12 February 2009

Cathartistic Talent

I had a discussion with some associates of mine today about "what is art" and other such examinations; the conversation basically achieved nothing, but it got me thinking, and thinking is the fuel for ... well, whatever it is I'm doing here, which is pretty firmly established as not being art, whatever one's definition of art may be.

I'm not going to wax poetic on the meaning of art, or what makes something "art" versus "a waste of canvas" or whatever else. My thoughts on the matter aren't really relevant to anyone, since I'm not an artist or an overpaid art critic or a magazine columnist upon whom the world waits with baited breath to know the next genius splatterpainting themselves across the landscape of Our Great Nation. I'm an essayist, a socio-generic commentator, an examiner of the finer points of our own faltering ridiculousness, and I maintain that essays are not a form of art, even if they are a form of expression. My ever-so-mediocre talents don't permit me the narcissism of calling myself an artist, nor does my feeble witlessness echo with the tides of time like a significant zeitgeist burned into the collective memory of those that were there.

Now, this causes me to wonder, to really think on what it is I'm doing by chroncling my relatively unwarranted discourse on the meaning of life, the universe, and nothing in particular. I muse for the sake of musing, I think, but to what end? I'm told there are a handful of people who, for reasons beyond my ken, trudge through the mire of my twisted linguistic ambulation; it's possible, perhaps, that some unfortunate soul from among their number does so from their own perverted masochistic desire rather than the sense of obligation impressed upon my friends and family to whom I've passed the notion that I write at all anymore. So, perhaps I'm writing for them, whoever they may be; perhaps I'm trying to provoke thought in some individual somewhere who might take that thought and, like so many before them, turn that thought to action, and forge a brighter new tomorrow by way of inspiration gleaned from betwixt the rubble of my mental landscape.

I used to think I wrote to chronicle things, to leave evidence that I had once existed and known myself to think on things that I considered relevant or important; this, though, is too arrogant -- and I'd be claiming credit, whatever the case, if that was my end. I'm rather distinctly trying to separate the identity of my physical self from that of my online presence, and here, I'm just spouting ideas for the sake of it, spreading my own personal brand of propaganda, the end result of which I couldn't possibly imagine. Long story short, I'm pretty sure I'm not in this for the fame and glory. Because essayists are so often lauded with praise and seared into the public memory to be regarded as heroes for generations to come.

Am I right?

So, that leads me to a conclusion that there is no conclusion. There is no real reason that I scribble my brainwaves across the digital framework of our greatest achievement and biggest failure, the internet. It's without form or function that I give gravity to my own meandering internal monologue, breathing to life some swan-song of far-from-epic neural activity and hoping to cast some gimpse of that which I might lean on to define myself as an entity separate from any potential audience, some vain hope that someday, long after my passing, the thoughts I've collected into my fluctuating journal of the mundane will blossom into the brain of a worthwhile philosopher and bring about something -- even if it's only a thought, in passing, a mirrored glimpse of that which sparked my own lack of creativity, furthering the chain of human-to-human conceptualization which breeds the creative necessity of life.