Shine the Light

My very favorite art form is the Appreciation. When I find somebody or something I can endorse wholeheartedly, it’s the best kind of piece to write. I’d rather expound upon the reasons why Norman Spinrad is a great among the greats, than write about why the world sucks. One reason why the world sucks is that so many people enjoy pointing it out so very much.

It’s frightening, how many of the world’s prescribers and proscribers have truly horrific home lives. If you can’t form a society with one or two, or a dozen other people – meaning a community that works for every member of it – then how can you be telling anybody how to run entire towns and countries?

Once in a while, I wish all the people who know how to run the world would pause for a moment and ask themselves, “Who am I to tell anybody anything?”

And you, dear reader, might well ask, who is Pat Hartman to tell anybody anything? Well, guess what. I have as much right to speak up, as an archbishop or university professor, or, really as anybody. On any topic. Everybody has an equal right to their say. That doesn’t mean anyone has to listen.

But that’s not the real point. Having the right to speak is only a starting place. There’s a big difference between saying “Everything sucks” and “This is what’s true for me.”

I hear a dear reader saying, “Okay, I’ll try it. This is what’s true for me. Everything sucks.”

And you’re entitled to that opinion. More than entitled – obligated to speak it, if that’s what you think. As long as the disclaimer “This is what’s true for me” is attached. Because ultimately, the only two true things a human can say with absolute certainty are, “I feel” and “I want.”

And I’m entitled to the opinion that it’s more productive to look for the things that don’t suck, and illuminate them.

Dedicated to Senor el Tecolote Loco

Venice in a Time of Love: An Appreciation of Stuart Z. Perkoff
Wanda Coleman
Ace Backwords: An Appreciation
Michael Ventura: An Appreciation

About Pat Hartman

Before publishing the two books "Call Someplace Paradise" and "Ghost Town: A Venice California Life", my main project was "Salon: A Journal of Aesthetics. " I wrote extensively for "Scene," a monthly arts and entertainment magazine with a circulation of 25,000. Also proofread, sold ads, put together the music calendar and, for a couple of years, served as editor. Presided over a couple issues of the local NORML newsletter, as well as being featured speaker at chapter meetings. Wrote a complete screenplay; collaborated on another one; worked on a couple of scripts (additional dialog and general brainstorming) with an indie film producer. Booked the talent for a large music festival. Wrote, designed, illustrated and produced various catalogs and brochures for small businesses. Spoke at a high school as a panelist on Women in the Professions; was a featured speaker at the 1991 Women in Libertarianism Conference; presented public programs on "Success in One Lesson" and "The Bloomsbury Group: What's It To Us?" Created the website and wrote many politically-oriented pieces for
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