Saturday, August 22, 2009


No one could have done his role in The Pogues so perfectly and ably, brilliantly as Shane MacGowan. We all have genetic differences, and the differences of nurture on top of nature, and his constitution and being dovetails so neatly the music. Whatever to say of MacGowan’s particular DNA, his background, his life, he was perfect for the job he helped create for himself with a bunch of ragtag London musicians. MacGowan decided early on that to make a living as a writer you had to go through a new way of reaching people, and he found music. He knew full well poets don’t make a lot of money being poets, and so he found a place in contemporary music, eventually a folklore-steeped literary punk of Irish beat and tradition and romance and gritty modern worldliness. And he gets it right, perfectly, every time, with a broad range. His performances are gems.

MacGowan's success is one of the great and brave acts of deep self-understanding in recent times, understanding himself and where he comes from and envisioning himself through the creative act of the musical band, The Pogues. He looked right, he sang right, he wrote the right kind of songs, brought words to music, he dressed right, he lived right, one of the truly brilliant creations of modern times, unquantifiable in any one box, like say “composer of classical music,’’ or “Romantic poet.” His lifestyle, plain and obvious, was more or less visible in the music and performances of The Pogues. MacGowan is a writer. He recites. He is a poet. He is a musician. He is a drinker. He is an excellent singer. He is a songwriter so remarkably fresh to the scene of modern music, bringing to it a richness rooted in literary and common traditions. He lends a tone to his music that no one else could. He brings it alive as no one else could.

All the greats, one supposes, have been distinctive. It would be impossible for anyone else to take over, at any point, for Shane MacGowan. And he has survived. Shane MacGowan was born a strong man of stature, in order to belt out and shout, and to survive the life of a professional musician. Of course, the constant touring drove him crazy, more than he wanted to handle, and he was right.

If you watch enough taped performances on YouTube, you can piece together a picture of something of Shane MacGowan’s deterioration, which too is part of a story of survival. You see him start to shake in concert in Japan in ’88. At this point, despite the tremor, he is still singing quite well. He refreshes from his cup and his cigarette. But maybe at a certain point, as he will admit, it wasn’t just the booze anymore. Acid. One can imagine, a basically shy person—we all are, maybe creative types more prevalently so—having to face a performance every night, every night getting whipped up, particularly to sing as richly as MacGowan does. To get into such a voice, you have to drink, and maybe you have to smoke too. Tired of hangovers from mixing everything, beer, wine, sake, gin, together, maybe you get into drugs to numb the pains of constant touring.

Drinking is a lovely thing for an artist. It is liberating. Undeniably. It helps with performance anxiety. It seems not so far away from putting us in tune with a creative part of ourselves. It helps smooth over being too sensitive and sharp for one’s own good. There’s the Boston Opera House, September 1989, an outdoor venue, with the wind blowing too hard, and hard to get good sound, but it appears as if he’s had a bit too much, even as he gets through it, able to give us Rainy Night in Soho okay.
There’s the Pink Fest in Amsterdam with The Popes, 1995. He’s not doing so well. He can’t sing. A great voice sqweaking and unable to catch the key or to be in the right verse. Big Charlie takes him off the stage against his protests, “I don’t want to go off.” Enabled? The heroin taking hold, after the 50 hits of acid a day during the Japan tours?

A writer can write all he wants. But I get MacGowan’s point about being a musician, as a way of getting your poetry across to people, rather than going off on long effete tangents that reflect other literary traditions that go beyond story-telling, or rather than thinking that you can just sit on your ass in front of a computer and come up with something that has a real chance of earning your keep. There's a 'getting directly to the point' you just have to admire about him. Creating the music of the Pogues from a collective vision and from the musical and literary acts of Ireland is a great work of art. Life now encompassing poetry, as in fact it always has. I hold The Pogues’ music as one of the monumental acts of the turn of century, the creation, or rejuvenation of an art form that has great depth.

I used to try not give a shit
but everyone would get nervous (yeah?)
so sometimes I got nerves, you know, (right, you know,)
and as everyone knows
I had a few drinks to settle my nerves,
and, you know,
I’m not apologizing for it, yeah.

(MacGowan interviewed for a remembrance of Ronnie Drew for Irish TV.)

To not give a shit really is the only way to get things done sometimes.

