Musings and marginalia from a freelance writer
…only probably with more swearing and more caffeine.
The comics, tv, novel, and essay writer Warren Ellis makes a regular appearance in these blog pages, I guess. Along with China Mieville, Robert Macfarlane, Laurie Penny, Rebecca Solnit, Catherynne M. Valente and others, he’s one of a sort of constant circle of ‘omigod, how did they do that’ writers that I think with. It’s good to find other people playing in the same sandpit as you are – and it’s good, I think, to have living people you can admire. Shows that it can be done, scrobbling this creative life together out of wordscraps and notebooks and long-distance, glitchy Skype calls.
In particular, I’m thinking about his recent experiments with status updates – a daily ‘I AINT’NT DEAD YET!’ which could be pictures or updates or what have you. Short, tiny snapshots of a daily instance. If I were to get my act together to do something similar, these are the reasons wherefore:
So, while I think about it for a bit – here’s a snapshot of the sort of things I could say:
To not be a ghost.
Most Western thought teaches us that we are spirits mired in base matter, ghosts in the machine, prisoners of Phillip K. Dick’s Black Iron Prison – or even worse still, that the creature we think ourselves to be is nothing but an ephemera; a trick of time and matter. Descartes with his brain in a jar, Plato in his cave, that old Gospel song of throwing off our old bodies to be robed anew…
This is not a polemic against religion. Or philosophy.
I would rather this was a praise-song for that crude materia; that dirt that we have so long despised.
Matter; clay; corpus; dirt; earth; crud; weight; unformed; lumpen; gravamen.