Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The New Fade 6

how did people remember
back then
when even the written word
did not exist?

how did they trust
the word of mouth?

well, back then
it might have been
more reliable,
I expect

now, all truth fades
to within recent memory,
which distorts quicker,
finds narratives
that were never there,
fades in and fades out,

like a heartbeat,
lonely and strong

the Old Fade counted time
in millennia;
the New Fade counts it
in milliseconds

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The New Fade 5

The New Fade is defined
by the shift between
Billy Joel singing
"We didn't start the fire"
to somewhere along the line
a different song saying,
I don't know which,
that we did

Monday, May 29, 2017

The New Fade 4

I find it hugely ironic
that the only thing
that makes the New Fade work
is the notion of fake news
which recently has become a banner
for those who always benefit from it
to use against their enemies

Friday, May 26, 2017

The New Fade 3

When I conjured the New Fade
it felt like Dylan plugging in at Newport
but today it's more like Dylan's voice today
and how it's become the butt of jokes,
getting in the way of people taking him seriously

I mean, Bob Dylan?
Didn't he get his stamp of immortality?

Someone came up with
the Advanced Genius Theory,
where if a genius is discovered
it actually becomes harder
to appreciate their further genius
and maybe that's the New Fade

The modern era, which is to say the New Fade,
has become a cesspool of privilege,
taking all things for granted,
celebrating arbitrary achievements,
imaginary things,
because it's far harder to acknowledge
that Dylan is still Dylan,
that his voice is a choice,
and that it's not really about Quality at all
but Value

We're too focused
on our slings and arrows,
shooting the ladder
out from under us,
clinging to the precipice of history,
convinced of mediocre opinions,
anyone with two fists,
to let good things speak for themselves

We're in the protection business,
shielding inferior things
from the barbs they deserve
and muting praise
for all things that do

And that's a dangerous Fade,
and it endangers the future, too,
lowering expectations so completely
we'll be a bunch of idiots
before long

I mean, yeah, the Red Sox made that look good,
but if you face the truth you'll know
that you'll never be as good
as that miracle 2004 season

Which, more to the point,
is what's really wrong with the New Fade,
because we've destroyed the concept
of miracles

We buy them too cheaply

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The New Fade 2

And what is the New Fade, then?
A riddle, dispatches from the past,
sent hurtling into the future,
with the present hardly to be accounted for.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The New Fade 1

I used to think
I understood
what modern times
were all about

I called them
the New Fade
because nothing seems to work
the way it used to,
any way that makes sense

But the New Fade
was supposed to be
about rapidity

Not some perverse

not the one
everyone seems
fixated on

But a willful denial
that such a thing as history
still exists

That we actually can know
what happened in the past
and that we can still apply it

So maybe
just maybe
the New Fade
has now become
something else

A study of
the information age
in which we seem to know

How's that for a change?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 9

What I'd like to stress
is that Quality and Value
do not exist
as mutually exclusive concepts

They work in tandem

Too often we refuse to see
how things work

We try and we try
to isolate and contain

To make things so precious
that we ruin them
in our attempts
to prove their worth

Somehow in this New Fade
of early 21st century bullshit
we've managed
to make that the mainstream

And I can think
of no greater torment
for intellectual thought
than to accept that
as the best way
to run the culture

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 8

Value is what you appreciate
when you're exhausted
and you just want to take a break,
and you turn to what means the most

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 7

I sometimes think
that Value
is what I seek
when someone claims
an absence
of Quality

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 5

Value is a funny thing,
because we're so eager
as a species
to help things lose all value

We're awfully
(fully awful)
invested in destroying
good things

and it never ceases
to amaze me

It's the things of Quality,
really, that we try so hard
to support
but the twain in which they meet,
Value and Quality,
is the valley of pitiful despair

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 4

What I love,
what I respect
so much about Value
is that it exists
in a visceral manner

It's the cat you've spent
a dozen years adoring,
knowing her in ways
no one else will,
in ways that are uniquely
her own

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 3

If the Metaphysics of Quality are subjective,
and the Metaphysics of Value objective,
which would you call superior?

Pirsig considered Quality
to be difficult to identify,
which was why he called his theory
and yet it seems that Quality
speaks for itself
while Value is read into

As in,
a good book,
or a good movie,
or a good song,
is good whether or not
universally acknowledged

As in, Melville wrote
a masterpiece
but it took decades
for anyone to notice

Or, Shakespeare
might have been lost
to history
were it not for the Folio,
and where would we be then?

Quality, it seems,
is subjective.  It's the Value
that doesn't vary,
the Value that exists
whether acknowledged or not

But isn't that Quality?
Yet Pirsig voiced that better
than I ever could,
and so I defer to him
and lead you to him,
a voice crying out
in the wilderness
somewhat in reverse
but there we are

Quality is the thing
that can be rejected,
Value the thing that you will know
the minute you see it,
what it adds to your life

Quality is the thing
that can be ignored,
given agendas,
Value the thing that
cannot be denied,
because it defeats all,
a destroyer in the long night of mankind,
the constant eclipse in the blink of the universe

Value means something in that span,
Quality is the awareness of its brevity

You dig?