Monday, 28 April 2014

Writing, self-expression or assertion of the state?

So, it’s been a while, I know my little corner has been as silent as the grave for a few weeks now. Many of you who were asking what will come next no doubt started what has happened. Well worry no longer, I’m back, though still sporadically. I chose to pass NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) developing my cultural and artistic pallet, rather than expressing it. In short, I went to the theatre a lot, researched a ton and experimented not just a little with my tastes and with cooking. In short, I’m not reborn, but things have been changing.
           
 So I suppose it seems only right to give you the highlights along with this week’s topic. I’ve been reading a well-known critic called Louis Althusser, though he wrote in French I’ve been reading his translated works, for ease mostly. He talks a lot about how we are controlled through repressive ideological apparatus, which in a literal and figurative operate through violent repression, and also ideological apparatus, which do not function as a union, thus cannot repress violently, but the state (as in government) use political, religious, family, or even educational sources to bend our way of thinking to what we believe is correct.
            So why do I include this quick detour in my blog? Because it sparked off some wonder in my mind whether we writers are writing for the people or if we are conforming to the ideological apparatus whether we are its product and are reproducing the message or if we are threatening it with our views, creating balance against its ‘brainwashing’.
I should add that I do not believe what we are taught in schools and by the church, in the most part is averse to becoming a good and moral human being, but whether it is by ideological oppression by the church or through capitalist segregation we certainly still have faults in society that we must target. I have been asking the big questions such as these lately, I’m still no closer to an answer in my own mind. As you write out there, I remind you all to reflect on the purpose of what you write and read, it all has a target; can you see it?
Let me share some less theoretically heavy stuff with you. I went to the theatre the other night (as I do most nights now) and I saw ‘metropolis’ a black and white, silent film directed by Fritz Lang. I’m not a big fan of cinema, but this film was worth a mention and some personal thoughts.
 In 1927, the year this film was first shown to the public, we were still in the glory of Western Europe’s industrial boom, class segregation was everywhere and the bourgeois business owners could even treat workers as commodities, not completely unlike the slave trade of the 19th century. There were some powerful images in this film, such as feeding the machines with humans, something I’m sure would have shocked back in the day, just as it horrified me. As for myself, I feel the director had no idea what it was like to really be on the other side of the fence, so to speak, that he had never gotten his hands dirty with the machinery, as the people operating the machinery were the stereotypical 2D characters. Nothing distinguished one from another other than their role, status and sex.
Still, I’m no film critic, I feel that I’ve profited from seeing it, even if it was not to my taste. I’ve also realised I’m a long way from understanding modern art, especially when it concerns dance. The most interesting dance that I attended was this week in fact, with a medieval theme, the couple clearly excelled in their profession. I imagine dancing in a corset cannot be comfortable, not in clothing that flaps around here and there. I felt they deserved their applause. The accompanying musicians were also commendable, two of the accompaniment were constantly switching between instruments I’ve not seen played before, mostly because they have fallen out of popularity hundreds of years ago as technology has developed.
I will be talking about how to write poetry for the next few weeks, so that I don’t miss out on NaPoWriMo, just because I didn’t do it in the month, does not mean I have to miss out on the fun.

Until next time, read write, live

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