The Violence of Silence (or: Hulk Smash Puny Humans!)

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ARGHHH. SMASH. KICK. BANG. WALLOP.

Why are you angry, Jasun?

“Because I made a picture and no one cares!”

Ah. Because people don’t value what you do? Why do you need them to value it?

ARGHHH. SMASH. KICK. BANG. WALLOP.

Translation: Because your own sense of what has value depends on receiving validation from outside?

“Of course it does! Who wants to be Van Gogh or Kafka? A falling tree in an empty forest?!!”

*

It’s been a while since I have felt this angry without any visible object for my anger.

As Bruce Banner knows all too well, Anger is an energy.

So where does it come from, and where does it want/need to go?

It helps to remember that anger is almost always a result of taking oneself too seriously. (The exception being the sort of anger that caused Jesus to overturn the money tables in the temper: righteous wrath. But this isn’t that.) Most of the things we get angry about are things we laugh about when they happen to someone else, like losing a sock.

To that extent, it can be useful.

Probably the best outlet for anger is play—as in sport, or even sex—spontaneous activity that loosens up the ego. (It needs to be mostly non-competitive, otherwise the anger will escalate, as in football hooliganism.)

So I am trying to be playful with my rage.

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In the movie Network, Howard Beal shouts, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

The truth is, I’m mad as hell and I am going to carry on taking it because there isn’t anything else to do but take it. Anger may be triggered externally, but it comes from the inside.

The spiritual path is largely about learning to take the “licks” the Universe gives us and like them. Thou shalt not kick against the pricks.

The whole notion of revolt is absurd and doomed to eternal frustration, endless cycles, because the source of all injustice is our own stupidity and stubbornness.

I confess I am at a loss: like a revolutionary who no longer believes in the cause.

I put together the Beyond Dirt movie and campaign (with the invaluable help of others) and now it stands like a dusty tombstone with a few wilting flowers upon it.

Apparently I have followers, subscribers, fans, even into the hundreds; but almost none of them are interested enough to support the project with anything besides words.

The result is that I feel more anger and disgust for my “fans” than appreciation, and that I am less enthusiastic about the project than I was before I launched the campaign. My offended ego says, if people care so little about it, why should I?

The idea of an artist creating for him or herself smacks of solipsism, compulsive, introspected behavior; like an infant smearing shit on the wall.

Value, value, value.

Do I value what I do, and if so, why do I need validation? If anything, I value what I do too highly, which is why I get frustrated when others seem to value it so little. The real question is, do I enjoy doing it enough to continue to do it, regardless of any visible results in “the world”?

And although the answer feels like a NO, it continues to look like a YES. Because I keep on doing it. I continue to take the “abuse” of indifference, what my late brother once called “the violence of silence.” Maybe I am addicted to it.

If I weren’t convinced that I have something of value to offer I wouldn’t keep trying to get (it) noticed.  But am I trying to get attention for the work, or for myself? What am I trying to achieve?

Apparently I am looking for allies, brothers and sisters in arms, and experiencing the frustration of not finding them, of realizing that I am surrounded by talkers who will not or cannot walk. But allies for what?

I am not a general, I am only a grunt. A grunt doesn’t wait to see if the other soldiers are marching. If he did, no one would move. He follows orders and marches.

I don’t have any audible orders to follow so all that leaves is to find and follow my passion. That’s what Jesus did when he marched to Calgary. Forsaken by his followers, and even the Father in the end. Did he feel angry and bitter? He wouldn’t have been human if he hadn’t.

But we are not only human, and that’s where my passion leads me: beyond the dirt of “only human.”

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Go Beyond Dirt Now!

8 thoughts on “The Violence of Silence (or: Hulk Smash Puny Humans!)

  1. interesting , i am learning the Hulk soundtrack where the credits are , transposing from the piano. it is one of my favourite pieces.

  2. hi jake i always said you were a warrior and you are..,.i support you but not with money nor advice….however the matrix warrior which i told you many years ago was and is a great book…it contains the answers dermott

  3. I think just about everyone feels misunderstood and underappreciated. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the recognition you deserve. The more popular things tend to be of lower quality though…

    But don’t give up on the project! Even if you only have one camera to do it on. I want to watch this and see how it turns out. It’s on my to-do-list, to put forty bucks towards Beyond Dirt asap. I don’t ever donate anything ever to people on the ‘net, but your stuff is interesting and I get something positive out of it every time, whether I understand it all or not. I’m sure a lot of people do too. I think a lot of the attacks you get are probably due to jealousy…

    ‘The spiritual path is largely about learning to take the “licks” the Universe gives us and like them. Thou shalt not kick against the pricks.’

    This thought is inspiring. It’s easy to see how this line of thinking can turn into martydom or sado masochism (think thats the right word). But it also reminds me of how easily pain turns to pleasure. Expressing pain loudly through music makes the pain pleasurable. Similar to how my mentor (martial artist) would be addicted to kicking a metal pole with his bare shin every day for hours. He liked it.

  4. thanks for the response(s); the anger prompted the post so if there’s something of value there then I guess anger too has its purpose. Writing for me is maybe similar to a blues guitarist who picks up his instrument to get something out of his system, not to write a song. The “song” is a side effect, if people like it, that’s a beautiful irony right there.

  5. sn’t the Gold in the Dirt, in this case, the people who _do_ follow and support your work, J?

    If I were them, I’d be feeling underappreciated/ over-looked/ ignored right now. In which case, that will have been what you have transmitted… like the lightning strike …?

    As Joe says, people always start by looking for the big nuggets, but those are few and far between. Soon enough they settle for the dust, little bits, more of it, and that means a lot of digging and washing. No way around it. If you don’t enjoy digging and washing, you won’t keep at it long enough to get anything out of it.

    It’s like what Big Blood is doing with their music-making – grounding it as a focal practice. Doing it that way, imbues everyday life with meaning and so the _value_ relocates from the product (if I may use that word) to the production.

    Anyway, there’s gold in them thar hills!

  6. “The idea of an artist creating for him or herself smacks of solipsism, compulsive, introspected behavior; like an infant smearing shit on the wall.”

    You seem to say this like its outright a bad thing. Sure smearing shit is practical training for making movies later in life. But there are other approaches, every state of creativity does not have to be for someone or have a distinct purpose. Some people use a state of creativity to heal the body, that doesn’t seem compulsive and introspected necessarily.

    Maybe the group approach is not the way to make something captivating? Maybe people do not know what they want in a movie? Maybe the film looks very interesting but doesn’t represent any inspiration or growth for the audience, etc.

    “Apparently I am looking for allies, brothers and sisters in arms, and experiencing the frustration of not finding them, of realizing that I am surrounded by talkers who will not or cannot walk. But allies for what?”

    This is a very common sentiment I have heard expressed from people lately. Outward frustrations, with a realization about others around you. A feeling of difference.
    If you made a movie about that it could be an issue that many types of people can reference and associate with, drawing a larger audience. Just an example.

    Keep Trucking Jason

    • You seem to say this like its outright a bad thing.

      It’s fine for infants.

      Anyway, the post was from a very personal, subjective place, and while some of the things i wrote were meant as general truths, others weren’t, but as emotional impressions.

      Thanks for chipping in.

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