Special Feature: Art and hypercapitalism

Monday 5 October 2020, 8.00pm HKT


SPECIAL FEATURE FINALE
ONCE in a blue moon, I get to witness how thinking too much causes problems.

Exhibit refused: “Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp (signing as R. Mutt), 1917. Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz. (via Wikipedia)

How do artists cope with living in a society of plutocratic hypercapitalism?

What I mean by that is, once you realise you have no power over anything whatsoever and you are meant to be ‘controlled’ by corporations for maximised gains, you tend to lose the will to live and the motivation to pursue larger-than-life concepts. Or maybe you pursue art exactly because of that to escape it (at least in your mind).

For me, it’s the opposite. The art I would do would be for entertainment. Ironically, that in itself is precisely what makes it all go to shit in its current state. Even if I go the route of simple thinking and enjoy a simple life, I’m still a victim of systems that work against me. I still have to draw for cheap money. I still have to whore myself out so I don’t starve. I don’t know, but I feel like I had lost a purpose to do anything, really.

I realise that learning and doing art is one of those few things that can actually help me feel more like a human being. I just don’t know how to form a good mindset for that.Art Dickmouth

In short, you’re also interested in how to be a bum, right?

It isn’t hypercapitalism. Not even capitalism. It’s just the nature of society everywhere since the beginning of time.

Don’t “cope” — ADJUST. If you (as you put it) can pursue art to escape this “hypercapitalism” and “whore yourself out,” then you are already adjusting — why ask about “coping”?

There is literally NO POINT to knowing or asking about how others ‘cope.’ You need only know two things:—

  1. What are the commonest things you are having to cope with?
  2. Why are they still common things you have to cope with when you know their effects on you?

If I chucked you into the wilderness with no laws and no bills to pay, you still have to do the stuff you dislike in order to survive — fetching water, hunting, foraging, farming, raising livestock, build a shack, make tools and clothes, and so on.

Gee, I don’t know, maybe it’s because pretty much everything we see around us that’s not a stump or a natural rock formation was made possible by small businesses and bigger corporations. Your art materials and mobile phone are made by companies, if you’ve noticed.

If you don’t want to work, go act crazy or cripple yourself so you can be a part of that universal income apparatus called WELFARE like many people do.

  • If anything, capitalism is overall better for you. Maybe you have to ‘whore’ out your art or yourself to make ends meet, but at least that’s related to your interest and, hopefully, be recognised for it.

Most companies have a gross profit margin of 10% to 15%. This means 85% to 90% of the money they make goes into employee payroll, rent, technological research, insurance, and then taxes. Ultimately that “10–15%” money is used for the creation of a product or service (in your case, art) that people would want to pay for because it provides a ‘benefit’ to them. How can that arrangement possibly offend you? LMAO.

  • Contention:— “Plutocratic” was there for a reason.

You gave none. You presumed the rest of us would know what you mean by your fancy term “plutocratic hypercapitalism,” which, by the way, makes no sense in economics or political science.

What has plutocracy got to do with anything? The wealthy has always influenced and controlled the government. With companies, it has to be plutocratic because there’s no other feasible way. Plutocracy is also relative — I’m ‘wealthy’ relative to my employees, but I’m scarcely wealthy in objective terms. So what’s your point?

Ever heard of wage-cutting and looking for cheaper labour? Plutocracy and hypercapitalism my foot.

Art is no different. If you’re not in the top 5%, you have to meet bigger and bigger expectations while getting the same or sometimes a lesser amount of money.

It’s self-evident from looking at the quality of art 15 or 20 years ago and compare it to now. You have to be like a million times better now than before, but you get generally the same or less money because of inflation and so on. It’s pathetic but that’s “capitaluserism” for you.

WHAT YOU ARE NOT TELLING US

You talk of “losing the will to live” due to having “no control over anything whatsoever” and “meant to be controlled” by mega-corporations or plutocratic hypercapitalism — and I’m asking why you see it that way. Losing the will to live is a pretty extreme reaction to a form of ECONOMICS for someone claiming no control yet have the control to escape the system by pursuing something EXPENSIVE like art and whoring it out.

I’m curious as to what are you not telling us because you’re using the meaningless words “plutocratic” and “hypercapitalism” — one of the classic fascist/communist agitprop ploys to play people off against each other. You’re using “art” as a launchpad for running the ploy of the few vs. the many.

