LoV-Write

After Awhile

After a while we begin to learn that life is more than molecules

And we learn that science is not salvation

And faith is not ignorance

We begin to learn that bias is human

and that no one sees with objectivity

We begin to learn that life is governed by six billion perspectives,

Each struggling to stand on some common ground

And we begin to learn that no space permits two people

We learn that a standing point cannot be shared

And we learn we really are alone and unique

And we learn to accept our losses as well as our gains

And we learn- and we learn

We learn that wisdom is no safeguard from foolishness

And fate is unused to making plans

And we learn to build on today because the future is insecure in itself

We learn to face our defeats with patience and our triumphs with grace

And we learn to smile through our broken hearts

And after awhile, we learn to live

Caryn Franklin: When Did Fashion Become Porn?

I found a website called “Elance” a while back, which is a kind of social network designed for freelance writers, artists, and other creative types. It’s a bit like online dating, except the program suggests jobs based on your criteria instead of dates.

I found one job possibility today that entailed fashion writing, and since I’ve never considered fashion I started investigating what fashion writing entails. My search brought me to “The Best Fashion Writing of 2013” and as I perused the articles I found one that caught my eye: “When Did Fashion Become Porn?” by Caryn Franklin.

Franklin’s article begins by noticing the sheer accessibility of pornography and the false expectations it arouses. She comments that there is a growing market for Viagara and even penile surgeries.

“Masculinity now, just like femininity,” Writes Franklin, “is prey to a whole host of marketing promises and pressures.”

And it may only get worse, where pornography was presented as “a misogynistic standard from a shabby back-room printing press for most of the 20th Century, now pornography is produced on an industrial scale as never seen before and, courtesy of continually developing digital markets, commands huge revenues although over 80% of young users access it for free.”

And this is problematic for developing healthy, supportive relationships whether sexual or not. According to Franklin, “Boys also have little idea of what makes sex pleasurable for women. And neither it seems do today’s young women, studies reveal girls expect relationships to be controlling and sometimes violent.”

Pornification of our popular culture is happening right under our noses.

But these children don’t necessarily learn these behaviors from pornography, they learn it from popular culture. Franklin writes that “Pornification of our popular culture is happening right under our noses.”

And it takes the form of “Grooming”, a form of media that says, “This new media porn is all a bit of innocent fun, nothing to make a fuss about. Just give us a little flash of your honey-pot and stop being so uptight.” and is presented as little more than “media at its edgiest”.

“That’s how sexual groomers work in both seedy and shiny surroundings isn’t it?” Writes Franklin, “When repellent ideas are given a fun or adventurous spin, they are always easier to carry out.”

And such seems to be our media environment. The slow development of pornographic world where humans are objects of pleasure, and pornography is matter of artistic creativity.

Franklin writes that “Grooming by individuals or an entire industry, is morally corrupt”.

But what can we do to create a popular culture that is morally sound in a world of changing moral ground? And what does it mean to be moral?

Though I can’t answer these questions today, or really at all, I have a few ideas of my own that I will present as an argument towards a new moral code which preserves “old fashions” while challenging the modern morals with reasonable constraints.

I aim to challenge the pretense and superficiality of the mass media and learn what it means to empower women and the human individual, and how to practice that empowerment.

“And so we come full circle.” Concludes Franklin, “Standard viewing of barely adult girls engaging in demeaning acts of sexual posturing, finger sucking, fanny massaging and arse waving. Cheap shots from fashion, a luxury industry loudly trumpeting its taste-leadership credentials, and music, pretending to empower all young women. Not all of us are taking it lying down.”

 

 

http://i-d.vice.com/en_gb/read/think-pieces/519/when-did-fashion-become-porn

http://www.styleite.com/news/the-best-fashion-writing-of-2013/

Michief’s Brewing

I’m terribly behind in my writing. Unfortunately, this seems to be a typical thing in the world of writers. Fortunately for us, however, the good lord invented coffee shops where we may sit and procrastinate in peace.

Better still, we look busy as we procrastinate because people who write often look busier than they really are. It’s the magic of having a computer open before you, and a coffee close at hand.

Moving on.

I have embarked on an incredible journey of unemployment and relocation, and I find myself with a great deal of time on my hands. Theoretically, this means I could work out and finish another book or two in the next few weeks as I apply to jobs and wait for responses. The reality, of course, is that I tool around and haunt coffee shops.

Not that I’m a complete bum.

This particular coffee shop -Mischief’s Brewing- is located in Libertyville, Illinois, and the owners have agreed to host me on August 17, 2014 for a third attempt at a book event. I can’t say I’m over optimistic, given the last two events were about as lack lustre as they come, but I’m content for the opportunity.

The shop itself has an air of a reclaimed train depot, and rests on the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and the Fox Lake-Chicago train line. There are a number of tables strewn along the walls and potted plants in the windows. Across from the counter, is a fireplace around which is a ring of black sofas.  From what I gather, the owners are hoping to become a kind of cultural hub for the city, and are the venue for a number of events each month.