And on that note, I went and played a few songs down by the metro last night. Maybe out on the street is where MacGowan’s songs belong. I had a few Guinness at home to warm my voice up and give me some Dutch courage. I played by the fountain on my street to get over the initial embarrassment, letting myself sing louder. (The upstairs neighbor’s sister was sleeping down in the basement, so I had to take my guitar playing outdoors where I might normally just use the backyard.) Then once I get out and warm up some, it’s ‘what the hell.’ So down to Dupont Circle. Luckily I was completely ignored. Maybe at 2 AM people are just trying to catch the train home, but it amused me how no one even turned a head at the spectacle. They were right. The main point I had was just to get down there. That itself is an exercise. I didn’t care for any praise.

So I sang a few, tried to get through the words of ones I don’t know so well, and generally did my best to sing. It would have been nice to have one of those portable little amps street musicians use that run on batteries to catch some attention, but maybe some day. The experience did make me empathize with those who busk, the street musicians who open their cases for coins and dollar bills, those who play a song out of nothing without benefit of the best acoustics situation. Just to be acknowledged on some gut level.

Of course, obviously, it goes without saying, I am no Shane MacGowan. I don’t have his voice, in the broadest sense of the term. (I'm not strong enough. I'm the younger brother rather than the older one.) He invented it. He is its proprietor. His songs are him. But still, I think it makes perfect sense to play Pogues songs out in public. They hold a commentary on modern life I find true and useful. This is the root of my own deep obsession with MacGowan’s songs, the Shakespearean element, the observation of the things we keep with us as we encounter modernity, the tensions within and without.

And the car-parks going up, and they’re pulling down the pubs.
Just another bloody rainy day.
Oh, sweet city of my dreams,
Of speed and skill and schemes,
Like Atlantis, you just disappeared from view,
And the hare upon the wire,
Has been burnt upon your pyre,
Like the black dog who once raced out from Trap Two.

Many of his phrases drift through my mind now and again. Maybe it’s the country kid coming to the city and all its spectacles, the vivid metaphorical language of being ‘spat on and shat on and raped and abused,’ ‘picked up by the coppers and kicked in the balls,’ which fortunately is not the case for us, which again are metaphorical more than real instances, one hopes anyway. Transformations like the one of White City, quoted above, are things we notice.

His words pack an emotional power that I find common to my own thoughts. Rainy Night in Soho, it just speaks to me. “The wind was whistling all its charms.” The ballads, old yet new, the sea shanties, original ones and those dragged back to the port city streets, his use of form is nothing short of genius, and even one of the better definitive examples of that queer term. And while his songs might strike one as being punk and outrageous, well, what if you begin to see them as poetry?

"Life is full of humor even in the most desperate circumstance, you know. Sometimes it's very hard to have a... to laugh at it. It's easier to laugh at in in a song then it is to actually laugh at it in reality."
Shane MacGowan. Interview on MTV, 1987. (In which he also discusses Elvis Costello's 'cleaning-up' of the Pogues' sound. From the raw video of "Body of an American" as it is played live with great vigor and emphasis and sound seems far better than the canned recording Costello's production gives us, thank you.)

Early humanity made up songs, sang them, played them, for cathartic reasons. Their songs were about the things that cause anxiety, frightening things, and when people sang them, they felt better and sensed they had company in their fears. They sang songs about long sea voyages, about hunting fearsome animals, about being away from family for a long time. They sang songs about scary stuff and things that worried them in any manner of ways. The songs abated their anxieties, at least temporarily, and provided some perspective, some relief from a pounding heart and queasy stomach. The songs were written and played by brave people who saw the fears as they were and who knew how to capture them and make them tangible.

To make loud music against painful death and being lost at sea, lost in the city, mugged, beaten, raped, there is something human, as we say, about that. And in the process of singing of whale fisheries, and of leaving Liverpool, of Patty on the Railway, of Waltzing Mathilda, of NW3, of the Old Main Drag, MacGowan and the Pogues have come up with many of the few gems we've had in recent music, a music that reaches far into our psychology, songs like Rainy Night in Soho, A Pair of Brown Eyes, Summer in Siam. And so is such music listened to uneasily by a general public.

Was it my buddy Dennis, who met the guy St. Patrick's Day night here in DC after the 9:30 Club show (I was not so lucky, though I saw the show), yes, who told me an interesting response.
Who do you play for?
I play for myself.
Shane MacGowan, the best critic and director, confidante, instructor, of himself.
It makes perfect sense.
That's how you get good music.

