Thursday, October 17, 2013

Crayon Drawings Hanging on the Fridge

How creative minds are busily building their own prison.

Artists, God love 'em, are wonderfully naive. They simply want to pursue their art, whether it be painting, music, the theater or whatever. Unfortunately, art isn't always a very good way to make money. You seem to have to die first before anyone is willing to pay for what you've produced.  Film and TV actors are probably the artistic exception to that rule - a few authors perhaps. 

What artists and would-be artists want more than anything is a patron - someone who will support them while they produce great art so they don't have to wait tables or operate a cash register at Walmart. They want a little dignity while they do their art - a little bread; a warm place to stay.

Now along comes a new "patron" that promises them freedom to pursue their art - government. A very progressive form of government it will be too. There will be bread and healthcare for all we are told. "affordable" housing, public transportation and all the food you need so that you may pursue your vision in perfect freedom.

And the artist in us loves the idea of such a sugar daddy. Finally, someone understands and appreciates us.  We begin producing art that supports this noble idea, that will surely create the utopian state we have so long dreamed about. Like those crayon drawings we hang on the fridge, their work is displayed in public museums, acted out on publicly paid for stages and on PBS. They sing the praises of the hope and change that is promised.

Their hearts swell with pride that they live in a nation with such wise leaders and visionary administrators. They ignore the discomforts that inevitably (as they are told) go along with such dramatic changes. Because we are all now equal in the sight of the government, we must try to be a little more the same. After all, an artist is not better than a plumber. Why should they receive such vastly disparate rewards if they have done well. All artists can be rewarded the same and only then will true creativity flourish.

Too late, the artist discovers that their patron has become their master and it is only as they are marched away to the gulags and the guillotines that they discover that their master really doesn't like criticism.

Too late they come to understand that if it is the government that makes everyone "the same" (a far different thing than allowing us all to be "equal"), then the government must inevitably stifle creativity and individualism and lop off the head of anyone who sticks it above the crowd. It is a sacrifice that must be made to save the utopia that has been created by the power of the great leaders.

Too late the artist discovers the true cost of his guarantee of bread and a warm place to stay.

Just one man's opinion,

Tom King
© 2013

1 comment:

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