Hypercapitalism is politicalspeak for “unregulated capitalism” — political euphemism for “imperialism” to disguise it under the cloak of economics. It was the capitalism of the 19th century. It ended after the First World War. We don’t have that anymore due to the fact that we have uniform trade treaties between countries and national laws regulating employment conditions, wages, consumer rights and so on.

Plutocracy is the wealthy influencing or controlling the government. There is nothing strange or new about this because this has been going on for centuries. I’ve already explained plutocracy in companies in the 12th paragraph above.

Capitalism — or whatever you like to call it — is a traditional pattern of nature since the New Stone Age. It is not an actual ‘system.’ Economics treats things in terms of systems behaviour to analyse the variables and predict trajectories.

Art is just expression, no more and no less. Even if aliens exist and land on Earth, they will do more business with us than art. Selling art is selling this ‘expression,’ and it’s kind of weird desu too, I grant you that.

At first, even The Naked Listener thought it was a megacorp conspiracy hating on art. I’m afraid it’s worse than that:—

  • Art itself is not only for money but for loving it.

This is literally everywhere in every field. That’s just how society is going to continue on until the population implodes or there’s a shortage of workers for every conceivable job.

Oh, wait, by then everything will be automated and robots will do everything for the 100,000 or so human beings that still survive then — just like all those barely populated planets in Star Wars or Star Trek.

NOT ADDRESSING YOUR POINT

I said that you get the same amount of money for doing art today while the required quality had to be a lot better than before. This is tantamount to saying less money obtainable for the same quality given because of inflation and other economic factors.

Is THAT a healthy industry for you?

Theoretically, I could get unbelievably good like da Vinci or Michelangelo and be well off — but that’s not what 99% of artists got in any century.

Some people think (and automatically brand) anyone a “commie” for desiring some degree of equality and equity. But seeing flaws in a system doesn’t make a person a “commie” any more than wilful blindness makes one a “fascist.”

The citizens of the former USSR all knew the Soviet economy was shit, crumbling and unequal even with no inkling how life was in the imperialist West. “Commie” much?

Japan is the perfect “communist” society, but you’ll get your face bashed in from calling anyone there a “commie” because they’re out-and-out capitalists.

  • If anything, capitalism helps make artists rich and opens up possibilities to more people in art.

The bunch who wants “equality” plus the group that brands others as “commie” or “fascist” are people who hang around with (and hang onto) kiddie ideas. They don’t have enough experience of the real world, no matter what their age.

The bunch that disses the equalityfags operate on the idea of “Life is unfair” or “There is no equality in life” — and they are closet dumbarses because they didn’t learn to know the final part of those phrases, which is “… but we can improve things.” This bunch is precisely the people who have no control over anything whatsoever because they are victims of systems that found it easy to work against them. So they don’t see the need to improve anything (or themselves) because “hey, that’s life” and the system treats them for what they are — like dust.

At least the equalityfags (the less extreme versions) still aren’t too victimised and still have a modicum of control to have a crack at making improvements.

Meanwhile the equalityfags insist having equality, often at once with a hard reset to society, and they are equally brain-damaged. They operate on the idea of “We are all born equal” — not learning to know the phrase end with the words, “but we lead different, separate lives.” We spill the same blood in the same mud, but some spill earlier or spill more than others. So it’s “Oklahoma, or Bust!” with them because they don’t have the self-control to stick around long enough for the improvement effort to work its way through the inertia of the system. So they create various schemes to shoehorn ‘equality’ into things — at the expense of fairness. In the process, they become like the unfairfags above.

Just get good at the art you do. This allows you to have a fighting chance of making a living off it. You’re entirely free to do or not do. Nothing in the world stops you from getting good at it, though lots of circumstances in life can make it hard or even impossible for you to do so.

You cannot in good faith complain that you have to “slave away” at a company job or whoring yourself in art. Either you want to sell your skills, or you’re a lazy bum. You can even freelance. There’s really little or nothing to complain about.

  • The ‘flaws’ in art or the art world that some ‘artists’ bitch about are simply because of competition.

What am I suggesting with that? That we have an artist “battle royale” so we can cull and thin out the competition?

  • You are COMPETING in and with a GLOBAL market in art. That’s how it is. It’s the same in other fields.

