Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't ya think?

Salon has in recent years become a shrill, humorless repository of articles by straight-lipped ninnies who try to impress us with how they've dealt with injustice and bad body image. The magazine, a pioneer in online journalism, used to have something on the ball .

 I do a recent article,  which credits the late David Foster Wallace with giving  us advance warning on how irony has evolved from being an effective literary effect in one's reading life to being an empty cultural gesture, less meaningful than a shrug, less committed than snore. Ut is an honest -to -god piece of thinking rather than a become a knee jerk response to situations that won't allowed themselves to be resolved with wishful thinking. It's now a means to distance ourselves from what needs to be addressed politically, socially, emotionally. We are emotionally neutered with all this "distancing" from problematic issues and entities and situations, and hence we become divorced form one another and ourselves. 

The question that is raised is how is art going to respond to this coarsening of our senses and collective personalty and provide a tangible sense that aesthetic thinking isn't just thinking of new ways of expressing how stupid things are and can be; art is also the means of constructing something worth staying alive for, for having purpose. It's a good piece of writing,this piece, and you wish Salon's editors would cease their grimacing and lay off the make believe outrage and publish some more longer-form  essays like this one.