The Racket #28 : HUNGER
Poster by Natalie Cowan
March 28th - Adobe Books - 7PM
We'll be honest, we have been struggling with hunger. There's a certain atmosphere to the word that has pulled the tablecloth and all the place settings off our usual creative table. The struggle with hunger is a struggle with duality, which is, to use the word struggle far too many times, a struggle we face too often. The word hunger begs us, on one side of the coin, to speak of consumption or the lack thereof. We wrote and scrapped a hundred intro paragraphs that ranted about our un-ending hunger for media, the way our life is scheduled and tailored and tweaked to ingest as much as we can - and yet, we are always hungry. Because, duh, we get it.
We wrote and we worried that if we were talking about hunger in its most base form, why weren't we addressing starvation? Were we being overly shallow to not bring up the horrifying stats about the number of people locally, nationally and globally who are affected by hunger each year? Was this just our usual streak of progressive guilt puncturing a hole in our writing balloon or was would we be raked across the coals by our (admittedly limited) reader base?
We thought about the lighter, more day-of-the-week-calendar inspiration, form of hunger. The "I hunger for creativity" or "I hunger for humanity" or "I hunger for brainzz" or whatever bumper sticker pap that had somehow slipped into our consciousness. And we tried, oh we tried to write into this realm of Comic Sans printed atop rainbows in a grudgingly accepting tone, a fist-raised in support of hunger being a force that drives us to bigger and better and more outlandish things. But we are cynics through and through and though positivity and optimism driven by unceasing desire are such beautiful aspirations, they are lifelong goals for a different, potentially more successful, possibly happier group.
And then, yeah, were we just thinking too literally about the concept of hunger? Are we just thinking about hunger too much? And then we were spinning, spinning, spinning and staring at a blank screen, day becoming evening and evening becoming night and then just sitting watching the cursor blink hoping an idea would suddenly blossom in our minds, a springtime of enlightened thought superblooming in our heads.
A great idea was given to us by a much lovelier, much smarter person - an idea that hunger is this middle ground behind need and desire, that the duality we struggled with was in fact the basis of a good stream-of-conscious ramble about hunger, that the consumption-based discussion of hunger and the inspirational pap version of hunger when parceled out by a more thoughtful human, were actually fascinating abstracts to pick and play with - but we started to write with structure and care and it all just sifted through our fingers and we were once again staring at a gap between a title and the end of the page.
Instead, we just decided to write about not being able to write because at the end of the day, as you've just experienced, we can stretch failure into description and description into a cheap shot of a lead-in essay that hits the notes of the ideas we couldn't turn into something palatable but still fills the space. We can, once in a while (all of the while?) get away with pretending we are showing you how the sausage is made (erratically, often times with a few drinks had) but really just using the metaphorical intestinal casing as a smoke screen to turn your heads while we clear out the closet of all the half-thoughts we'd been hoping grew to be full ones.
So, yeah, hunger huh?