The situation you’re facing is competition. The difference is you’re calling it by a made-up label that has no validity in economics and no meaningful definition in political science. Then you rabbit on about the system victimises you but with opportunities for your whoring-out because the system is run by the select few, which altogether has no bearing on the form of art you do in a system that doesn’t mandate you to do an approved artform. What are you not telling us?

That competition comes from more and more people getting into the art domain. Those increased numbers of people stem from both ballooning population levels and general upward development of societies everywhere.

People get better in their knowledge or skills in art. More and more information are freely available online. People are no longer tied to their parents’ or grandparents’ line of work, unlike the generations before us.

Andy Warhol was competing against barely a dozen other artists of his calibre and style, but was already eclipsed by some 500 others in his niche by the time he died. Henri Cartier-Bresson was unique in genre and aesthetics in his time, but tens of thousands were doing the HCB thing by the ’70s and ’80s when camera and film prices went down to mass-affordability levels. Imagine Warhol and Cartier-Bresson having to compete against today’s deluge of just those on digital with even a little bit of art or photographic training. The bar goes up for literally everybody.

So it’s bizarre what you’re complaining about. It’s a simple trade, and people want to make good deals.

  • If art is your passion in life, then you’ll be happy to make a living off it. Indeed, you’re lucky to be able to whore yourself out for art because lots of artists don’t even get that chance because of the economics of numbers.

It isn’t like you’re an illegal immigrant sweatshop painter selling master copies to a scammer. The underdeveloped countries have laws regulating contracts, employment and wages, so never mind the developed countries. Even in the underdeveloped countries, you can still survive on freelancing, hard and horrible as that may be.

NOT THE PROBLEM YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

Blaming crapitalism (indeed, soshitcialism too) for everything betrays your paper-thin experience of the real world.

For 90+ years the Cumshotmunists and Suckcockcialists had been some of the most important players and market-makers in the stock exchanges and commodity markets worldwide, and I know it’s true because I’m a financial security printer. The USSR invented the petrodollar in the 1970s. The Chinese have been big forex traders since the 1960s through Hong Kong, Singapore and London. Try trading against these dyed-in-the-wool capitalists and see what happens.

Like I said, you get the same money today but required to do better art.

  • There is no such thing as ‘better’ in art. That argument is based on a false premise.

True. It’s not “self-evident” (at all) as I claimed earlier that art today is a million times better than it was 15 or 20 years ago. Really — because I don’t actually see that happening either.

What in fact I do see is shitty and shittier artists pass the bill, simply because they’re put on a time factor.

Depending on what you do, there are literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of forms of art, ranging from ultraconservative classicism to bleeding-edge hyper-abstractionism.

INSPIRATION, PERSPIRATION, TRANSPIRATION

Since we’re on the subject of Capitalism vs. Communism, let’s talk about art in the USSR.

Did you know Pope Julius II forced Michelangelo to work on the Sistine Chapel? Did you know why?

Yes, I do. Jules forced Mikey to work on the thing, not because of art, but because of politics and blackmail over Mikey’s homosexuality. Despite that, Mikey was paid handsomely for the work.

Let’s start with the most notable art style to come from the Soviets — Socialist Realism (1932–88).

Socialist Realism is exactly what it sounds like — realism that depicts and promotes communist/socialist ideas and IDEALS.

Then you have Russian Futurism (1910s–20s), which was another artform that rejected traditions and history in favour of the glorification of science, speed, machinery and other man-made things.

The main thing wrong with these forms of art was that both were inspired mostly by a brutalistic government based on authoritarian dictatorship. One was capitalist and imperialist, and the other socialist and monopolist.

An artist COULD paint or sculpt what he wanted, but SHOWING a painting of McDonald’s most likely would get him shot by the KGB. That’s one reason easy enough to understand.

Another reason is that the inspiration source actively EVADED a facet of everyday reality — one that happens to be an irresistible subject matter in art — Love and Desire expressed in the forms of sexuality and sexualisation. So you just follow the memo and avoid as well.

Both represent simultaneous situations of self-limiting your artistic range (“a victim of systems that work against me”) and doing your art to what’s required or payable (“whoring” yourself out) just to have a reasonably normal life. The price is your art and mind quickly resemble a rusted-up cnut. Neither of the situations have anything to do with capitalism. It has everything to do with who’s making policy and who’s your competition to be at the top of the game inside the box.

