Letters to the Bouncy Banker...

Letters to the Bouncy Banker...
...from a struggling artiste.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Letter to the Bank #60

Thomas Gilray

dear BM,

As we start not only a new year but a new decade I think again about the motivations I have to write these letters to you my imagined financial advisor and therapist, the target of my ire and my confident. You are asked to fill a difficult role. You are my punching bag and sounding board.

I am a bird in your ear, and your rear, twittering away and clearly, with so much to say I should be Tweeting to. I’m just a little shy of the medium for no reason I can find. The quiet persistence of blogging with the high probability that nobody reads what I write is almost comforting. I do and I don’t want to effect the Conversation. I’m slightly mistrusting of my own motivations, and not sure of my wit or candor. By Tweeting I’d be going out on a limb. I’ll have to be pithy and precise. I like messy but few have time for that. My long winded, old fashioned letters will be converted to haikus in the near future. I’ll miss wordy. In the world of art the word baroque conjures up images of too much gold and too much in general. That said I love dense passages in books and rich images, symmetry and patterns that are taken to the nth degree. I’m just not happy with ostentatious. Shakespeare is rich and even over the top but he delights in language and has something to say. What would he have done with twitter?

On another matter I do hold the responsibility for the words I utter though often uttered under a fragile pseudonym. The pseudonym acts as a character in my plays not a front to hide behind. I believe in being open when expressing one’s opinions. This is a luxury we still have in the USA that is still sorely lacking in so many other societies. To not be up front in this country with one views strikes me as cowardly. I will not read anonymous articles or thoughts by others if they cannot be sourced back easily. This quote from Stanley Fish’s article in NYT Opinions page today (1/4/11) puts it well:

The practice of withholding the identity of the speaker is strategic, and one purpose of the strategy (this is the second problem with anonymity) is to avoid responsibility and accountability for what one is saying. Anonymity, Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago observes, allows Internet bloggers “to create for themselves a shame-free zone in which they can inflict shame on others.” The power of the bloggers, she continues, “depends on their ability to insulate their Internet selves from responsibility in the real world, while ensuring real-world consequences” for those they injure.

My blogs feel powerless and that is okay. I’m interested in civil discourse. Anger is effective when expressed with clarity. If you shout at me I’ll cover my ears after trying briefly to tease out what it is you might be trying to say. Draw me in don’t shut me out and let me see you as we converse. You meanwhile remain silent never responding like a Freudian analyst. I always preferred the idea of Jungian therapy where there is some give and take. Do you agree with my musings on greed, my postings about the filthy rich and the dirt poor? Are you in the middle—slightly mad at your superiors, your bosses, though disinclined to blow a whistle or stick your head up above the trenches incase it gets blown off?

Remember I am always happy to talk about art. If you do not want me to discuss the awful underpinnings of this ownership society then let us talk about Art and I don’t mean blue chip art, or popular art, or even satire. Tell me about a painting or a play or a poem that stuck with you and try to tell me why.

Yours sincerely,

Kristian Witherkay

PS—Don't take my image choice too personally.


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