Leaving San Diego after midnight for a party
in LA can be a pretty bad idea if you are not sure how long you
will be at the party. I figured we would get there at 1, party
till 6, and I would get my weekly fix of bass in a loud place.
What I didn't know until later was that we would have to leave
a little bit earlier than that so my friend Cierra could get
back in time to finish up her English essay, which had to be
turned in by the time her teacher woke up on Sunday morning.
The way I saw it, her teacher would not wake up until at least
9 a.m., so we could leave the party at 5, get home by 6:30, work
on the paper until 9, and email it in on time. Since it was Cierra's
paper, she was a little bit more conservative and felt the paper
should be in by 7, meaning we would have to leave the party at
4. We had to stop once, and kicked it outside of the Orion with
JEFF K, meaning that we would get inside at 2, and leave at 4.
Yes, two measly yet precious hours of raving is all I got this
week (for those keeping track, that is an "incomplete"
on my raver report card). That is why this article has little
to do with "Space Invaders 3", and has more to do with
just how far some people will go to catch a few beats.
We could have gotten to the party a little
earlier, left a little later, done her homework in the car (we
tried), had the homework in a few minutes late, or even finished
the paper before we left, but the one and only non-option was
missing the party. I swear we never even entertained the idea
of not going to LA just because we would have to turn in Cierra's
essay in seven hours. I mean, c'mon now! Does the pope flake
So, anyway, Space Invaders 3 was a pretty
damn good party for these less than stellar months in So Cal
Rave history. We know for a fact that we won't have any big parties,
and even a few headliners are out of the question at this point
since the budget for a party has to account for the expected
turnout. Thanks once again to the local authorities for attacking
electronic music, and just to be fair, thanks to all the kids
that blow up the spot by overdosing or seeming fucked up. I don't
care if you want to go sober, but try to create the impression
that you are. This isn't 1999 anymore, and we actually have to
start to care about what people see when they look into our scene.
None-the-less, for those of us that love to rave, any rave is
better than nothing. Space Invaders 3, at least from 2 am to
4 am, had a good vibe, room to dance, and the music was pretty
good as well. I say "pretty good" because Canadian
Jungle Room headliners "Slip n Slide" had a mediocre
set. Just when I would get into a record, the next record would
come on and have a completely different feel to it. Everything
was beat-matched, but the records didn't go together at all and
seemed like they were in the wrong order. Strangely, especially
to avid readers of this web site, I loved the Trance room at
this party. I don't know who was spinning, but it sounded good.
It was more the Semi- Hard- Tech- House variety of Trance, than
the Super- Melodic- Cande- Flavored-Anthem stuff.
Also, there was a huge green Cyclops.
Then we drove back to San Diego and Cierra
put the final touches on Cierra's Essay.
.Reading other people's writing
and using it as a guideline for one's own writing has advantages
and disadvantages, as does learning to write in a way that satisfies
academic expectations. On this subject, Frank and Susan in the
film "Educating Rita" discuss her first essay on William
Shakespeare's Mac Beth. Susan's initial written reaction to Mac
Beth expresses her feelings better than once she has mastered
literary criticism in the established academic sense. When she
asks her tutor Frank about the quality of her essay on Mac Beth,
he replies: "It wasn't rubbish, it was a totally honest
and compassionate account of your reaction to a play."
"Sentimental you mean," says Susan.
"No, it was too honest for that, it was almost moving, but
in terms of what you are asking me to teach you, in terms of
passing examinations, in those terms it is worthless, it shouldn't
be, but it is. In it's own terms it is wonderful," says
Susan hears only that is it worthless. "It's worthless you
say, and if it worthless you have to tell me, because I want
to write essays like (the other students). I want to learn to
pass exams like they do," says Susan.
"But if you learn to write that kind of stuff, you are going
to have to change," warns Frank.
"Tell me how to do it," says Susan, ignoring his warning.
"I don't know if I want to. I don't know that I want to
change you. What you have already is too valuable," says
Frank tells Susan that knowing how to write an essay in order
to pass an exam is not the ultimate road to developing as a writer
and that her work will lose it's originality, purity, passion
and brilliance if she leaves behind her own subjective knowledge
and observations about life in search of the proper answers the
educated class agrees upon. To become educated, Susan must give
up the pure undiluted and self-made take she has on writing and
come to conclusions that are universally accepted. Susan would
agree with Jorge Luis Borges' decision in "The Book of Sands"
to rid himself of the infinite and unorganized data contained
in the Book of Sands and instead buy into a complete paradigm
such as the bible. Borges realizes that "the book is monstrous,"
(46) and looking through it makes him feel less than human. The
chaos within the book was simply too much for Borges' to deal
with. "I felt that it was a nightmare thing, an obscene
thing, and that it defiled and corrupted reality," (46)
concluded Borges. As Susan becomes formally educated in literary
criticism, she begins to come to the same conclusions that other
well read individuals reach instead of her own unique ideas.