It was laughably dubbed “only recently discovered” by the art press that Stalin owned dozens of HOMOSEXUAL artworks. Yet in his Stalinist Russia, it was illegal and punishable by gulag labour for being gay and for doing or having art of a homosexual complexion. Ironically enough, it was Stalin who installed the anti-homosexual law.

If you don’t like your arse being poked, then you must be a communist. Right?

You might find having your arse poked is considerably more profitable than doing art, all told.

Here what The Naked Listener has learned from observing and listening to artist friends and their acquaintances over the years:—

  • Many artists have “artist’s block” for years on end because they couldn’t handle the constant shifting of focus on the artistic continents of form, function and aesthetics. So they frazzle at interruptions and disturbances when working. They convince themselves that they need or have a “membrane” enveloping them during their creative process to stay on course on their artistic petroleum tanker for discharging their artistic load at the right artistic oil refinery port.

They don’t have a membrane. They have a WALL.

A membrane is permeable. A membrane allows all sorts of things to pass in and out IN A REGULATED WAY AND RATE as it happens with a real biological membrane.

The wall some artists have around them blocks the incoming as well as the outgoing. It is as though the incoming would CORRUPT the inside and the outgoing is more valuable than the outside deserves. In the end, the outside wins because the inside has no effective frame of reference for evaluating its own qualitative and quantitative contributory value.

This is what happens when artists spin on a meaningless axis that has no navigability in art (such as plutocratic hypercapitalism) and wonder why their art doesn’t have the commercial potential or artistic recognition they believe it deserves. All the while they slowly burn out from their diminishing outwhoring instead of just sell out completely by doing the art that ‘sells’ to a reasonably predictable clientele. They should have stuck to something more generic (say, just “politics”) and do “political” or “politicised” art. You just can’t do art about something hypercapitalistic like “exchange-traded emerging-market commodities future options index funds.”

Poke your own arse. Nobody wants to go in dry.

LIVING AS PART OF SOCIETY

How do artists cope with living in a society of plutocratic hypercapitalism? Imagine being cucked by capitalism and still defending it.

They just … live … in society.

I’m curious to know the ideal society that you’re measuring capitalism against. Would you rather live in the Europe of the Middle Ages? Ancient Egypt? Maoist China? Hyperinflationary Latin America? Fundie Islamic Syriaqistan?

Those artists just live and run with the system they’re living in, whether it’s capitaLUSERism or SHITcialism, never mind ‘hyper-’ or ‘plutocratic’ — that’s how.

Some successfully ‘game’ the system and make what they want within the limitations of the system (“flying rink”). For most, the choice is either burn out or sell out. Those who didn’t burn out choose to sell out. The decision generally isn’t a hard one. Most people have pressing financial obligations like child support, alimony, medical, rent, utilities, food and shit.

Even cavemen had to get up every day and forage for food. Everyone has to do something they dislike in order to survive. Some poor sod has to clean the drains and filters at the sewage plant just so that prissy tots like us can flush our goddamned toilets. That’s life. That’s society.

Is it anything like being so stupid that you don’t realise the problems that come with the proposed alternatives to capitalism are always worse than the problems you’re trying to fix?

It’s literally effing this, isn’t it?

It never fails — ignorant house tyrants and spoilt brats who haven’t seen or won’t see the problems within their alternatives are the ones who always complain.

It’s one thing to criticise capitalism, but it’s quite another to think capitalism as a whole is ‘evil’ or useless. It’s pure wilful insincerity. This isn’t a movie storyline in which anything had to be pure evil or pure good just to fit into 120 minutes of screentime. Unless you have a better replacement in mind that works, stop bloody bitching. Please don’t brand others as “a commie/fascist.” That’s defamatory and can get you sued.

  • Protip:— Learn to make yourself non-ignorant.

Stay up late one night or two AWAY from your Internet shota porn or videogame. Read up and learn about what’s happening in—

  • countries with a system that “isn’t capitalism” — like Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam, North Korea, the states of the former USSR, etc
  • countries that are capitalist — like China, ‘socialist’ Scandinavia, ‘socialist’ France; the “welfare states” of UK, Germany, Italy, Greece; or the “fundamentalist Islamic states” of Algeria, Egypt, Emirates, Indonesia, Lebanon, Morocco, etc
  • the ideal communist society of Japan, which isn’t communist (at all)

Then you might find a more well-rounded perspective for your ‘art’ and ‘worldview.’

