Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Inertia and Change

Inertia can be both active and passive. The tremendous difficulty in making change is the immoveable inertia of the system you're pushing against. The current literary establishment, gigantic in all its parts, just sits there, unwilling to be budged. Its participants close their minds to new ideas. Even its leading "critics" like Sven Birkerts and James Wood deal only with things as they are-- the system as it is-- refusing or unable to step outside their mental boxes long enough to ask, "Does this process work?"

Most, of course, have career or financial stakes in the status quo, and so will choose the system first, always-- even when it's not producing great art, only widespread uninteresting competence.

The ULA's task is compounded by recurring "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots" in its ranks. As if the tiny attacks the ULA has made on an unwielding establishment is enough to cause panic! (Yet panic has been observed.) The panic of an elephant confronting a mouse.

Change is difficult-- but needs to be done. The positive thing about change is the freedom and exhilaration one feels when one fully embraces it. I'd rather be a member of a gang of rebels riding outside the gates of the metaphorical castle than one of many thousands besieged within it.

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