Have just started reading G. Sirc’s “English Composition as a Happening“. It asks the great question: have all the composition gods left the temple?
We erect temples to language, in which we are the
priests among initiates (of varying degrees of enthusiasm), where we relive the rites of text-production for the nth time, despite the sad truth that the gods have fled so long ago that no one is even sure that they were ever there in the first place (in Composition, the gods are called, variously, power, authentic voice, discourse, critical consciousness, versatility, style, disciplinarity, purpose, etc.).
I think of #CLMOOC as having a ‘go’ at exploring “new gods” and scrambling toward exciting possibility and unintended consequence. There have been interesting rumblings to the effect that our community is not rigorous enough or focused enough, that perhaps we are all just digging in our own little sandbox which the cats use, well…you get the idea.
Perhaps what is happening is that we are invoking new compositional genres and we do look a little like toddling babes in that sandbox. Check out the milieu, the zeitgeist, the gestalt, the genius loci of #CLMOOC and what do you see? Creation tools beyond Horatio’s wildest dreams. We aren’t creating a new panoply of the compositional gods, instead we are learning how to bring Olympus to ground for everyone. Prometheans all around, hyperbole for all. Well, it only seems like a parody but I am reminded of the powerful philosophical treatise on time travel and being excellent: Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure and the excellent detournement where Beethoven takes over the mall music store. (Just wanted to see if I could get ‘excellent’ into a sentence the magical three times.)
So I say
Go slow and, of course, be excellent to each other
Childish enough for you? No? OK, you asked for it.