Saturday, June 04, 2005

What is it about Post Secret?

I hate loving families

I’m probably late for the Post-Secret bus. I only discovered it about a month ago and what I’ve read recently suggests that it has changed from what it was before then.

What is it about the site that is so arresting? Part of it for me is the resemblance of the postcards to visionary art. The CSO, my linguist friend and I went to the American Visionary Art Museum last Saturday and I was really moved by the place. I always am. I'm a member. Anybody from my blogsphere who visits the DC/Baltimore area can have a tour of it from yours truly.

There's something about art created by untrained people that gives it something. My college art professor, who was smilingly critical, would likely ask if I had the same romantic notions about surgery by untrained people. And I can see that point. I am a great defender of modern art in general, but even I must admit the visionary art museum shows up nicely what modern art lacks. The Hirshhorn has intellect. Avam has soul. In the Hirshhorn, I find myself thinking "That's really cool. But I don't quite get it." In AVAM, I think "Damn."

And this is coming from me.

I hate people who wax on about the emotional having greater value than the intellectual.

I like my art intellectual, too. My tour of the modern wing of the National Gallery has won wide acclaim from my friends, except my linguist friend who is always trying to decamp to the renaissance.

Yet even an INTP admits these postcards have soul, even if, as people tend to point out, some of them are likely fake. To which I respond: So what? A Confederacy of Dunces didn't really happen either. It's a masterpiece because you read the book and you feel like it happened to you. (Aside: The stresses in my life have me considering therapy. The problem with that is my requirements for a therapist are as lengthy as the job description that produced Mary Poppins and five times as complex. Question numero uno in the initial session would be "What did you think of Confederacy of Dunces? " Answers of "What's that?" or "It was hilarious!" would save both me and the no-longer-potential-therapist lots of time. Don't get me wrong, my issues are nothing to Ignatius' But someone who can understand him on some useful level and feel for him has an excellent start on me at my worst. And besides, you probably have to be well-read enough to have read it to get my jokes.)

Anyway, I see these postcards and they produce emotion. My unofficial test of whether something is art is whether I look at it and it inspires me to go create something. These postcards do.

Are they confessional? Not, I think, in a useful theological sense.

But they are something better.

I think they take universal human emotion and they make something out of it. Like Philip Lopate twisting paranoia into a fabulously snarky poem.

When I initially found the site, I wondered if all this talk about art was just me rationalizing my own thirst for gossip and other people's pain. Then somebody on Peacebang's blog pointed me to which held my attention for two minutes tops.



Anonymous said...

Damn--Chalice Chick I have sent several responses and wondered why they hadn't appeared!

Loved being guided to post Secret and I put it on the UU Min. Chat and blamed YOU for it!

If I ever get back to DC I shall most certainly check to see if you are taking folks like me to tea or whatever. Be well.

Cheerfully, Roger Kuhrt

Chalicechick said...

Would this be me getting a shout-out on the sacred UU minister e-mail list?

*blush* (CC makes another check mark on her "things to do before I'm 30" list)

Did you kids ever figure out what to do about having a racist in one's congregation? I vote "teaching moment," not that anybody asked me.


Anonymous said...

CC said, 'Did you kids ever figure out what to do about having a racist in one's congregation? I vote "teaching moment," not that anybody asked me."

Yeah, we send them to a local HUUmanist Re-training group for corective incentives!

Hey, my own kids are 36 this year (twins), but nonetheless I "think I "love" you!", but I am no "child" abuser.

Yup you have been featured on that sacred list--if it causes you any problems just refer folks to me. By the way just what does "sacred" mean in this context?

And, given the info. I have picked up on the Blog; why aren't YOU on that list (we need you)!!!!!

By the way, my confession\secret, on the list was a prayer that I might once agian be under 30! that's impossible, right?!

Oh well, at least I am not yet DEAD--though there are daze i wonder. Be well CC.

Cheerfully, Roger

Allison said...

I'm convinced that many of the postcards at Post Secret are manufactured (and many more selected by whomever's in charge to acheive a certain effect -- it almost feels like watching a one-act play), but I also think my suspicions don't detract too much from my experience reading them. I think the line between the "real" and the fictional in writing is often blurred anyway, particularly with blogs. I know some already exist, but I expect to see more fictional blog projects in the future.

Chalicechick said...

For the record, I'm 26. I don't feel especially young, but these things are relative.

I have a few UU minister buddies and I know the list is a pretty important thing to y'all. I call it "sacred" because to me it has an air of mystery and specialness,

You'd probably feel healthier if you weren't blogging at 5:45 a.m.

((And, given the info. I have picked up on the Blog; why aren't YOU on that list (we need you)!!!!!))))

What, and give up show business?