people from the community here.” And then I’d start my reading.

It’s a response to gas-lighting. It was a response to truly waking up to reality. I feel it’s a statement that forces attendees and organizers to do something about it. Unfortunately, a lot of that ends up on people of colour’s shoulders. We are asked to solve the problem the privileged have created. We are told to bring solutions to the table. Therefore, instead of us focusing on our craft and our chosen careers, our labour is given to fixing messes or putting up the illusion that something is being done about the establishment’s “diversity” problem.

As soon as that article in Write appeared, I spoke out on twitter and Facebook and quickly retreated. I did speak out a few times on threads trying to point out the ignorance in our literary community, but nonetheless, I had to let it go. I realized how much those debates take out of me on social media. In turn, I also thought about the emotional labour that the indigenous writers who were in that Write issue were about to take on. It’s scary and overwhelming, even full of opportunities because people want to “diversify” their platforms, and hey, you’re there right in the middle of it, so why not?

But it takes up your time and space in your head. It does for me because I feel really passionate about anti-appropriation and for ethical appropriation in poetry and prose. A lot of the fights I feel like taking on, I have to step back and think, “Whose voice is better suited for this?” I can’t speak for the indigenous cause, nor can I speak for the causes of a black person. I can speak from a Latinx (yes I’ve adopted this term because I’ve come to love it and I’ve chosen it), Afro-latin second generation Canadian female perspective. That is who I am and how I was born. I don’t go around saying that is how I identify. That’s just how I try to approach these controversies and debates in the literary and the real world community. At 44, I think it’s a pretty awesome freedom to be able to self-identify nowadays.

What enriches a community is not taking from its members nor imagining what their experiences might be. What enriches literature and art is taking from one’s imagination and evolving that fictional or non-fictional world through a centre of empathy and compassion. We can imagine ourselves and write from another person’s shoes, for freedom of speech is an inherent and fundamental right, but we can not steal and appropriate to our sole benefit. We must acknowledge if we’re taking a scene, a slice of life, or a culture that comes from a place of pain and colonization.

Many would dismiss colonization as real today, but all you have to do is look at your televisions, the books you were taught in school, our world leaders, and the people that hold positions of power in our literary community. I just want most of you to go out there and notice. Keep a keen eye. Open your mind just a tiny bit and see how many people of colour you interact in media and in those literary communities. Who are your professors and who are your publishing editors? Take note of the people around your neighbourhoods. The establishments you visit and the things you promote. Is it truly reflective of the community around you? If good work stands the test of the literary establishment, why is it there are so few people of colour being published or in those positions of power. We are hard working and for the most part, talented, for our stories are rich and interesting. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be appropriated by so many white privileged folk.

The personal is always political. You can’t dismiss injustice or you will get told. Get ready to interact, get ready to truly expand your work by engaging.

I’ve spent the past few years reading people’s written defences for appropriation. That we need to learn to be free to express however we want to become one people instead of a world of races. I’m sorry (not sorry), but we can’t be one people if you fail to acknowledge and listen to why we are complaining and outraged right now. Why be politically correct? I see it this way, if you’re a writer, you try to engage your reader to feel with your character and their lives. Not only that, but you have to bring something new to the table, something that innovates literature, and emboldens it like the writers of the past have. If you keep appropriating and not innovating your own experience, you stagnate and literature becomes dull and droning. Those who have learned to appropriate ethically, who have opened the doors to an empathetic and considerate new world in literature will move on without you. And when you finally wake up to the issues, for it can never be too late (oh can’t tell you how I hold to that thought fast or I’d sink), then you will be offered a seat at the table and we will share freely, full of heart, and full of good work.

Sure, outrage can go all over the place, but really, I’d rather be able to read stuff like Steve Martin wrote about Carrie Fisher, read the outrage, and then discuss. Humanity and our creative output doesn’t evolve by dismissing, but by interacting and listening. Radical empathy, please google it and do the work yourself. : https://this.org/2016/11/08/what-it-means-to-practise-radical-empathy/

 

(P.S. You can write from the imagination and from experiences that are not your own in fiction and poetry. You can learn and appreciate different cultures and be influenced by them in your style and comportment. However, the point of all of this is that people are asking you to think, express, and create from a space of consideration. If you want to share and take part, you have to listen and consider.)

 

*******************

Events coming up…

HI! It’s been a while, and I need to update some of the pages and doings on here, but for now I have few things I should mention:

  1. I’m in this anthology! Come on out to the launch: “It’s The PAC’N HEAT Launch Party! Come celebrate with us at See-Scape on Thursday Nov. 10th from 7 PM to 10 PM! Check out the video games! Drink some drinks! Buy some books!” https://www.facebook.com/events/514551702083634/

14729080_10153992036906220_5911947663632678825_n.jpg

 

2. I’m teaching an Uncreative Writing Workshop at Naked Heart Festival (Saturday, November 12th at 10:30am):

14608905_607778576060697_38877357074363812_o.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/events/978461842282481/

Info on my uncreative writing stuffs: https://jacquelinevalencia.wordpress.com/tag/conceptual/

https://jacquelinevalencia.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/on-the-state-of-poetry/

3. I’ll be presenting a paper/on a panel for the Diasporic Joyce: the 2017 James Joyce Conference in Toronto: https://diasporicjoyce.wordpress.com/

jjtoronto.jpeg

4. I’ll be reading at words(on)stages on January 19 at The Central

http://www.wordsonpagespress.com/stages/

 

And still working on my novel manuscript. It’s been an adventure.

 

On the Defence of Conceptualism

too-many-men
Viktor Vasnetsov. The Unsmiling Tsarevna (Nesmeyana). 1916-1926. Oil on Canvas http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vasnetsov_Nesmeyana.jpg

(Like many of the posts on my blog, this is a ramble sparked by current events. I apologize if it lacks solidity and editing [I might go back and edit it, I might not] And like most of these posts, it comes from a need to get it out and it will get expounded upon eventually through the rest of my writing in the future. I’ve got nothing to lose.)

