Friday, October 07, 2005

Post Secret

This is an art project, online, consisting of postcards that people mail in with a secret written on them that they've never told anyone. Some of them are funny, some are disturbing, and some made me want to cry. I'm usually skeptical of "art" that expresses vulgarity and offensive behavior, but I think this has real merit.

What makes the expression of something painful or negative valuable? I played a song for my mama one time about child abuse because I thought it was moving, and she objected because "it's not edifying to focus on the bad things in life". She has a point; we can't enjoy life if we're always focusing on the negative. Maybe art provides an outlet so that we don't express pain in damaging ways.

I also think a culture that hides its flaws is perpetuating them. The Catholic church is a good example. Hopefully, after the painful process of publicity and (partial) retribution, pedophilia will never reach inside the church again.

Anyway, thoughts on what makes an expression of something painful/offensive artistic? What's the difference between offensive grafiti and these postcards? Is it just that the postcards are an appropriate outlet, as in they weren't damaging someone else's property? What about desecrating a picture of something widely considered sacred and calling it "art"? There has to be a dividing line, I'm just not sure how to articulate it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lauren, Nicki and I went to open mic night tonight at Majestic on King street. Our friends Ryan and Gage were playing. They played two songs that they wrote together, and a girl they knew sang with one of them. They're all very talented. I knew before tonight that Ryan played guitar, but I had no idea how serious he had become about it.

Gage impresses me, as a person and a musician. He's that rare type of person who makes anyone who talks to him feel good. He actually listens to people and cares about what they're saying. It seems so simple, but I don't think that many people do that in everyday conversation. I know I don't; but being friends with someone like Gage makes me more conscious of it. It was his 21st birthday today too. Happy birthday Gage!

The girl who organizes the open mic night read a few poems, and this was one of them.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

You pour red-wine kisses
into my palms
brush copper stardust across my shoulders
You are a man in the
deep, forgotten sense of the word
opening yourself to the doctrine of surrender
releasing the need to create laws
or force the lotus open for yourself

You meditate
on rose petals
listen to clouds
shift in the sky
Man in the deep
forgotten sense of the word
whose walk is a prayer to movement
whose voice pays homage to sound
roots to soil
your hand in mine
Our voices entangled
in whisper and sighs
Man whose aura emulates air
you are a wind chime
in the loud madness
in the face of what manhood is mistaken to be