So, I have an art block…or at least I take the time to tell people about it. What that means is that I am either too afraid or too tired to actually produce some content. So my movie has hit a psychic roadblock, my visions remain mere visions, and all the while I am dying to get things over with. Work has also been very stressful as of late, as the holiday season looms and my ability (and desire) to please every person I meet is tested to its breaking point. At least I’ll get a bonus. Probably.
But as I face my artistic lull, I find myself going back to the one thing that bothers me: the idea of the artistic standard. I kinda talked about it when going over my angst of being good enough, but I can’t let it go. I can’t let go how someone develops the gall to declare how things should be and to denigrate everything else in comparison. Yes, I understand how guilty I am of this. Yes, I have standards, but I wonder why I have standards. I wonder if I deserve to have them, if it feels like I am so far behind that I will never catch up…but then why should I catch up?
Right now, I am about to subject myself to a movie that got a bad review from Peter Sobczynski of Roger Ebert.com, “The Gunman”. Why? Well, because for some reason I find mediocrity more interesting than the polar opposites it sits in the middle of: greatness and awfulness. Having a canon full of predictable choices like, “The Godfather” and “The Room” may give one a huge list of cinematic don’t/do, but to aim for either spectrum is to ignore the reality: most works of art are consumed and then forgotten, even with the best intentions/efforts of the artists themselves. Mediocrity doesn’t offend, but doesn’t dazzle…and it’s a default that many of us slip into, because to be evil or good requires strained, sustained effort. Art is said to be created from sacrifice, but society is propped up by lots of tiny subjects whose, “sacrifice” gives little in the way of glory, and we ignore that until it’s too late. Until another Terrorist Attack happens. Until another Natural Disaster happens. Civilization is a pillar of self-proclaimed greatness built on the bones, flesh and blood of the so-called worthless.
I hate contributing to the construction of it. I want to burn it. All of it. Even the playing field, be the force that brings unequal civilizations to a Great End that allows the unwashed to be free. Yes, even if they don’t know what capers are. Yes, even if they hate the movie, “Drive” for being, “Too slow”. Yes, even if they think that Taco Bell is good Mexican Food. You know why? Because the more I create and think, the more I loathe the whole structure of things and those who succeed as its rulers. Loathe how this civilization crushes people, loathe how it sucks all enthusiasm and life dry just to provide some lights for its next empty spectacle. The market of Art is little more than a bloodbath, a catastrophe where people slice each other’s throats for the chance to be branded with a price tag, and for what?
Maybe I’m addicted to struggle and poverty(relative, because I’m in the U.S. and have a decent-paying job). Maybe. But I have seen so much of the other side. Seen the abuse, witnessed the loneliness, gaped at how those with the most have the least in mind, heart and soul…and I can’t bear the thought of being like them. But I try to adjust my malice. Try to aim it to good means. Hence I license everything I create under Creative Commons. I may ask for donations, but at this point, with the way things are going, with the way the memory of Anne Frank is being exploited in the name of, “Copyright”, with the TPP on the horizon, and with media creation being a huge game of exclusion, whitewashing and bullshit…I just can’t stand it. Why would I want to succeed by this civilization’s rules? Why should anyone want to succeed in this environment?
I don’t like hating the creative world. I don’t like lacking the energy to get into things I love just because I’m either so tired or so afraid of the consequences of existing that I can barely get into it. I don’t like acting like James Caan at the end of, “Thief”, setting fire to everything around them just because they’re not getting what they wanted. But I’m going through it now. Might as well try to get it over with, let things go. This project of mine, “Alpha City”, has been suffering enough. Things are going to fall apart. Might as well get it out of the way, with love.
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