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Writing is Bullshit

April 6, 2011

Last night Gordon Jackson and I had a rather spirited conversation about this article by our hometown compadre, Chelsea, and the horrible facebook fight that I participated in (I was upset by Chelsea’s article, naturally). Eventually Gordon just said, “Writing is bullshit. You’re not going to change the world by writing anything.” Which made me sad because in my blind-rage I honestly thought that my senior-thesis length comments could change someone’s mind.

I am not going to change the world by writing poems about my ex-boyfriend. But books shape us and have as much of an impact on our personality and development as any person in my life. Who would I be today if I had not gotten bored one day in the ninth grade and read The Stranger? I am the first to admit that I would have been even more lost as a teenage girl if it had not been for Cecily von Ziegesar and her books de Gossip Girl (the importance of Blair Waldorf will have to wait for another day, I’m sorry).

The beauty of reading is that you are invited into another person’s experience, and that is why I write (and I suppose why I started Gallery Pieces). Living is painful, but through writing we can share our thoughts and blur the lines that divide us. The pain of life is individuation and the most heart-breakingly beautiful works of art are the ones that bring us together.

I believe it is important to share our opinions and experiences just as it is important to take in the opinions and experiences of others. Reading and writing help all of us grow and learn about the world, and maybe if people read more we would have less close-minded and offensive writing.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Gordon permalink
    April 6, 2011 7:00 pm

    My quote in here is kind of tongue in cheek, a bit of an exaggeration. My whole point is the whole “revolutionary blogging” is a bunch of bullshit. First of all, Chelsea’s article is complete horeshit. Blogging for a reaction is muckraking, GO SINKKK THE MAINE YOU HIPPIEESSSS. But seriously, the merit of her article is null and I think that anybody who has read it would agree with that.

    I do think that people can make differences in peoples’ lives by means of literature, poetry, etc….butttttttttt writing for attention is bullshit and is the equivalent of calling a girl a slut in the freshman cafeteria in high school.

    you aint no riotttt grrrrllllllllll

  2. April 6, 2011 7:02 pm

    I love you Gordon. BFFs 4evah & evah & evah

  3. Gordon permalink
    April 6, 2011 7:07 pm


    • April 6, 2011 7:08 pm

      I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by MOUNTAIN OF CIGARETTES

  4. Chelsea permalink
    April 7, 2011 7:57 am

    Hey, Leith. Nice piece.

    I actually really do like your blog and your writing, and consider you a friend, (both IRL and on the internet–where you’ve supported my writing from Day 1). I’m glad to see your putting your work out there on this blog, it’s a real pleasure to read.

    That being said, I just want to clarify two things. First of all (and this is more to Gordy than to you), I did not write that piece to be reactionary. I wrote it because I believe in it, I agree with it, and it’s an position I don’t often see out there. And in some of the comments, in private messages I’ve received, and even on my Facebook–many others agree with it, too. If you go over to other blogs where it’s been posted (notably the Tosh.0 blog), there are many intelligent responses that share my frustration with the situation. There are also a lot of idiots, but there were a lot of idiots who responded to my piece, too.

    And to my second point, back to my Facebook, you described the argument you got into on my Facebook as “horrible,” which disappoints me. Perhaps Steve could have been more delicate, but Natalie and Jacob were not being outrageous and were making good points. They weren’t being hurtful or insulting, and they simply shared my point of view and not yours. This is what frustrates me about this situation, the fact that there isn’t this room for open debate.

    I am glad I wrote the piece, as it has gotten people talking, people thinking, and (some) people listening to each other. Even the editors at Thought Catalog are divided about it and having long talks. I appreciate the conversation that it has sparked, all the way down to this blog entry. I think Gordy’s response to me here is a little ridiculous, but it’s easy to reduce someone’s thoughts if you claim they’re espousing them solely to get attention.

    In the end, Leith, it’s you that is going to read and write and hopefully one day make a career of it. I think it behooves you, as it behooves all of us, to appreciate the moments of disagreement (like the one you had with a few people on my Facebook) as an opportunity to learn and grow.

    Can’t wait to read your next piece.

    • Leith permalink*
      April 7, 2011 1:22 pm

      My computer has crashed so I’m writing this on my phone. I a writing a quick response because I want you to know how glad I am that you commented on this. I do appreciate your desire to spark conversation, and despite all assumptions I have made about Tosh.0 and people who watch his show, I will definitely check out the comment section.
      My problem with what was happening on facebook is that my thoughts were blatantly ignored so that people could participate in a wholly offensive (to me at least) and degrading circle jerk. Steve or whatever his name is was the only person who directly addressed the points I was make, and he did so in a childish and flat-out unproductive manner. Listening to opposing positions goes both ways.

      • Chelsea permalink
        April 7, 2011 5:55 pm

        Tosh.0 is hilarious, and I watched his show back in the states. And as to other people blowing past your points, I would re-read what Jacob and Natalie said.

      • April 7, 2011 8:05 pm

        I did, and all I can remember them saying is that people are judged on there appearances, which is true (and Lord knows my days as the fashion police are far from over) but none of them were willing to address whether or not it was acceptable to deny a woman her rights to be respected as a human being, not a pleasure hole. It is one thing to suggest that a woman will get jeered at and cat-called for wearing a low cut shirt, but it is quite another to act as if the objectification of an entire gender is acceptable. And that is what this issue is about. It is never okay for one person to view another as something other than an individual with rights.

  5. Chelsea permalink
    April 7, 2011 7:57 am

    you’re. God damnit.

  6. Gordon permalink
    April 8, 2011 10:10 pm

    Chelsea, check out Ann Coulter. I think you two will have a lot in common.



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