I can’t say I know much more than that, but, if you happen to be in Northern Illinois anytime soon, it’s worth a stop for a cup of coffee, a quick round of connect four, and, maybe, a book signing.

Fictional Realism

Dear You,

I know it’s been awhile since I wrote, but I wanted to get your take on this idea I’m playing with:

The idea is that the world is a massive book: an encyclopedia which, like Hermione’s bag, can be entered and explored. How I picture it is as a maze of letters: rows of books within books and shelves upon shelves containing and composing the history of the Universe. It’s the Library of Babel and the number 42. It’s extensive, complete, and vast, but ultimately limited to the constraints of Time.

What this means, I think, is that the split seconds are recorded with intensive detail by some unknown “scribes” of this encyclopedia, and the day to day realities of life are reduced to a story which, in our histories, are perceived as fictions even though they really occurred. That is, Napolean is no longer a person, but a character in a story because we can only know the man through the written texts. And, like a character in a fiction, our understanding of these historical figures are limited by the information we have available.

In fact, every interaction we have in the day-to-day is reduced to a kind of vague document outlining the events, but lacking the minutia of the split thoughts and partial comprehensions.

This encyclopedia or library, then, is a multifaceted construct which preserves both the crust and the core of these histories. Some of the entries or books provide the minutia, while some relate only the vaguest of suppositions.

It’s difficult for me to digest, but it’s like this: the world is literature, and we are readers and critics assessing the story and pulling meaning from the words we understand.

I’m not sure how this thought came to my brain, I think, perhaps, from reviewing my old journals and realizing that I understand and imagine the past in the same way that I understand and imagine the stories I read.

I’d like to know what you think of this,

I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but I will when I will.

Until the previous time we’ve met,

Your friend

 

Learning Curves: Marketing, Signings, and Planning Ahead.

I held my first “real” book signing June 28 at the Sheridan Fulmer Public Library in Sheridan, Wyoming. The turn out was non-existent, but, when I think about it, I’m not really surprised.  I’d like to take a moment and point out my “miss-steps” on the off-chance you ever plan an event. Many of them are common sense, but here’s my defence:

My primary miss-step was poor marketing, and this comes down to a series of events I’ve dubbed “The Book Ordereal” (because it was an ordeal surrounding my book order). But that doesn’t matter because that Ordereal comes down to poor planning on my part, and bridges into the point of this entry: planning is a must for marketing.

I received my books last Friday, and, since the Ordereal had me questioning the reality of my orders, I didn’t create a Facebook page or flyers for my event until Tuesday (June 24) of that week. Therefore: no one knew about the event aside from me and a few people far far away.

That aside, it isn’t a complete loss because I know better now and I know what I need for my next event in Buffalo, Wyoming on July 12: a plan. My plan, which I have initiated, is this: create a facebook page for the event and make some flyers.

So far I’ve done both, and hund flyers in the library and a couple local shops. Unfortunately, it was late afternoon when I managed to have time to print said flyers so I didn’t canvass many places, but, I hope, this event will have a wider turnout than just myself.

 

Dear Reader: LoV-Write on Amazon

Dear Reader,

I mentioned before that December is now avbailable on Amazon.com, and now I have an official author page there as well. There you’ll find a brief biography, a link to this blog and my twitter feed. But that’s not all. You’ll also find a picture of me. It’s a self-portrait I took by using my camera’s timer, a tripod, and a mirror; I then edited it on my computer for a sepia tone.

With my updated Amazon, I have also updated the About LoV-Write page. Now you’ll find a more complete explanation of my brand name as well as a short author biography and photograph.

 

Until the previous time,

 

Judah LoVato

Bloomsday 2014: Sing In Me, Muse…

Aside from presuming to reference the Odyssey (which I’ve read only once in a Freshman philosophy course four years ago), I’m also presuming to write about Bloomsday, that is, Ulysses, by James Joyce.

Bloomsday, if you don’t know, is today: 16 June, 2014. It is a commemoration of the life and work of James Joyce, and it is based on his monstrous novel Ulysses which takes place on this day in 1904.

I’ll confess, I’m sort of jumping on the band wagon rather late: I only realized Bloomsday was a thing last month, when I visited the James Joyce Centre in Dublin. There I learned something about Joyce and his work, and today I’m just beginning to understand.

My understanding began when, in the spirit of the wagon, I wanted to know what people do on Bloomsday. Perhaps, consume a mutton kidney, or take a walk by the beach, or, in the evening- well, somethings are best left unsaid.

But it was this search for involvement that lead me to an article in Vanity Fair called “Bloomsday is a Travesty, but Not for the Reason You Think” (James S. Murphy). This article made me more aware of just how little I know about James Joyce and his work.

Murphy discusses the history of Ulysses as a vulgar, banned text, and how Joyce as a writer would probably be bothered by the holiness of the day.

“Bloomsday celebrations treat Joyce too much like a saint and his book too much like a gospel to be revered first and read later, if at all. By placing Ulysses on a pedestal, we lose sight of both its vulgar origins and its power to tell us deep truths about our world and ourselves precisely by keeping the earthy and obscene aspects of ourselves in view.”

