Complaining ≠ activism.
When you have a child
You create a half-clone of yourself.
And then you try your damnedest
To prevent unfavourable phenotypic expression.
Love is a biochemical strategy concocted by your genes
To help them propagate.
It is dressed up in social ritual
And awash in oxytocin.
To know this
Is not to diminish its power in any real way.
Increasing dependence on corporations,
Decreasing dependence on each other.
Art may be the last outpost in the defence of free speech.
Image by Misha Sokolnikov
Is it possible to have ‘worn the mask’ for so long
That you forget who you are?
Is it not so much a matter of ‘forgetting’
As it is a matter of ‘transformation’
The mask fused to the face,
The old face gone?
Maybe there is no face, and no mask
Just outdated ideas about
Who you were once
Who you wanted to be
Clinging to identification
Clinging to self-conflict.
Or maybe it isn’t.
What’s most important is that you’re happy with who you are.
What some refer to as ‘cultural appropriation’ (ie. the transference of ideas and practices from one group to another) is the mechanism by which culture spreads.
You can try and restrict this transfer from certain groups to another
But this kind of defeats the whole point of culture in the first place;
A free interchange that enriches collective human culture.
The transfer is not unidirectional
And in such a cultural exchange, both sides can benefit
(…though you could argue that one side may benefit more than the other).
Put another way
Cultural appropriation is a part of how culture works.
Bringing it into the realm of identity politics
And trying to rearrange it
So that only some groups can benefit from it
Is both misguided and impossible.
Having an aversion to working a ‘real job’ could be a net benefit in cases in which you’re looking to pursue an ‘alternative’ career – eg. an artistic endeavour with a much lower probability of success (eg. making a living), but with fame and higher financial rewards on the upside (music, acting, comedy, writing etc).
Put simply, it forces you to go ‘all in’. It does not allow you to get comfortable in a normal career.
However – it’s only a benefit to those with the talent and drive to pursue their art/high-risk, high-reward occupation. And even amongst those people, luck is a massive factor.
Which means you either succeed or fail spectacularly. You don’t get to live in ‘the middle’. To work in middle management, and live in a nice, middle-sized house, oh no…
As a glib example: you’re either a millionaire entertainer, raking in the royalties or you move from service job to service job, eking out a living whilst you work on your comedy until you die.
The deck is stacked against you, but if it’s what you’re called to, there is no other way, I suppose.
To me, this is the life of the artist – no compromise. All or nothing.