Howl

I watched HOWL yesterday - the Allen Ginsberg movie with Treat Williams and Jon Hamm. It's currently sitting on BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK and it's wonderful. A must see for dozens of reasons, not least because it flicked the switch that makes the cogs go around in my head.

Mostly, it drove home exactly how many of us are so busy telling the world about what we've done when that time should really be spent doing more of The Work... and listening to jazz, though in my opinion, it's totally acceptable to substitute this with rock.  

Are there any writers working in the world today who we'll want to watch life-story movies about in ten or twenty years - no matter how much artistic licence is put into such a project? Is such a thing even encouraged by the publishing industry? A while back, I wrote here about Set Fire To The Stars, which I have exactly the same thought patterns about - and it's all seems to be because instant gratification is the word on the street. Not sure I understand why people are happy with such a thing but there you go. Doesn't anybody want to play The Long Game anymore?

There's no mystery, no discovery or sense of 'ownership' over the things we find and tell others about, thus nothing is special. It makes me sad - and it should make everybody who grew up with Prize Finds around them sad too. 

howl-movie-james-franco-allen-ginsberg

It's the little things. It's that copy of Salem's Lot you found in a second-hand bookstore and read in two nights because you couldn't put it down. If you wanted to know more about Stephen King, you were either locked down to the few sentences that were written about him on the back cover or if you were lucky, happened to be around and paying attention when a rare interview was published. I could go on forever naming examples like this about books, music, art... hell, what are the odds on somebody falling in love with Frazetta's work because they stumbled upon a Conan book in a dirty box under a table in a store right now?

Slim is what the odds are.

The internet is fantastic for millions of reasons, but I really dislike what it's done to the world of things I held dear. Companies with apps and sites to share with the world will push 'community' as a great thing - a 'benefit' in which you can talk about all the things you love with others who share your thoughts.

Fuck community.

Sometimes, you want to keep a find to yourself and feel important for five minutes because the internet is much like sharing your chocolate bar with 15,000 people - and there's always some joker who spits on it so they can get a bigger chunk.

I miss making these odd discoveries for myself - they do still happen but I really have to work for it - and I'm disappointed that I haven't been working in such a way that people can find my work in the same way that I found that of others.

Disappointed may be the wrong word, but you get the drift. 

The cogs keep on turning and these things must be fixed.

Sion Smith