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Questions freed from the confines of answers.

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They like being praised for their mind’s eye. They like seeing their praise infect other people.

I create for a living. I am a creator. This is my uniform. This is how I serve my country.

The writer’s obligation to realizing, understanding and making clear one’s allegiances, projecting these allegiances, attaining power through the display, asserting identity.

Don’t call it new theater. Call it real theater.

Big fat executives, with big fat smiles and big fat tantrums, cranked up on awareness about you, about them, about the industry, about the sales at the end of the rainbow.

Can you tell a sellable story?—with that Barton Fink feeling—by the end of the week—We’re all expecting great things. We should be kissing your feet. Naturally, we assume you know what you’re doing.

We all have stories.

Typewriter as monolith, imposing before, symbiotic during and humbled after. The permanently disappointed writer’s face. The untroubled productivity of secretaries manufacturing response letters.

The din of fans, running, going nowhere. Tilted halls shrinking into oblivion.

A day or a lifetime. Granted? Trapped?

A script written before the incident, yet still believed to be truth. A man who can write his masterpiece before the moment of his life. You think you know pain?

Empathy requires understanding, says she. The intellectual hears this but listens not. A paradox less in the conflict between knowledge and emotions and more in the artist’s insistence on interrupting the common man’s story with his exaltation of the subject’s status as the golden archetype. The gut tells him what’s good and what’s just adequate. Not the people. Stories drowned out by their legend. Common men blurred out by The Common Man.

The artist who bellows his mortality down the necks of perennially draining whiskey bottles and above the neck of a lover being perennially drained by her concern or the artist who bellows his eminence as savior of common men by talking over them and stifling their souls with his conclusions about who they are: both fight the raging river of manure, but who is not the parody?

I’ve always found that writing comes from a great inner pain. Maybe it’s a pain that comes from a realization that one must do something for one’s fellow man to help somehow to ease his suffering. Maybe it’s personal pain. At any rate, I don’t think good work is possible without it.

Watch the common men destroy themselves. What is to be thought of their lofty nobility now?

There are no answers or clear explanations—just the crashing of the waves.

Walk out into the fire, script in hand.

Yet…

We are not happy. We don’t put Wallace Beery in a fruity movie about suffering. Your beauty defense is hollow. Your universality defense is a joke. The galaxy is not Finkcentric.

Pity. Your folks are good people.

The force of change, the common man, advertised as king but made to keep quiet can be ignored only so long. He’s not as simple as you think. He knows your transgressions. You come into my home and complain I’m making too much noise. Not mad at anyone, he feels sorry for them. Just wants to help. I just wish someone would do as much for me.

A sequence with an assuredly symbolic climax, wherein the artist’s transmogrified reality serves as a vessel for conveying depth of understanding rooted in universal application but filtered through individual genius comprehension and reshaping. That is to say there is reason, to put it in your language. Right?

Or is the question not so much what’s in the box, or what’s the deal with the picture, but why does the seagull fall?

You’re just a tourist with a typewriter.