Weekly E-mail: I'll Let You Be in My Dream If I Can Be in Yours
June 16, 2024

Hello there,

They say that you should write for yourself. Kurt Vonnegut said that he wrote with his sister in mind. I don't know who to believe.

The problem with trying to be an artist is that it's impossible. Either I am an artist, or I'm not. I think that Bob Dylan said that.

Well, I am an artist. I've been one my whole life. Last week, I played my iPod on shuffle and "I Don't Know" from my 2013 album E Pluribus Album came on. At first, I wanted to skip it. I typically can't stand listening to my music. But - in large part because of my condition at that moment - I allowed it to continue. I realized that I do have a style, that I do have recurring asthetic expressions, that I have created things worth hearing.

The problem I've been having lately comes from the sentiment that my art must generate some social good. I've been stuck on the idea that I'm going to be famous, and if that is the case, then I must make sure that I am a good role model. But I can't be a good role model if there is some incident in my past that, upon coming to light, would tarnish my reputation and convince innocent children everywhere to also scream obscenities on the recess yard. ( d o    c h i l d r e n    e v e n    h a v e    r e c e s s    a n y m o r e )

As you can see, I don't put much stock in such pearl clutching lamentations of our lost good old days. After all, today is some future person's good old day. Why disparage it? Why perpetuate the cycle of inter-generational warfare?

All of this and more: there are a lot of scared, stupid people in this world. I've been scared of them for far too long. There's a line in Men in Black that my father would quote for a few years after we saw it on VHS: "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky animals."

Or: was it the line, "Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."? Maybe I could ask him, but he isn't one for the telephone. So I'll just tell the story I choose: I love my father, and I am glad that he survived as long as he did.

Love,
Paul



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