Monday, 18 January 2016

Of codes and compartments.



I live a life both strictly compartmentalized and tightly codified.

From my perspective it appears little different from my fellows if perhaps varying somewhat in presentation.  As each of us lives according to a collection of personal choices either devised or discovered my own seem scarcely unusual.  The metaphorical cover of the book in this case is thus often intentionally misleading in support of one or the other.

Speaking metaphorically the separation of personal church from state and support of the internal constitution is ongoing.

In my case what underlies the practice is an understanding of the golden rule.  Taught to me in a version varying little by both father and mother it featured the twins of duty and obligation firmly rooted and specifically identified.  A bedrock upon which to found the character of a young man soon lost to the sea of humanity with neither guide nor map upon which to rely.

I thank them daily for their foresight and commitment to this most recalcitrant and stubborn of students.

There are doubtless as many varieties of the ancient rule taught as there are places to teach it.  After decades of travel between there and here I've now heard it bastardized to read anything from 'do unto others then split' to 'he who has the gold makes the rules'.  None of these bore as much as a passing resemblance to the version of it taught by my parents.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto yourself.

Those words my father and mother taught to their children despite the war waged upon their sanity by substance abuse.  I've traveled some and not yet found as simple and direct a statement of an elegant and rational personal philosophy for living.  Its value resonates in my life to this day.

Though a simple rule it holds deceptive power.

This man is regularly challenged to live up to it.  Like most of my fellows my intentions are usually honorable though my actions sometimes mystify.  I thus appreciate the best a man can do is occasionally less than he will.  I also understand that a single finger pointed at his fellows leaves three pointed at himself for both genius and fool.

A man who breaks most of them trusts the unique challenge presented by this one rule identifies it as worth keeping.

            The rules of grammar are similarly valuable to the writer.  Learned early at the behest of educators various they are broken only when demanded by circumstance such as the vernacular of dialogue used in fiction.  While long-term reliance on the word processor has dulled my awareness of many grammatical rules a printed list of prepositions continues to occupy space on my desktop.  Thus though judicious application of a comma may allow a sentence to begin with a prepositional phrase I come from a place where they do not end that way.

            I think of it as another simple rule that wields an impressive power.

            This writer is routinely challenged by it.  A respect for the rules of grammar while creating readable fiction has always been demanded by the simple prohibition.  The growing call for its repeal has recently been sounded.  It emanates from a variety of corners and reflects the evolving world we live in that has always called for the judicious incorporation of change to rules governing the way we use language.  Perhaps because of its importance the pace of change as regard the rules of grammar has been approached with a degree of circumspection if not outright caution.  A respect for that notion has governed the pace of change in both the language and the work I've managed to so far complete using it.

            A man guilty of lacking a quality will often unconsciously recognize the value of it.

            I will also admit to being more than a little surprised by the elements of tradition apparent in my work.  No matter the type an appreciation for the traditions of the form worked within has been reflected.  My hope is without either rhetoric didactic or attitude grandiose.  I have loved the work I do and my respect for the traditions of it reflects my grateful appreciation for its history.  There has thus been neither interest in nor devotion to either creating innovative methods or developing new styles here.  Accordingly I also write exclusively of what I have learned by often hard-won personal experience.  This accounts for my work being devoted to the relative mundanity of the actual rather than exploring the fantastic.  Much of what I have produced is also littered with and in some cases relies upon reference and homage to earlier works respected or admired to be fully appreciated.

            It turns out the outlaw must devote himself to preservation of the law if he hopes to maintain a semblance of relevance.

            The popular fashion these days is to reference any work created by writers and artists of all stripes as something disingenuously labelled as content.  This idea represents nothing more than an attempt by non-artistic and primarily corporate members of society to usurp both ownership and authenticity of such work from its creators.  The claim loosely translates as many works of art are derivative and emphasizes that works created and described as new are even more so.  The implication is that given enough time these works would manifest without the effort of the individual creator due to the inevitable workings of the collective consciousness or hive mind.  Today that collective is represented on the public stage as a legal aspect of the technology companies who exploit the internet for commercial gain.  That this nonsensical position was formulated after the fact, remains practically impossible to prove beyond the archetype, and is used to cannibalize the economic value of the life's work of individual artists of all stripes is overlooked by promulgators of the unethical fantasy.  To raise a voice of contention against the practices of the corporate heavyweights earning the profits or those enjoying supposed 'free access' to the copyright protected work via this immoral thievery meanwhile is to be relegated a conspiracy theorizing Luddite.

            A more obvious flaunting of an assortment of widely accepted legal statutes by both corporate entities and private individuals as universally accepted is difficult to locate.

            That such a historic and outrageous flaunter of moral convention as the writer should be forced onto a soapbox in defense of tradition is beyond ironic.  The idea is outrageous to the point of absurdity.  That such a quaint and outdated notion should find itself promoted by a reputed purveyor of harsh reality and brutal honesty in fiction and song can only indicate yet another failed attempt at humor.  The best response might equal that given a poorly contrived satire.  While the worst will embody the enduring reply bid to most other proverbial mysteries locked inside their respective conundrums.  For therein lay unfathomable bits of stuff and nonsense accepted only by those with either illusory explanation purchased or real profit pursued.

            Rest assured that my position is both sincere and entrenched despite the humor of its easy misconception.

            There is no welcome for the corporate idea of content here.  I consider the notion that the work of individual artists should be viewed as collective and shared information now being identified as content to be against the creative impulse of art itself.  The individual creativity of artists of all styles is both encouraged and supported by the writer as is the development of new original works.  To seek all reasonable and legal protections for the copyright ownership of creators everywhere is also an unapologetic tenet of the writers' personal credo and artistic philosophy.  Those who would relegate art by the nebulous technical terminology of content to murky legal status are advised they have here discovered a nemesis.  For no amount of convincing can disprove what a man can understand using only what was once known as the common sense.  If you create an original work of art it belongs to you and surely the same rule must apply to work me or anyone else might create.  Those who would claim these as collectively owned are invited to leave this work unread, unseen, and unheard, unless they willingly accept ownership and copyright resides, in whole and exclusive, with its individual creator.  If not I suggest they request the hive create works they might read, view, or listen to in our stead.  While we're being ridiculous let's also mention that in this way hive developed content might be evaluated in comparison to art created by artists.  The rules of grammar though enabling a variety of semantic games confer no ability to alter the facts of either common sense or common law.  Despite the rabid and ongoing attempts of feckless promoters and modern business this they are unable to effect.

            It should come as no surprise a metaphorical box to put things into is a necessity for a man in such a position.

            Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.

-          TFP
January 18, 2016

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