Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Price

There's a great deal of beauty in honesty: the cracking of the voice, a scratch in the transmitter that steels us for a complete breakdown in signal; the skew of the pitch towards static; the flush of the face; the breath; the welling of the eyes.

As the truth leaves someone, sometimes it takes the facade as it goes. It's hard even for the speaker to predict when that might happen. Words, which echoed harmlessly inside their head, spoken, leave them exposed and vulnerable when uttered. The process of forming the vowels, going through the cycle of turning warbling internal monologue into structured speech is an act of creation. When that creation expresses our emotions it resonates both with the speaker and the audience, sometimes creating an uncontrollable cascade.

The facade comes down because what is coming out is doing precisely that: it is coming out through the facade. The facade is only supposed to hide what is behind it, not accomodate it. A lot of what we create, say and do is about maintaining the facade, which is of no benefit or value to anyone else.

What I have to Offer from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

"What I have to offer" has a lot of honesty to it. The delivery is honest. Kaufman is honest with us, both about himself and us. He talks of wounds, he talks of fears. The signal threatens to break, the pitch skews.

Kaufman's honesty is coming from within himself. He makes the effort to set aside his desire to please or be accepted, to maintain or build up the facade. He digs within himself. He delivers. And it resonates. The facade cracks.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote:

... i'm afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher than you are prepared to pay at present. You've got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.  
In someway they are at odds: Kaufman argues against selling. Fitzgerald considers it necessary. Both agree that what is of value comes from the heart. Kaufman goes further though, he argues that only by changing our emphasis from maintaing our facade can we produce something that meets the genuine needs of others.

He sees a starving people. A famished mass, they will eat anything to satisfy themselves. They lack discernment too. When I was a child I did not know fastfood was unhealthy. I just loved it. Now I know. Are those that sell unhealthy food to those who do not know better reprehensible?

Kaufman's thesis hangs on a thread. Perhaps we assent that all humans have an inner wound. Perhaps we assent that creation that comes from our emotions is more powerful. Do we assent that such creation will satisfy us? I eat all food, good and unhealthy, and tomorrow I am still hungry.