"Everything takes time. I’m starting to think that the only things that keep people going are forgiveness and time.
We are all humiliated.
Forgiveness is not a mark of lost dignity.”
-Jarett Kobek, BTW
The mediocre and untalented shall (and already are) inherit the earth. And the beautiful set of artistic dictums below rule out most of the people writing and making art today. Especially the part about the art of timing, which Twitter and Facebook have all but eliminated. Also too young too soon too fast too constant. Everyone thinks they should have everything immediately. Everything all the time. How boring for everyone else, only everyone acts like this is so interesting by “liking” things all day long and posting all day long. And no one ever goes away anymore, which everyone should know how to do if they want to come back, or if they want to be in a way that is worth being (I wrote about this in an essay about 90s film here). If they want to be writers. Because being a writer/thinker is also about shutting the fuck up sometimes and leaving alone and being left alone. But you would never know this in an age when being noisy and omnipresent has become the equivalent of being great and successful. I feel like even when people are smart (in the raw material sense) they don’t know what to do with their brains anymore; how to use them; what to use them for, what not to use them for (using is also about not using). How to tell things apart. This—discernment—is also a kind of intelligence, maybe the most important kind—knowing what to do with one’s thinking. What Bresson referred to as the right feeling for the right thing, “passionate for the appropriate.” Sparing by being spare. These days the result of different people’s thinking basically adds up to the same thing—stupidity, complicity, fraternity.
"I told M. Abrahamovic Petrovitch that I admired her longevity.
You are dangerously close to calling me ancient, she said
It’s not about age, I said. It’s just that so many careers flame out or end up mediocre and I’m left wondering why anyone bothered. But you’re different. You’re work is never bad.
Dear child, is that all? asked M. Abrahamovic Petrovitch. To achieve a lasting career one need only be dedicated to craft, avoid early success, ignore the things that people say about one’s output, and master the art of timing.
So it’s simple.
As simple as a flower. And that’s a complicated thing.”
-Jarett Kobek, BTW
-Interview with a Vampire, 1994
This is for all the people (which is most people) who say they don’t care what someone does, what kind of person someone is—only what’s on the page, only what’s in view, only what gets said by the right people to the right people:
“I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.”
Which is to say:
"To think is not to contemplate, it’s to witness."
My piece on Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette for Entropy.
Etel Adnan wrote a book for the Documenta series called The Cost for Love We are Not Willing to Pay. The title might as well be a (exemplary) text itself. Derrida said a title is also a promise. A promise also the cost of something. Mourning the price for living. In Adnan’s case, the title is about the breaking of promises or a world (people) that refuses to make any promises to anyone. Love being the most important promise of all. Nietzsche thought this was a good thing because everyone breaks a promise. Promises are made to be broken. But I think you can work (the work of love, not just the love of work) every day not to break something. Someone. This is all a promise ever really is: vigilance. Holding vigil. Keeping vigil.
"But when this girl’s made up her mind
she’s made up her mind
made up her mind
no turning back
no wasting time
don’t we all want to be stars in love
stop playin’ with the one that you love
Empty bottles, where to go next
knowing what you truly missed
it’s too late, can’t rewind it
now you’re left with names to forget
tryin’ to heal from the pain
if only you could rewind it
would not have acted the same”