... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

386: What am I like?


"I'm glad I'm not like you.
I can go further and further into the wilderness;
because it's only there that transformation can take place.
My Black Square is a bare and frameless icon for our times.
Arise Comrades, and free yourselves from the tyranny of objects."

What drew me to this quote -or at least the first bold sentence- is perhaps the same force that endears me to Malevich's revolutionary yet absurd painting, Black Square. A blank black geometric form, rendered in oil paint, against white background. In the political rage it was painted, as Russia prepared to overthrow the decadent and useless Tsar (and hearald in almost a hundred disgusting years, of enforced human misery, in the name of a daft fantasy i.e. Communism), its sedate minimalism says much more then any garish splash of operatic scenery and clashing swords.

Does it? I don't know, I wasn't there. I have only Andrew Graham-Dixon's informed, but often speculative, historical interpretation. My own interpretation puts it in the same wonderful catagory as Sid Vicious' My Way and Malvina Reynolds' Little Boxes. I think that as I approach my thirties and shortly after will be married, I am becoming acutely aware of the need to do something to stand out. (Yes, a blog post that began about the Russian revolution is turning into a tedious inward look by a self-obsessed little dork.) By stand out I don't mean grow a handlebar moustache, get a silly fashionable haircut, shout about Jesus in the town square, wear a costume, or plagarise a manifesto and commit an atrocity.

I mean achieve something I consider worthwhile. What I mean by this is well defined (-ish) in my head. It involves the publication of novels, perhaps having one made into a film the proceeds from which inable me to live comfortably in whichever way whim and wind takes me. If I want a library with shelves to the ceiling and a ladder on wheels, then that's damn well what I will have. If I want the be able to express myself freely, entirely unfettered by the morals and traditions of self-appointed censors, that I will. A life self-suffient life dedicated to creativity is the purest and proudest way to be. Free from little boxes. Free from tsars and tyrants.

Money won't buy me happiness: Money earned under my own terms will buy me freedom, and freedom will buy me, and my family, happiness. (Communists take note.) When I have the three chapters and the treatment written and drafted by the end of october then I can begin the proper hard work of becoming an author. The proper hard work of getting rejection upon rejection with zero knowledge that I will ever be accepted. If by luck I am accepted by an agent, who can get a publisher interested, and I can finish the novel, and it's published, and is one of the teeny-tiny percentage of books that makes any money... then maybe one day in the future I might get a sniff of the life I am after. I just want to be a writer; I just want to provide. Boo hoo.

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols has taken its rightful place back on the air molecules around me and in the beats of my heart, and its kicking energy reminds me of the drive to survive and succeed and create the world you want to live in. It is the sound of my mid-teens. If only I had had the fortitude to work hard when I was that age. Sid Vicious was a heroin addict and even he seemed to be a harder working teenager than I was. He was an heroin addict and yet still seemed to work smarter than I ever have. Perhaps his drive for success was the push from Nancy, and the need to buy heroin. Or perhaps he had no drive and just stumbled into fame. Why am I using Sid as a basis for analogy? I just stumbled into it.

2 comments:

phil towers said...

i think malcolm mclaren had more to do with the sex pistols sucess than sid. what is interesting to me is the self destruction of the legacies of the likes of iggy pop, rotten etc who feel a need to murder their artistic credibility by advertising butter and insurance..

malevich wasnt strictly a communist. anarchism was the plan. the political void was hijacked by communism. i'd agree that communism presented more harm than good, but do we really believe that the current state of "democracy" is working- we are littel worker drones who exist to pay for the greedy free market mistakes of the banks, government, big oil and so on. something has to change- hence why "Comrades, arise, free yourselves from the tyranny of objects" is as absolutely powerful now as it was then. good effort on the blog. it made me think for 2 mins.

Kevin Bradshaw said...

I thank McLaren had much to do with the success and downfall of the Pistols. Sid was pretty irrelevant. I'm a big fan of Johnny and Steve Jones.

Realistically I think anarchism, people living in cooperation without need for government, is more of a fantasy than communism. I think democracy has problems, of course it does, but communism would definitely be a step back. Democracy is the best, fairest and freest system we have, and we need to work to preserve it, spread it, and improve it.

"Comrades, arise, free yourselves from the tyranny of objects" still has awesome power.