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Mike C.

I enjoyed this post: some parts of the US higher education scene look so exotic viewed from Britain, somewhere between Alice's Restaurant and Doonesbury...

I had what may be the equal and opposite experience -- having grown up in a working class family in a postwar New Town, in 1973 I found myself at Balliol College Oxford. I had no idea what a winning hand I had been dealt, and proceeded to spend my three years following, not fleeing, political turmoil, loud music, and the smell of bong smoke... I think you showed admirable self-knowledge and strength of character for an 18-year old, to go your own way so determinedly...

Doug Plummer

I don't know if it was so much strength of character as social isolation, but I did have a strong sense of what I didn't want to be. I tried becoming a pothead for a couple of years, but I didn't like what I was turning into. Pot really messes up your artistic process too. You think you're making works of genius and when you're straight you see you've made incoherant garbage.

Your work, BTW, is brilliant. Check it out everyone: http://www.soton.ac.uk/~mic/index.htm

Mike C.

Thanks, Doug, that's very generous. Just as I was about to redesign my webpage, too... Maybe I'll just wait until my Fifteen Minutes have passed.

However, unless you were pointing up the hubris of the title of my "Brilliant Corners" sequence (or unless the word "brilliant" is used in the US as it is here i.e a synonym for "quite good"), I have to politely decline that label. I don't want to seem ungrateful, but "brilliant" work is done by Jem Southam / Richard Misrach / etc. -- I'm sure you agree. I'm just an amateur (in the best sense of the word, of course) working my patch as creatively and honestly as I can. "Quite Good" will do for me!

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