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Statement from a nation of one - Erin Norman — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Statement from a nation of one [Feb. 15th, 2010|11:48 pm]
erinnorman
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My intention was to improve myself; my knowledge, talent and worth, so that I could use my Self as a sword, cutting indentations in the jungle vines suffocating any small portion of humanity that I could reach. I will carry on with the same agenda because it is all I can do, but I suspect success as I wanted isn’t possible; I am useless and helpless, shouting into a void and not even shouting anything particularly beneficial, at that.

I often wonder these days if the aim should no longer be attempting to pit pure gold against stainless steel, but instead to simply bring comfort, relief and happiness to as many people as possible. If I’ve got no sword to wield, I’ll set aside the ambition to even a few scores and offer a lap for a dying man to rest his head on instead.

I read the news daily, I watch what is happening. When I think about the outside world I am transported to a place where the sky is turbulent and gunmetal, the clouds streak past and my hair whips across my eyes. Everywhere I look there is rushing and chaos. How could I have thought I could place any of this into a semblance of order? I want to freeze the image and transform it into some grotesque tapestry, then slide each strand of silk down to rest with its matching colours, in peace. It is madness to try for such a thing, there are infinite shades writhing about before me and I am paralysed. I am a fool.

When I read the news, and the comments under the articles, I feel like I’m in the middle of a drunken brawl. No sooner have I recovered from one blow than I am enraged and ready for once more unto the breach, then a clip from the left takes me unawares and I’m back on the floor, marshalling my strength for another round. This is of course, purely an analogy of imagination for me; someone of my physical description doesn’t normally have much experience of raucous brawls.

All the hatred towards Americans I cannot even begin to address; there is as much truth as there is fiction but none of it applies to me any more than the man in the moon is made of cheese. There are so many insults I could bandy about to every nationality, but truly, I cannot waste my time on it. Racism is as destructive as it is dull and predictable. I never fail to be horrified by both of my own countries (America and England), and all others equally. There is one very good reason for that, we are all made of the same stuff; we are all susceptible to committing the same sins and making the same mistakes.

Bruce Anderson’s article, “We not only have a right to use torture. We have a duty” left me, along with hundreds of others, horrified at what it explicitly said. It is unfathomable to me how anyone could advocate the torture of innocent people, even children. That the example he chose to write was for the preservation of the National Gallery made my stomach turn; such a highbrow illustration. Another headline tells me that Celebrity A sends Celebrity D a text message and I want to turn from it all in disgust.

Somehow running from it all in disgust simply isn’t an option for me. Nothing short of a full lobotomy and a straightjacket would stop me from wanting to understand or have some involvement. It’s a bleak blog, but it’s been a bleak day. There is hope, there is light and love and delight, of course. We would be unable to see this darkness if there were nothing else. Days like today I feel so tired. If I had the money I’d paint the sky with red puffs from an aeroplane “It’s not me.” Many of us are trying to stop the juggernaut. I’m just not sure it’s working.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2010-02-15 11:58 pm (UTC)

Grampian police scandal.

Hollie Grieg story about to break.
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From: gulliver055
2010-02-16 09:47 pm (UTC)

Don't be a nation of one, Erin (No pun intended, your title). You have concerns common to all. Good. You also have literary ambition. Great. All fine and funky. Go for it.

Brute Anderson wrote his provocative bilge *because* there are threads. He is a professional hack. I knew this as I contributed to the 'brawl' of a thread anyway. Actually, this thread wasn't much of a brawl at all comparatively, because what he'd written was such an utter intellectual disgrace that there was little room for disagreement among threaders. Yet all threaders glanced the advertising, and that is what it is all about, in the locals and in the nationals. Even in the Washington Post it is 60% advertising to 40% copy, and given that politics is mostly political brand, really we're reading and writing about advertising sheets most of the time. Anderson was actively inciting, in his article, and got a Double-BNP-With-Cheese-And-Chips response. He will be very pleased.

There's a Browning poem on that matter of fixing chaos in words. Actually it is a constant theme in Browning's writings. I think American post-war writers started getting results on a similar ambition. In prose I think Vonnegut, Heller, Kerouac, and then Dylan, Ginsberg, Bukowski did it well. (That posts me as the bloke that I am, doesn't it? Not one woman from the same period. That probably says as much about me as it does about publishing in most of the twentieth century. Woolf? Dickinson?)

If you're serious about literary pursuit I'd say get into reading groups and writing classes. Drama, theatre and film have completely changed from the garret days because collaboration was preferable politically and aesthetically. Joyce put down his little wooden sword as he headed off to Europe and from then on as writer-in-exile depended upon footsoldiers to fill in his failing memory of Dublin. Nobody, but nobody, can express either an island or a nation.

Cheers Erin.
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[User Picture]From: erinnorman
2010-02-18 12:46 pm (UTC)

thank you

Thanks all for the comments. They are thought provoking, as always from you lot. :) Despite doing it often I dont actually enjoy bleating about the human condition. It's ultimately boring because it is so common, but it's something that of course I deal with day in day out so it's inevitable I will write about it sometimes. I'm obviously prone to chronic overthinking so there you go. Thank you for the food for thought.
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[User Picture]From: erinnorman
2010-02-18 05:33 pm (UTC)

Re: thank you

Not sure if you mean writing, blogging or living for the longhaul, so: writing and blogging, most certainly yes! and living, yes, as long as I can control!
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