This is as shown in the summer school scene where she reaches
the same observation as a well known Dr. Palmer on the subject
Throughout this film two variables define each character. One
is whether they belong to the well read educated class or to
the common working class. The other variable is less obvious
and deeper in the subtext. Frank and Susan have the soul of a
writer, while all the others lack this trait, making them the
part of society that consumes rather than creates. Susan is uneducated
at first, but possesses the ability to be direct, concise, and
thoroughly honest in her writing. In other words, she has the
potential to be an original thinker with her own style and view,
untainted by the classic books countless others have also read
in order to become educated. At first, Susan is influenced only
by her own personal life experiences and possibly the pulp fiction
she came up on.
Frank finds this to be a tremendous gift and correctly realizes
that Susan has the rare ability to reach into herself and pull
out original ideas that she does not censor or second-guess.
Susan tragically chooses to trade a portion of her uninfluenced
mind for the more common but generally respected opinion of others,
as she becomes an educated and well-read young woman. By consuming
the works of other writers Susan gains a well-rounded education,
which combined with her natural ability as a writer, makes her
an excellent literary critic in the opinion of the other students
and indeed the entire faculty. Frank, however, feels that she
should question the educational establishment further instead
of blindly striving for its acceptance. Frank knows that the
true caliber of writing cannot be graded like a University Exam,
but must instead be appreciated for emotion, passion, style,
and innovation. After all, we learn to form letters and words
early in life, but becoming a writer requires the unaltered reproduction
of our true feelings and thoughts using these words. Stephen
King drives this point home in his Essay "The Symbolic Language
of Dreams" by showing that some of his work is derived from
a wholly internal experience called dreaming. In every other
human experience there is some type of external stimuli that
creates thought, but in dreams the mind alone creates the entire
landscape, plot, and characters in each episode. Frank would
certainly be impressed with Mr. Kings writing, not just because
of it's structure or literary technique, but because Mr. King
draws all of this from within himself. Mr. King writes, "The
use of dreams is an obvious way to create the feeling of weirdness
in the real world"(3). Interestingly, he takes information
from this internal experience and reproduces it within his fiction
for original results. That's called style.
The educated classes consumption of classic literature as the
basis for creative writing, conversely, seems just as vile as
the working class's consumption of bar songs as both look towards
other people's ideas instead of personal, subjective, internal
thought. Frank tries desperately to keep Susan from wanting to
become, and ultimately becoming, like the other characters in
the movie. Susan instead reads what others read and learns to
write in a manner that is proper to satisfy social norms so she
can attain social status and respect. "I'm educated now.
I know what wine to buy, what plays to watch, what books to read,
and I can do it without you," she tells Frank on the subject
of her education, which for Frank is less important than her
development as a writer.
"Found a culture Rita? You've found a better song to sing?
No, you've found a different song to sing," scolds Frank.
Susan wants to learn the proper way not only for social status
but for her self as well. Unfortunately, in her haste she admits
to picking up "
a bunch of empty phrases
I didn't question anything." To Frank's dismay, Susan chooses
to become an educated reader and faculty pleasing writer instead
of an original thinker who creates one of a kind writing. Susan
is an intelligent writer, but is too willing to go down the path
of learning the "right" answer, instead of developing
her own style as a writer. This is a mistake that Frank made
years ago, and is the source of his animosity towards the University.
When it comes to passing with distinction, this is the right
path, but when it comes to creating art, it is a dead end. Susan
values the opinions of other's more so than developing her own
charm, style, and sense of humor, which Frank finds to be much
more precious. Susan decides to learn how to write like others
instead of developing her own writing, she chooses being a consumer
over being a creator. In Frank's eyes, these are mutually exclusive
Finally, and ironically, at the end of the film Susan chooses
to pursue the acceptance of the educated class and write in a
manner that will gain respect in established Europe while Frank
goes on to pursue his own style of poetry in raw undeveloped
Australia. Perhaps he feels that he can develop along with the
fresh new continent.
The well-read and highly educated professor finds well developed
writing that comes from the heart and mind of an individual with
style that stems from his unique background to be more valuable
than writing based on books read in University. Perhaps this
is the case because he feels it is more authentic, or perhaps
because he feels suffocated by over twenty years of reading and
rereading the same seven hundred works of classic literature
in his office. Surely he would relish having a student such as
Langston Hughes and reading "Theme for English B" not
only for it's slick break-beat rhythm and
clever assonance, but also for the author's ability to reveal
his uncensored thoughts while bringing a style of poetry based
on his culture. This style may or may not be completely original,
but Frank would value it more than his own poetry, which he feels
is only an amalgamation of styles from nineteenth century England.