Main course: Hard work, lots of crying in the bathroom Pick up a cigarette habit Quit Start again Question basic human worth
Dessert: There is no dessert, maybe nothing got better why did you even come to this restaurant does anyone even really love you after you’ve spent your life this way, do you know the middle names of your children?
“The imagination of the Greeks peopled all the regions of earth and sea with divinities, to whose agency it attributed those phenomena which our philosophy ascribes to the operation of the laws of nature. Sometimes in our poetical moods we feel disposed to regret the change, and to think that the heart has lost as much as the head has gained by the substitution.”—Thomas Bulfinch trying to hide how he really feels in 1855 behind that “we.”
And the whole of music recording was of one format, and of one model, and the model was the compact disc and it sold well and was plentiful and cheap, and its minutes were seventy-four; and the whole of photography, too, was of one format, and one material: film, and its exposures were twenty-four or thirty-six; yea, even the words put down on the books therein were of one format, and their source was singular, and it was the publisher, and the format was the codex, which begat the leatherbound volume, which begat the hardcover, which begat the trade paperback, which begat the mass market paperback, all of a form.
And each form had its body, and each body was a corporation, and the corporations declared Go to, let us build empires and towers, whose tops may reach unto heaven; let us pull from our prophets and musicians as though they were wellsprings and our duty was to be as a pump until the well runneth dry, and let us leave not a drop except for those whose wells never dry; and let us shorten our names into acronyms devoid of meaning or else extend them into words that are not words, lest antitrust laws scatter us among the markets and across the seas.
And the internet came down to hear the music and to see the photographs and, yea, it saw the film and swallowed it, and it heard of the music and flattened it; even the books with their spines baring their emblazonings as a harlot winks; their pages yellowing with age, it also did the internet envelope as a cloud consumes a mountaintop. And it did yoke them even, that they were one.
Therefore is the name of it called the internet; because the internet did there confound all the formats of the earth; and it took speech and multiplied it across the heavens that those who speak may not understand each other; thus began even the flame war, and privacy fell as wheat before the scythe; and thence did the internet scatter them all throughout the whole of the internet.
And the internet declared, the format is singular, and yet the content it contains is like liquid, and it runneth free
“After I got my MFA I was full of hope. I mean debt. I was really just chock-full of debt. And dread. This is an interior monologue, right? Because I do want to talk about this stuff, but I don’t want to panic. So let’s take it slow. Let’s start with the total amount. The figure hovers over me constantly, like a security guard at the mall. (It scowls when I look at the new iPhones, or if I peruse the Blick catalogue in an idle studio moment.) I didn’t go to a top school, so it’s under a hundred grand. Actually, I don’t want to say the amount. It’s probably outdated anyways, already.
You’re supposed to think of it as an investment. And it is: it’s a lot like taking a mortgage on an invisible house. This house is made of ideas about art, so along with being invisible, it’s invaluable. That’s great, but you still have to pay it off in monthly installments. So, the Master of Fine Arts works as a studio assistant, an adjunct professor, an art handler. Thankless work most of the time, but, at the end of the day, the Master goes home to his very own invisible house. It sucks to live in an invisible house, as the Master’s invisible children are always quick to point out. And the market in these invisible, invaluable houses is notoriously hard to predict, so the Master naturally gets a little nervous about his investment, and starts asking around about resale values, and payment plans, and default options, and—sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, I’m in some group shows, re- doing my website, having some good studio visits. Can I give you my card?”—What are you doing after?