Friday, October 15, 2010

No Rules, Just Write

Being a new comer to the world of social networking is somewhat like transferring to a new school midyear. One must acclimate to the customs and offer tributary to the ranking social orders. The student must initially guard against self expression and allow the fraternal order to exert the criterion of his advancement. It is certain any deviation to the rules will result in confrontation.

If, however, the transferred student decides to suddenly exercise a subjective voice and speak out against the accepted views of nomenclature, the student must be certain the contrasting opinion is convincingly received. It must be accepted by a portion of the masses- at the moment of the announcement-or a miscalculation will certainly lead to alienation. The unaccepted student will then face further matriculation as an outcast.

There have been occasions, however, when the opinions of a renegade student have reconstructed assigned thinking and abolished uniform disciplines. These deviations often lead to the creation of new social orders. It is rarely seen, but when it happens the results are incredible.

Benson's House depicts many of the pertinent moments- in modern American history- when the rebel attitude effectively challenged protocol and changed the social order. The existence of our pop culture would not be what it is today had it not been for the contributions of inventors like Tom Edison, promoters like John Hammond, and talents like The Beatles. My research leads me to believe these pioneering students held a common dominating thought: there are no rules!

When The Beatles first recorded a demo- for EMI records- they were rejected and told their style did not subscribe to the standards necessary to becoming a successful act. Any first time author surely recognizes this sentiment as the war cry of many literary agents. It gives one pause to think a person- whose job it is to develop potentially worthy talent- told John Lennon he didn't have what it takes to be a successful artist.

I'm certain Paul McCartney would agree: conventional thinking must be challenged to allow for the growth of new ideas and the determent of complacency. If all authors, for instance, subscribed to a specific writing style, in a particular genre- because the ranking social order has established this criterion as one that is necessary to meet the demands of a presumed market- eventually all projects would become trite and mediocrity would prevail. The complexion of the nonconformist's thought would not allow for this to happen, because these students deliberately circumvent the rules by acknowledging their insignificance.

I think if any of the rebel students were to council me on my progression as an author they would uniformly declare-
"there are no rules, just write."

There is, of course, a necessity to an abide by the elements of style, unless one's objective is convicted to changing syntax. I'm sure the rebel's would also encourage this attempt as long as the pursuer remembers that a portion of the masses must accept the diviation or the student faces certain alienation.

Just write; find the muse!

I live to be typing in the early morning hours, when the glow- reflecting from my laptop- provides the only light in the room. One falls into the perpetual now. No other dimensions exist; no thoughts emerge except those expressed in text. Then, when the meditation is disturbed by morning light, or a phone call alerting me to return to reality, I realize I'm still captive in time and space, and the perpetual now is abandoned until another session. No rules apply when encapsulated in the now. The formulas would restrict the flow of creativity and alter the natural flow of ideas.

By universally accepting this "no rules logic" we can stop the numbing complacency that currently exists in many aspects of our society. To many know-it-all's are stifling the power of originality by the emphatic insistence that their stale ideas provide the solutions to success. I'm not advocating chaotic rational, I'm encouraging challenges to the conventional standards that have gone awry: THINK outside of the box.

Here's a thought defying conventions!

Over the last fifty years, the highest return on investment did not come from the S&P 500, or precious metals, or currencies, or debentures, or real estate, or any other commodity. It came from investments in art. With an average 13.5% annualized return, investments in art outpaced all other compatible returns.

A purchase of a Warhol in the 1960's could be made for a few hundred dollars. That investment today is worth millions. A 1977 signed first edition of Stephen King's The Shining- with a date code of R49- could have been purchased for $9.00. 33 years later that signed book is worth $2000.00.Think of it! Had an investor been able to have Stephen King sign 1000 copies of his purchased The Shining first edition, that $9000.00 investment would be worth $2,000,000.00 today.

So why is Barnes and Noble selling when the owners are sitting on a potential investment chain whose advisement could provide better returns than the advice given at a Merrill Lynch office across the street? Why is the publishing industry claiming their markets are abating, when they should be expanding their catalogs with unique long term projects and not catering to quick placed schemes? Why aren't they attempting to convince a market that the long term investment in their product- academically or otherwise- will yield high returns?

It is because we as a society are being manipulated into accepting the ideologies of certain ranking orders. We are being convinced their efforts will benefit our existence, when in reality we are only contributing tributary to their ranking social order.

Be a rebel; change the world: we need it now!

I'd like to close reflecting on the controversy of last week. My post dated 9/30/10: Lower West Side Story , stirred criticism for being insensitive to those offended by the development of a Muslim Mosque being built 2 blocks from the site of the World Trade Center attack. My intentions where not to offend, but to denounce those that are using this media exploited incident as a bully pulpit for the advancements of their political agendas.

I stand by that conviction.

I understand the intention of this blog is to endorse the publication of my novel Benson's House, and that any deviation could be perceived as negative and affect the intended outcome of my endeavors. However, my novel- as well as the content of my blog- is an attempt to inspire the enlightenment of the common man.

There are many Muslim Americans, living in the lower west side of Manhattan, who adamantly opposed the tactics of the radicals of their own religion who attacked our country. They were also exposed to the violent violation on that day, and had lost loved ones in the outcome of those fanatical attacks. Their loses should also be agonized and their patriotism to America should be understood.

I'm reminded of a Jon Stewart commentary. He said that from his apartment in Manhattan, he had a view of the twin towers until 9/11. When the buildings collapsed, and the dust settled, instead, from his window, he had a clear view of The Statue of Liberty standing in New York Harbor.

I've often used that comment as a metaphor of what transpired from that- agreed upon- horrific day. On the outcome of that national disaster, a symbol was left standing in the distance. Her torch directs everyman to "the shining city on the hill...teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace."

I leave you all with the words of the sonnet inscribed on a bronze plague placed inside the base of that incredible monument.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus

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