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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Grand Narrative vs. mini-narrative

I’m thinking about “grand narrative”…something that Marc asked about. I’m interested in mini-narratives all centered around the themes of freedom, new frontier, escape...escape to the new frontier provides freedom from 1) cultural constructs…they are not bound by their own culture because it is so far away…they don’t have to play by the rules of their adopted culture. They are not expected to. 2) traditional modes of being…freedom from judgement by family, friends, society. You can pretty much do what you want within certain contraints, and even those are a bit flexible…don’t get caught, don’t involve the police, don’t make a public spectacle of yourself outside of Roppongi. There is a great deal of freedom there. But what makes Tokyo unique? Tolerant culture, ease at which you can live, reinvention.

Getting messy now. Need to think about his more and write my response to Marc.

Mom called. The wole of NOLA is being evacuated. Katrina is scheduled to hit tonorrow. The evacuation is mandetory. Mom is heading up to Alexandria with the old lady. My sister is going to Texarkana.

Watched the documentary on Bukawski on TV. The drive. And he was so prolific. He never thought he could make money off his writing. He never thought he’d be successful. But he just kept writing. He just kept sending his stuff out. That’s some kind of inspiration. Forget Van Gogh, I think he will be my new role model (sans the drinking as my little body just can’t handle that kind of abuse). But, he wrote about his life. He brought poetry back where it belonged…in the hands of the people. He said that he couldn't imagine a day without writing. It put fear into his heart. I know how he feels. I only write in the journals every day. A poem will pop out here and there. I guess it’s some kind of commitment.

What am I trying to say? Something about following your dreams. Something about sacrifice. Something about dreams and illusion and constructing your own reality. Still trying to scratch it out of my head. Tokyo is the post-modern urban frontier. A place to fulfill all of your dreams. The land of opportunity. A magical, mystical place that can solve all of your problems and give you things that you’ve only dreamed of. It can give you a different life. OK, they get there, they find this life…and maybe…no…so they’ve achieved their dreams for the most part…they are on their way. But, it’s all an illusion. Why? It’s the old “be careful what you wish for…” scenario.

Just get the story down, and everything else will follow.

I’m talking about fulfilling your dreams. What am I trying to say? I went on this journey to find a manifestation of personal freedom. I had this idea that these guys were free. I wanted to explore that. I wanted to feel the freedom…show it. So I had this idea that these guys, these headhunters were free. It was a journey to define freedom. OK, I went to Japan, I started shooting these guys whom I thought were free. Why? Because they were running rampant around the city. They were slinging cash, they were buying toys. But what did I discover? They weren’t free. They were slaves to their jobs, they were slaves to the money and the toys. But Ken…Ken…he gave it all up.

Did I go searching for the formula for personal freedom? But there is not one definition, hence the mini-narratives. I went to the post-modern urban frontier to look for freedom. What did I find? This is what I found. Many, many stories.