Saturday, November 21, 2009

POV: frankenstein?

(the journal page above by austin kleon appears on a whole nother blog by kind permission of the artist, and can be found in its original context here. dig around and see if you can find it! hint- it's from 2007)

"Perspective is everything" (SVS)

isn't it, though?
i think that the previous brief piece had everything to do with perspectives- two of 'em in particular:

1) that of the one person seeing the other as a monster of some sort.

2) that of the monster, dealing emotionally with the perceptions of others.

i remember reading a thing that marilyn manson had posted on his website years ago. it was so rich and insightful that i used it as part of my arts education program for many years as part of the work i did within the public school system. the most exciting thing about that was not giving the notes to the students and inviting them to guess who the writer was, it was presenting this same material to the parents on 'meet the creature night' (school open-house, typically taking place in early to mid-september) and gauging their responses once they learned who the quote had come from.

(note: a picture of the actual typewritten note, and some baloney i wrote in response to it is found in the blogpost artists and the things they say.)

and yet, when my own son began reading 'the long dark road out of hell' (manson's autobiography) i was suddenly uncomfortable and this bothered me.

was i being the hypocrite? was i allowing fear of monsters to keep me looking into the darkness for things that weren't even there? was i, in my turn, wearing the same face that i had seen on other parents? was it okay for me to value someone like brian warner's place in the larger scheme of things, but as soon as my own son began to explore it did i default to the religious-right's knee-jerk response to this media-seducing frankenstein that had come to be known as 'marilyn manson?'

well, whatever the motivation and resultant attitude, i found my perspective challenged. although i agree that, in some cases we have some control over how monstrous we become, there are other cases when others' defaults place us squarely in a box that we don't really want to inhabit, with a label we don't appreciate.

take the word 'pastor' for example.

depending on one's experience, this label can be incredibly negative or incredibly positive- and both reads on it are difficult for the one wearing the namebadge. on the one hand the positive label is flattering but is LOADED with expectations and pedastelization that cannot possibly be lived up to; on the other, more negative, hand the label is LOADED with mistrust projected from heartbreaking past experiences and relationships onto a real person who was not present or involved in any of it.

then there's the problem of basic poor self-concept or self-loathing which can somehow spike someone into defaulting to the ludicrous notion that the voices in their own head are actually the words of the pastor or are in some way being reiterated by this big 'spiritual authority figure' in the most innocent of remarks or actions.

i know this last, because in the previous week it's happened to me (or, more correctly, ABOUT me) at least twice that i know of, arriving back on my doorstep like a flaming bag of dog crap left there while those who rang the doorbell find a place to hide in the darkness. the door opens and the stamp stamp stamp of a foot breaks the silence of night.

yes, perspective is everything, for now i need to figure out what to do with the perspectives of others as they impose themselves upon my own motives and actions, shaping for them what i REALLY meant. God, i'm glad i'm not famous or this would be even more distracting to me than it already is. i wonder how people like brian can sleep at night.

i don't know- perhaps 'stereoscopic vision' has to do with being able to see reality from both sides- yours and mine, his and hers, ours and theirs- simultaneously?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


so after a hiatus of well over a year, i finally have something to write...

it's a basic question that, due to its simplicity in one respect and its poignance in others, has probably been asked millions upon millions of times already with as many different responses as there have been responders- all of them equally truthful because of the skeleton key phrase 'you think'

that something like this is enough to call one out of exile to post in this forum yet again is part of its established value.

here it is:
what kind of monster do you think i am?

could it be
that being prone to being
scandalously misunderstood
is part of being
created in the image of God?