Foundation Degree Week Three – The Futurist Goblet and Why the Manifesto Should Be Printing

At least, I think this is for week three…

Essays aren’t usually my thing. In fact, I’m using the word “usually” very generously here. They’re never my thing. No exception. At all. I don’t like writing them, I don’t like reading them and I don’t like hearing about them. The simple thought of sitting down and writing an essay causes me an abundance of stress I associate with lack of sleep – which is probably ironic considering the length of some of my blog posts in the past (this blog and my previous one). Maybe it’s the forced use of formal writing or just the thought that someone, somewhere, decided to spew out a lot of academic jargon for what I feel is a personal attack on my retinas. But fuck it, I’m here now to talk about the stuff I’ve read in paragraphs so brief and language so foul and flippant that even laser eye-surgery wouldn’t be able to melt away what you just read.

Or, rather, that’s what I’d like to think and do, anyway. I’ve been told recently that I’ve been overusing profanity in my blog so I’m going to have to keep my “fucks,” “shits,” and “craps” to the minimum. Whether that’ll influence the way I write I’ve got no clue – my colourful language is a part of me, and Microsoft Word still hasn’t decided to underline the profanities with red so I guess it’s a sign to keep on truckin’.

F.T. Marinetti
F.T. Marinetti

Anyway, back to the topic of essays. Marinetti’s The Futurist Manifesto while not exactly an essay its still something that took longer than I care to admit to absorb into the thick-hair’d skull o’ mine – although, that said, anything written with the poetic grace and delicacy that’s been put into this is usually worth the rolling hills of headaches. Maybe it’s my interpretation but it seems to me that Marinetti’s telling all of us “modern” folk to grab life by the cojones and stop living in the past… although maybe with a different, more romantic sense than how I word it out. The gist of it boils down to that though; cut out the tedious, rhythmic beats of life and move on to more exciting things. Things that excite you, scare you. The Manifesto in itself is a piece of literary art intended to light a fire in our hearts and souls and incite some anarchy against the status quo, contrary to what High School Musical would want us to do. Fantastic that we look to the past for advice about not looking to the past, but there we go.

Beatrice Warde
Beatrice Warde

Beatrice Warde’s The Crystal Goblet is something I enjoyed reading, although perhaps due to irony more than actual parallels to her beliefs. I’ve been working a lot with print and typography recently, something which this essay(?) is strongly against. The belief that type should only be used for things such as books is something that makes me laugh (inwardly of course, and more with a bitter sense of irony) because writing something out plainly for the other party to see cripples their ability to come to their own conclusion. I’m a fan of type – I like reading (to an extent) and I fucking love writing (or I do when I’m not being shackled by censorship, anyhow), but I also appreciate its value in modern art. The simple act of tearing the sentence apart, maybe underlining a single word, removing one, so on, has the potential to change the entire meaning of what’s been said. In fact, here’s an example using a sentence that’s been circulating the internet for a while.

I never said she stole my money.

That sentence has seven different interpretations depending on which word you stress, which is something you take into consideration when looking at the power of the written word or letter. By removing words and letters from the confines of the page you then have the power to broaden its range and meaning. You have the power to make people think about the things they see. If I were to say “War is bad,” it’s a ready-formed thought/opinion compared to simply saying “War,” which in itself has the power to summon the readers own thoughts and feelings.

Futurism is something I find to be exhausting. The whole concept of speed and youth and sticking it to the Man are things that I personally feel are out-dated, and I can appreciate that a century ago the ideals associate with “futurism” were a monumental step forward, but now I feel like we need a movement which brings light to more pressing subjects; things like inequality (in every sense, not just race/gender), political dissent and why should we hate the corporate fat-cats when they can’t even be fucked opening a Walmart in Wales.

Ah, right, the movement these days is called extremism. I apologise for forgetting, people.

 

-L.A. (Liam Morgan)

Parc Menai Foundation Degree Art and Design

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