It is hard to defend conceptualism nowadays. I have been thinking, speaking, and digesting it for months that I woke up today in a state of agitation. There have been a few controversies with it way before I started using it in my work, but in 2015 things got a little haywire. Regardless of poetry or art’s motivations the enfant terrible of the poetry -isms has pushed beyond its confines and some of us are left to pick up the detritus left in its wake.

Some of us are appropriating it. Some of us are dismissing it and moving on. Some of us are doing both, which includes me. I’m purposely being vague because if I’m going to be talking about appropriation and interpretation in poetry, I have to step surely from a place I know and with consideration of the craft that is under fire.

A few years ago, I yearned to get back into writing. I started this blog in 2010 with the intention of starting up again, even if it was just to express myself in order to communicate better with my children. That same year while at the book store I picked up Update by Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler and Eunoia by Christian Bök. A Griffin poetry prize winner and a book that utilized social media, an expressive form that revolutionized the way I communicate every day with relish. Reading these texts bent my brain in a good way, blew my mind actually, thus after doing a bit of research I came across Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing.

(Now before I continue, some will posit this: influenced by works of white men. Well, I counter that with the fact that William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe were the first lyrical poets to impact me heavily because they were taught to me school. As the child of immigrant parents from Colombia, I was taught and read to in Spanish at home. It was only until later, in my explorations that I broke out of the white bubble of today’s education system to find poets I identified with not just from expression, but from relatable “minority” backgrounds. You can say the same for conceptualism.)

I gobbled up Uncreative Writing just like the first time I came across a Magritte in person. With Rene Magritte’s L’anniversaire I realized I could paint from dreams. With uncreative writing, the writer’s blocks I often suffered were suddenly alleviated. It was remarkable. Let’s go beyond the Warholian analogies/comparisons and stick to what I feel makes conceptualism work.

Every day we are bombarded with information and a lot of this information takes the form of text. Even when we are presented with images, those images are comprised of an ordered binary text built to present an image before you. When Shakespeare observed the world around him, he saw oral stories and built textual narratives out of these already well-known legends. He appropriated history and his every day to bring you Hamlet and King Lear (Lear being my favourite btw). It is the task of the poet to take the world around her and build her own language to communicate it. When the printing press was invented, the writer saw potential in it. When the typewriter was invented, writers saw potential in it. When the personal computer was invented…wait hold up.

“Uh. How do we use it?” the poet asked.

The personal computer isn’t just a word processor, it’s a text generator and a text manipulator. The poet can copy and paste, rearrange, and create out of the infinite sedimentary material coming from its input and output. It’s mad, I tell you, madness! A poet and writer doesn’t just have to write about the sky, the dying rose, or the way her lover’s face melts in her memory. A poet can now write about the ingredients in her jello pudding and the impact that the words “jello pudding” have post-Bill Cosby. I could take the ingredients of jello pudding and put them through a word processor, copy and paste them and remix them with the word “rape.” The poem generated can read like nonsense for some, but for others, well, it’s a statement. Words have strong meaning regardless of how they’re arranged, they nevertheless mean something.

In Against Expression, an anthology of conceptual writing by Dworkin and Goldsmith, visual artist Claude Closky describes his refrigerator:

My refrigerator

The usable volume of my refrigerator is far superior to conventional capacities, and allows me to store my fresh and frozen produce. The meat compartment with adjustable temperature and the crisper with humidity control assure me a perfect preservation of my food. Furthermore, the fan-cooling unit makes and dispenses my ice to me as well as fresh water. Moreover, my refrigerator is equipped with an anti-bacterial coating that helps me to keep it clean.”

I don’t care if you don’t like it, but this dude just wrote a love letter to his fridge. Who does that? Who even dares to write poetry about the brilliant network of fire and power under the hood of a car? Surely that’s just as complex as the curves of a lover’s body. Why are we still writing about the moon in someone’s eyes? WHAT ABOUT THE DUST *ON* THE MOON? Conceptual writing takes the mundane and places it on the same pedestal as the glory of a rising sun. I know that after a blackout there’s no sound as mellifluous as the buzz of the fridge motor kicking in. When Marjorie Perloff titles her analysis of conceptual poetry as Unoriginal Genius, I think she forgot that there is originality here and it lies in the hands of the artist that appropriates.

Right now, arguments have been getting hung up on the word “appropriation,” and within good reason. Issues of copyright will always be a writer or artist’s concern. For some, the craft of writing is where we can both expressive ourselves and make a living while doing it. We can’t live like Jack Kerouac anymore and we don’t have the financial cushioning of Isabel Allende (an indirect nod to Roberto Bolaño). Writing these days is treated like a hobby and sometimes as a joke career. Therefore, number one rule in appropriation is posting credit where credit is due. While the work, let’s say, remixing a national financial newspaper with a gossip mag, is free, the poet must credit the places they took their material from. It’s not only ethical, but it gives the work context and a means for the reader to relate to the work. Painters paint what they see, writers write what they know, readers and art consumers eventually own your piece of work in the long run. Give them something to chew on.

Now I’ve written a few pieces on the latest controversies appropriating racial bodies, ethics in conceptualism, and such, and for some of these I’m awaiting them going into print. I can’t elaborate on that subject matter without stepping over the publication of that material. For the purposes here, I will stick to “a current defence of conceptualism.” I mean, current because what sparked this post was this:

CHgTo6oUAAAiUH_
This screen cap taken from my the stream on my twitter feed.

The Poetry Foundation piece is this one: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2015/06/kenneth-goldsmith-says-he-is-an-outlaw/

I agree, it was scathing commentary. It’s been a pile on since April 2015. On all sides. It’s cringe worthy for those of us that practice conceptualism to have to defend what we do because a couple of people made some mistakes and stepped over a huge line. Now let me try to elucidate why people are angry with the current tactic and defence of conceptualism.

As someone who has her privileges and in many ways I don’t, I have to say that watching three white men mansplain the world of conceptualism right now is a huge way to get me to dismiss your argument. How is that a defence of the work? In an ideal world, our skin colour, financial status, scholarly background, sexual orientation, and gender shouldn’t matter. We should be free to talk about what we want to talk about. Free speech builds the world up and can revolutionize it when it needs to be.  What do I want to see? I want to see a discussion by people who disagree with each other, who come from different backgrounds who profess their ideologies without blinders on. It’s really hard to defend conceptualism and lyricism right now if you don’t have a phD, are not white, are not currently pitching a novel, or thinks of themselves as the greatest new thing since Picasso. Fuck Picasso. Picasso’s dead, man.

