Monday, July 6, 2009

Form as rest; no rest for the weary

So many are devoted to form as rest. -- Robin Blaser

To understand the "art" in art is always essential. But it is even more essential today, for we have clearly entered an "era of suspicion" in which art seems arty to the artist himself. The artist, indeed, is often the severest critic of his own medium, which turns against itself in his relentless drive for self-criticism. Artistic form and aesthetic illusion are today treated as ideologies to be exposed and demystified... If literary history is to provide a new defense of art it must now defend the artist against himself as well as his other detractors. It must help to restore his faith in two things: in form, and in his historical vocation. -- Geoffrey Hartman, ca. 1970, Beyond Formalism


The Hobo ethical code

An ethical code was created by Tourist Union #63 during its 1889 National Hobo Convention in St. Louis Missouri. This code was voted upon as a concrete set of laws to govern the Nation-wide Hobo Body; it reads this way:

  1. Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you.
  2. When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
  3. Don't take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
  4. Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again.
  5. When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
  6. Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals treatment of other hobos.
  7. When jungling in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you.
  8. Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling.
  9. If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.
  10. Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.
  11. When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member.
  12. Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard.
  13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose to authorities all molesters, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.
  14. Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
  15. Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.
  16. If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it, whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!


mgushuedc said...

Great quote about the artist herself being suspicious of art, form and illusion...who would know better? Who could be more in need of help?

and, to state the obvious:

hobo = poet

Lemon Hound said...

Yes, it is obvious. And lovely.
Thanks for posting, Don, this is unbelievably timely for me.

As was this item posted yesterday: