WHAT IS THE KNAVE?
Okay, so here we are. I’ve started this site as an outlet for my writing, but we’ll need to talk about what my writing actually is. Let’s start simple and then move complex, shall we?
I write about art. I’m all inclusive when I say art. There’s great art and there’s bad art. There’s also strange art, but that’s for another day. I’m talking music from Bach to the indie band down the street. I’m talking literature from the Epic of Gilgamesh to the comic strip you saw in this morning’s newspaper (if you still get the newspaper; for God’s sake, get with the times! And I don’t mean The Times.). I’m talking movies from the first rudimentary film strips to the biggest 3-D blockbusters. I’m talking art from the very first cave paintings to the most recent moment some twit titled a blank canvas and hunt it up in his gallery as his newest commentary on minimalism. Which that was probably today.
I believe in these things, these arts that make up our culture, our shared experience. I believe art testifies to the greatest things the human soul is capable of and to the worst it can sink to. I believe that art is how God speaks; He’s always been a writer, after all.
I intend to talk about everything from the avowed classics of all time to the cultural ephemera that springs up and is then forgotten. I intend to talk in a variety of styles, about a variety of different things. This is your stop for highbrow, lowbrow and middle of the road, all together in one place and, at long last, 100% B.S. free.
WHO IS THE KNAVE?
"How absolute the knave is; we must speak by the card or be undone . . ."
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Who am I? Well, I suppose another way of asking the question would be, what are my qualificiations? Or, of all the pages on the internet, why read mine? Why spend your valuable time reading what I have to say about art?
I have only a couple of reasons why I'm qualified and why you should listen to what I have to say. First and foremost, I love art. I have a degree in the Liberal Arts, but what I learned in college has less to do with anything specific and more to do with the fact that I learned that art was my thing in the universe. Art spoke to me; I could hear the voice of God in it. I loved to interact with art, wrestle with it, explore it. It was over my head and all around me and I loved it. Anyone who tries to talk about something without loving it isn't worth your time; that's not a problem here.
Second, I am not a critic. I've studied criticism in the higher modes in an academic setting and I've studied criticism in its most populist mode on the internet. I'm neither here nor there. Yes, I'll talk about what a movie means to me or what I think a book is trying to get at or what an album represents in its innovations. But first and foremost, I'm talking about art, not criticizing it. I love to find connections and chase threads; I equally love to approach each work of art as if it is the very first thing I've ever encountered. There's a wan cynicism that seems to creep into a lot of criticism and a strange sort of superiority too; those are two things that you'll not find here. When I love a work of art, I will be unstinting in my praise of it and I will not rely on things like genres or other articifical boundaries to tell me whether a work can be 'great' or not. When I dislike a work, I will not be coolly dismissive; I will explode with rage at the blasphemy of a work that tries to pass itself off as art but is not. No coollness here; no divorced and objective critical perspective. I am talking about art and how it moves me, right now, today, this moment.
Third, and last, I will never lie to you. Our lives our short, friends. We don't have time to lie to each other. Maybe I'm talking about a movie that everyone else in the world loves (*ahem*, The Wizard of Oz), but I loathe deeply. I'm not going to take the easy way, go with the flow, just tell you that, sure, everyone likes it, so it's a good movie. I'm going to be honest with you. I don't care if a book has been enshrined in the canon of world literature for a thousand years; if it's not worth reading, I'm going to tell you that. I don't care if it's some dinky little album you've never heard of in your life; if it's the best album I've ever heard, I'm going to tell you that. Seriously, people, don't you get tired of people just regurgitating the same old pop culture criticism? Don't you get weary of film critics that seem to check their reviews with each other before they publish in order that they might agree in every way? Don't you get tired of people who say they'll tell you what they think, but then simply aggregate what the rest of the culture thinks? I know I do. And that's why I'm here. For you. You folks deserve the truth and I'm here to give it up to you.
I hope you'll stick around. The site's in its initial stages here, but it's going to be growing and I hope you'll stay for the long haul. Bookmark me! You won't regret it. And that's no lie.