Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Yesterday, I got interviewed for an upcoming "Daily Iowan" article on the 17th anniversary No Shame show that's this Friday. The interviewer was asking me about my past work and I was talking to him about it. He mentioned how (based on my previous pieces), he didn't know if I loved TV or hated it.

This is something I think about a lot. Not just in the realm of TV either. I have a love-hate relationship with a lot of things. Not people. With people, I'm usually on a sliding scale of mild-dislike-to-love. But with things, I can love it and hate it at the same time.

I compared it to that scene in "Raging Bull" where Jake LaMotta boxes the good-looking boxer and he bashes his face in. Afterwards, LaMotta tells a group of people that when faced with the boxer, he didn't know if he should... and pardon my french... "fuck him or fight him." That basically sums up my feelings towards a lot of things.

For instance, when faced with something like a magic act, I don't know if it's the best form of entertianment or the worst form of entertainment. It's such a schmaltzy, dorky thing and yet... it entertains me to no end. I suppose this sort of ambivalence shows up in my No Shame pieces. I do a lot of things where I celebrate something - just to tear it down.

It's sort form of irony, I'm sure.

And irony... well, that's 500 blogs right there, but... I've been accused of using it in my No Shame pieces a lot. And I'll admit that it is way too prevalent at No Shame. It's irritating for me to see a lack of commitment in performances. I hate - no, mildly dislike - it when "standing outside the piece" is just an excuse for poor writing.

But as for proper irony.... last night, I read some essays on irony and I came across this: Charles Gordon said, "The skillful ironist, one who uses the form as a weapon rather than an instrument of self-amusement, does society a service." And I hate to call myself "skillfull" or see myself as doing society "a service," BUT I know that when I use irony, it's because I'm frustrated with something and I want change. And that's a lot more passionate than some form of bemused apathy.

Besides, my pieces last year at No Shame were nothing but painfully earnest and it wore me out.

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