Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lies, Damn Lies and Artists

So, my daughter wants to be an artist , no, not that kind of artist, a graphic artist. You know the kind that is actually interested in making money.

Months ago she sent out applications to 4 Universities/colleges that have degree programs in Graphic Arts. Each of these schools required a portfolio which my Daughter dutifully and painstakingly produced from her sketchbooks and paintings. She also had to include “artist’s statements” on her work and write an essay as to why she wanted to become a commercial graphic artist.

Having written the essay she brought it to me to proofread. I had only gotten about one paragraph into the essay when I stopped. It was full of statements about her “making a difference through her art” and extolling the virtue of art to change society.

“Do you really believe all this?” I asked.

“No, but that’s what the schools want.” She said.

“So telling them that you want to make lots of money so that you can be a functioning and productive member of society is out of the question?”

“Yes.”

So I read the rest of the essay, and corrected only for grammar and not content. The socialist mantra my daughter had espoused was a means to an end, I was happy about that at least.

But the incident bothered me, and still does.

Why is it necessary for us to hide the healthy, rational and logical reasons for our desire to work?

Why is it necessary for my daughter to lie and refer to the social ramifications of art and artists when all she wants to do is earn a decent living off of something that she enjoys and is good at?

But this tendancy is not new, when I joined the Army and was asked why, I would often say that I did it to serve my country, but slowly I began to realize that my reason, the real reason I joined the Army was to make a living. I was a mercenary, pure and simple.

I would not have spent 22 years soldiering if I had not been well paid for my service. Yes I served my country but making a living was THE reason behind it, not the other way round.

Sadly though altruism trumps honesty, integrity and rationality in the socialist age.

Until we as individuals learn to reject the altruistic lie and tell the whole truth about why we do something as fundamental to our way of life as work, we will continue to win the battle but loose the war with socialist thought.

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