We started with ideas. We married them to tactics. We put our heads down and bullied through, and we accomplished our goal. But along the way we also created a product, a thing, something you reach into your wallet to purchase. We became a business. These days, we spend more time discussing shipping than ideas. I won’t lie: it’s a drag. I feel miles away from thinking, the place I most love to bandy about and play.
To convert thought and imagination and narrative–to enter the marketplace of ideas and cast oneself into the world of getting and spending–is a necessary and important action. It’s damned easy to sit in back and mock those up front: it’s frigging hard to take the stage. The easy cynicism of the overly-analytic is as loathsome to me as the constant hustler. And I can be both, sometimes in the same breath.
But here’s the thing–here’s what I knew from the start–you can’t have one without the other. To create a thing is also to create loss. Air tight only exists in the space-off, and anyway, only by falling down to earth can we retain the glimpse of the ineffable we had in that first place. Only by binding the signatures can you confront what you excluded. Anything formed, form itself, assumes a regrettable, necessary damaging.
The thermodynamics of a book, perhaps: we made a thing. Just a widget, when you come down to it, as much price point as thesis. We turned ideas into something to buy. We succeeded and we failed.
But we can refuse to stake a claim. We can eschew ownership. Of phrase or meme or story. What we did? It’s just a thing. You can return it back to the realm of the imagination. Make of it what you will.