  • Capitalism is a PATTERN or a SYSTEM. It’s not a person. It cannot commit evil, though its existence can be harsh or not harsh depending on how it’s structured. PEOPLE commit evil, which in a way makes ANY system worse.

Why must society be like this?

Why must there be a ‘boss’ who takes part of what you produce just by being a boss?

Why must profits be prioritised over people?

Why must most of the wealth produced goes to the 1%, leaving crumbs to the rest of us?

They ‘must’ be like that because they exist only in your mind.

That’s because you’ve bought into the hostile agitprop rubbish calculated to pit people against each other. Or maybe you’re the one propagating it.

If you sincerely think society is like that, you’re just being blinded by how things are to imagine anything different.

There’s no arguing about the facts. Most of the wealth really do go to the so-called 1%. Many really are left with the crumbs. But society as a whole really isn’t entirely like that. Neither has it always been like that. Nor must it be like that. The picture overall isn’t a good one, but it’s not down the drain either. The reality is that societies everywhere are STRATIFIED — some places are worse than others, and some levels of the population are worse off than the rest.

The problem isn’t that there are winners and losers because of capitalism or socialism. To anyone who has reasonably been around the world — and surfing the Internet doesn’t count — it’s just two things:—

  1. Winners are the result of a competitive society or economy — whether capitalist, socialist, feudal, barter, slave, etc.
  2. Lusers are the result of letting cnuts make policy.

Do you sincerely imagine in the history of mankind that there was ever a society with little or no problems?

If it were really that easy to formulate a better society, we would’ve HAD that society a long time ago. Nobody would be asking awkward questions about art and crapitalism or shitcialism.

If it’s that easy, go ahead and tell me. I’ll lay down my strapons guns right now and admit I’m too brainlet to understand.

Yes, I feel you, brothers and sisters. I do’t think it’s unfair the 1% gets to have everything and abuse us our pouting daughters their power.

This is especially because I got the short end of the stick and live in a “First World” third-world country like Hong Kong — and the Second World country (China) ruling us is also the economic 1%.

  • Freedom to exchange value is what society relies upon to give others value and stability. How it’s done is the question, not whether capitalism, socialism, democracy, plutocracy, meritocracy and whatever-cracy is the problem.

The only thing you CAN do in whatever system you’re living in is give your best in your own way. Teach others, and understand good luck also plays a biggish factor in life. Hard work, fatigue, momentary depression and loss of youth can also get something in return if you make some small sacrifices. That’s how reality is. And that’s why people say life isn’t easy. It doesn’t have to be HARD, but it couldn’t be easy. Learn to be grateful for the small things and be thankful for small joys.

  • Contention:— But what if you realise you have no power over anything and you’re meant to be ‘controlled’ by corporations for maximised gains?

Why are people so shite at understanding capitalism? Capitalism is literally the opposite of what you described. It’s just an economic PATTERN (not even a system) that at any point allows you to present something useful to the world and get rewarded for the work YOU made.

The point is that the wealthy only profited from the work done by others under them by using METHODS or PROCESSES to depress value to help obtain their economic gain. There is no meritocracy whatsoever in capitalism. Only those with capital become wealthier through investing for a return.

  • Contention:— Society itself fosters problems. The solution is to give economic and political power to those who work and not to the few who don’t.

That’s easier said than done in ANY system. There’s a lot of leftist/socialist theories on how to go about it — and also a lot of infighting among their theorists and supporters.

Human cost of capitalism

Above: The figures are politicised and not altogether accurate.

  • Contention:— The real problem is overpopulation.

Yet no one is touching that with a million-foot bargepole. The rich is ultimately just as much a victim as the unrich of a “dynamic, progressive, ever-changing global economy.”

Depending on what statistics we use (or believe in), the planet has around 7 billion people, and we should have enough food and other resources to sustain another 1.2 to 2.2 billion people on this planet over the next 100 years. Yet most of those resources get wasted, so about 20 million people starve to death every year.

  • The problem isn’t overpopulation. The problem is how resources are distributed. Our distribution systems are still pre-mediæval in structure.