Arguments like Perloff’s above insinuate that those of us that speak against what Goldsmith’s work in April are “not privileged enough to know better.” How do you expect anyone to listen to your argument if you’re telling us, that we must *appreciate* a work that is racist (Note: I do not believe Goldsmith is racist. Not at all. The resulting work at Brown University was racist. The poet, not so much.). There is a fundamental flaw in telling a reader that they have to appreciate something in order to understand it. Excuse me and my place, but you don’t tell me how to appreciate something. If we’re going to sit back and let the work speak for itself, I’m the reader and digester of work much like we all are, thus I have full power here.

What I’m finding in all the arguments against and for conceptualism is vitriol. Blind vitriol and animosity from all sides. It’s a detriment to your arguments. Conceptual writing comes from conceptualism going back to French medieval thinkers and the Jesuits. Talk about colonization. Talk about lyricism and how it helped educate the slave world and eradicate the languages of the New World. All modern literature is racist in a way. However, not all written work is racist. Some of it is rebellious. You can take a white man’s text and make it your own. You can manipulate text to expose its racist meat or you can take a whole education system down by taking the archaic means by which it operates and turn it against itself. You can decolonize using conceptualism and lyricism. You can take the works of William Shakespeare and expose the racism and misogyny within its production. You can take the works of a fascist ruler or corporation and use them to bring them down.

I defend conceptualism from the romantic view that lyricism ingrained in me. There’s an unlimited amount of rebellious potential inside of it. Anyone is free to use conceptualism and to use it well. You don’t need a degree or financial backing to create poetry nowadays. Words belong to the people and the people must use them. It’s a huge responsibility, but that’s the key. Words and their production are a huge responsibility and you must think before you use them and about why you’re using them. How does the poet’s work affect the consumer of it? Sure, we can create work just because we can, but in this day and age, you can not call yourself a poet without progressing the work (even if it is just for yourself). If anything this year has taught me is that words, no matter where they come from, have great power. You can not use that power callously.

Fuck colonization. Fuck all of it. THINK for once about your audience. You’re not convincing anyone in a circle jerk of hate or elitism.

Let’s come at this whole poetry anger from a place where we can revolutionize again. Poetry is freedom. WE NEED TO REVOLUTIONIZE in order to move forward.

In this post http://jacquelinevalencia.com/2013/06/28/uncreative-writing-the-derive-and-your-life/ I said that every book should have a white cover. My white covered books have grey fingerprints and as such, is unique to my shelf.

I want to fuck/conceptualize your white texts up because in the end, I am free to do so. I’m covering all your texts with grey and colour.

***********************************

I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY. The poetry world hasn’t experienced this much upheaval since the 1930s. There’s no possible way I could parse the state I’m in and condense it well and coherently.

I’m just venting here, but hopefully I make sense to someone out there. I gotta go do groceries before a Skype meeting. My kid took my last croissant. I have to put away the books that I took out to write this thing. I only cited one.

I’m not sure if all things poetry agitate me or are exciting to me today. Do I put the books away or do I throw them up in the air?

Be agitated or agitate. Sink or swim.

Salut.

11536133_10155655351075043_6200038460356150396_n-1
Thanks to https://twitter.com/fearlessdawn for this photo. ❤

Edited to add: I really enjoyed this long form piece by Kim Calder up at the LA Review of Books.  http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/the-denunciation-of-vanessa-place 

Do read it if you get the chance.

On the state of poetry.

822c4689-43b6-492c-8c07-12340b4beca2-1350x2040
Frida Kahlo’s prosthetic leg http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11605809/Frida-Kahlo-fashion-The-artists-clothing-that-will-make-you-love-her.html

I keep wondering how I’m going to start this. Do I rehash everything that has happened in the last few months in poetry or do I just dive in? What can I impart that will illuminate a new thought to someone for a change for the better? I can’t really add much more than what I feel. I am person full emotions. They cloud me sometimes.

For now here are a few pieces I’ve already enjoyed and empathize with:

* Vanessa Place, The Mongrel Coalition and Sector 17: Notes on Poetry, Violence and Community http://jackkerouacispunjabi.blogspot.ca/2015/05/vanessa-place-mongrel-coalition-and.html

* On Being-Hated: Conceptualism, the Mongrel Coalition, the House That Built Me by Trisha Low: 

* On Vanessa Place, Gone With the Wind, and the Limit Point of Certain Conceptual Aesthetics by John K: http://jstheater.blogspot.ca/2015/05/on-vanessa-place-gone-with-wind-and.html

******************************************

The first time I wrote about the poetry world was when I had finished reading Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing. It prompted me to start my James Joyce projects. A new world had opened up to me in writing. Soon afterward I met Goldsmith and he introduced me to some of my local poetry heroes. I was so taken aback. He introduced me like I was “a very interesting and important poet.” I was overwhelmed with his kindness. Around the same time frame, I met Vanessa Place at an art show here in Toronto that featured conceptual poets and artists. We were both in line for the washroom and she asked me if I was a poet too. She suggested I should visit Los Angeles and take in the poetry scene there. I started reading on her work and it inspired me greatly.

I took on my lyrical and conceptual projects with fervour I hadn’t had since I was a teenager. A combination of writer’s block, a desk job, and then becoming a mother put all my writing on the back burner. It’s still very exciting to me to be in a world where I can produce work for myself and have others critique it, let alone be interested in it. I really haven’t done much, but film and literary criticism help me practice and expand my avenues. I would never have thought of turning my nerdy pursuits into a career. It’s a career I feel very passionate for and drives me. Words mean so much to me and I am very protective of them. Letting them go is cathartic and I’ve since learned it’s important for me to keep writing.

