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This happened over the weekend. A lot of people got pissed off. Some of them had good reasons, some of them didn’t. Seeing as it’s pretty much over, I don’t have anything to add to the conversation other than to say, all that time spent talking and thinking about something like this could have been spent so much more productively, like making something like this:

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People like to talk about this stuff because controversy and outrage are a fun distraction from doing work. But it’s easy to forget that it’s just that, a distraction. These are the sorts of topics on the internet that get more hits than any fiction or poem that’s published on the web and further perpetuates the devaluing of art and writing in the world we live in. Bothering yourself with “controversy” like this is taking the place of writing and creating something that will provide a service to people long after you’re gone. There’s so many other things in this world worthy of your ire and scrutiny. In five or ten years, no one is going to remember these flare ups of our small corner of the world. You probably barely will as well. What will matter is what you created. What matters is what dig for and what you make out of it and how it effects people.

It’s easier to talk about creating than it is to create. You think that guy in the video spent hours and days ruminating over the state of the dance world? He probably just danced his ass off.

Let’s stop talking and start doing.

{hat tip to booooooom for the video for “Pop Culture” by Madeon}


  1. Christopher says:

    I appreciate the, “don’t hate, create” attitude, but I don’t totally agree that this conversation isn’t important. It’s raising a lot of pertinent issues from editorial transparency to marginalization of the arts. I do think that to discount the pertinence of these issues is to do a disservice to the greater art community.

  2. chris says:

    I hear that argument, I do. It’s important to hold some standard of ethics to the publishing world, to any community, really.

    What bothers me is that this issue got collectively more comments and attention than any story or poem published on the web, probably ever. I can’t call to memory any piece of literary writing, from any echelon of publishing, that incited this much back and forth. Which makes the whole thing whiff of a knitting circle to me.

    It speaks to this mob mentality that, if we’re holding ourselves to an ethical standard, we need to be aware of. Seemed like everyone and their uncle felt the need to weigh in on the issue when what it boiled down to (what it always boils down to when any of these flare-ups in our little world happen) this guy is trying something, maybe it’s bunk, but that’s his business. He’s not doing anything illegal here. If people think it’s illegitimate, they’ll stop working with him. If it turns out it’s a shitty way of doing things, it’ll come back and bite him in the ass. Why the need for the dog pile?

    Do people contributing to this conversation really care about writing and art, or is this an outlet for misplaced anger? If it’s the latter, time could have been spent more productively trying to find the root of that anger and putting it into writing. Or shit, maybe directing that anger at the myriad real problems facing the planet at this precise moment.

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