There’s a turf war in my cranium.
Strolling along the smooth, grey surface of the gyri are the brazen, unflappable Yups. With their switchblades at the ready and their striking resemblance to a pop-art mob of jittery Keith Haring silhouettes, they roam my frontal cortex with a cocksure strut and a mission to seek and destroy all Yips.
Patrolling the sulci are the aforementioned Yips. Adorned in fedoras and clutching their signature piano wire garrotes, they lurk in the recessed shadows like a band of sinister killers from a long forgotten film noir — deftly dispensing the flashier Yups with ninja-like precision.
The Yips believe that I am what I am — that the more I’m me, then the more I am. The Yups believe I’m not all I could be — that the more I can feign, then the more I attain.
It’s a war without beginning and a war without end. Egor vs. Egor. Winner take all.
Like most of my psychological brouhahas, this month’s rumble raged over the right to control my creative output. Whenever my expressive motivations wane (as they have these past few months), the mental bickering escalates in both pitch and intensity — boiling over into an all out Yip on Yup dustup.
Faced again with another looming publication deadline — and set against the backdrop of my ever dwindling audience, my limited amount of time, and my waning creative motivations — the Yups proposed that the best way forward was to adopt the notion of “simplicity.”
There, on the surface of the gyri, it sounded logical. Multi-layered articles, metaphorically complex photos, and intricately textured music do not really lend themselves to quick and easy creation. Reduce the complexity, and the act of creation becomes easier. So with the Yups’ proposal seemingly sound and the Yips obscured in shadow, I opted to implement the plan — deciding this month’s creations would all be paradigms of succinctness.
I began, as always, with photography — turning my eye away from subjects rich in obscure, interpretive metaphor and toward those with the simplest and purest of shapes. Concurrently, I composed a new piece of music that dispensed entirely with sonic entwining and harmonic complexity, and instead relied solely on the old-fashioned elements of rhythm and melody. The article I would pen to accompany both was to be an exercise in pithiness — short, direct, and void of any allegorical allusions that required reading between the lines.
So what happened?
Well, as you’ve likely noticed, there is no music accompanying this article. Immediately after I completed a preliminary mix, the song was quickly assassinated by the Yips — all of whom abhor the banality of melody and rhythm, no matter how catchy.
The photos, too, were so mindlessly pointless that a small team of Yips off’d them straight into the oblivion of the Macintosh trash icon. However, in order to prevent publication of a nearly naked essay, I eventually opted to retrieve two of them from the dump, thus providing some contrast to the single Yip-inspired photo that begins the article.
And what of the article itself? What can I say? When you’re describing neurological processes like a jumbled fusion of Westside Story meets mid-20th century, expressionist-tinged nihilist cinema, then you’ve probably failed the simplicity mandate.
The Yups may hate it, but the Yips still own the turf. My creativity and motivation sometimes wane, but the Yips believe the path that got me to where I am now is the path that will take me to where I’m going. Even if the destination isn’t ultimately what I imagined it to be.
So if I’m going to create crap — and I will from time to time — it’s better to create it within the confines of truth than within some artificial construct beyond one’s self. Vive les Yips!
©2019 grEGORy simpson
ABOUT THE PHOTOS:
“Canada Place” and “Porteau Cove” are, indeed, the two bits of banality motivated by the Yups’ ridiculous desire to generate pablum in the absence of inspiration. “Neurology” was the Yips’ response — offering what may or may not be an actual photo of a wandering synapse.
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