Saturday, August 28, 2004

Garden State v. Rilke, the battle royale

A quote from a friend's profile:

"If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

As a suburban kid who thinks intellectual thoughts and tries to write fiction once in a while, Rilke's words struck me. I've written stories about death sending announcements in the mail beforehand, jaws falling from peoples' faces, debates about whether it would be cooler to be Santa Claus or a hitman. When I saw the movie Garden State, about the Jersey suburbs, it reminded me of the impulses I had in my fiction to write about quirky, fantastic, surreal events. Undoubtedly, moments in the movie were powerfully poetic, but the story itself, the characters that populate it, were craaazy.

So, did Zach Braff take a shortcut to poetry by leaving reality behind? Braff could not call for the riches of suburban life without presenting a suburban experience that few would recognize. Granted, I know next to nothing about Rilke. I think he was French, or something. He may or may not have been a romantic. But I like his sentiment, and I recognize how difficult a task it can be. Anyway. An ideal to struggle towards?

Friday, August 27, 2004

My very first post

From my mother's home office, upstate New York, when I should be packing to go back to school, here is my very first post. The end of my blog virginity (I think I've gotten to the second base of commenting a few times).

Quick question I've been playing with, just to make this first post worth reading. Is the human mind capable of the changes in scale that technology poses? How do beings trained to live in three dimensional, concrete space, make sense of the webscape, as it renders location less and less meaningful? I'm not convinced we can. All of this inspired by the question of genetic material and bio-prospecting. It seems like local governments should have a right to a portion of the revenue from products earned that are based on genes found locally. But what is the ethical argument that supports that? Especially when, in the case of bacterial bio-prospecting, the environment is not harmed? Trying to find an analogy to this situation is difficult. I see the scale shrinking to the unbelievably small on one instance, and also growing ever larger (out further and further into space), while the inner space becomes ever more complex, with connections growing every which way.

All needs to be fleshed out more, thought on, sat on. Maybe some day when I have the time I'll give it a shot.