****************************

Then in April this happened: http://jacquelinevalencia.com/2015/03/15/thoughts-on-kenneth-goldsmith-and-michael-brown/

Not only had that happened (I can’t even bring myself to appropriate that child’s name on this post. He’s suffered enough.), but conceptual poetry was to blame for all the problems of the poetry world which included racism, sexism, elitism, and add all the -isms you want here. Conceptual poetry had to be abolished because it was the platform of the rich, white, and privileged. Not only that, but somehow my words ended up in different news media platforms. Some of them had misconstrued and cut up my writing to suit their opinion and agenda, misidentified me as a Goldsmith student (I looked up to him as if he was mentor), or black (I’m mixed Hispanic and I don’t appreciate that a paper took it upon themselves to identify as they saw fit without consulting me first), while entirely dismissing my reasoned defence for conceptualism. I got a lot of support for it, but it didn’t feel right.

The one person that could have answered my confusion ran away because their work was being continually questioned and he was being continually burned. I still wait for an answer. Not that I’m owed one. I may have a lost a friend/mentor in the process.

I have no regrets.

*******************************************

I’d known about the @VanessaPlace twitter account and added it on because I was interested in reactions to it. I was surprised no one had already. I wasn’t offended by it because Gone With The Wind is already so offensive. I also didn’t see it as my place to say anything because as a woman of mixed heritage, I’m still navigating that part of my identity with an awareness of my own privilege. I live in mixed girl limbo and that has it’s own problems that most don’t concern themselves with. No one speaks for me and I don’t speak for everyone. The outrage against Vanessa Place’s piece is right and I understand it. Everyone has the right to react the way they want to against racism or if they feel an injustice. No one wants to hear the art behind it (you can read the art behind in those links above). No one wants to hear what VP or KG were thinking and why they did what they did. They just want to condone and abolish.

That’s well within their rights to condone and call for action. Abolish? I’m not sure of that yet.

I am very grateful for the discourse this has provoked. My eyes were partially closed and now they’re wide open. Decolonize language. Decolonize your soul. But only against conceptualism? Really? So which poets of colour are being taught in school? Are we positive that no lyrical poets have ever been racist, sexist, or elitist? It’s all the same boiling pot of vanilla and we have a giant problem all around with this right now. Poetry has always had their cliques, it still doesn’t make it right. Decolonize all of it. Restructure all of it. No holds barred and no excuses. I demand you decolonize your own worlds for you.

No one prepared me for the onslaught of hate against a creative/uncreative process. For years I’ve been hearing the death of poetry, the death of lyricism, or the death of conceptualism. Pick a side and kill the other. Denounce and silence the brand of poetry that you hate. The “I” of lyricism will fall at the hands of conceptualists and the robots of conceptualism will be beheaded at the hands of the lyricists. Poetry right now is filled with feuding families pointing smug fingers at one another. At first I was amused, now everyone is hurting. Guess what? Poetry is personal again now.

The thing I’ve always loved about poetry is that I get to play with words. I get to experiment despite the colour of my skin or the constraints or traditions I utilize. I want to use both English and Spanish to explore the languages I grew up with and add a new one: Chibcha (the extinct native language of Colombia). Whether that be creatively or un-creatively, I have every right to do what I want.

Is conceptualism stained by racism? Yeah, it is, but so is lyricism. All of it is stained. I grew up speaking Spanish at home and learning English at school. These are two languages brought by conquerors that eradicated my ancestral people and their native tongue along with it. We use English every day on social media. At least most of us do.

****************************************************

I’m still very confused and hurt by all the things said against all the camps. Seriously, poetry camps and coteries! Not that I matter in all of this any way. But Poetry (with a capital P) matters to me. It’s where all my forms of expression originate. It comes from a mind that aspires to be a poet; one that still has problems saying, “I am a poet,” because to say that means you earned a mastery of words. It’s an audacious claim. I don’t not hold a mastery of words. I’m a writer and deciphering the world with writing poetry and reading poetry is part of my learning process. It fulfills me and delights me. It will continue to do so. But now I’ve got this anger. This angering energy empowers me to make a deep change in how I use lyricism and conceptualism. I mean, look at this awesome work!:

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/ubc-student-writes-52438-word-architecture-dissertation-with-no-punctuation-not-everyone-loved-it

I love the idea of decolonizing language with conceptualism. You can do it lyrically, but the possibilities become limitless in a cut up and paste world. KG and VP have offended and I hope that more poets offend and provoke. I don’t believe in art that’s sole purpose is to offend. I believe in art that opens eyes, changes perspectives, or makes people see things they were once blind to. As it is, these controversies have made me think about the world of criticism, how it must change and how it must start proving its worth. But that’s another world altogether.

You will not repress me because I have a voice. You may judge my methods of expression, but I have a strong voice, and I will use it as I see fit. You may critique me or condone me, but no one will silence me.

I come from people that matter, my parents, my family, my chosen family, my teachers, my mentors, but I follow no one. And I continue to learn. Full heart, clear eyes, and pen at the ready.

Learn to know thyself.

Poetry is freedom. There is freedom in speech. The poet is the world’s unpaid politician.

Thoughts on Kenneth Goldsmith and Michael Brown

ferguson-mike-brown-mural_
http://animalnewyork.com/2014/mike-brown-rip-mural/

On March 13, 2015, Kenneth Goldsmith read his newest work The Body of Michael Brown at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University (for Interrupt 3). Goldsmith remixed Michael Brown‘s autopsy report and presented it thusly. For what looks to have been an interesting conference, I have found very little documentation of the event (or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, except for hashtags on twitter –  https://twitter.com/search?q=%23interrupt3&src=tyah), but it was certainly noticed all over twitter and social media threads.

As an experimenter with uncreative writing and conceptual work, my first reaction was how did he use the report? I felt this resonated with my thinking at the moment.

However as the stream of reactive media rolled by, the more concerned I got.: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%40kg_ubu&src=typd

https://twitter.com/AgainstGringpo/status/576578056736804864

You can read the rest of Beaulieu’s thoughts here: https://twitter.com/BraydonBeaulieu/status/576817754520571904 which are what resonated with me right after.

