Sunday, April 27, 2008

talk about uncensored!

so i just yesterday finished reading this book: please kill me: an uncensored oral history of punk. i bought it because, hey, i'm into the ramones, the clash, y'know, it's pretty good stuff.
i had no idea what i was in for. i mean, we all know that punk was NOT a pretty scene. i just had no idea how un-pretty it was! before reading, i thought, "i'm sure most of them used drugs, went a little crazy at times..." uh...yea. talk about crazy. iggy pop rolling around in broken glass on stage, drug overdoses were just common place, let's not even talk about the sex stuff. at first i thought, ok, i'm going to stop reading this book. and then i thought, this is an interesting quandry. i mean, this book leads to a lot of questions, like: how much were these people influenced by drugs? and, in order to be extremely creative, we're talking bringing on a new movement here, is it essential to be a little crazy, or at least a different kind of personality from the rest of the world?
i read the whole book, and i'll be the first one to say, if you are at ALL offended by the f-word, descriptions of taking drugs, etc., this is probably not the book for you. but i kind of looked through it as a study. and as far as all of the extreme lifestyle descriptions, if anything, they made me more determined than ever that those kinds of things are destructive and not for me. but it does make me wonder, why are so many creative people drawn to it? do you think they were self-destructive from the beginning or just adventurous souls? any thoughts?


D'Arcy said...

I actually think about this a lot. I wonder if Sylvia Plath and Edgar Allan Poe and others could have created such masterpieces if they hadn't been a little cookoo.

So many artists represent the creativity, depth of feeling and character, raw-talent and quick wit that I long for...however, I have often wondered if such genius can only be present in someone who suffers from a mental illness. Think of the great creators like Van Gogh...and so many more who were so tortured inside that it fostered in them the ability to create such brilliance. I wonder what the creations and arts would be like if people were all "normal", our world would lose a lot, I think. And while I don't suffer from any mental illnesses, I have seen them effect friends and cousins in a very real way, yet these people are so creative. I keep trying to tap into my creative sensibilities as a normal gal...and thus haven't done anything with which I am completely satisfied. But I take comfort that most artists feel that way, and thus the reason to keep creating.

So yes, I think that brilliant minds have aspects of "insanity" but I think we all do in various ways, and we all find ways to cope with the feelings. However, I do think that the words "mental illness" create additional stigma and walls around these talented people. Perhaps we should all first admit that ourselves and this world are insane in so many ways.

I have no idea if that made sense, but I've been having those same thoughts. I think I'll have to put that on my reading list this summer. I am a high school teacher...thus hard to shock!

Anonymous said...

This is a very intriguing topic-one that provokes a lot of thought, but for now, all I can say is, (and you would probably expect this from me Jo) what is the spirit behind the "masterpiece?" I think about Beethoven and Mozart--two amazing composers whose lives were incredibly challenging and rather messed up at times--The struggle, I think, is what leads them to inspiration in their creative works--I'll be the first to admit that I probably wouldn't read the book, but I'm sure in their respective genres, all artists go through a little torment...

D'Arcy said...

just checking to see if you posted any more "shocking" reads. I have been having some shocking thoughts myself lately, and have decided to blog them....and let people judge me as they will!!!

I can't wait for Death Cab!