Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Artists are the Best People in the World

Ok, that’s a little grandiose. There are several artists I can think of right off the top of my head who are or were horrible a-holes (I’m looking at you, Paul Cezanne). Frigging two-timer. Anyway, what sets (most) artists apart from other people is our ability to speak the truth and appreciate beauty. This is an undervalued trait that should make people wish they were an artist.

I live in Washington, DC. For the most part, I try to ignore politics. But that’s a little like living in Minneapolis and trying to ignore Prince—hard to do. Right now, I’m sick to death of these moronic politicians trying to out-posture each other for the sake of getting what they want during the debt ceiling fiaso/crisis/crapstorm. This macho inability to show flexibility and acknowledge that each side has to give a little in order to make the deal work is so depressing, and it’s all happening mere miles from where I now sit.

But enough about politics. A true artist doesn’t have the luxury of “posturing”; they have to produce work that people will either like or dislike. It’s extraordinarily simple. They cannot utter platitudes and empty phrases and hope people will take them seriously. They cannot rely on an unthinking cadre of robots who have been conditioned to do anything they say. An artist has to put up or shut up. And this is a beautiful thing because you owe no one anything, and they don't owe you anything, but you have exchanged love in the bargain.

So thank the universe every day that it made you the way you are. Because what’s the alternative? I love this Tom Robbins quote:

“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government
and business.”

Amen. Believe in the magic within you. You have the power to make people forget their troubles and give them hope, and that’s more power than any dopey politician has.

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