That makes a lot of sense.

blogs, city streets, breads, blood type O

What is blogging? Is it an act of despair? An attempt mainly at self-promotion, of some arrogance? Irresponsible journalism outside the realm of reasonable editorship? A place for vices and being a crank about something? A good chance to sound like a Trostkyite? Who gives a darn? We read me? Why is my randomness applicable to anything important at all?

Still, it interests me, how a blog takes form. You're writing a piece that's been on your mind, just trying to get it out into words, and you say quite often to yourself as you write, 'well, this is craziness.' Only as an intellectual exercise of some sort do you permit yourself to wander on. But, if I am allowed to be wildly optimistic, slowly you are constructing a pyramid, if you have faith with this little form of expression, the blog. Every day, you roll a new block out from the cave pit of the mind, throwing the wooded logs of sentences underneath, pulling it forward.

One is entitled to his thoughts, after all. They are a part of his karma, as it is the karma of the child with musical talents to be born into a family supportive of music. The thoughts are a kind of inheritance. Was it Keats then who described education as 'the process of imagining, of remembering what you already know,' to clumsily quote an interesting notion that is not my own. So is one blog piece like a doorway to the next, a continuing process of imagining and fleshing out instinctively the things of this finite world, piecing together why is a Kennedy a Kennedy, or what is the connection therein which links Irish culture to Catholicism, Catholicism to liberalist political agendas, politics to poetry, one set of attachments running over and joining with others, on and on, so that ultimately all things are connected in some meaningful you-almost-don't-want-to-even-call-it hierarchy, for its suggestion of one thing over another in the scheme of things, whereas real things are humble and agree to patiently coexist without bother.

So, why, it's interesting to ask, was I born into this family and not that family; why at this time, my life, and not some other time; what does it mean to get older; why do I habitually fall toward this set of sins rather than another one; why do I ask questions; why do I blog, etc. Many many interesting questions, when you stop to think, and even more basic ones, such as, why do I have legs, two of them, not four, not wings, not fins; why do I have two eyes which face forward as opposed to the whale's or the birds? And maybe more to the point, maybe blogging is just the thing, that I wouldn't have it any other way, to write just so, my own 'to catch the conscience of the king,' for my own tastes.

I like to wander the streets at night. The streets seem real to me. Many are passing them, obviously, for the sake of a destination, a good steak, live music, a lively restaurant, a party. Often times I am lugging my groceries home, mineral water, V8, catfood, spinach, and so I cannot stop, as it would be awkward to burden into a place with your stuff. But if you are passing along, you see, at least in the summertime, when it's not too hot, a bit of the character of a place by the people by the door, coming and going. An outdoor table. A doorman. A sign. A conversation outside. The lively way people step out on a Friday night, the city spread before them for their taking.

The streets are, through their very physical nature of taking up geographic space, a part of the natural world. That world may be completely paved over, and built up completely with big blocks of amorphous car parks, but still, chances are there will be a tree, maybe a weed poking out, birds. Streets are susceptible to weather. Rain makes them shiny, lights reflecting. They are built out of some form of stone, rock dust, cement, and when they are wet, you can smell the minerally stone in them. Lights, natural and artificial, play across them, as moonlight does. Not all of them are perfectly flat and straight and endless. Some have no choice but to abide by the geography, a hill. If you walk them enough, observantly, you get a picture of humanity, out of a compilation, the variety, of all from homeless bench-sitter, to fancy date people, and now of course, the cars going by, the likes of which leads one to the conclusion that a lot of people have found some mysterious way to make money, as by selling drugs. All walks of life.

A neighborhood barman restores some nature to the street. He is a welcoming neighbor, to be found at a certain place along a city street. His presence, the establishment itself, sets one point in a street in relation to another, a point on one's mental compass. He is there to meet the randomness of life that drops in.

Dough, as good as it tastes when done well, inflames and congests. It puts me in a confused mood, and maybe even depresses me. I know that may sound silly.

I eat now the kind of bread that is supposed to be good for people of my blood type, which is O. It is found in freezer sections of health minded grocery stores. I can eat whole grain rye, and Ezekial Bread, made of sprouted grains, millet, oats, etc., but the best for me of all, is called Manna Bread. I find it touchingly simple. It is nothing more than sprouted rye and water. It doesn't cut so elegantly. It has a texture that could be described as being mushy. It comes in the shape of a low loaf form, and because one can not easily cut a thin piece, and because it has not risen, a cross section shaped like a biscotti, it doesn't really lend itself so well to that modern staple, the sandwich. It's good to chew on, however, and to soak it with olive oil and maybe a slice of tomato with a sprinkle of thyme, oregano, and basil. As it turns out, I should add, these are herbs that are naturally anti-inflammatory. No wonder they should taste so good to us.

Manna Bread has no flour in it. No wheat gluten, which is the main culprit that makes bread as we commonly experience it fairly bad for people with the blood type O, at least as far as weight gain, congestion and poor digestion.

O people do well with fish and animal protein, red meat. They should avoid acidic things. Potatoes promote arthritis. Peanuts also should be avoided, along with corn and lentils. But to examine Manna Bread in its simple rustic beauty is to learn something about early humans, about human evolution. The bread speaks of how life was for this charactered creature that rose to the top of the food chain. They kept operations pretty simple. They took grains as they came upon them on the go, and basically germinated them, so that the grains were a living protein, then baked them after forming a lump. It was very simple and very basic, and this made them happy and joyful, the Os, and the recipe survived. They were nourished, and Manna Bread didn't slow them down or mess with their joints. (Rice is something else Os can handle.) Then the next beast would come along, and the O's natural light-or-flight adrenal response would kick in and out come the spears, the arrows, the harpoons and fishing apparatus, the traps and whatnot. The Os followed the migrations of the natural creatures they liked to cook up and eat. The cave painting of Lascaux suggest Os found a powerful poetry and beauty in animal form and grace. The iron skillet, while very useful, they chose not to immortalize so.

Other blood types would come along, with other systems, and bread became part of a very fancy and elaborate process involving what must have took a lot of cooperation within a settlement. Some grew the wheat, some milled it, some baked breads out of it, and maybe some took to selling it as a means of fairly distributing it. But this bread, so made, so tasty, was not so good for Os. It wouldn't kill them, but nor would it promote optimal health, and as mankind was, had to be, very in touch and in tune with his body and its functions would have felt the poisonous nature associated with ingesting certain foods. The O man would return to the life he loved, the good exercise he got running down naturally grass-fed bison meat, the thrill of the hunt, the pride of the catch and bringing home dinner. He would let those people have their wheat and their pasta and their risen bread and the life associated with it, and maybe exchange a strip steak for a green vegetable if it were hard to find them growing naturally in his path. They were human too, the wheat growers, the people of that kind of society, and their females were attractive too, if a bit crazy. You could find common ground with them if you had to, even if you were pulled quite a bit more by the savage calls of nature and beast, and didn't really need any caffeine to get revved up. (And maybe they, the settled down, thought that you were the one who was off a bit, excitable.)

Os require a good dose of aerobic exercise at least three times a week to keep from going nuts. Manna Bread doesn't slow them down. It's good for Os to write things down, a natural way for them to vent. They have an excellent immune system, but they need to remember their roots as they cope with modern life.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dostoyevsky in August

I almost don’t know even where to start. Where, at which point, did Dostoyevsky become a member of the Petrashevsky Circle? He had written a piece on rural life and serfs that already got him in some form of personal trouble with the Tsar's censors, but it was really his involvement with the student group led by a fractious young man who fired up some rebellious and criminal acts (there was a good New Yorker piece on the guy within the last few years) that brought Dostoyevsky in front of a firing squad for a mock execution carried through with some realism, then marched off to a labor prison camp in Siberia for five years. Notes from the House of the Dead, he wrote as a semi-fictional account of his experiences in prison. One might guess a lot of it is pretty close to the bone.

I cannot compare my experience with that of Mr. Dostoyevsky. But I do know that some of my own involvements, my own rebelliousness, my years at college where I began to observe a trend in academic attention shown to students by professors that fostered, either rightly or wrongly, some mild contempt, all led me to a persistent mood that spoke of exile. I graduated, barely, and left for home, with no idea of what to do with myself. I do not much blame any one, any professor of mine, in particular for neglecting some needs of mine—as I was a conscientious student, that being the cause of my difficulties writing the papers expected of me—as I was going through a bit of a tough time anyway, my parents splitting up, the house sold away. I was drinking a bit much now and then. Bad influences, you know. And my first attempt to really fall in love with a Princess from the faraway city like in the storybooks had become such a painful disaster of the worst possible kind and a source of my feeling like a big creep, and maybe I was and am a big creep anyway, that I didn’t have a lot of energy to figure out anything of what I wanted to do. (I’m not saying it’s anyone’s fault, other than my own, if you are wondering.)

Eventually, I left the places where I grew up, and went out on my own, in my case down to Washington, DC. I was sad, feeling ill about coming out of Amherst with such a low GPA, and had no direction. So I fell into the restaurant business. They were pleased enough to have me—I was honest enough--and I could figure out the work without my spirit aching too much and also it kept me moving. It was my little toehold on living in a big city in low rent places. It was easy to get a drink at the end of the day. And I could live in manner continuous with where my head was already anyway, a place like Bogart’s Casablanca, if I had to describe it in a quick nutshell: Play it, Sam. (drunkenly.) You played it for her, you can play it for me. She can take it, I can. (Let’s just go fishin’, Mr. Rick, ol’ Sam says, wisely, before finally and reluctantly relenting.)

Really, I am outdoors sort of person; we all are. It was often the windows I have stared out in my years, just longing to get outside where I could see the sky again, be in nature again, trees around me, stars above, the natural music of a living planet in the air. No wonder one is obliged to drink when in a bar, being removed from nature, jarred by the prison characters, by people you did not choose to be with, whom you cannot much control as far as the timing of their needs. But there are, amongst barmen and restaurant people and certain customers who become regulars, interesting people and interesting stories, any one of whom would make, as we all would if we were well-studied, a good human interest kind of a sketch that would remind us of our own struggles and plans and thwarted dreams and other ones.

Where it might be a common business, and where it might be a job, and anyone should be happy to have a job these days, it tends not to be a happy one, maybe because it tries to hard to be happy, a happy which floats away elusively at the end of a shift and leaves one rather alone. And so did I find my exile that awaited me for my misdeeds, an exile in Siberia right under people’s noses, my years of the circadian and social rhythms of a neighborhood barman. And while one might have thought he would be aswim in young women’s phone numbers, I can’t honestly say this about my own experience in this town that values profession and position and power. It was all just another dumb-ass idea on my part in my arrogance, thinking that I could be an artist of some sort, a writer in particular.

If you read Notes from the House of the Dead, you might get an idea of what I have enjoyed in my twenty years in restaurants as busboy, bar-back, barman, waiter if I have to be, but mainly and most largely the bartender barman. The people. The sketches you might well make about the characters found within that prison of hopes clung to over a drink, the barroom. Dostoyevsky’s comeback book sings when describing the men within. He might not have been, from the framepoint of the writing manual, a strictly good writer—Hemingway’s famous line about him being a poor one but one who made you feel things—but we know him to be a great writer, to have possessed that rare and insurmountable but infinitely gentle spirit and kindly detachment that can put a few normal-looking story ingredients (the usual foibles) and create something great in meaning and with grand architecture. One can imagine the pain, physical, psychological that Dostoyevsky felt in exile’s anguish, the loneliness, the being unheard from, the separation from normal life. Such deep and scarring pangs may well have honed his skills, his sense of people like the young Mohammedan, such that coming to sit down and finally write it out would be less pained, more cathartic, deeper, sweeter, keener, more attuned to beauty and soul. (Hemingway put it crassly, but not without some inkling, when he suggested imprisonment ‘made’ Dostoyevsky, if that’s not the exact word he used.)

That Dostoyevsky rose at one the afternoon and wrote at his desk deep into night after the family had gone to bed is comfort to a night owl. He liked the quiet. It let him think. It brought him to a different place than the other ones he knew.

Dostoyevsky, one might say, led a Chekhovian life. Meaning that he could have fit in to the Chekhov story, or maybe many of them. His personality, by my guess, seems to fit. Maybe that is a silly thing to say. Maybe it is a prejudicial thing to say. But perhaps there is something to Dostoyevsky and his era that informs that of Chekhov, that lends a certain background of character and personal histories that in turn make such stories as My Life, or The Steppe, or The Lady with the Pet Dog more possible to envision than they would have otherwise been. The brilliant old nervous epileptic writer, who knows, may have been something of a hero for Anton Chekhov. Their times were similar, and the stories of the two are similar fruit, that at least we can say. And in many ways, we still live in their times, oddly enough, the time of The Cherry Orchard, The Black Monk, The Kiss, the time of Notes from the House of the Dead, Notes from Underground, Demons, The Brothers Karamazov. And we are mistaken--ha ha--if we think such times are archaic, that we have passed them and moved beyond.

It is August. There is a nice breeze here in the trees, and the cicada’s neon advertisements of the heat of midday have given away to the tinkering of crickets at work in their factories of the night. Thursday night is my first off night since being straight at it since Sunday evening. Every night I’ve needed some wine to calm down, and every day I’ve gotten up late. I haven’t written much of anything since Sunday. I am doing my laundry, after cooking up a piece of cod and some rice that I have eaten by myself, sitting alone at the dining table, getting up once to let in the cat and open a can for her. It would be a good night to go out, and there are many beautiful young women and not-so-young women out on the town, on rooftop bars, walking along a sidewalk, seated at a cafĂ©, going out to a club. There are many interesting people out on the town, but honestly, I don’t feel like it, or rather, I don’t feel up for it. I got a bike ride in after doing my grocery shopping, I took a few vitamins, and there is enough here to tidy up that people will be long gone to bed before I even feel like ambling out. Except, I suppose for some hard-working restaurant people getting off of work, and making some bar just at last call, and then maybe staying on a while after official last call. Maybe by then I will strum the guitar a bit, take out the trash, find a good book, one written by one who had good reasons to write, who wrote despite imprisonments and failures and low toils, as Cervantes did in his day to bring a quiet gem forward, one more semi-impoverished fellow with a pretense of a noble sentiment and character, and lastingly, an honest and gifted creative mind.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Th'extravagant and erring spirit hies to his confine.

I am your prophet. Did you not know?
I am your road to Emmaus.
You shall recognize me finally
As I disappear in you,
Your doubts no more.

I am your prophet, wist ye not?
The blood of my lips meets
That of yours,
Your breast meeting my touch,
The identity of the stranger
On the road revealed.

I am the golden light,
The height of all Buddhas,
The resolution of all contradictions,
Perfect excitement contained in perfect calm.
The vast polarities of life as it is judged
Brought together,
Publican, sinner, fisherman, wise man.

Did ye not know my tender Jesus touch,
My joy in your faith in me?
We are different so to fit together.
Do not let yourself hide from me,
Out of womanly competition.
Give yourself to me, lower yourself upon me,
And I shall be resurrected from the dead.
The boulder slid from the mouth
Of my tomb.

I am your prophet,
Did you not know?
Love endures all,
My manhood is about,
My hands, my chest,
My eyes, my tongue,
My feet, my fingers, my toes,
The top of my head, the topmost
Of all my chakras,
And all the lower ones,
All in between.

The contradictions of my life,
The barren opposites are brought together,
So as to know the whys and wherefores
Of everything.
Come, embrace the Pentacostal light,
The light within.

The commercials, they interfere with my thoughts, my gospel.
The unending sense of life as competition,
Not of peace, a bettering from within.
Competition, the worst idea we’ve ever had,
Token of stupidity, body armor, negativity.
Commercials, like Shakespeare’s busybodies,
Ophelia’s father.

A boy sees a girl. She notices him.
They meet.
They come together in joy.
And the parts of them that are the soul
Come forward in embrace.
Then, a difference in manners
Or personality causes a misunderstanding.
He didn’t know quite what he should have done.
Both like each other, but a mental game ensues.
With each apparent failure to close the growing distance,
One is rejected, in anger and impatience, and made to feel
Like a deviant. And so, he retreats, for his stumbling has brought
Upon himself that air of the stalker, the harasser, the creep,
Because of his awkwardness, not for the soul that woke within him,
As he embraced her for the first times.
Appearances, the self-fulfilling prophecy
Of the door slammed in his drunken face.
And where is the boy then, with his pure soul
That loveth? Everything has a marketing plan,
A way to make gain,
But not he.

Behan's tales, Ted Hughes's criticism, Finnegan's Wake--it's all chatty delightful gibberish worthy of the species. Know that it's all gibberish, dreams remembered and caught in a kind of net. Society's blips and bubbles like the radar patterns of rain on weather channels. In barroom meetings, the gibberish comes out. The enduring barman is witness to the basic literary style of the creature.
Given that all you read and hear is random disjointed gibberish, set at a level the internet seems to maintain so very appropriately, the eye turns to the lasting patterns of that from within which is captured carefully and evenly in literary effort for the uplifting and the eternal, the beautiful truths, the lasting dreams, forms of progress and higher thought.