Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Importing Facebook to My Blog: Facebook Aphorisms 2010 (excerpts)


In my ongoing transition to a world of Multiple Platforms, a lot of my written social and aesthetic commentary this year has been in the form of aphorisms (and sometimes anti-aphorisms) potentially meant to become Facebook status updates, although many never do. I find myself writing more of them than I would ever put on Facebook as well as writing ones that, because of their content, I also wouldn’t put on Facebook.

So in the spirit, or perhaps anti-spirit, of putting blog posts up on Facebook, I’m now putting some of these Facebook status updates (some which never otherwise appeared) up on my blog.

And I might put up more of them later.


Dear Humans: Why should animals be friendly to you?

There’s a fine line between being laid back, repressed, and depressed.

I have the habit, probably bad, of liking people who like me and thinking they must be smart and have good taste.

Too many people would like individuality for themselves while granting only sociology to anybody else.

Either art, literature, and music have profoundly changed your life or they haven’t. Where do you stand on that issue?

The unending conflict between social norms and exploratory ideas in art and literature.

It felt a bit like being decapitated.

Today’s peace and quiet is neither.

Anything could become a cliche, but only some things already are.

Given your interests, I suggest you start doing documentary and skip the poetry part.

Your radical selfishness is actually just the same old selfishness.

Too many poems try too hard to imitate poems.

Too many poems try too hard to be poems.

Your music sounds so relaxed and precise that it seems like anyone could do it, except no one else can.

The guilt and trepidation that always comes with being exhausted.

Slang phrases like “my truth” and “relatable” try to pretend that a person’s subjective impressions are objective conditions by which other things and people must inevitably be measured.

Another one of those model husband turns out to be brutal asshole problems.

Enforced optimism imposes a culture of wishful thinking.

What is your interpretation of the phrase “settle down”?

Creating an anthology called The Generalized Grump: The Art of Criticizing Everyone While Saying Nothing Much. No trouble at all finding 800 pages of that.

My authenticity comes from being neither from the good or the bad side of town.

I like the writing of many sad, desperate poets, but that doesn’t mean they should be made into heroes, which would be, of course, to romanticize.

Too many people want themselves to be complicated and the world to be simple.

In this country, where many people construct fantasies about how much the government controls them, many people also fantasize about how much power to change anything the government actually has.

Overheard on a plane: “They’re from San Diego, so they don’t know how cold San Diego is in May.”

Intriguing detail from Gettysburg: 1863 newspaper editorials from London, Chicago, and even nearby Harrisburg making fun of Lincoln's "silly little" address. Ah, reviewers (and I'm one of them).

There are degrees and differences in poetic disjunction. It’s not just “two things that don’t match.” It’s how they don’t match that counts.

Saying that “politics is stupid” is still part of politics, and part of what makes politics stupid.


Joseph said...

They seem best suited to Twitter.

Helen White said...

My like button finger is itching.

rodney k said...

I like these Mark. It was also good to see you up here and stretch out past the Twitter-sized aphorism.

mark wallace said...

It was really good to see you too, Rodney, and to have a chance to talk about many matters poetic. And yeah, it was nice to read some more extended pieces while up there in Portland.

Of course, at least in my own work, and I'm sure in that of a few others, the aphorism and the long poem or book aren't automatically opposites.

Consider for instance Nick Piombino's Fait Accompli, a series of shorter musings originally on his blog that of course later became a book. Or, even, all the later novels of David Markson, which are pretty much just aphorisms/quotations looped around an emerging narrative thread. Or also, Harold Jaffe's recent collection Anti-Twitter, which shows just how many full stories you can tell in only 50 words. Not to mention the classical Aphorism, Marcus Aurelius and all that, if I'm getting his name right.

When I looked back, at the end of this year, at the sentences I had written for Facebook, it occurred to me that there was a much longer piece already lurking in them. Go figure.

rodney k said...

Hi Mark,

Now that you mention it, I'd add Lewis Warsh's THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD to the aphoristic longpoem list , which I just read in advance of his reading here. Hard too not to think of the piece you just read with sentences, no one of them longer than a self-help affirmation, addressed to each audience member.