“Expressiveness, in humans, is mutable. We can get better at it. And when we get better at expressiveness, we get better at understanding, better at sympathy, better at bullshit-detection, better at experiencing pleasure, better at true engagement (with others, with the world, with ourselves). And in a time when (I hate this phrase but) “mass-media” seems intent on making us worse at understanding and sympathy, and is rapidly filling us with (cheerful, happy) (or faux-dark, doom-inflected) bullshit, and seems specially designed to make us less adept at experiencing (real, authentic) pleasure, and is bent on actively discouraging real engagement—well, at that time, our guild becomes essential.”—I feel like the phrase “good interview with George Saunders” is kind of redundant, but good interview with George Saunders. (via lemoniceforever)
This song’s album was, according to the back cover, a co-release by Drag City and Inspirational Records. I could never figure out if Bill intended Inspirational Records to be a one-off joke or a project similar to Palace Records, the Drag City imprint that releases Will Oldham’s stuff. I had imagined Bill thinking, “If Will Oldham can have a fake record label, so can I.” Inspirational Records never turned up again.
His litany here is appealing in its fuck-allness:
If you’re living the unlivable By loving the unlovable It’s time to start breaking the unbreakable And replacing the irreplaceable
That feeling can be emboldening, but it can also come too quickly, because love of the unlovable is sometimes a virtue. (After all, you, too, are frequently unlovable, yet people love you. Why should the same grace not be extended to others? When do you decide to love the unlovable, and when do you decide instead to start changing the unchangeable?) By my sight these are the central ethical questions we have to deal with.