Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My last year at Harding, I wrote a paper on Paul Klee. I love Klee and cummings and Elliot. I love their at-once economy and complexity. This paper on Klee, though, opened a door to the bauhaus... more then the curvy thick typeface I had always associated with the term. I'm still fairly uneducated about the place. but, what facinated me more, and left Paul Klee dying in Switzerland, was the formation of the
Black Mountain College.
When I found out about it, I wanted to go. But I soon realized that the place shut down almost 50 years ago. All that is left is a storefront of a museum in downtown Asheville. I went. My companions barely made it through a cigarette in the time it took me to emerge. disappointed. inside were bold, geometric paintings, acrylics on plywood in taped off patterns, by someone i had never heard of. clearly influenced by josef albers... but just a no-name student.
the space was nice, and i was tempted to purchase some merchandise, but the t-shirts were too big and it would only be a gaudy declaration of the trivialities i pursue in my spare time.
in a last attempt at connecting myself to the black mountain college, we made a pit stop in Black Mountain on our last roadtrip. Their Shell Station was equipped with the standards of the 400 others I have visited. Not a plaque in sight, not a green and white sign to tell me where the fallen monument could be found. I don't even think that the original buildings exist anymore. Gone.
So many people have told me that I should teach. It sends me into a tailspin every time. I should. But I know that I don't have the energy or the wit to harness and focus the velocity and potential of out disenfranchised youth. especially when there are 30+ in a room getting decontextualized information crammed down their throats at the speed of their next standardised test. so that the principal and the superintendant can get their bonuses and the property taxes can be raised significantly because the robot kids just barfed up enough right answers to make the land worth more? what?
i don't think i want to tangle myself up in that. children have gone from the greatest resource to some stripminable commodity, raped of their awe and wonder and shoved into quiet, dead-air rooms forced to spit and swallow uninspired factage for the sake of someone else's money.
during the depression, children were sent away to work when they were only 7 or 8 years old. parents could not afford to feed their children or themselves. there suddenly seemed to not be enough money to go around. everytime i (accidentally) come in contact with a newspaper or a headline, i can't fight the sense that we are being plunged into the illusion, that once again, "there is not enough".
there will never be enough to feed the greed and lies of the current administration. they will continue to encourage us to strip the children of their youth, families of their time together, the land of it's ability to feed and water and shelter us.
why do we listen, why do we buy into the lie of more, better, faster? maybe it's the shock of the new world, the one born in the last 20 years, the shiny promise of more time. when the quickening pace has only created less time and more sad loneliness. more information and less connection. the world we knew exploded, the old alliances were buried in the rubble.
what has changed is so unseen, so metaphorical. these points, though, feel so vague and ill-defined, non-evidential, blurry and grasping. i speak from a pin-point in the universe, but a stunned and frustrated pin-point, no less.

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