It is no secret that reading Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing has been a continual influence in my own work in that it’s provoked experimentation. It’s opened up a new way of thinking and produced work that I’m pretty proud of. Goldsmith is also someone I consider a mentor and a friend. He pushes buttons and I support all of his work. He, in turn, has supported mine as well. I’m not a conceptual artist, nor do I consider myself a conceptual poet. I’m a poet that experiments with words, which is what a poet inherently does. Conceptualism is a subject I render, review, and talk about extensively in Canadian literature and it is, ironically, the birth of my lyrical work as well.

I find that the act of reading Michael Brown’s autopsy report extremely problematic. I believe that as a mixed person, even for me parsing the event is extremely problematic. I wrote a small blurb on twitter about it because I felt I should say something. Goldsmith is right. I wasn’t there. I don’t know the context. I don’t know the reaction of the crowd. I don’t know the discussions that came out of the reading. I want to know these things! I want to know the context and why this reading was a step forward for conceptualism or a step forward to something good for Michael Brown.

If he is just collating the data that is freely available to all of us, rendering it to make us think, well, he’s provoked a meaty discussion from the reactions. We can’t let Michael Brown’s death nor the events at Ferguson be forgotten because they are still happening every day. Is this what we are supposed to gather from a reading of Brown’s autopsy?

Scaling back, I have to think about the poet as a vessel of messages. In this case, Goldsmith is the vessel of the data of the autopsy report. We’re talking in a very clinical, conceptual state, where nothing that was read by Goldsmith was authored by Goldsmith. He is a computer capturing a state in time that we wouldn’t even think of placing ourselves in. From the reactions I gathered after the reading, it is clear that people were made uncomfortable by this idea. Maybe this is the reaction Goldsmith was looking for, if any, I can’t be sure.

Now think of Goldsmith again as the vessel of that report. He is not black. He is not from Ferguson. He is not related to Michael Brown. Did he speak to Brown’s relatives? If he didn’t are we to think that Brown’s death, because of that freely available autopsy report, are we to believe that Brown’s body is now freely available to the public? This is a black body that Goldsmith is rendering in his reading. That alone is the reason that concerned me. As a mixed woman with a black father who has had his rights (and life) questioned because of the colour of his skin, we both grew up subtly being told that our bodies belonged for appropriation. My Colombian dad is called negro in his homeland. I am still called negrita there as well. Negro there isn’t just the name of a colour, but it lives on as a derogatory term in Spanish. Slave labour is still alive and well for the blacks in South America. Black men still face great hardships in Colombia. Black suffering isn’t free and readily available to the public. Until the struggle is fought by those who suffer, we as people on the outside of it, must be allies and not silence black voices or speak over them.

Now I’m not saying 100 percent that this is what Goldsmith did, because, again, I wasn’t there. There has yet to be released a video or a transcript of the reading. If I am to defend a work, I would like to know all the details. But until then, I’d like to stand in solidarity with those concerned that Michael Brown might not have wanted this reading. Yes we are taking data of information and going with it, but that’s exactly what a reading like this incurs. As poets we present our work and some of us drop that mic. Some of us are so concerned with dropping it, we end up throwing it. Then we’re surprised when it gets thrown back.

I still think Kenneth Goldsmith is brilliant and one of the biggest champions of experimentation these days. Death threats against him because of this are ridiculous. We need discussions and get togethers where we duke these things and flesh them out. I like to think of Goldsmith’s reading like Madonna and Andy Warhol thought of Basquiat (http://jacquelinevalencia.com/2015/02/06/basquiat/). Basquiat wasn’t just a person or friend to them, he was a figure that came with the complexities and provocation they desired in their own work. They used him, but Basquiat used them as well.

I want to know what was said in Goldsmith’s reading. I want to know the aftermath in that room. I’m concerned that new divisions will be formed because we don’t know. Isn’t the work made more important by the discussion of it?

These are all questions I still have after posting these up:

https://twitter.com/JacqValencia/status/576923172383113216

https://twitter.com/JacqValencia/status/576923815290101760

Goldsmith messaged me and was shocked at my reaction. I was asked if I passed judgment. I would like to ask some questions because in the end I found the event to be viscerally upsetting. If people that were there weren’t as upset as the people that weren’t, why is that? We want to know more. I’ve been looking for information, essays, or reactive tweets besides, “I hate Goldsmith!” or “I love Goldsmith!” What did listeners get out of the reading? I want to know what his reaction is to the outrage considering that I know he would try his best to handle the subject matter with some form of compassion. At least, I still hope he did.

Until now, all we have is his twitter feed: https://twitter.com/kg_ubu

Edit: Or this facebook statement: https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.goldsmith.739/posts/354492771403205

These are just my two cents to personally parse what upset me, to question the artist, not to attack the person. The irony in all of it, is that both the reactions and the idea of the work, made me think.

I don’t believe that there is a “white supremacy, right wing” conspiracy in conceptual work. I practice it, as do many. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t question what I do with conceptualism or how I practice it. I must consider. I must provoke. I must consider. I must provoke. It means that as a woman, as a person of colour, as a person of privilege and disadvantage, that I must help to turn the tide, make the mark, and own my work fully, but most of all, take responsibility for it.

**************************

Edited to add: Goldsmith posted a new statement on his Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.goldsmith.739/posts/354952974690518?pnref=story

*************************

LINKS I’ve been reading (thanks to the many who are making a conversation. Racism & sexism exists in all poetic coteries. That’s the discussion we should still be having.)

