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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.

Comments

greygirlbeast
Apr. 3rd, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)

Marcus Aurelius' 'Get rid of the judgment, get rid of the 'I am hurt,' you are rid of the hurt itself' is the original 'Go cry, emo kid.'

I cannot argue with this. At least, not today.

I'll add that this is something I have encountered (very frequently) primarily online, and so it may be, possibly, in part, an online phenomenon. I have virtually no contact with this age group in the real world.
robyn_ma
Apr. 3rd, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, online is a whole different deal. It's a whole new anonymous frontier. I'll also say that the section of teens I see in the library may be a different breed, even the ones who come in primarily to hang out and do Facebook.

I'm cursed with the long view, though. Any time I'm tempted to say how much popular music sucks these days (except for fabulous Gaga), I remember that there was a generation who said that about Sinatra, for goddess' sake.

What I remember from my teens...well, we didn't have 'emo' as a pejorative back then, but to be too demonstrative about one's feelings denoted weakness in some way. Everyone still had emotions, of course, but if you fessed up to them — barring some disaster which justified outward emotion, like a Columbine-type event or a kid committing suicide — it just gave more ammo to the kids who would point out your 'weakness' so as to distract from their own. So it could be that not a lot really changes except the terminology. Teenagers have always been and will always be insecure beasts, and that will manifest in various ways depending on the generation and what culture/technology they're immersed in — look at the epidemic of online harassment, something that was confined to hallway taunts in previous generations.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)

I'm cursed with the long view, though.

As are many of us. But, of course, there is a multitude of long views, each subjective and many incommensurable with any other.