Arts & Culture News

Oil and Cotton Wants You to Write a Manifesto and Read it on a Corner with a Megaphone

You know that guy you cross the street to avoid? The preachy, shout-y one who hands out pamphlets about who-knows-what?

Oak Cliff's favorite resource for creative education, Oil and Cotton, wants you to be that guy.

On Friday evening, June 28, local writing instructor and writer Joe Milazzo will teach "Believing Your Own Hype: Manifesto Writing for Not Necessarily Angry Individuals." Together with Milazzo, students will study the art of the manifesto through the use of examples, hone their skills by crafting a draft of their own manifesto, and perform a public readings of their manifesto on the street corner-with a megaphone.

It's BYOB. Thank God.

You're thinking: This ain't for me. But we've broken down the different types of people who could actually benefit from this class, and there are many. See yourself on the list? Sign up now.

1. The Struggling Artist You're an artist, and you don't have to explain your work to anybody. Right? But if you don't give your audience a hand in understanding your work, you can't get pissed when it's totally misinterpreted.

Artist statements describe your work and are often written in the form of a manifesto. They can either cover a specific piece, exhibition or your body of work as a whole. Lucky enough to snag a show at a gallery? An artist statement allows you to exert control over the presentation of your work, Milazzo says, by providing a context for the gallery owner or curator. Writing these statements can be a daunting task, but will be a major focus of the class and provide a great place to get started.

2. The Blocked Writer Are you an aspiring poet/novelist/essayist suffering from writer's block? Try getting back to basics with a manifesto. The simple, often numbered or bullet-pointed structure, lends itself to writers of any genre. Just get the words on a page and let your ideas flow. Don't worry about narrative. Before you know it, your pen (or pecking digits) won't be able to keep up with your creative juices.

3. The Cheerleader Living in the Past High school cheerleaders become understandably accustomed to the attention they receive for their skimpy outfits, overt confidence and strangely upright posture. If you've been yearning to relive those days gone-by, grab your spouse and kids and show them you've still got those mad megaphone skills. No one will be embarrassed, we swear.

4. Your Irrationally Opinionated Friend We all have one. He's impossible to argue with. Whether's it's the superiority of Apple over Android or the Middle East conflict, you've never met anybody that feels so passionately about something they have never researched. Well guess what? In a manifesto, you don't have to provide evidence or support for what you are saying. It's about making claims and generalizations, says Milazzo. Sign your friend up so it's all out of his system before the next time you hang out.

5. The Aspiring Graduation Speaker Graduation season is winding down, but the words we heard are still fresh in our mind. Entertaining and funny or mind-numbing and boring, they all take the same format: that of a manifesto. The graduation speech manifesto often entails points of inspiration, hope, information, humor, idealism or advice. For a bit of nostalgic inspiration revisit the ever popular, "Don't Forget to Wear Sunscreen," played on a seemingly constant MTV loop in May during the 1990s.

6. The Voyeur This person simply can't resist the opportunity to witness other people's public vulnerability, especially on a street corner with a megaphone. They may not even sign up for the class but might "happen" to be "running some errands" near a certain Oak Cliff street corner equipped with a six-pack and a lawn chair.