* Response to Race and the Poetic Avant-Garde: http://bostonreview.net/poetry/erica-hunt-forum-response-race-avant-garde

* Race and the Poetric Avant-Garde: http://bostonreview.net/blog/poetry-forum-race-avant-garde

* The Mongrel Coalition Killed Conceptualism: http://gringpo.com/

* Delusions of Whiteness in the Avant-Garde: http://www.lanaturnerjournal.com/print-issue-7-contents/delusions-of-whiteness-in-the-avant-garde

* Goldsmith y el imperio retro-conceptual / Heriberto Yépez: http://venepoetics.blogspot.ca/2013/09/goldsmith-y-el-imperio-retro-conceptual.html

* The Brown Daily Herald: Racial controversy over poem ends conference early: http://www.browndailyherald.com/2015/03/18/racial-controversy-over-poem-ends-conference-early/

********************************************************

Post-event analysis and reports:

http://www.vidaweb.org/why-are-people-so-invested-in-kenneth-goldsmith-or-is-colonialist-poetry-easy/

* http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/17/power-and-poetry-in-context-on-kenneth-goldsmith/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/17/kenneth-goldsmith-michael-brown_n_6880996.html

* http://queenmobs.com/2015/03/the-body-of-kenneth-goldsmith/

http://hyperallergic.com/190954/kenneth-goldsmith-remixes-michael-brown-autopsy-report-as-poetry/

http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/24127/1/kenneth-goldsmith-talks-about-reading-mike-browns-autopsy

http://www.inquisitr.com/1928367/death-threat-for-michael-brown-autopsy-poem-kenneth-goldsmith-responds/

http://dagwolf.tumblr.com/post/113734904950/thoughts-on-kenneth-goldsmith-and-michael-brown

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/finders-keepers-reactions/

Some random thoughts after Avant-Canada 2014.

Radicals-of-Retro-futurism-1989-is-here-300x199
http://animalnewyork.com/2014/future-shock/

We use the term Conceptual Writing in the broadest sense, so that it intersects other terms such as: allegory, appropriation, piracy, flarf, identity theft, sampling, constraint and others. Conceptual Writing, in fact, might be best defined not by the strategies used but by the expectations of the readership or thinkership.” – Place, Vanessa, and Robert Fitterman. Notes on Conceptualisms. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse ;, 2009. Foreword..

I should really entitle this “After Avant-Canada 2014 and finally watching Jorodowsky’s Dune.” I’m a little discombobulated after watching the film. The overall theme of it being of opening the mind, but most of all, an artist’s passion for bringing their vision to fruition. Therefore, if I am set apart like puzzle pieces at the moment, like puzzle pieces this piece will be. This is also my blog and thus I can write in whatever form I want within whatever structures I chose. I am free to say anything, even if it comes across as nothing. It is the concept that matters and the lack of delineation that defines me as whatever it is that I am in what I do. Honestly, I don’t know what I do, but more on that later.

************************

My starting point is taken from Vanessa Place and Robert Fitterman’s book, Notes on Conceptualisms. The book, blue and pocket-sized, reads like a manifesto manufactured from a conversation which metamorphosed stream of consciousness.  It’s a manifesto of nothing and everything in what is popularly termed as “avant-garde” writing.

Ideas stem from various seeds labelled archetypes, experience, DNA, nature, nurture, and all the things that make up a sentient being. The seeds are dominoes set up to fall forward, eventually gaining momentum in their falls until the last domino releases an energy spark in its culmination, setting a toy rocket free in the end. The toy rocket is the idea in its full form. The idea/toy rocket also goes through a similar sequence of events that are less theoretical and are more material based. The reason for this is that the person who has the idea must realize it in order to give justice to the idea’s formation. The seed must flower to pollinate in other minds.This last part, the materialization of the idea, is not as important as the processes by which the idea is first formed and is not as imperative as the idea itself. The idea is all.

***************

Last month, I was invited by Gregory Betts to chair the panel entitled, “The Thinkership of Conceptual Literature.” I immediately (albeit very enthusiastically) accepted. Those on the panel:

Christian Bök (Calgary)—“To Ward Off a Diabolical Poetry.”
Darren Wershler (Concordia)—“Everyday Conceptualism.”
Derek Beaulieu (Alberta College of Art and Design)—“Words to be looked at but not read / Music to be heard but not listened to.”
Helen Hajnozky (Independent Poet)—“Lyric Conceptual Writing: A Study of Contemporary Canadian Women Poets.”
Natalie Simpson (Independent Poet)—“ TAKE WHAT YOU CAN AND LEAVE THE REST: Women Writers and Conceptualism.”

I introduced them as a coterie of scientists, thinkers, poets, writers, and artists. I would say that all of the panels and attendees could be defined as such. To me, it was an important event in a critical time where many seek out definition where there might not be one to be found yet. At least, I don’t believe it’s something available to us or are we given that power to label it at this conjecture. Definition is valuable mostly for the purpose of constraint. Nevertheless, in order speak about the experimental we must give it a name.

I’ve been writing poetry since I was a kid, and conceptualism didn’t really enter the fray in my writing until I was in my thirties. However, conceptualism and the avant-garde has always been a big influence. My appropriation, remixing, and re-writing projects were influenced by the bellicose writing movements of my time. Uncreative writing and conceptual writing is nothing new. In fact, the quality that drives me to these movements isn’t their rebellious textures, but its their nature, that which is closest the “idea;” the word “idea,” the thought “idea,” “idea,” fascinates me.

The conceptual writer writes out of the formation of a concept. A conference like Avant-Canada is a world plenteous of idea manufacturers whose experiments and alternative perspectives are birthed in the universe of ideas. We’re like Dr. Frankenstein’s creating gallimaufries of monsters because we can. We live in a world of “we can.” The internet and social media has given us that freedom and we must frequently stop and ask ourselves, “What are we doing here?”

Taking the analogy of the dominoes, are we the person setting up the dominoes? Are we the dominoes? Are we the spark, or are we the rocket? Looking beyond that, are we gear or cod in that machinery, or, when it is set in motion, are we even part of it at all?

These are all thoughts and questions that come to my mind after a conference like this. As I was watching Jorodowsky elucidate his vision for Dune, his passion for the project was so palpable that it became all encompassing. For a few moments, he becomes so expressive that his eyes take over the screen and I wondered if Herbert’s Dune was even a part of that vision, or if the vision itself was bigger than the director himself (I believe it was, considering the amount of everything the director had envisioned for it). In various parts of the film, his Dune is termed as “ahead of its time.”

