Art Snobs.

I got into a debate the other day with someone who went on this whole rant about Marilyn Manson and how can he call himself and artist, and how rappers are unintelligent because they have no grasp of the English language and how there are “posers” in the art world and blah blah.  It’s here if you wanna read it. If not scroll on.

I can’t stand Marilyn Manson. He is like fingernails being dragged against the chalkboard of my mind. Want to call him an asshole, but, I can’t, because assholes actually play an important role in our digestive tracts and have a purpose. So Marilyn Manson, in the end, NOT an asshole. I kindly admit that he might be what spews forth from said asshole. I get the entire “what is art?” thing. So talentless jerks are going to jump on that bandwagon and use the “you’re just too stupid to understand” argument to give legitimacy to a lack of talent thing. To use an old, worn example, being on stage makes you a performer about as much as being in a garage makes you a car. Let’s throw reality television, and most of the drool of what is on tv into the mix. Read the letters written by Civil War soldiers, back in the 1860’s, compared to what the average American writes today. There was an eloquence of language that the average person today cannot grasp. Listen to rap and hip-hop lyrics. Terrible usage of the English language. And, the inability to utilize the proper use of a language is a reflection on the user. Rather than attempting to rise above the lowest levels of intelligence, the general public embraces the dumbing-down of our intelligence levels. So much garbage being presented. Intellectual numbing. Brain atrophy. Spiritual feel-good nonsense. Look at the average racist on both sides of the fence. What is the common denominator of hate? Lack of education. Stupid people blindly following other, more eloquently spoken idiots. Racism is cancer of the soul. Accepting the poetry of the illiterate and thoughtless entertainment as the benchmark of what is art is thoughtless and a deadening of the creative spirit. Embracing a spirituality, philosophy, or religion, based upon nice feelings, or the attraction to what sounds different for pointless rebellious behavior, is moronic. Can you give a reason, a well-thought answer, as to why you believe what you believe? Can you give a reason why you enjoy what you do? Or dislike or disagree with a point, thought, belief for a legitimate reason? Do you know the difference between having an argument and being argumentative? Do you know how to listen? Can you stop your thought process from trying to present your next point and honestly stop and listen to what is being said to you? Can you understand that the difference between a white man and a black man, biologically is less than 1%? That there is only one skin-type, and skin color is based upon the amount of pigmentation within your cells? That many biologists think the term “race” needs to be struck from our vocabulary? There is only one human race. What makes us different is cultural and social. Stop the hate. Wake up and think. Embrace a belief-system that you find to be true within your soul, and not based on what you were raised to be. Continue to learn, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Know that faith and reason can co-exist. Learn to be open to love on many levels. Stop pre-judging. Learn to dance in one way, shape or form. Step beyond the bounds that pop culture sets. Be open to learning something new. Learn to juggle. Embrace the wisdom that comes with age. You don’t have to like everyone, but learn to love despite differences. Put down the remote controls, the game controllers, and go from virtual reality to reality. Let the people who you love know that you love them, before it’s too late. Think. Question. Explore. Be open. Learn to play again with the carefree abandon you once embraced as a child. Shalom.

I simply left a comment telling him that everything is relative.  That one person’s truth is not another’s, and that art is subjective.

He then came back and argued that the statement of everything is relative would in then contradict itself (and in theory it does . . . that is the beauty of irony and just how ironic that statement is)

Again I pointed out that to judge someone based on their “grasp” of the English language was not fair and because he doesn’t “get” something, doesn’t mean that its form of expression should be discounted.  And again, it’s all relative because nothing is ever and truly absolute.  (Well, I guess that may not be entirely true, for when you get into numbers there are absolutes. . .)

I mean, you don’t have to like it.  You don’t even have to get it.  But who is anyone to say what art is and what is not?  Who is the authority to make such definitive declarations?

Who died and made this guy the Fucking Art God?

So imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning to this long ass message from him trying to “school” me on what performance is, and what art should be considered.

Seriously?

So here is my retort mixed in with what he just had to say to me.

 

I understand what you are expressing as far as art goes. I have a BFA in Fine Arts in theater. Studied Comedia del Arte, dance, mask work, clown theater, circus performing, comedy writing, martial arts, and physical comedy. I performed full-time, for over 10 years professionally from coast-to-coast in the US, Canada, and the Bahamas, in the comedy club circuit. I quit, not because I sucked, but because I was attempting to hold a marriage together, which failed anyway. I have, way back when, appeared on Comedy Central and Good Morning America.

 

Well good for you.  That’s great, but just because you hold a degree in “theater” doesn’t really mean anything.  There are a lot of talented actors/performers out there who do not have degrees. . . does that make them any less talented than you? Just because you have all this experience performing, does this make you any better than say. .. Bonk at juggling?  Or  N and C at spinning?  Or any other well named Comedian/actor/performer? 

 

And the only reason I have not gotten back into performance is because I have been dealing with cancer issues and now need a job with health benefits.

Sorry to hear.  That really sucks. 

I am familiar with eastern and western philosophy.

I recognize quality performance, funny people, and the real-deal apart from posers.

What exactly is a poser?  How can YOU say what is genuine and what is not?  That would be like me saying that I think you are a poser in the flow arts community because you’re talent is not as “original” as say Bonk’s or N? How can you so flippantly deny the expression of people’s “art”, which to them, IS genuine?  Just because you don’t get it or feel it, doesn’t mean that someone else out there doesn’t get it or feel it. 

