A Feel Oh, So Fecal (I)
Attempt to Care - i.e. Assign Importance to Art
As an aspiring writer, painter, director, musician, game designer, and beautician, I have technically achieved each of these titles by accomplishing each occupations' outcome. I wrote a novel, directed some short films, produced a dozen or so albums, made a functional game once, and I bleached and dyed my own hair. Yet, my total lack of fiscal gain via any of these vocations relegates me to the designated "aspirant" rather the title alone. In my mind, at least. Which leads me to the conclusion: the issue is solely my mindset, and I am, otherwise, successfully an Artist.
But I don't FEEL successful, and that may be a futile aspiration. Does my displeasure at the result of everything I do not exist as prerequisite to my artistic ambition? My constant disappointment with the state of reality drives my need to create alternates and express the source of this derision. Would monetary value attached to my work actually inhibit the production of further development? I'd sure like to find out, truth be told. Pay me, and let's experiment.
Why does anyone do what one does? Does one truly choose? A long time ago, a much younger version of myself felt strongly on the importance of art. The vitality of expression and the potential ramifications of an affected audience marked the greatest of achievements and the worthiest of goals. Lo, those many hours without passive participants, session after session of collaborative sonic harmonization - what they call "jams" with all those different musicians - where every person present proclaimed and exonerated via some instrument, with no record of it ever kept, save the memories of the people experiencing it: it mattered, because it existed. This Universe, comprised of tone, frequency, and vibration, witnessed. Thus, our efforts went unwasted.
Decades later, I continued producing art merely out of compulsion. The respect for its necessity and concluding its existence as viable purpose withered and diminished far beforehand. I didn't know what else to do, or how to do it, and my encroaching thirties left little in the way of hopefulness for some personal renaissance of aptitude or interest. I had fun, though. Plenty of it.
I still reminisce of the end of my twenties as the best of times - struggling to pay bills via dead end jobs and utilizing all available time for creation of stupidly entertaining machinations. We rocked, we rolled, we filmed, and patrolled the scene, assessing and deriding, residing within the moment both mocking and appreciative of those inhabiting. Ultimately, it was my most productive period, artistically, and I could feel little less in the way of its poignancy. A little less, I say, as I had not yet achieved the utterly bereft nothing I experience currently.
I haven't made much in a few years, and what I have produced came reluctantly, like a spread-eagle baby clawing at the walls of the uterus, reeling that massive cranium away from the light of the birth canal, refusing the impending. Maybe I was better off giving up entirely. Perhaps I should stop desiring that wanton need for personal creativity. Why elevate expression beyond the egotistical and indulgent? Devalue the product of your labors and your workload may cease.
Why protest another war, promote another candidate that seeks to abolish the Federal Reserve, or educate your periphery of their complicity via purchases from these warmongering, abusive companies? Why not pay whatever taxes demanded of you, gladly, whilst billions go hiding in off-shore havens, irrevocably? Why not drink from the tap, unfiltered, and smiling?
I've gone from strongly disagreeing with the old adage "That's just the way it is" to complete and utter ambivalence with the understanding "That's just the way everyone wants it." I refuse to take part in this rigmarole, yet, I try not to judge it as incorrect. My own ascertainment and adjudication remains inexorably fallible. Others seek not my consultation, therefore its value is aptly meaningless. Does the nihilistic acceptance of such abhorrence increase my comfort with it? Can't say, if I'm honest. Truly, I can't even say if I'm honest.
One thing remains certain: I age. My bodily struggles increase. My available time alive and cognizant diminishes. My newfound need to create comes neither from desire nor a sense of urgency. I assess no attentive audience awaiting, and my complacency holds little sway over its abandonment. To quote another, greater, more successful artist would be hypocritical at this juncture. I am all that remains to be seen and experienced by me. All else is merely worship.
In the days left before my last, bereft of breath, I seek to mar each step with accepted death. Let the elephants have the room. The beyond holds greater depth. With no aspiration to avert certain doom, no hope of atonement for the groom, let us, swept into the darkening pull of the undertow, hard press our last two cents.
There's some old book that says "There is nothing new under the sun." Challenge accepted.