I started off on this big, ambitious, rant about freedom that is bound to offend many if not all and as I did figured I should say a proper hello first. Plus it’s still in draft stage, so I’ll hold onto that post for a hot one while I make it pretty.
But yeah I figured since I told people this was here and gave them a link to it, I should at least put something more recent than last fall here.
As a writer, I have often heard the bit of advice that I should write what I know. To write on a subject he hardly knows, is difficult to do at all and nigh-on impossible to do well for a writer of any skill.
As a film school drop-out, I know all too well the process of method acting. An actor can’t play a character he knows nothing about. Again, it is difficult to do at all, and damn near impossible to do well.
But these both fall under the arts. An actor is channeling a performance meant to be a facsimile of an imagined person. A writer is creating a reality meant to be an imagined parallel to the one we see/hear/feel… experience in our daily lives. The arts are a reflection–altered as it may be in most cases, but a reflection nonetheless–of our experience in reality. But that’s not what I’m getting at (if (since?) nothing else, the liberal arts degree from a major university is my license to ramble on that subject endlessly and with no point, but I don’t use it often).
String theorists–scientists whose life work it is to explain life, the universe and everything–say that it is most likely our universe consists of 12 dimensions. We experience 4 of them in the three spatial dimensions, and one temporal. The other 8 are hidden, too small for us to ’see’.
I pose the questions, then, if we only saw two spatial dimensions, would life look like Picasso’s cubist work? Or if we could see 6 spatial dimensions would Jackson Pollock’s work become photo-realistic?
These questions, of course, are rhetorical since we see as many dimensions as we see, and to ’see’ any other number would be simulations of speculations. But again, I digress. My point here is that even to disregard the ever-expanding vastness of our universe and focus egoistically on the tiny corner in front of our eyes is to still only see a third of what is there…
A mere third of anything is nowhere near enough to say you really know anything, so how can an actor know his character? How can a writer know his subject? The answer, of course, transcends the actor and the writer and applies to all walks of life… facing impossible odds, we do the best we can to makes sense of what we can, and to have a bit of fun, or at least to not go bat-shit insane in the process.
…this blob of bloggy nothing has been brought to you by my brain trying to make sense of an ambiguous note I left myself scribbled in the margin of a draft of a draft: “the world is built in such a way as to keep us from ever really ‘knowing’ anything”. I’m still clueless as to why I wanted myself to keep this in mind as I work on my thesis, but it does make me feel good about myself when I write things that are too clever even for me to understand. Clearly, I must be a genius.