April 4, 2011 § 4 Comments
I just don’t know. I wanted to share this link with you precisely because I don’t have a sense of what I want to say. The interview turned my stomach, like bad tuna or watching the girlfriend of the dude you’re sleeping with walk right in the door, and I wasn’t able to shake it. I like some of Tao Lin’s writing and am not a hater of his particular flat-affect shallowly descriptive declarative style. I’ve never read the writing of his woman but am predisposed to like it because she seems intelligent and thoughtful. I’ve also not seen this documentary, not even online clips, so why? What’s bugging me?
I just don’t know. I think this guy, a commenter on the Rumpus, gets closest to articulating my nausea (he also links this topic nicely to the n+1 article from a few days ago….thanks, guy!) –
“In fairness, Tao Lin is only as self-absorbed as (uh! blasphemy!) Jack Kerouac, but it lacks that majestic “burn, burn, burn”, the sense that they were going somewhere, that they were–to quote the Blues Brothers–on a Mission From God. I don’t get that sense from many modern writers. Instead I’m left with the unpleasant flavor of Warholian what-the-fuckism, a sense that if we just do whatever comes into our heads it’s important because We Are Artists. And the Internet feeds that and feeds off of that. And while we all skip from here to HTML Giant to LitDrift to The Millions to Maud Newton somewhere people on beat laptops with dead batteries and no wireless are furiously typing, trying to find the incantation that will remake the world and if they don’t have a book trailer on You Tube we will miss them.”