Thursday, August 19, 2010

The State of the Written Word in Crown Heights

Nothing much of great import to report, friends, besides for the fact that on Tuesday night, after a direct wall-to-wall facebook invite, I decided to attend one of the writing meetings (most likely a spin-off of the poetry meetings) orchestrated by the honourable Mr. Baruch Tauber. I had been feeling my creativity wane anyway so I felt it would be good for me. And it was. Tauber had an image prepared for us which we were to see, and subsequently formulate a story from. In this case it was a girl and a man on a highway fixing a car. Based on that I started writing a short story, since I wasn't sure what protocol called for (it turned out vignettes were more appropriate), and based as well on the fact that, as I've mentioned here before, I'm trying to work on my narrative writing. It was about a girl with divorced parents who was having a frictional relationship with her father who had custody of her on Sundays only. Long story short, my idea was to have them reconcile as a result of a   non-injurious car accident (perhaps I'll post it here later). Though I admitted that was quite a dull scenario, and quite honestly not one I'm interested in myself, but time was of the essence.

Also in attendance from the world of Chabad blogs was Feivel ben Mishael, and I got a chance to chat with him a little afterwards. One thing that stands out in my mind from my conversation with him was the strange reason he admired the no comments policy of Yossi's blog. He said that he's concerned that other bloggers will argue with him and espouse ideas that are seditious to Chabad on his blog. I was flabbergasted to hear of such a withholding of the First Amendment from a compatriot. Though of course his ideas were sound based on Chabad ideology, but I shiver to think how they interact with those of other faiths if they cannot even have a dialog with those of their own faith...

Feivel also mentioned how he's blogging less these days, much like me. And much like me, not because he's lacking ideas, but because the transferral of those ideas from electrons in the brain to pixels on a screen often seems daunting. Perhaps I am just projecting my own issues upon others, but I think there's less blogging going on in general at the moment, and in the Chabad community in particular. It can't just be me, since Sara Bonne seems to be struggling with quite the same issue.

Another Chabad-blogger-related-issue that's crossed my mind is that the poetry slam itself seems not to be happening much recently. I think it may have to do with the fact that it's biggest protagonists were the Kings and the [TRSers], who are now living more sedentary lives, and have less of a need for poetry slams. Oh well, lets hope them well and hope the occasional slam returns in the autumn.

8 comments:

Yossi said...

What, no link?

As to the reason I don't have comments enabled, the one given in your post did not enter my mind at all when I disabled them.

The Real Shliach said...

A. Sound Chabad theology to deny 1st Amendment rights? Rubbish.

B. Please don't use my real name on the blogosphere.

C. We had nothing to do with the poetry slam.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Yossi: To his blog or yours? Either way, I thought it wasn't entirely necessary considering all the links are already on the sidebar (besides, who hasn't heard of you guys? : P).

Well, yes, as I tried to say, that's what Feivel liked about the idea. I wasn't suggesting that that was why YOU do it...

TRS: A. Well, "דע מה שתשיב" isn't a huge stress in Chabad writings. What I think I meant was, if he asked the Rebbe, or his Rosh Yeshiva for that matter, if, given the premise that he does have a blog, should he allow comments from people who's only agenda is to discredit the teachings of Chabad Chassidut, I think they'd say no comments is a better idea.

B. Sorry dude. I didn't say you were TRS though!

C. Still, you are one of it's most celebrated authors (as far as blogs go). Your presence carried weight, no doubt..

The Real Shliach said...

דע מה שתשיב is stressed anywhere? Read what it says in Pirkei Avos on the subject?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

TRS: Oh crap, looks like you responded on the same day I responded. That's the problem with this whole comment moderation thing--you don't get email notification..

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. If you're suggesting that "דע מה שתשיב" is not something that should be stressed in general, then I see the opposite in Avot; some perushim actually say the proper girsa is "והוי שקוד ללמוד מה שתשיב לאפיקורוס". So...

The Real Shliach said...

In my Pirkei Avos, it says that you should know what to answer an Apikores. But it never says what it is! You know why? Because the answer to an apikores is "Kushen Tuchus."

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

אין זה מהלכם של רבותינו חכמי ספרד לדורותם...

The Real Shliach said...

I can't be responsible for Sephardim.