Thursday, June 25, 2009

the work of others

Given the best of Panglossian rose-colored tinge, I move at a leisurely pace. I mean this specifically in terms of my consumption of art. (That art must be consumed, that is just another good like a liter a cola to be purchased instead of the higher order pleasures it purports is another issue for anther day.) I rarely read hardcover books beacause paperbacks are so much more affordable (even with the Strand giving 50% off review copies). I don't buy cds (does anyone anymore?) or albums when they drop (or know when they drop, or know which new bands to follow, see many shows, &c). And much the same with movies, galleries, the list goes on. It's not that I don't find good art eventually. I have been making a much more concerted effort since college to broaden my horizons and appreciate all of the various forms that my education up until then had been so sadly lacking. And in the years since then I have come to appreciate many classics, &c, &c. The real problem here is, in fact, the internet. Or the problem that I have is with my perception of the realities of the internet.

You see, a book is reviewed before I could ever access it without being selected as a reviewer by some publishing house (I wouldn't mind that at all if anyone out there is interested???) or winning that Goodreads lottery (but I am unsure as to who owns the text of the review in that case and I remain somewhat hesitant). Similarly with music, movies, etc. And reviews, comments, and commentary hit the interwebs immediately. Voices are raised in praise, opposition, and disenchantment well before I have a copy to peruse. Having the kid around has really only made my access to new art slower (not that I mind in the slightest). And the result of my never being on the crest of the wave is to get me to feeling like my reviews would be extraneous; just another JohnnyComeLately thinking he can outdo the professionals a couple years (months) after it would have made a difference. The immediacy of the internet implies that there is significant value in being "first" and even if you aren't "that guy", speed is mean to imply relavance. Failing that, you are just another shlub that isn't hep enough to play in the big kids' sandbox.

Perhaps that is the actual case. Perhaps not. Time is weird on the internet. But I need to spend more time writing anyway so I am going to get into more reviews, comments, and commentary. Mostly because I can. And maybe I'll find out that I have something to say about the work of others. I've got some ideas about collaboration and authorship kicking around so that might get me somewhere. Now all I have to do is pick a first review. Something meaningful and significant...

I'll get back to you on that.

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