The problem isn’t how they’re distributed under capitalism. The problem exists in socialism and any other “-ism” we cared to name.

  • Contention:— Please, for heaven’s sakes, I just went to poverty.com and looked through the tabs. Literally ALL of them say sweeping improvements have been made recently.

The reality is that there isn’t even enough resources for everyone right now to live a reasonably comfy non-American-type Western lifestyle without stripping the planet bare in under 100 years. So either we go do that (and ruin the planet and A LOT of people are just going to have to go without), or a bunch of people are going to get killed off. That’s the galling choice.

STOP CHANGING THE SUBJECT

The “commies” (who are not necessarily actual communists) are bloody hilarious in a disgusting kind of way:—

  1. So everything bad is capitalism.
  2. So espouse communism.
  3. Doesn’t realise that under the communists, he’d be complaining again about not making money from his art or Patreon because of competition from other artists who are better than him at doing the officially approved form of art.
  4. Feels obligated to feel a loss of will to live due to being victimised by his own lack of earning power.
  5. Compelled to remain with his art and whore out for it because of being a victim of systems that work against him, instead of selling/whoring out by getting a better-paying job.

Stop pretending the form of government is the problem.

The real problem is being too lazy to get a job or make money off your work.

No, the actual real problem is that many artists around the world are simply no bloody good and don’t do enough of the art that’s wanted by people who are willing to pay.

No, the true actual real reason is that many artists are shit and are envious of the small numbers of artists who CAN do the type of art to high enough quality that could persuade people and companies to pay for it.

  • Contention:— But you have no power over anything and you’re meant to be ‘controlled’ by corporations.

Tell us in what universe do you live in where anyone has any control over anything beyond themselves?

Oh, that’s right — you live AT HOME under the protective umbrella of mum and dad. So you don’t have any real worries.

Piss off, bruv. You didn’t see brooding emo wankers like Michelangelo complaining about being a wage slave to the Church in the past. They just got on with their art, even in the face of blackmail about their homo-lesbi-furry-sexless sexuality.

Unlike in communism, you have literally no obligation in capitalism to work under another person, though it would be srsly stoopid for you to not work in any system.

Capitalism doesn’t punish the mindless sheep for having no original ideas. It just doesn’t get to have any effect in the system. If you have no mind and no originality, don’t expect to live beyond the level of the mindless and the unoriginal. You are what you are.

Capitalism doesn’t punish. It’s a free highway. If your car is fit to drive on it, great. If not, then you’ll be overtaken by all the other cars. You’re free to drive off the cliff if you want, but we appreciate you not making a bloody mess in the process.

Bruv, even with original ideas, without capital there’s no way to execute them. Without some pre-existing capital, you are absolutely obligated to either work and save, or starve.

If you want control over your own life, do two things:—

  1. Regulate yourself and devise a plan.
  2. Educate yourself on how you’re being manipulated.

If you don’t have self-discipline, then you’ll be a slave to your subconscious, your moods, your appetites, etc. You know this already because you’re the artist because those things are the stuff of art. I should be asking you about it, not the other way around.

Tech and social media companies are great at manipulating people who lack self-discipline. Limit your consumption of them if your self-control is on the low side.

You’re disadvantaged by the ‘system’ if you’re weak-willed to begin with, but less so if you’re self-disciplined.

It is the same with art:—

  1. You are in art, an economic sector that’s more at the mercy of market forces due to it being needed less directly and less regularly by society for economic well-being. Art enriches us all in a qualitative way, but does jack quantitatively.
  2. Art is more able to enrich the 1% in money terms simply because the 1% has the wherewithal to soak up the output of artists. Since there is still a limit to the soak-up, only a small proportion of artists gets to capitalise on their art in any meaningfully material way.

YOU’RE OVERTHINKING, TOSH

The same could be said about all things in existence. It’s just an impossibly large chain of events.

If you’re already blessed (or cursed) with self-awareness or ‘knowledge’ to the point you can see flaws in every aspect of life and can’t look past them, there isn’t much that can change the situation.

Consider finding happiness in your own situation. One day you’ll wish things were as easy as they are now, even if they don’t seem very easy right now.

Consider how insignificant everything is. Draw happiness from the specks of interests in anything that appears fun or interesting in this vast emptiness of life and the universe.

It’s not all that complicated, actually.

