Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Cowboy Up, Mulder"

I am developing this distinct fear that OaO is becoming the X-Files of blogs. That is, the writers of it think that people are reading it (in so far as anyone is reading this blog--please ignore the fact that I am comparing my blog to a tv show that was wildly popular, spawned a movie and video games, revitalized an entire sub-genre of science-fiction/mystery/conspiracy narrative, and rescued David Duchovny from a career appearing in soft porn and the occassional indie film. There is nothing to see here. Please move along) because of the ongoing, overarching, and unfolding mystery. In fact, the audience was reading it (blah blah television is Text blah) because of the things that happened in between the telling of this narrative. The writers thought the readers wanted to be let in on that unfolding mystery but the readers had become perplexed and bored by it--they wanted instead stories where Luke Wilson was a vampire, or Mulder and Scully were hallucinating their lives while slowly being digested by an enormous fungus.

I'm pretty sure, in any case, that nobody is reading these enormous posts I've racked up in the last week or so (well, Sam is, but Sam is an outlier, so to speak). In my mind, this is the whole point of OaO: the examination and redefinition of models and language and narrative and etc., but it occurred to me in the middle of writing the third enormously long, incredibly dense post in a row, that almost certainly nobody is reading this blog because of its length or density. If you wanted journal articles, you'd read a journal--instead, you're reading this blog. Or, at least, you were until I scared you away with my inability to write a blog entry shorter than 1000 words.

I have this operating theory that nobody who produces great art or great narrative actually knows why it's great. I take as evidence things like the incredibly clunky framing device used by Steven Spielberg in Saving Private Ryan, or the inability of the Posies to ever repeat the simple unvarnished greatness of Failure, an album they recorded in their parents' basement when they were 20 year-olds. The 'why' of it is something I think you just don't get to know--it's my experience that things you produce that you think are clever or brilliant or whatever turn out to be trite or affected or overworked. I don't know what one can do about it or what it says about the world; I think you just have to keep writing the text and hope that what you mean to say will be there somewhere in between the words you use to say it.

Next: More opaque and intractable commentaries!
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