February 24, 2014 by musehick
I watched a Marilyn Monroe documentary today called Love, Marilyn, because I find her fascinating, and this documentary promised an insight not often afforded on – something from the actress herself, in the form of diary extracts. I did get some data I didn’t have before, but I once again bumped against the issue I find myself having with a lot of these so-called documents … the artifice involved, and the dishonesty entailed in that artifice. They had actors and actresses lined up to read the extracts, and they didn’t read them without inflection and interpretation seeping in; some of them were even made up to resemble Marilyn, and it bugged me. Why? Because some of the things that were written – you could get this from the words themselves – were not as significant as the readings would have you believe.
I suppose what I want, and what I am always looking for, is some unfiltered access. I will have to hunt out the words from her myself, and not access them through this stagey showcase.
It got me thinking about the filters I myself introduce into the work I do, and the fact that the work is, itself, a filter on the experiences. Can it be true? I write it down and it changes what it was. I use a certain genre or form and it changes what it is. You have to make your peace with that or you would never work, and it could be the root, at least for me, of why I keep struggling to accurately represent the thought processes and feelings attendant to a certain event.
False ceilings, false bottoms, the fourth wall – all these things come into play in a fiction. Metaphor, simile, rhyme and rhythm – these are the egg beaters that start breaking things to make the omelette. Unavoidable, and so, one must achieve a proficiency in their use to make them, in a sense, as invisible as possible.
The poems stand as they stand, and the techniques employed work as they work … the effectiveness judged by how noticeable they are, and how well they serve the writing. And here I think and look and discuss that aspect of my craft – the regard and the inspection designed to better the execution.
To me it is kind of interesting that I work out some of my feelings and thoughts in the writing of the poetry, then I work out the machinations of the writing here. As I improve myself I think the poetry benefits, as I learn more the poetry benefits, and as the poetry becomes more effective I myself improve. An interesting feedback loop that need never diminish in the quality of the work or the amount of release I can achieve.
It was nice to see some of the craft in Marilyn – not something I have seen discussed much; to see the thinking and the artistry behind what she put on screen. Did this film truly show off that aspect of her? Not totally … some of the other more showy aspects and the liberal application of talking head theorising had to be sprinkled over it, but, is it odd to say that I feel a kinship with the artist Marilyn Monroe? I don’t think so.
The other thing that has been on my radar is both the anti-gay outbursts from certain stars, the disgusting situation in Russia and Uganda, and the anti-gay law passed in Arizona. It is surreal that this kind of thing is occurring, is allowed, is not drummed out of existence by every right-thinking member of the human race. How are we ever going to evolve and handle the real problems facing us as a species if we can’t reconcile ourselves to the fact that some people like to do different things in the bedroom and that, as long as it hurts no one else, that it really is none of our business?
I don’t want to dig into the issue in this post, but I intend to elsewhere, the answer to any issue, as far as I am concerned, is answered by the simplicity of the idea of universal human rights. If you believe for any reason that someone should have those denied them then you are excluding yourself from that same consideration – do you want that for yourself? No? Then don’t force that upon someone else.
Creative people must work to help shape this society and take responsibility for addressing its failings – this disturbing situation is one such failing, and we can out-create it.