Monday, February 25, 2008

"Oh do it, do it you motherfuckers..." more second-hand inspiration

Hey, I'm really behind on comments and correspondence, but thanks much for all the feedback. Lots of great stuff there.

As I sit out in my shop and work, I tend to get stuck on a song and play that same song over and over for a good three or four days until I'm done with it. For the past couple of days, it's been this one. Last week it was this one:

I remember an entire month last year when it was this one. And then there was this one. Oh God, and this one.

Somewhere, I've read an interview or an essay about this very phenomenon, where the writer likened this fascination for a new song as a problem, or a puzzle, that the mind needs to work out, thus the necessity of the repetition. While looking for the article (I swear it was either Dave Eggers or Nick Hornsby), I came across an older (2000) interview that had been reprinted in Harper's, between Eggers and the Harvard Advocate. The Advocate's writer asks Eggers about "selling out" and whether or not Eggers was taking any steps to "keep shit real." Ultimately, Eggers analyzes the questions as a sad cultural condition related to the consumption of cool. In a sense, it directly addresses my recent questions about that balance of making photographs, as well as a living. I'm tempted to sit here and retype the whole damn thing, it's so good, but this is a situation where I'd rather just tell you all to get a Harper's subscription and then look up their archives for August, 2000 and read the whole thing yourself. There's a lovely Crewdson photograph in the spread too.

A great portion:

"The thing is, I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it's corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I'll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no's you've said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia, or no to that night out, or no to that project, or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.
No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message. There is a point in one's life when one cares about selling out and not selling out. One worries whether or not wearing a certain shirt means that they are behind the curve or ahead of it, or that having certain music in one's collection means that they are impressive or unimpressive. Thankfully, for some, this all passes. I am here to tell you that I have, a few years ago, found my way out of that thicket of comparison and relentless suspicion and judgment. And it is a nice feeling. Because, in the end, no one will ever give a shit who has kept shit 'real' except the two or three people, sitting in their apartments, bitter and self-devouring, who take it upon themselves to wonder about such things. The keeping real of shit matters to some people, but it does not matter to me.

… I say yes because I am curious. I want to see things… Saying no is so fucking boring. And if anyone wants to hurt me for that, or dismiss me for that, for saying yes, I say: Oh do it, do it you motherfuckers, finally, finally, finally."

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