If you look back at the films, books, and art of the seventies and eighties, a lot of what was predicted aesthetically and artistically, never came to be. There are no polygon hats at art shows, flying cars, teleportation devices…ok, I could go on. Also, these things might exist, but they’re not in the form that we predicted them to be. This has led to a surge of retro-futuristic art (8 bit, and Killian Eng comes to mind), music (Lazerhawk, and Drive soundtrack), and in a small way film (Beyond The Black Rainbow – but also this viewed from that film’s aesthetics and soundtrack, of which similar can be seen in Under The Skin, as well.). I believe popular culture aims to recapture the aesthetics of seventies and eighties futurism because it is still trying to catch up with the overwhelming amount of quick technological growth it has put itself through. In many ways, conceptual writing is trying to catch up with the amount of growth or overwhelming output its manufactured with the ease because of technology. We find ourselves trying to argue against or in favour of conceptual writing’s existence because we can’t stop to define it. The assembly line or idea factory is just too fast. When we attempt to define it, we stagnate, the assembly line slows down. Don’t let it slow down! It’s not in our natures! Like Frankenstein’s monster there are so many components we don’t know what to do next.

“Conceptual Writing, in fact, might be best defined not by the strategies used but by the expectations of the readership or thinkership.” 

While a person appreciates art, the art piece is taken from the artist and becomes an entirely new piece in the viewer’s mind.  The reader owns the text after it is written and it becomes a new piece in the reader’s mind. By viewing, appreciating, and listening, we are stealing. Never mind that the artist has gifted us their materialization of an idea, we are stealing for a universal comprehension through interpretation. Retro futurism, a taking of old ideas and making them new for now, is a symptom of schema created for the modern thinker’s survival. We own ideas, but no idea is original. Yet, the process by which the idea is formed is unique to its owner. Beyond that, it’s interpretation and reformation.

****************************************

I met many women on this trip to St. Catharines. Within in the conceptual writing movement, within poetry, there’s a very powerful undercurrent of female poets with activist voices. I mean, by being anything female these days, we are speaking out against thousands of years of ingrained oppression. It was a heavy week of being reminded we are women writers within Can-Lit. So it was healing and rejuvenating to converse and exchange thoughts with these women.

“Radical mimesis is original sin.” – Place, Vanessa, and Robert Fitterman. Notes on Conceptualisms. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse ;, 2009. 20.

I experiment with words. I remix, remodel, rewrite, and reform what already exists. My basis point has always been from a lyrical point, a creative view because this my nature. However, even when I assemble a work in an “uncreative” place in my mind, the end result reads as an innovation for myself. The only way I can classify that work as is from a poetic mind, thus the label “poet.” But even that label carries connotations with it that do not define most of my work. It’s kind of like I’ve rode with my processes and didn’t stop to think, “What am I doing?”

After watching Jorodowsky’s visions I can only assume that he didn’t care what he was doing. He tried to do it, failed to make it so, but in the end, the world of film ended up making many versions of his idea. His creation. His monster. His concept. His idea.

What did he do? He watched the dominoes fall.

********************

P.S. I will always regret not being able to dance with Fraggles on the last day of the conference.

Also, no one told me Magma was going to be in Dune.

*************************

You can find more structured thoughts over at EDITING MODERNISM- http://editingmodernism.ca/community/

All the processes and thoughts afterward give great pause for the experiences there. I particularily enjoyed: “EVERYTHINGS TOO FUCKD UP TODAY” & THE REVOLUTION CANNOT WAIT: A BRIEF REFLECTION ON THE POLITICAL AT AVANT-CANADA by Eric Schmaltz

THE SHINING script excerpt. Reworked with a woman

http://www.minimalist-approa.ch/great-minimalist-movie-poster-concepts
http://www.minimalist-approa.ch/great-minimalist-movie-poster-concepts

THE SHINING based on a novel by Stephen King. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson. Reworked with a woman by Jacqueline Valencia

*************************************************************

INT. HOTEL LOUNGE – M.L.S.

BOB, carrying baseball bat, walks away into Lounge. As

he goes, he turns and looks about him – CAMERA TRACKS

after him.

BOB

Jackie…?

He looks about and then moves L-R past table, with his

typewriter on it. He walks L-R behind pillar and appears

again on the other side. CAMERA TRACKS with him.

BOB

Jackie…?

BOB stops and looks about.

CUT TO:

M.L.S. BOB, holding bat, in f.g. He turns and walks away

to JACKIE’s typewriter on table in b.g.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle – JACKIE’s typewriter in f.g. BOB moves

forward into shot. He looks down at sheet of paper in

typewriter.

CUT TO:

M.C.S. Sheet of paper in typewriter with repetition of line

on it, reading: “ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACKIE A DULL GIRL.”

108.

Sheet of paper is turned up, showing repetition of line.

Again sheet of paper is turned up showing repetition of line.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle – BOB looking down at sheet of paper in

typewriter. He looks cam.R – then moves to cam.R.

CUT TO:

M.S. Sheets of paper, filling cardboard box. CAMERA TRACKS

IN on top sheet, showing repetition of the line “ALL WORK

AND NO PLAY MAKES JACKIE A DULL GIRL.” filling sheet.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB looking down at box of paper in f.g.

He holds up top sheet and looks at it – then puts it down

in box.

CUT TO:

M.C.S. Sheets of paper filling box. BOB’s hand enters

cam.L.f.g. He flicks through sheets of paper and sees they

are all filled with repetition of line: “ALL WORK AND NO

PLAY MAKES JACKIE A DULL GIRL.”

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle – BOB flicking through sheets of paper in

box.

CUT TO:

M.S. Pillar. CAMERA TRACKS R-L revealing BOB, back to

camera, looking through sheets of paper in box on table in

M.L.S. JACKIE enters cam.R.f.g.

JACKIE

How do you like it?

BOB SCREAMS and turns round to face JACKIE.

BOB

Jackie!

JACKIE

How do you like it?

JACKIE moves away towards table. BOB walks R-L along table.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward. CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

109.

JACKIE

What are you doing down here?

She stops by chair and puts her hand on back of it.

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

I just eh… wanted…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE – hand on back of chair.

BOB (OFF)

…to talk to you.

JACKIE moves R-L to table. CAMERA TRACKS BACK.

JACKIE

Okay. Let’s talk.

JACKIE flicks through sheets of paper in box – then looks

towards BOB.

JACKIE

What do you want to talk about?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

I…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE

BOB (OFF)

I can’t really remember.

JACKIE

You can’t remember.

JACKIE moves forward L-R. CAMERA PANS with her.

