Stupid is bad and bad is stupid, no exceptions.
All of local, national and international problems are the products of an enormous accumulation of stupidity. How did we get to this point? Who is responsible? I have been debating this question for a long time and all the leads point to the same place. The place where humans learn their ways; the education system.
The education system is responsible for a lot of today’s malfunctions. In a simplistic way, here is why: In educational institutions everything is measured and given a grade. They carried this grading system over to art schools, which, in turn, passed it onto the rest of the world through their art students and their art shows. Some of these art students opened up art galleries or got jobs in art museums where they applied their misguided ways compounding the problem. Art galleries cater to decorators and architects looking for crafty things like paintings to color-match the couches they are hanging over. Art museums are playing it safe by showing old masters’ art work that no one can object to. It is only helping them make money. So what does the average person learn? That it’s all about money and to want nothing more from life than more money.
This is a system that makes art shows into theme competitions and whomever fulfills the theme best wins. This whole concept is a lot of manure filtering through and trickling down into our society resulting in misguided perceptions and values about art and life. This is directly responsible for today’s state of the world and the arts, with all its sociopolitical and economic failures. This “theme” idea is trickled down into everything. It is even carried into wars where lives are lost. Imagine, giving war names like Arabian Nights, Desert Storm or Gee Wiz, It’s Still a War. Does giving war a “theme” make it better for anybody? War is bad and bad is stupid, no exceptions.
You cannot give an artist a theme to create within. Its like a bird being free to fly anywhere in it’s cage. Art has led humans out of their caves and into civilization and somehow we manage to put everything in reverse. The ones responsible for the grading system get their jobs without a measuring system. Why? No one should be in a leadership position in education or government with an IQ of less then 125. Let’s measure the measurers and get the stupid ones out. No intelligent senator or congress person will object to this and all will get behind a bill like this. In fact, they all will get behind a bill like this. Only the stupid ones will object.
Life and art are not a race or a competition or a game. A life’s worth should not be measured with money but with what that life did for its immediate surroundings and the rest of humanity. If we were to measure the worth of the lives of Aristotle, Shakespeare, Van Gogh and Mother Teresa with what was in their income tax form “1040,” they would be classified as bums, profiled and abused by the law, and if they had to fill out any kind of forms or applications they would have had to check the box OTHER and not philosopher, writer, artist or saint.
You don’t go to college because you are going to make more money with your degree but for the happiness this knowledge will bring to your life. A happy life will do wonders for its surroundings and humanity. And by the way, a happy life will have no need for drugs. The geniuses in our school system, at the office of the DEA, White House, Senate and Congress need to do something and show us that college did not fail them.
Years ago, I sent a letter to the White House and a copy to that worthless institute The National Endowment for the Arts, giving them a unique and simple idea costing nothing to the tax payer. The idea was to make purchases of fine art Tax Deductible when the purchase of art is directly from the artist. There is no wasted time filling up bureaucratic forms and applying to committees which are governed by people who do not care about the artist but only their own careers. These people and their careers are paid for with taxpayer money for doing absolutely nothing.
If purchases of fine art were Tax Deductible the artists would get direct help to go on with his/her art. This will stop taxpayer money being spent on committees deciding who deserves a grant. No taxpayer money would be spent for the grant either! Now that I think about it, this may put the institute and its committee members instantly out of business. No wonder they lost my letter.
Some random thoughts of how to bring about a little change:
What about making a change in all the forms under the category listing professions? Change the word “other” into some new options like philosopher, poet, writer, and artist. Some of us are artists, not others.
You cannot talk fine art. You paint fine art. It is a very strange paradox that art critics make a good living from. They do it by criticizing the artists who make the very art they are making a living from. It is time to remember that society does not create the artists. Indeed, it is the other way around. Let’s help our artists to help our desperately needy society. You can start helping today. See a play, a movie, an art show, buy a new book, a new CD or treat yourself to fine art, if you can’t afford it I will give it to you free (just email me). And help someone who needs your help. Start a revolution. Should you need help email me.
March 12, 2009 3:19 pm
Just a note to tell you that I really agree with and enjoyed your article re: What’s Going On?
Your ideas make perfect sense. I’m studying to become an Interior Designer in hopes that I can utilize my art and still hopefully make a living (but in this economy – who knows?).
Looking at artists as more that bums is a paradigm shift that perhaps one day people will make, but I think unfortunately most people are mystified by the whole process, and because of this we are seen as spoiled brats, or parasites.
Art in itself is pure. It comes from our desire to communicate and create. I only wish supplies were free!
Also, my art teacher agrees with you!