So this makes me wonder about the text. I’ve started the text twice in the last three years, while attending college and taking classes, and both times I found that I could not immerse myself enough to get anything out it. Like a “gospel”, it is a text that requires a great deal of time and energy to read well, and a reader who isn’t prepared to immerse fully in the text will miss out.

But I’m presuming again, to talk about books I haven’t read as though I have some knowledge from my own understanding! What I’m writing here is still only a parrot of the mind of Murphy and, through Murphy, a man named Birmingham.

“Luckily,” wrote Murphy, “a new book by the literary scholar Kevin Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses, can help us recall Ulysses for what it was and should still be, a shocking novel that tore at decency and tradition as it clawed its way into existence rather than a “classic” that sits happily on an educated person’s bookshelf for eternity, never to be pulled down.”

Here, like the sinner in the pews, I’m finding moral conviction from the words of this literary “preacher”. And I’m beginning to experience Joyce as a fellow writer and human being. I can’t say I know diddly about his work, but I can say that I’ve started a journey with an uncertain end. I’m parroting these writers now, but maybe we all need the crutches of another’s words as we learn to speak for ourselves.

So here is the beginning of my appreciation of Joyce and general literature: the affirmation that literature is seeping, and slow-working. Though I’ll parrot Murphy again, he expresses this with a paraphrase:

“Birmingham compared reading Ulysses to taking a slow-acting drug that gradually reshapes our understanding of ourselves, working its way into our consciousness as we read it, unsettling who we are.”

So, on this Bloomsday, read well and read carefully, but be warned: you may find your understanding altered.

 

 

Rocky Road to Dublin: Post III

Dear You,

It was a Thursday night -in Dingle- and we had just finished drinking wine with a fellow named Wally and his buddy Peanut.

By “we” I mean myself and one other, who I’ll call Cyprus Rotor, had shared two bottles of wine in the course of three hours. Our first bottle was an Australian white called “Wally’s Hut”, and the second was a Pinot Grigio. I forget the brand. Hence: Wally and Peanut. When we had finished the second bottle, we walked back to the main street -we had been sitting on the shore along the marina- to a pub called “The Court House”.

We had been to the Court House the night before, and there we had met some locals as well as a fellow traveler. The locals were lovely. One, a young woman who sang and played guitar, was simply captivating. She sang and spoke with a wonderful confidence which is hard to explain. What I found most pleasing is that she sung “I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You” by Tom Waits.

The other local, a manager at the Grapevine Hostel, was a charming man. He played classical guitar and listened to the Beatles. He also knew “Romance” by Juanillo d’Alba and the song “I’m My Own Grandpa”. Essentially, both of these locals had a similar taste in non-current music that Cyprus and I also had.

The fellow traveler was different. He was a lad of 18, long dark hair and Californian with pleasent features and an endearing honesty. It was strange for me, in talking to him, to recognize a fellow spirit. This Californian had had an incredible journey of injury and sequences* which lead to our meeting and my giving him a copy of my book which, I hoped, would have something to say to him.

This was a fine evening, and both Cyprus and I stayed up far too late speaking with these people. She went off with Grapevine manager, and I went to a different pub with California and Singer. Though I could go into the minute details of this evening, the point is less the conversation and more the drink that I discovered while I was there:

It was Dingle Gin, and, like the people of that evening, I had taken only a short sample of its flavour and character. It is a beverage, however, (and they are people) who will linger for many years to come in my memories of Ireland.

*Sequences is an idea I’ve taken from the work of Patrick F. McManus.

 

LoV-Write: Twitter and Pinterest

LoV-Write is now on Twitter and Pinterest.

My Twitter feed (in all it’s poorly managed glory), features the little snippets of information which are too short for my blog, as well as links to my blod posts.

LoV-Write on pinterest features boards of information relating to published and upcoming books. Be sure to see the December board to see pictures of Plymouth, England and some of the places mentioned in December.

And have I mentioned that December is now on Amazon? December is now on amazon, available as both an eBook and paperback.

TTFN

 

Judah

 

 

Rocky Road to Dublin: Post II

(Or: a letter of resigned frustration)

I don’t intend to write chronologically. I hardly mean to write logically, yet, strangely, there’s a certain logic to it: things are connected. What I mean to say is that something that happened four weeks ago has real repurcussions today.

Four weeks ago I was in Ireland, Galway in fact, and I had just been paid my monthly student salary. I had to order books for an event on June 8, and I knew I had had to order them yesterday for them to make it in on time. I made a mess of the order. I put money on the wrong card and asked for a different address than is on my file.

I kept my fingers crossed.

The weeks passed and I had returned from Ireland. I was preparing for my book event June 8 in Billings, MT. No books. I kept waiting. No books. The event came and went. Still no books. Now today is June 10, and I need to continue my journey. No books.

But this strange failure is cause for reflection: what could I have done to make the order work? Email the week before to request a post-poned payment? Checked and double checked my card to make sure I had money on the right one?

Any number of things. But this is done and gone, and the sad reality is I have no books. I have, however, learned something for myself: a something I will keep to myself.

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