Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ms. Dirty and Tradition

This post is inspired by the rockin' knowledge dropped by Ms. Dirty over here.

I have always been a little bit on the picky, obsessive compulsive side. It's either perfect to the minutiae, or alternately I am setting metephorical fires and not wearing pants. The no pants is litteral. Back in my one semester of University Philosophy I always wondered if Plato was THE shit, why did any of his students bother changing things up. If we had a Grande Olde System(e) that worked no matter what, why change?

Years of being a Traditionalist did not die easy, even in College. The quest for the One True Way is, in fact, a dead end. We don't want it to be. It would be simpler if it weren't. But let's face it, kids.. it is. What's more, it's immature. Worse than that, it's lazy.

Systems change, because they must. Much like the Gods. Everything changes. Things that are eternally True tend to be mythological, painted with a very broad brush. This is a good thing because it gives plenty of wiggle room for both individuality and innovation.

Being from a family of Tradespeople and Masons (ok, one uncle.. but it still counts), I dig the Apprentice, Journeyman, Master, model. Thing is, that once you've covered the basics, you're a journeyman, and you have to work your own groove till you Master your Craft. Whatever your Craft may be. Mastering your Craft means you've found YOUR voice, and your own personal expression through your own art.This cannot be faked. This can be emulated, copied, and otherwise ripped off, but that is honestly either homage or flat out being a poseur (The WORST insult of the 90's!).

Imitation of something you admire is awesome. But if you don't do the real work and make something of your own you will be nothing but an imitator. A bad copy. Worse, you give away YOUR voice, and YOUR contribution. You lose your wonder. That is a sad, sad thing. 

I once knew someone codenamed D. D, was very adamant that he had nothing to offer. He was a copy cat. He engeneered his personality out of a patchwork of other people, but he did so out of a calculated need to be liked, approved of, and feel superior. I am a total fan of a tailor made personality, but inside his personality suit was hollow. He was trying to throw a patchwork quilt over a black hole. Before I ended our friendship, because he was not exactly a Stable Mable, once I saw through his bullshit, and stopped trying to raise his spirits and find his OWN art, he told me, "It's better to be a fake somebody, than a real nobody." A quote from "The Talented Mr. Ripley".

That, my friends, is bullshit. Lazy, slapdash, scared, weak, bullshit. It is pitiable. D, is doing better now I hear, but I refuse still to have contact with him in any form. He may have found his art, he may not have. I hope he has.

Attractive scaffolding around a hole in the ground serves no purpose, no matter how high you build it.

Oh, and don't try to steal Ms. Dirty's dress. We all know what a keen butcher she is. I'm just sayin'.


Hypnovatos said...

Is it the "Truth" which is ever changing or our understanding of the it? Personally, I am of the belief that the Divine is never changing as of the Truth of the Divine is outside the concept of time. To be within time is to be limited by it, and to be limited is to leave room for yet a higher level.
Systems for working with the Divine, magic/science/etc., are obviously able to grow and adapt with time as we grow and advance. It is like the idea behind internet programming and various networking languages. The truth is still on and off switches first represented as 1's and 0's, which started off as a system known as machine code and then changed to assembly and C and C++ etc. Now we have HTML5 coming out and this too will evolve in to HTML6 some day, but no matter what, we are still just working with the truth of the system, on and off switches. Now yes, I have jumped around from architecture language to website display language, but I think I get my understanding of the world across.

Mr. J. said...

I agree that the absolute Truth is unchanging, just like the laws of nature. There are techniques that work, and those that don't. Each has it's own way of working, and a person can't expect all techniques to work the same.

It's our approaches that change, and must change, in order to continue to be relevant to us.

I think we're in total agreement, actually ;)

Unknown said...

I spent the majority of my high school and early college years waffling between searching for the "One True Way", and arrogantly convinced I had found/created it. This message is really something that I should have been beaten over the head with back then, it would have saved so much wasted time.

Mr. J. said...

Honestly Pallas, we are in that boat together. It's why I am such a stickler for it now.