“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Anthony Robert Kushner Tony Kushner Tony,
How do I address in writing a writer whose words I have poured over in the past five years? May I begin by stating the obvious? I am clearly a devout fan of yours. Prior Walters was my late goldfish’s name and I truly believe I can get through anything with “wee little fistfuls of Valium.”The only thing better than Brecht is a Kushner Brecht translation. Changing mediums hold no obstacle for you, as your screenplays have shown (and in the future are sure to show).
I, I, I, consider myself to be a humble reader and most of my celebrity idols have been dead for centuries. You, however, I have a chance of meeting. A 1,402,367,253 to 1 chance but, an opportunity no less. Though I doubt I would be capable of constructing an intelligent sentence in your presence, my desire to shake hands with you and remind you that through your writing you touch peoples lives everyday overwhelms any insecurities I may have.
It is possible that, for me, you represent all of my literary idols. Your social relevance and philosophical commentary rival any author that has inflated from antiquity. Your one liners of inspiration have become mantras. Your characters have become personifications of the shades of society.
You have given the underdogs hope and the afraid courage.
Through this, at times, painful progression of the literary world with nothing but longing for what is left behind your writing embodies the dream ahead.
Thank you for inspiring me as a writer and as a human being.
To anyone that may come across this and read this, I share with you a piece of Kushner’s writing. It is out of context but, the most spiritually uplifting and motivating plea for life I have ever read:
I’ve lived through such terrible times and there are people who live through much worse. But you see them living anyway. When they’re more spirit than body, more sores than skin, when they’re burned and in agony, when flies lay eggs in the corners of the eyes of their children – they live. Death usually has to take life away. I don’t know if that’s just the animal. I don’t know if it’s not braver to die, but I recognize the habit; the addiction to being alive. So we live past hope. If I can find hope anywhere, that’s it, that’s the best I can do. It’s so much not enough. It’s so inadequate. But still bless me anyway. I want more life.
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes – Part Two: Perestroika.
The following quote is supplied in order to celebrate the life of an inspirational writer and activist. Today, leave the office and take a walk among nature. Pay attention to your thoughts and contemplate everything as you get lost in forests, gardens, or parks.
A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’
David Foster Wallace that is, not to be confused with one hell-acious southern airport. This quote is best used when people have trouble seeing past cultural differences or even just personal differences.
This quote opens a commencement speech given by DFW to Kenyon College a few years before his (untimely seems too understated) untimely death. This comic opener has more philosophy in one word of it than many writers could even dream of. It is perfection’s essence.
The simplicity and the multiple applications the quote has makes it a favorite of mine to twirl around in thought every so often.
In conjunction with this, I once had a fantastic professor who taught sociology and psychology and history and philosophy all at once. (This works; I promise.) He would always remind us, before unleashing some world view shattering morsel of knowledge, to “get out of our fishbowl.”
It seems two brilliant people, DFW and my professor, both have same idea. This is not a coincidence, I assure you.
Uh oh….it’s rant and preach time.
The relevance of this quote in our current world (A bit broad, I know. Think Western over developed society…) is in relation to the effects of globalization on a species that has evolved to be egocentric. In a world where my thoughts can reach people I’ve never met and most likely never will meet, the cultural bias and categorization of living things is fundamentally hindering our development as a global society.
Next time you hear something unusual from your habits, think about getting out of your fish bowl. Think perhaps you are a fish that doesn’t realize water because water is all around you.
If it’s still unusual….call for help.