I know we don’t like Louis C.K. anymore, but one of the most important moments of my life was when I watched his tribute to George Carlin. It was filmed at the New York Public Library in 2010. In his speech Louis C.K. talked about how Carlin was the first comedian to make him laugh when he was a kid, how he decided right there that that was what he wanted to do with his life. He tried to become a comedian right out of high school. The first time he went on stage it was for a minute and a half and he completely bombed. But he wanted it so badly he kept trying and eventually he learned how to write jokes. 15 years passed this way, he felt like he was going in a circle. He used to hear his own act, an hour of material he’d built up over 15 years and think “This is shit, I hate it.” One day he was sitting in his car after doing standup at a Chinese restaurant and started listening to a DVD of Carlin talking about comedy. Every year there was a new George Carlin special and Louis C.K. thought,
I think you bring up a great point about Louis C.K. The dialectic here is that he's done some messed up things, but at the same time his speech about George Carlin shines a light on Carlin's method; his way of creating new content that was raw, present, and ever expanding.
Prolific to me is creating new after new after new. In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLXmE_hxCcg, Carlin talks about bridging this generation war which sounds terrifying. But he did what scared him and that's when he says he found success.
You say "excavation", which is a form of expansion. So I'd say keep digging, yes and, don't fear a new method of expansion.
Keep it up bookbear express
This is a fantastic essay. I too want to write more. And write better. And find my purpose, possibly through writing. I'm anything but prolific though. Great piece.
damn that last paragraph hits so good
My hear skips a beat when I see your newsletter in my inbox. Thanks for existing, thanks for writing. All my love!
| That’s why fiction can be more interesting than nonfiction—I find that fiction is often a more honest excavation of the psyche.
| The paradox of modernity is that you can share your entire life and still not have said anything that matters to you
Hi. I am very sorry I just "scanned" the above so what follows may be totally irrelevant and if so pls delete the comment.
I am trying to study on this Sunday morning but got sidetracked and opened my "Farnam Street" e-mail with a link to your "effort" piece - also not yet read. I then clicked on the link on George Carlin ("Why education sucks" is a 3mn long piece I listen to regularly). The wonderful picture above with "analogue" thinking seems to be just my - forgotten - world.
Anyway why I am writing this: I have a small interview of Franzen (you may have it) from a "Meet the writers" interview, where he actually mentions "this beeping world". If you are interested pls just e-mail me.
Vow! So much random actions which lead to so much "I can relate to that" moments.
A big Thank you and I will certainly bookmark your blog and come back to it at a later stage. My list of "things to read when I have a moment" has just got longer by two articles...
Thank you for this. It's helping me drive the stake in the ground more of why I want to write, and what I want to write about.
"To me that means that I could tell you one thing that contains everything, and I could tell you everything and it could still mean nothing. " BOOM book-drop moment
Amazing. You mentioned a lot of things that I’ve needed to hear or be reminded of for a while now :))
The more I post on my social accounts, the less you know about me. Hiding in plain sight, every post, every photo, every comment another layer on the mask.
> The paradox of modernity is that you can share your entire life and still not have said anything that matters to you. Exposure can be, but often isn’t, the same thing as intimacy.
I feel like this can be phrased as: Do what you are passionate about, and put yourself out there.
John Berger wrote, that "publicity is not merely an assembly of competing messages: it is a language in itself which is always being used to make the same general proposal... it proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, and our lives, by buying something more".
As such, don't define yourself by your consumerism, don't put yourself out there for the sake of publicity. But do it for what you love, no matter how bad the start may be.
"Honesty is different from openness." That one sentence made me sit back in my seat, mouth open, and just think about it. I'd never heard or read it quite that way before, but you're so right. Great, great post -- I really loved it.