Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't Try

I searched through the dregs of humanity on today's list, and while there were a couple of possible contenders, not just made it on to the hero pedestal. Therefore, today is another one of those days that is hero-less. I even was clearly reminded why picking live heroes can be a bit tricky (see Thierry Henry's actions in a World Cup qualifier yesterday for more information). With that in mind I decided to steal a line of a fellow who, if he had been born on a different day, would have been a clear choice for the award. He is Charles Bukowski, and the title words of this post are the words that are engraved on his gravestone. Now, you might look at those words, and think that maybe it just means not to try, to give up, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and not struggling too hard against a fate that has already been decided for you. And, if you know anything about Bukowski's work, which is not the most cheerful stuff in the world, you might think that is how he meant those words to be interpreted. However, Bukowski had a different take on the words, and what they meant for him, and I shamelessly steal them below:

'Somebody at one of these places ... asked me: "What do you do? How do you write, create?" You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it. Bukowski, 1963

Pretty good way of looking at what, on its face for most people would be a disheartening couple of words. Words that are the reason I decided that today was hero-less. I did not want to try, to try and latch onto some person, who while heroic, did not meet the standards of being MY hero. I did wait around, and hope that the bug would come to me, but today it did not, and I was determined not to try and force it. I did consider grafting Bukowski onto day even though it was not his birthday. He did give another wonderful piece of advice about writing, and I am going to steal it as well. He wrote that whenever he felt disillusioned about his writing, and got concerned that what he was writing wasn't good enough, he would go read another author, and would soon realize that he was on the right track. Seems Mr. Bukowski had issues with thinking that other writers were as good as he was. Now, I do not pretend to think I am some great "writer", after all my grammar is a train wreck, and I write silly little blog posts. But, I have taken Bukowski at his word, and luckily for me I have found a blog that I read solely because it is so poorly written. The irony is that this blogger is some sort of teacher, and has to grade their student's writing. You can not make this sort of shit up, the writing is so very bad, and there is absolutely no intellectual content at all. Adding to the comedy is that this person's has readers that are universally supportive in their comments. Either glossing over the atrocious writing, or pretending not to notice the intellectual wasteland being created right in front of their eyes. I can only hope that I am not serving as this type of example for some other person in the blogosphere. So, it is with some (small) regret that I have to inform you dear readers, that today I decided not to try, and there is no hero of the day.

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