I just started reading “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg and am already taken off my feet by the remarkably flippant and deep feeling fuck off embodiment of a massive struggle we/he face(d). I absolutely love the thick atmosphere of dirt riddled dis-ease and aggressively sexual overtones that demand I open my eyes and ears to the realism of what goes on beneath and behind the scenes. The title fits so perfectly as the first section seems to roil up a primal scream. A shout for attention to be paid to the damned masses and the rollicking unbridled injustice they endure and are forced to thrive within.
Fucking. Magical. Here’s a snippet:
Who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons; who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication; who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts
Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”
How vivid and intense are the words? How brilliantly anarchistic and rebellious is the feeling? How just, fucking, magical, are those words?
At least for me, reading Ginsberg is an unfettering of the constraints and standard normative I find in so much of my own and other writing. It takes me back to the wilderness of my own mind and demands that I purge the violence and sickness that resides there in some glorious fountain of verbal spew that it might infect the mainstream with decades of sweat and tears and failure and endurance and broken spirits and unbroken souls.
I am so glad I picked this up, and sometime in the next 30 days I might start an homage piece to what I’m personally characterizing as (with my limited scope of awareness to be sure) one of the most scandalously beautiful pieces of literature I have ever run across. Thank you for your pain and horror Mr. Ginsberg, thank you.
Have you ever sat back and tried to just come up with an original thought? When you really look at the way all our experiences, from the most mundane to the most intense, shape our perspective on the world and how they get filed away for future access points it becomes a daunting task to disassociate from all that information to find something new.
It makes me question whether I’ve ever before had a unique idea or whether I’ve been following some intangible labyrinth of stimuli of my own generation internally to lead down pre-trodden roads. Reducing it further back, it strikes me that if that’s the case then the initial filtering mechanism that we put in place to process the incoming data points might be where originality occurs. In the values, the beliefs, the morals, the ethics that we choose to ascribe our viewpoint on the world and as the lens through which we perceive it.
If that’s the case, it stands to reason that having unique values and beliefs would in some ways lead logically to having a more unique capacity for thought generation as the pieces would connect in more abstract formats. Do that to such an extreme however and you’d find yourself completely ostracized outside the realm of acceptable societal standards and awash in the lonely seas beyond. Not the end of the world, but certainly a challenge.
Alternatively, I suppose it’s possible that there are so many variations on popular concepts that there is room for nuanced navigation of their boundaries as constraints to actually finding new ideas, truly new ones, that are compatible with a larger subsection of the world. Are there enough variables to the belief that “honesty is important” to allow for new concepts to form, or is there a rigidity inherent in any belief system that prevents it from expanding conscious thought or creation beyond a certain degree. Do we have to play out the scenarios sufficiently that we can form an experiential backlog of data points from which to construct or are we stuck forever in a sequenced arrangement? Is further elaboration a mechanism to create more niche thought processes that might stand out as truly original? What if we said, “honesty is important because you should match actions to words in order to be a responsible and trustworthy individual.”?
Of course even that statement can start to get broken down further and further as you seek to define responsibility or trustworthiness and why those are important factors to consider when going to through your day to day existence.
So pulling it back to the beginning…what does an original idea feel like? Something generated from within that is ahead of it’s time, or stands out on the curve as beautiful in its further question inducing qualities. Shouldn’t any new idea beget other new ideas? Are we all just vacuumed into a state of static accepting the status quo of our lives and the world around us, how it works and the mechanisms of it’s action in our lives or are there roads out to pursue?
I guess this whole thing is getting pretty esoteric out there, but apparently that’s what today’s writing is going to be about since it’s on my mind and I can’t seem to generate anything truly outstanding or new, so instead I just keep questioning and looking for answers. Thanks for reading.