I'm Michael Garrity, a writer and musician living in Chicago.
Many of the actions by which men have become rich are far more harmful to the community than the obscure crimes of poor men, yet they go unpunished because they do not interfere with the existing order. If the power of the community is to be brought to bear to prevent certain classes of actions through the agency of the criminal law, it is as necessary that these actions should really be those which are harmful to the community, as it is that the treatment of criminals should be freed from the conception of guilt and inspired by the same spirit as is shown in the treatment of disease.
I’d like, if I may, to make a few sweeping generalizations about punk kids here in Chicago as compared to punk kids in other parts of the country. We’re not as easy-going and energetic as the kids I’ve met in California, or as quick and sardonic as kids in New York; we’re not as resourceful and adventurous as the punks down South, or as unabashedly alcoholic as the punks in Minneapolis. We’re extremely self-aware and self-critical. We’re often nervous and have poor social skills. There is a vague sense of desperation in just about everything we do. We’re pretty lousy at throwing parties, but some of us make some really brilliant rock and roll — not in spite of our faults but because of them.
People who read books in public places are regarded with suspicion because they appear self-sufficient. When you seem self-sufficient, other people think that you think you’re better than them, and they get resentful.
There is something for which Newton — or better to say not Newton alone, but modern science in general — can still be made responsible: it is splitting of our world in two. I have been saying that modern science broke down the barriers that separated the heavens and the earth, and that it united and unified the universe. And that is true. But, as I have said, too, it did this by substituting for our world of quality and sense perception, the world in which we live, and love, and die, another world — the world of quantity, or reified geometry, a world in which, though there is place for everything, there is no place for man. Thus the world of science — the real world — became estranged and utterly divorced from the world of life, which science has been unable to explain — not even to explain away by calling it “subjective”.
True, these worlds are everyday — and even more and more — connected by praxis. Yet for theory they are divided by an abyss.
Two worlds: this means two truths. Or no truth at all.
This is the tragedy of the modern mind which “solved the riddle of the universe,” but only to replace it by another riddle: the riddle of itself.
Newtonian Studies (1965)
I think the discomfort that some people feel in going to the monkey cages at the zoo is a warning sign.
It is a constant struggle to not give in to the forces that demand dumbing down and homogenization. It takes takes enormous vigilance to not succumb to its tyranny, to honor your own trajectory, no matter how modest it may seem in the eyes of the world. There is simply no substitute for the developmental arc, no matter what you engage in, making art or being a shoemaker. Once you develop your vocabulary and your personal style it is very easy to make your art into product but in focusing on making product, you lose out on learning how to make art.