What’s the impulse behind art? It’s saying in whatever language is the language of your work, “If I could move you as much as it moved me … if I can move anyone a tenth as much as that moved me, if I can spark the same sense of mystery and awe and surprise as that sparked in me, well that’s why I do what I do.
A novel’s technique exists to diminish and if possible abolish the distance between the story and the reader.
I chose to be a writer in girlhood because books rescued me. They were the places where I could bring the broken bits and pieces of myself and put them together again, the places where I could dream about alternative realities, possible futures. They let me know firsthand that if the mind was to be the site of resistance, only the imagination could make it so. To imagine, then, was a way to begin the process of transforming reality. All that we cannot imagine will never come into being.
Public schools are the last bastion of our American public culture. Without them, those with the privilege of being born into better economic situations will eventually be the only ones who would be educated. Taken to its end, that kind of trend would set us back to the days where a noble class enjoyed privileges and the peasants were kept ignorant. If you think our schools are broken, please tell me how they are without injecting the rhetoric of individuals vs. communities. We have individual choices in this country. We also have communities to support. Going too far in either direction is unwise, but there are some systems that we MUST support, and one of them is a public education system where all people, without exclusion, have access to an education that is run by the elected public boards of the people.
Handout for 16th Unthinkable Mind Class
I want Lynda Barry to be my teacher and/or ask the questions of my students that Lynda Barry asks of hers.
Rap music is so diverse in its themes, its style, its content but when it becomes a vehicle to be talked about in mainstream news, the rap that gets in national news is always the rap music that perpetuates misogyny that is most obscene in its lyrics and then this comes to stand for what rap is. Really its for me the perfect paradigm of colonialism, that is to say, we think of rap music as a little third-world country, that young white consumers are able to go to and take out of it whatever they want. We would have to acknowledge that what young white consumers, primarily male, oftentimes suburban, most got energized by in rap music was misogyny, obscenity, pugilistic eroticism and therefore that form of rap began to make the largest sums of money.