Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Today our neighbors had their driveway resealed. Now from the point of view of the artist this seems right up there on the "Top Ten Colossal Wastes of Money by Americans" list. That someone would think about their driveway at all, let alone worry about it enough to pay someone to reseal it is indeed mind-boggling. Extending my vision further down the street I see several brand new GIGANTIC pick-up trucks. And when I say GIGANTIC I mean Godzilla could ride in back; I mean, I've had apartments that were smaller. And if I could extend my vision even further to the local miracle mile, I would see huge flat screen TVs for sale for thousands of dollars each. Yet we are of course in a Recession. Rent, food, gas prices are all sky high. And of course in a Recession nobody has any money to buy fine art. Art, after all, is a luxury, and art galleries are suffering dearly. So my question is, what's up with the $60,000 pick-up trucks? With the flat screen HDTVs, with the resealed driveways? People obviously have money enough or credit enough to spend on these necessities! I worry about my fellow Americans. I wonder if they have any self-awareness at all, or if they are pod-people whose souls have been snatched away, whose minds have been so infiltrated by TV commercials and celebrities and media propaganda and religious dogma that their thoughts are no longer their own. I mean, what, do you wake up one morning and say, "I must buy a pick-up truck that's 40 feet long and gets four miles to the gallon!" Or "We need a four foot wide flat screen HDTV so we can have the best TV with the best picture and sound on the market so we can watch 'American Idol'!" I fear that the LCD--the infamous "lowest common denominator" has perhaps won the day. Decade upon decade of the bombardment of images, of how we're supposed to look, act, feel, live and what we're supposed to buy, it's all become part of our consciousness to the point of it becoming who we are. We are what we think. And if we don't think for ourselves then someone else will gladly step in and think for us. It's like the old Dracula myth, that Dracula cannot come into your home unless he is first invited. I want people to think for themselves; to be aware of what things want to be invited into their minds. The world needs its artists now more than ever because of this. Because if they're worth their salt, our artists are the ones who point the way through all the detritus to the authentic, to the truly necessary.