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A sunny morning here in Providence. The office window (well, one of two) is open, and there's a Siamese cat sitting on my desk, watching whatever there is Outside to watch.

Today will be a day on which I make a new beginning for the Next Novel. That's my hope.

Yesterday, conversation about The Wolf Who Cried Girl, and I answered a great mass of accumulated email, and agreed to do an interview for Clarkesworld, and I bowed out of two anthologies (because, presently, there's only time for the novel and Sirenia Digest), and I lay on the bed with Hubero while Spooky read me the first chapter of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962; one of the most beautiful books I know).

This morning, I am weary of modernity.

And I'm wondering how the new crop of teens and twentysomethings became so afraid of emotion and the expression thereof.* Did their parents teach them? Did they learn it somewhere else? Is this a spontaneous cultural phenomenon? Are they afraid of appearing weak? Is this capitalism streamlining the human psyche to be more useful by eliminating anything that might hamper productivity? Is it a sort of conformism? I don't know, but I could go the rest of my life and never again hear anyone whine about someone else being "emo," and it would be a Very Good Thing.

Could anything be more inimical to art than a fear of emotion, or a fear of "excessive" emotion, or a reluctance to express emotion around others? No, of course not. Art can even best the weights of utter fucking ignorance and totalitarian repression, but it cannot survive emotional constipation.

I want a T-shirt that says, "Art is Emo." We live in an age where people are more apt to believe a thing if they read it on a T-shirt.

Last night we watched the new episodes of Fringe and Spartacus: Blood and Titties. Very enjoyable, on both counts.

Now, the platypus calls my name. Here are three photos from Thursday:

Budding tree.

The Armory and Dexter Training Ground. View to the south.

Houses along Dexter Street. View to the east.

Photographs Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn A. Pollnac

*The suggestion has been made that they are so much expressing fear as contempt, and I am open to that possibility, though fear and contempt often go hand in hand.


Apr. 3rd, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
I don't think they're afraid so much as contemptuous of emotion. In my experience, these youngins view feelings as the buttons they need to push to get what they want out of other humans - the logical outgrowth of vending machine culture.

That's ever more unsettling.

But yes, I have noted the extremes of contempt. I assume they arise from fear, but too often, these days, we assume contempt arises from fear.

Edited at 2010-04-03 04:34 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)

I think the contempt comes from arrogance.

Not sure I agree, though I do often see arrogance. More and more, I think they've been taught that emotion is a sign of weakness. And weakness is a thing to be despised, so excessive displays of emotion, which denote weakness, should be feared, avoided, and condemned.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)

What proportion of your readership would you estimate falls into the demographic of that age group?

I have no way of providing a meaningful answer (one consisting of anything more than the basest speculation) to this question. Sorry.