No more excuses: the call to ordinary engagement

by | Nov 24, 2005

“Your excuses have vanished:
This is the age of ordinary art.
This is the age of ordinary journalists.”

So writes Evelyn Rodriguez, a blogger first brought to my attention by Dilys, a traditionally built pink dinosaur with attitude and a good wardrobe and author of “G as in Good; H as in Happy.

If we’re paying any attention at all, those of us who blog have a decision to make. Will we be carefree data dumpers and chroniclers of narcissistic trivia or will we be “ordinary artists and journalists”?

It occurs to me that our egos are safer in the data dumping and chronicling mode. Postmodern culture has a remarkable tolerance for large quantities of low quality absorption in personal and nonsensical dramas. We’ve made a virtual religion out of the loss of meaning and the futility of finding, let alone speaking, the truth, while making aesthetic and ethical differentiations so suspect as to be almost sinful.

However honesty we may have entered this philosophical cul-de-sac, too often we hang out not because we are too wise and jaded to leave, but because in this dead end it is so easy to live with our failings, so easy to compromise our dreams, so easy to substitute the acceptance of mediocrity for forgiveness of error. Sure, there’s no future here, but there’s no way to blame or be blamed for not caring for each other, cleaning our planetary house, or seeding ambition with the most sacred longings of our hearts.

Case in point. I’m embarrassed with that paragraph. Too flowery and too, well, too positional. I don’t know if that’s a word or not, but somehow it captures the vice of daring a perspective that judges other perspectives. Oh well, I do.