BOB (OFF)

No, I can’t.

CUT TO:

110.

M.S. BOB, holding bat, moves L-R. CAMERA PANS with him.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – JACKIE’S APARTMENT – M.S.

DANNY sitting at table. CAMERA TRACKS IN on him.

JACKIE (OFF)

Maybe it was about Danny. Maybe it

was about him.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – LOBBY – M.S.

Blood clear from camera lens revealing furniture floating

about on river of blood.

JACKIE (OFF)

I think we should discuss Danny.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR – M.S.

Low Angle Door with word “MURDER” scrawled in reverse on door.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – LOBBY – M.S.

Furniture floating on river of blood towards camera.

JACKIE (OFF)

I think… we should discuss what

should be done with him.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – LOUNGE – M.S.

JACKIE moves forward.

JACKIE

What should be done with him?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat gives nervous laugh.

CUT TO:

111.

M.S. JACKIE moves forward R-L – CAMERA PANS & TRACKS BACK with

him.

BOB (OFF)

I don’t know.

JACKIE

I don’t think that’s true. I think

you have some very definite ideas

about what should be done with

Danny… and I’d like to know what

they are.

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves back R-L. CAMERA PANS with him.

He weeps.

BOB

Well I… I think maybe he should

be taken to a doctor.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE

JACKIE

You think maybe he should be taken

to a doctor?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB

BOB

Yes…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE

JACKIE

When do you think maybe he should

be taken to a doctor?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

As soon as possible?

CUT

112.

M.S. JACKIE

JACKIE

As soon as possible.

BOB (OFF)

Jackie…

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

…please…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward – CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

JACKIE

You believe his health might be at

stake?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves back.

BOB

Ye…yes.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward. CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

JACKIE

And you are concerned about him?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves back.

BOB

Yes.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE points to herself as she moves forward.

JACKIE

And are you concerned about me?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves backwards.

113.

BOB

Of course I am.

JACKIE (OFF)

Of course you are.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward. CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her. She

points to herself and gestures.

JACKIE

Have you ever thought about my

responsibilities?

BOB (OFF)

Oh Jackie, what are you talking about?

JACKIE

Have you ever had a single moment’s

thought about my responsibilities?

Have you ever thought for a single

solitary moment about my

responsibilities to my employers?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves backwards.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward – CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

JACKIE

Has it ever occurred to you that I

have agreed to look after the

Overlook Hotel until May the first?

Does it matter to you at all that

the owners have placed their

complete confidence and trust in

me, and that I have signed a letter

of agreement, a contract, in which

I have accepted that responsibility?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves backwards L-R to foot of stairs.

CAMERA PANS with her. She moves onto first step.

JACKIE (OFF)

Do you have the slightest idea what

a moral and ethical principal is?

Do you?

CUT TO:

114.

M.S. JACKIE moves forward L-R. CAMERA PANS with her.

JACKIE

Has it ever occurred to you what

would happen to my future, if I

were to fail to live up to my

responsibilities?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat backs up stairs.

JACKIE (OFF)

Has it ever occurred to you?

JACKIE moves in cam.R.f.g.

JACKIE

Has it?

BOB swinging bat before him backs up stairs. JACKIE moves

after him. CAMERA TRACKS FORWARD after them.

BOB

Stay away from me!

JACKIE

Why?

BOB

I just want to go back to my room.

JACKIE

Why?

BOB sobs.

BOB

Well… I’m very confused, and I

just need a chance to think things

over.

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB. She moves forward up stairs.

She backs away. CAMERA TRACKS BACK and UP before them.

JACKIE

You’ve had your whole fucking life

to think things over – what’s good

a few minutes more going to do you

now?

115.

BOB

Jackie… stay away from me… please.

JACKIE reaches up to him.

BOB

Don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me!

JACKIE

I’m not going to hurt you.

BOB swings bat in front of him as he backs up stairs.

BOB

Stay away from me,

JACKIE

Bob!

BOB

Stay away…!

JACKIE

Darling, light of my life, I’m not

going to hurt you. You didn’t let

me finish my sentence. I said ‘I’m

not going to hurt you… I’m just

going to bash your brains in!’ I’m

going to bash them right the fuck in.

BOB waves bat in front of him. JACKIE laughs.

BOB

Stay away from me!

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB swinging bat in front of him, backs up

stairs. JACKIE follows him – CAMERA TRACKS FORWARD after them.

BOB

Stay away from me!

JACKIE

I’m not going to hurt you.

BOB

Stay away from me!

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB. He swings bat in front of

her, as he backs away and she follows him.

116.

BOB

Stay away from me! Please…

JACKIE

Stop swinging the bat.

BOB

Stay away from me.

JACKIE

Put the bat down, Bob.

BOB

Stop it!

JACKIE

Bob give me the bat.

BOB

Stay… stay away!

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB over JACKIE. CAMERA TRACKS FORWARD as

they come up stairs.

BOB

Stay away from me.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

BOB

Jackie, stay away from me!

JACKIE

Stop swinging the bat.

BOB

Get down.

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB. He swings bat in front of

her as they move up stairs. CAMERA TRACKS with them.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

BOB

Go away from me.

117.

JACKIE

Bob…

BOB

Go away.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

BOB

Go away.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

JACKIE reaches up with hand. BOB hits her hand with bat.

SHE SCREAMS. SHE YELLS and grabs her wrist.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB over JACKIE.

JACKIE

Goddamn!

BOB hits JACKIE on head with bat.

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB – he throws up hand and

leans back.

CUT TO:

M.L.S. Low Angle BOB over JACKIE. She falls backwards down

stairs. CAMERA PANS L-R with her as she somersaults down

stairs, stopping face down on half landing.

CUT TO:

M.L.S. High Angle BOB back to camera at top of stairs.

JACKIE lying facedown on half landing.

BOB

Oh…oh!

I have finished retyping Orwell’s 1984 and The Wall Street Journal

You can find the last entry here with a few thoughts on the project: http://thisisroom101.blogspot.ca/

 

 

 

OrwellBurmaPassport

George Orwell in his Burma passport photo. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell