AGENBITE OF INWIT

4 02 2010

Here’s just about the best blog I’ve found:

http://jonjost.wordpress.com/

Why do I think it’s so great?

1. It’s so full of visually gorgeous photos that looking at it never gets boring.

2. This gentleman, Jon Jost, has done interesting stuff, and describes it well.

3. He has a considerable experience of Italy, a country of great beauty which, it turns out, has a worm in its lovely apple.

3. He’s a fine writer, who can say a lot in a few words.

4. The subjects he speaks about are not arcane. Many are of interest to anyone, but he brings new insights to them that you may never have considered before at all.

Scroll down the blog and note especially:

a. his graph of job losses in all recessions since WWII;

b. a post about Italy’s oddity in general, and the agony of making a movie there in particular;

c. the post entitled “Autumnal Meander”, which is about an experience I’m having now—and one that I GUARANTEE you’ll have too–if you’re lucky.

Getting A Bit Too Close to Home:

His blog for his daughter’s, here, is just as lovely:

http://paginasparaclarinha.wordpress.com/

Mr. Jost’s blog shows that he’s a terrific photographer. There are letters in the daughter’s blog that reveal that he’s lived many places around the world, and been pursued by attractive women. To me there’s nothing harder to hear of than this particular combination of experiences in another man.

On top of all that, I assume from this  blog material that my  fav blogger has, or once had, enough money to have afforded this peripatetic lifestyle. How can I describe the agony of envy I feel for such a life, so full of beauty both enjoyed in the world and created as art?

Suppose, dear reader, that when you were a poor young redneck you’d come to believe that you had the potential to become a great writer, and in addition you genuinely loved literature for its own sake and more than anything else in the world—and then suppose further that,  through a combination of poverty and your own timidity, what actually happened to you was that your whole life passed without your ever publishing anything?

Thwarted love of beauty. Thwarted creativity.  And no time left to fix either of them.

Now I know what Satchel Page meant when he said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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5 responses

5 02 2010
permacrisis

I mull your disposition often. There’s layers.

Timidity’s not an internal organ, it’s a place. You make it, you sit inside it, and… nothing happens.

I think the problem is you’re too patient. In most people the level of self-disgust would have won out over the desire for safety by now. Affairs, motorcycles and teeth whitener owe their existence to this phenomenon.

Right now there is NOTHING stopping you from inventing a completely false persona, posing as a cultured, stately gentleman, and procuring a beautiful gal many years your junior. It’s done all the time.

Considering your line of work, and the present state of the economy, it might not even be that much of a stretch to say you are ‘rich’. The right 28-year old would certainly fall for it. 🙂

And the other thing is this- go talk to the guy who ‘amost’ had it all, and blew it, and you’ll see he feels pretty similar to you. You can find this guy in any bar. Who expended more effort? Was the effort pure waste since it didn’t pay off? Bar guy seems to think so.

You may have less actual, quantifiable disappointment than Bar Guy.

Hey- you’ve got a WordPress blog, Nightman. So right there… You’ve got more balls than me.

5 02 2010
nightman1

Damn, dude, that’s harsh!

But not incorrect. I’ve always believed the exact opposite of that old saw, “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

To me, nothing is more devastating than loss. Better to have nothing than to have something you love and then have it taken away from you!
(and everything, as we all know, is taken away from us eventually, even ourselves!)

I never really demurred from the above fundamental attitude when I was living it. I still don’t. Today’s post is, however, a recognition that there is a cost for living by that attitude, and, paradoxically, that cost gets higher every year you live!*

Nevertheless, I will go on being the antithesis of a good American, and DO nothing, except write in my blog from time to time, which is fun with no loss possible. I might even express a certain amount of regret from time to time, but I’ll try to give it a rhetorical flourish when I do, so folks can perhaps enjoy the prose while deploring its content.

YOU be the activist, permacrisis! You write as well as I do. Get a blog and unload in it periodically. I’ll read it!

_______________________________________

*On this subject, read the short story “The Beast in the Jungle”, by Henry James.

6 02 2010
jonjost

Just a little note and a thank you for the kind comments about my blogs.
Re $$: most of my life I have lived more poorly financially than most Americans can imagine – my annual income vacillating from sometimes zero, to sometimes $35,000 or so (until the last 2.5 years when I acquired my first real job at age 64, as a “professor” despite my lack of any degrees). Some of those years I lived on $3000 keeping 3 people going (no electricity, no running water, etc.) I did, very long ago live with a millionairess (1969-71) but we didn’t do much traveling. Mainly I live very frugally and do what I want to do, given the fiscal limits. I assumes living without a job and its limits. Being able to sleep on a friends floor, in a ditch, scavenge for garbage, bounce around. And have no backup, no medical insurance, no pension for the rainy days to come, etc. Opting out of “normal” on almost every level.

It didn’t hurt that I have a talent in what I do (filmmaking), am social when I feel like it (not % wise much of the time) and have the smarts to know how to stay alive when others would panic.

In my view, it’s never too late to try, though habits of any kind are hard to kick. I was reared as an army brat and I can’t stop traveling, for example.

best
jon jost

6 02 2010
nightman1

I appreciate this comment very much for two reasons.

First, you’ve made many fine photographs, some of which can be seen on your blog, and which I love particularly for their wonderful sense of color, as well as a bunch of movies. I already knew that from studying your site, and to find out now that you did it all while living under precarious economic conditions makes what you’ve accomplished all the more impressive.

Second, your life nicely refutes the worldview that I’ve implicitly expounded in this post and in my response to an earlier comment to it. I’m glad that there are people like you to give the lie to my dark pessimism—as a general principle. My worldview, accurately reflects my own experience and disordered emotional makeup, but I’d hate to think it was universally applicable!

Thank you very much for having startled me with a shocking outbreak of beauty as I trolled through our arid American blogland, and thanks for making me understand a couple of vital things better.

6 08 2014
Www.google.ca

Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout
out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts.

Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same
subjects? Thanks a ton!

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