don't ya think he's better at chewing out people like Frank than you, Barber and I combined?
Oh, certainly. Of course, Harlan is also a master of the low rhetoric. Quick with the "Yo momma so ugly..." retorts. Damn near rapid fire. I'll bet he was an absolute demon on the playground. He was at I-CON.
Anyway, I guess my points would be:
1) If it's a choice between Harlan putting in an hour working on a new story, or proofing a book, or prepping an audio collection, or anydamnthing related to his artistic enterprises, or putting in an hour getting wound up at Frank, I'd opt for the former as the far more valuable and productive use of his time.
2) Even Harlan chewing out Frank won't alter Frank's behavior. It never has before. He'd crack wise and keep swimming. Frank is who he is. He has little interest in honest discourse. He doesn't engage in dialogue. He wishes merely to speak, and to not agree with him leads to his presumption that we are uninformed, or ignorant, or not staying 'on focus' (whatever THAT means to someone whose arguments jump around like a seismograph during the Northridge trembler.)
Would there be satisfaction in Harlan smacking Frank? Only for a moment. We do
enjoy it on some level when Harlan does such things. Maybe because Harlan isn't afraid to go there, while we're less comfortable telling total strangers that they ought to be nuked until they glow. But we've got a wonderful opportunity at direct discourse with an artist who has, in his way, touched us all. I think it's a horrible use of that blessing to align pieces in a fashion that would only cause him grief.
I'd rather see him asked a dozen intelligent questions than watch him have to take out the knives to make marvelous sushi out of what is, ultimately, inferior grade fish.
And I may have just articulated some very good reasons to go back to not concerning myself with Frank's exercises in cherry-picked facts and half-formed cogitations. Stories to write, non-fiction pieces to research, photographs to organize (casual aside to Steve Barber: you're an inspiration. You've reminded me why I like capturing life with my lens, and encouraged me to invest a little time there once again, when possible; so thank you
), a wedding to plan - who has time for wrestling dodgy scholarship, half-formed thesis and unfocused rhetoric?
"Let Frank be Frank," I say. Because in the end, he's as easily consigned to the bucket marked "Irrelevant to Me" as reality television, conservative extremists, crap pop music, and the jackass that bullied me in the fourth grade who, however improbably, sent me a friend request on Facebook last year.
PLONK. Into the bucket. If I had a Staples "That was easy" button, I'd be stabbing at it like a hungry lab rat.