 I appreciate your input in my argument, but all truth is not relevant. To say that there is no such thing as Absolute Truth is a statement of absolute truth.

There in lies the irony no?  Either way you spin it, the negation of each opposing statement, would therefore make it true. No?  Again. It’s all subjective. Unless we are talking numbers, there is no absolute truth per se.  What you love today you may not love tomorrow.  What is acceptable one day, may not be so the next.  How one perceives the world, another may not.  Whilst most will agree on certain subject matters/ethics/morals there a few that will not.  Thus, making a “truth” not absolute.  It is relative, to whomever or whatever is relating or observing it.

 And, if we must accept that all people are capable of expressing what they feel to be true, then where do we draw the line? Some men think it is fine to rape women. There are people who absolutely believe that murder and hurting children is ok. Hitler, Stalin and every other mass murder was certain that what they did was right. And does taking a photograph of a naked man with his little finger deeply inserted into his urethra and framing it “art”? That has been done. Not all forms of expression are art. And not all expression is worth hearing.

Who then decides what is worth hearing and seeing?  Should that not be left up to the individual?  Or only those who have Fine Art degrees in Theater?  Who made you the say all and be all of what art is and what is not?  Your degree?  Your experience?  Have you experienced all there is to experience in life?  And then some?  Sorry, but it’s just a piece of paper.  If a man feels its fine to rape women, then that is his truth.  However, there are consequences.  As with all things.  Is this something that the majority of the human race believes or feels is right? I should hope not.  But unfortunately there ARE people out there who have dark beliefs.  What Hitler and Stalin believed, were THEIR truths, despite the fact that the rest of the world saw them as evil.  Does it excuse their behavior?  No.  Yet again, that was what THEY believed.  It was how THEY perceived THEIR realities to be, and tried to impose those realities on the rest of civilization.  They are what they were.  Unfortunately Skipp, we do not live in a perfect world.  Evil exists. Those who participate in such heinous acts and behavior make that THEIR reality, and probably have a hard time seeing that life should be any other way but.  Just as those who try to lead moral and righteous lives feel the same way about the paths they have CHOSEN.

 

 

Gangsta rap embraces a culture of violence, glorifying the killing of police officers, drug abuse, and degrading women.

Because unfortunately Skipp, this is the background that a lot of these artists come from.  This is all THEY know.  This is how THEY relate to the world.  Does it make them stupid?  Absolutely not.  And not all “gangsta” rap is about killing police officers and so on.

It would be like me telling you that your juggling is stupid, because I can’t relate to how feel that is a form of “flow”.  Or that I think you’re a juggling jack ass because you associate with the OBU.

Hasn’t it been said that one should write about what they know?  That is what they know, so that is what they choose to rap about. 

What is sad is that SOCEITY and PARENTS do not EDUCATE the youth, that what these artists are saying, is not something that should be glamorized and imitated. That the real role models should be people in direct contact with our youth’s lives. We live in a society that glamorizes violence and sex.  So to place blame strictly on this genre is ludicrous.  And not the rapper.  Ha!

 

And this entire mis-conception that Christians are not to judge others is wrong.

I am not Christian.  So I don’t know where you are trying to go with this.  I am however a human being, who feels that it is not fair to “judge” other solely based on the lack of opportunities that I have been so fortunate and blessed with.  If I don’t “understand” something, I try to look and see why it is that a person is expressing themselves the way they are.   If I sill don’t get it, then I just chalk it up and a case of agree to disagree.  It is their path to walk.  Not mine. 

Bottom line. . . we all have our opinions. 

I once saw a performance group of people rolling around on the floor eating twinkies.  Everyone in the audience thought it was brilliant. . . I did not.  Does that give me the right to go around and try and negate what everyone else felt and believed to be a form of entertainment?  Who am I to tell those people that what they just experienced wasn’t “real”

Do I have the right to tell someone who just sat in a chair having Marina Abramovic stare at them for 20 minutes, that while it may have moved them personally, what she is doing is total shit and not an expression of “art”?

 

 Read deeper, within the bounds of what the entire book is saying, the original audience it was written for, the political and historical climate at the time of the writing, and not simply pulling verses out individually and you will find that entire judgment thing is about turning your attention inward and seeking to see your own faults, prior to being quick to pass judgment on others.

Please do not lecture me on the bible.  I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school.  Spent many long laborious boring hours reading the damn thing.  You speak of turning your attention inward and seeking your own faults, yet you refuse to recognize that your statements are indeed a “judgment” against a specific group of people.  “And, the inability to utilize the proper use of a language is a reflection on the user.”

If that is not a judgment against someone, I don’t know what is.

 

My friend, forgive this rant, but you opened a door for further discussion regarding these matters. I didn’t mean to toot my own horn in the beginning of this message to you, but wanted you to understand that I am not just some random observer, but someone who has experience in the performing arts. And, like the old saying goes, being on stage makes you a performer as much as standing in a garage makes you a car.

I too am a “performer”.  I have been acting/performing on and off stage for the past 15 years or so.  I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing people.  And some not so amazing people.  I have worked with people who have your kind of “experience” and they were probably, in my opinion, some of the worst performers I have ever come across.  Then I have worked with people who just have a natural raw talent about them, never setting foot in an acting class.  So to tout your accomplishments in my face, while from a life perspective, great for you, but as something to “prove” to me that you “know” what you are talking about. . .well, sorry. . doesn’t mean shit to me. 

We are  ALL random observers of life. 

 

Have a peaceful and prosperous 2013.

 

You too.

 

 

Art Snobs.  Psh.

 

 

 

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