Tag Archives | Absurdity

Happy 100th Birthday to Albert Camus

albert camus quotesHappy birthday to absurdist philosopher Albert Camus, who was born this day in 1913 French Algieria. Raised in poverty by his hearing-impaired, widowed mother, Camus went on to be one of the modern era’s great philosophers and political activists. Camus risked his life as a member of the French Resistance, writing for the underground newspaper “Combat”, continuing to contribute while many of his friends and comrades were imprisoned in concentration camps or summarily executed for their actions. Camus went on to win the Nobel prize for his work, and remained a vocal opponent of tyranny in all forms until his 1960 death in an automobile accident at the age of 46.

I’ve been a fan of Camus for most of my adult life, having first become aware of his work… well… I’ll be honest: because of The Cure’s “Killing an Arab”. As soon as I found out it was based on a Camus novel (The Stranger), I sought it out.… Read the rest

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D&D Doings TV Spot

Reddit user NoamCosby has an autistic brother who enjoys writing scripts for fake commercials. Afterwards, much to his delight, Noam and his buddies film them. Here’s one of those commercials for “D&D Doings”. In my opinion, it’s a masterpiece of absurdist humor and charming example of the bond between the brothers.

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Sh*t I Personally Guarantee You Will Never, EVER Hear Said Aloud, Even If You Live to Be One Thousand Years Old

The French composer Claude Debussy is quoted as saying that, “Music is the space between the notes”.  I think that’s a very apt recognition of the shared responsibility between artist and audience in unearthing the latent content of any piece of art, and I very much like it.  Make your work too overtly programmatic, and you end up with stale self-parody, a la Norman Rockwell.  Overburden it with too many layers of obscure, self-referential ciphers, like Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake”, and risk alienating your most enthusiastic audience.

But if you have a lot to say, it can really be difficult to avoid the “Finnegan” trap.  The very fact that you are capable of generating enough observations worthy of communication, of making very fine distinctions in kind and degree, springs from a hypersensitivity that can seem emotionally overwhelming, and very much at odds with one of the inviolable principles of effective communication itself:  clarity.

This is where a solid understanding of the rhetorical ecology will come in handy.  In order to be truly effective, you need to be able to “play the music between the notes”, which is to say, have an appreciation for the various types of person who will read your work the context in which it will be read, today, tomorrow and 200 years from now, and what they will be looking to draw from it.  And you need to accept the fact that some of your strongest, most affecting points will not be articulated by you, but by your critics.… Read the rest

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