Today, #dadism is a sponsored trend (that doesn’t make sense) on twitter. A lot of people, your Daily Cocca included, thought at first that #dadaism was the sponsored topic. That would have made even less sense. But, alas, there IS a connection between public life (in this case, twitter), #dadism, and #dadaism. At least according to one of the characters in a cut scene from one of my old works in progress:
Tonight I try to avoid him but he catches my eye and calls me over. He knows it’s a game and he knows how stupid it is, but he does it anyway and I’m sure it cracks him up. Tonight he’s talking about nihilism as some kind of masculine failure, and, like always, I take the bait.
“Come on Jim!” he says. “You can’t think it’s a coincidence that this whole movement celebrating the absurdity of life is called dada…”
“Yes, actually, it is, and that’s kind of the point…” Like I said, I can’t seem to help it.
“Right, right, disillusioned by World War I a bunch of artists got together in Zurich and stabbed a French-German dictionary and named the movement they hoped to create after whatever word they landed on. They landed on dada, French for hobby horse, and also a phrase meaning ‘yes, yes,’ in Romanian. Believe what you want, Lord Jim, but it will always be a daddy issue to me.”
Sometimes he made sense.
“If you’re going to bitch about something you have to be ready to be defined by it,” he said. “That’s a decision you don’t make lightly. So you’re afraid to come out swinging because that means you’re giving it all away. You’re affirming that there’s actually order and meaning in the very act, even if everything you’re trying to do and say is aimed at convincing everyone of the opposite. That’s the thing about those dada jerks, they wanted to talk about randomness and meaninglessness and show the world how mad it was, but it’s like, ‘so what?,’ you know? Who cares? The bigger statement would have been to just say nothing. So, anyway, I find it hard to give a damn about much of anything in public, because then there I am, coming out and admitting that there are things worth saying and doing or even fighting for, even when most of me is saying it’s a sign of weakness to stand up for anyone but yourself, vain, foolish nonsense to clamor on about anything you can only ever hold provisionally.”
(copyright Chris Cocca 2011).