By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
The blank page, dead air, the piano in the back room covered in a drop cloth—these things sit waiting. The artist's white canvas and the empty theater stage beckon like the playground of a deity at genesis. The carpenter with an idea, the singer before that first breath—all possibility, all potential.
We all want to play God, create something, come forth with a thought, an idea, a color, a shape, a joke, a note, a story. Have it all be good. But you sing a bad song and I write a lousy sentence. So it goes. Some gods are better than others.
But gods we are, forever playing with the elements. The drive is too strong. We can't be derailed by our mediocrity, our failing, our derision at the hands of critics, who are just other gods creating. Like the cafe dishwasher, toying with soapsuds near the drain, breaking them up with a spoon, forming a smile.
Creation. Taking something that wasn't there and making it appear, and thus moving the massive gears of existence another quarter-inch forward. Outside of learning to love, what else are we here to do?
This is what I've come to do, with the printed word, the photograph, the video, the webcast. Put something there that wasn't there before. Fail, succeed, fall, get up, ever onward, making things—like the cab driver with his daydream, the CEO with his garage band.
We're all in the swim, in the river. Some are drowning, some are trying to walk on water. I'm curious about us all—those fighting the wake of the passing barge, those diving below the surface exploring the depths, those playing water polo while others cling to life rafts.
This is a publication filled with gods. The young songwriter announces his CD-release party, the aging theater promotes yet another play, the exotic dancer spins fantasies on the back pages, the writer tries to contain his excitement as he types the inside story no one else knows. The preeners, the prancers, and the showoffs dive majestically into the roiling water saying, "Look at me, look at me." That's what I see in City Pages, that's what I've come to join, pulling up in my wooden rowboat looking to ride in this marvelous current heading who knows where—to some gulf, some delta, some bayou, some massive sea, somewhere down beyond the bend.
This will be my space, week in and week out. I want you to read what appears here, take in the videos, hear the streaming webcast, or subsequent podcast. Let me know what you think. The unspoken truth of little gods is that we need to be appreciated. Otherwise we tumble from our self-made pedestals and feel unworthy. I won't succeed every time. Every artist fails sooner or later. If not, he isn't trying hard enough. My rowboat tips easily, and I'm no Olympic swimmer. But I'll feel the water long before you notice me going in. I'm no fool.
See you in the stream.
Read TD Mischke's column each week in City Pages