Louis Seaman and his friend, Joseph Polacek, Perth Amboy, NJ.

Louis Seaman and his friend, Joseph Polacek, Perth Amboy, NJ.
I took this photo of my uncle Joe and his friend Louie with a Holga.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Greetings From Provincetown

Just returned from a week at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown. The workshop was on longform nonfiction articles, which according to traditional internet wisdom (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) are not of interest to today's readers. Not so, I found out, and I also found out a great source for the articles and a way to read them on your phone or Ipad: check out Longform.org and Instapaper.

Our instructor for the week, Alana Newhouse, managing editor of Tablet Magazine, ordered, er, suggested the other writers and I do some blogging, so I'm going to make an effort to post here regularly and see where it goes. Feel free to comment.

Norman Mailer called Provincetown the "Wild West of the East." In some ways I see his point, as in the nightly anything-goes parade on Commercial Street. Most scary thing I saw: a gaggle of old men dressed in babydoll drag. If I'd seen them as a kid I'd still be in therapy today. On the other hand, for as much as the open-minded-artsy image Provincetown tries to portray, the art on display all over town is hideously bourgeois, romantic, sappy, and, above all, safe. Paintings and photographs of sunsets, leaves, lighthouses, seascapes, ships, an occasional well-muscled man can be seen in every gallery and shop window. While a lot of them fly rainbow flags and tolerance slogans, there doesn't seem to be much of a reception for progressive art.

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