Public Reading

They like it that way. The members of the crowd listen attentively to the voice that speaks in a modulated tone in front of them. The voice says one thing, then the next, and one head bows in a slight gesture, another one flashes a smile and one more looks up to the ceiling and traces a circle through the room until her eyes look down to the floor. The voice talks and talks. And then another one takes over and keeps talking and talking. Their stories form a confused soup inside my head. They have the same feel, the same flavor, they give us the same intricate glimpse into the lives of the decadent breed that inhabits the narrative edges of the urban landscape.
There isn’t silence in that world. Silence is dead and in its place there is a continuum of action that keeps moving somewhere, somewhere, and is trying to construct an image of our humanity by focusing on the urban and the decadent.
It suffers from the fundamental weakness of being predictable in its unpredictability. It tries to address big questions and big themes by merely throwing nihilism at them, making use of the archetypal character of this world, one that in some unconscious level is extremely self aware of her mortality but isn’t scared about it.
The works then reduce to the mere action of constructing a big negation. As the crowd listens, the voices read stories that necessarily fall on the the expected unexpected themes of their tradition: the never ending questioning of sexual taboos and a duel with mortality led by a heroic character that just doesn’t give a fuck. And so I wonder why do they all sound the same. Why do they keep imitating each other? The right theme is there. “There isn’t much more to the human experience than death” Unfortunately the vehicle isn’t new. Fifty years ago similar words written on a single roll of paper in a methamphetamine ecstasy would’ve broken something, would’ve brought to life the big question mark that they are trying to raise, but their encasing is becoming old, and the feverish excitement of that trip is slowly fading away. Their question marks have become a timid self referential affirmation. Their voices are one. They write what is expected from them. They say what they are supposed to say.

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