Monday, March 09, 2009

No, That Is NOT The Writer's Duty...

Salon has a fawning paean to Jonathon Keats and his supposed duty as a writer to commit blasphemy. Strangely, I find this offensive, not as a Jew but as a writer. Since when is it a writer's "duty" to trot out a trope as ancient as, well, Ancient Greece? Writers since time immemorial have defamed sacred figures, both religious and secular, as a way of challenging people's notions about the sacred and profane. In many cases, they have a great point to demonstrate in doing so. However, to claim that blaspheming in and of itself is the writer's duty is the argument of the hack who puts predictable tab A into outdated slot B and proclaims himself an artiste. Please, stop pretending that tired repitition and immitation are art, that being edgy or blasphemous for the sake of being edgy or blasphemous are anything other than exercises in masturbation.

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