I got serious about photography and the graphic arts in my early teens. I decided at the outset that I wouldn’t do it to get rich or famous. I reckoned I couldn’t anyway. Just do it for myself. Do things I like, not for getting attention from friends or family. I just kept doing it in my own way, improved to the point it made sense to go to photography school, and then worked for 10 years as a professional photographer.

If you had actual talent, your problems and questions would all be different (but probably just as whiny and whingeing).

Just shut up and draw.

Thinking too much causes problems, bruv.


 

Below is how differently “artist” comes over in different language societies.


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 05 Oct 2020. (B18087)

All images via allchans unless otherwise indicated.

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L’article crée le 03 juillet 2018 sur 05:01h.

The problem with the world…

Tuesday 1 September 2020, 8.00pm HKT


17:35h local, 33⁰C, hum. 95%, rain with sunny spells
THE MAIN PROBLEM with the world is The World has problems created by problematic people still behaving like a problem child who keeps saying “Not A Problem” to everything —which is even worse than saying “Not my problem.”

“Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” — Bogart to Bergman in Casablanca (1942)

The problem with the world is that everyone is extremely opinionated.

Everyone assumes there are sides to everything. And that there has to be sides. And that their own side is “right” and the other side has to be “wrong” or even “damn wrong.”

They’re RAIDERS OF THE LAST IRK.

In reality, it doesn’t effing matter.

In this dragged-out death-dance called Life, we’re all going to die one day, so everyone is—

“I don’t know, I’m just making this up as I go …” — ‘Indiana’ Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)

We’re all sheep — some more than others, that’s all. Who do you mindlessly follow?

For so many around the world, the hardest pill to swallow is that borders and different cultures are such flimsy ANOREXIC BULLSHIT.

  • “Humanity has to come together as a whole, or we’re doomed to keep killing each other and the planet.”

That’s not a solution. That’s a description, jeez.

I like a world in which people work together. Some of you out there might prefer to add in “explore space.” (I prefer “explore shameless but not shameful money-making,” but that’s just me.)

Unfortunately, lots of people want a world where people work together to kill others and “fnck this world.”

Well, that sounds like an opinion, doesn’t it?

The greed is in our seed

The problem with the world is greed.

Here’s one solution:—

  • “Get rid of all the money, provide everyone what they want and need, and you WILL have a perfect world. This can’t happen overnight of course, but we should be starting the process of making the world like this.”

Pardon me, Your Worship, but that is simply daydreaming with eyes wide shut. We still need a pragmatically neutral medium of exchange. Greed happens just as easily with bartering as with money as with free sharing.

“In business, don’t bribe. Worse, you didn’t bribe enough.” — Grandma, 1970s

Money isn’t “greed.” Greed is a personality trait. It can be the result of nature, or it can be nurtured during upbringing, or it can develop over time through environmental factors facing us in life. Read the memo from Gordon Gecko, bruv.

No, forget the memo. Read this paper on greed and envy from INSEAD, the world’s No. 3 business school. It is very readable.

“What on earth are you doing down there in that nasty place? … Thank you, but we are all very comfortable up here, very comfortable indeed…” — Belloq in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)

Nothing’s quiet with a shitty front

The problem with the world are the borders.

A lot of people think the world looks like this:—

Big, with multicoloured countries and borders (via Pexels/WordPress)

When it actually looks like this:—

Just land and scape (via Pexels/WordPress)

“So desperate you are that you call on such lost creatures to defend you.” — Loki in “The Avengers” (2012)

Call me an asshole on my mobile phone — I don’t care — but if THAT’S all you’ve got on this topic, then “Whatever, mate” is the answer for YOU. Just go about your day and keep this “border” thing to yourself. You’re not exactly white-knighting anything.

How one belief co-exists with another belief

The problem with the world is that people have fundamentally incompatible beliefs.

I noticed from my growing up in 13 different countries around the world and working internationally for three decades that it boils down to just two main opinions:—

People CAN live and work together. The problem is, they choose not to. No one ever talks about what affects them. Even if they did, others just flat out wouldn’t give a shit and just continue the behaviour that causes harm to others because “Muh Freedom of Eggspression.”

versus

People CAN’T live and work together. If one person believes in the separation of Church and State but another person believes in theocracy (a.k.a. “Church and Interest Rate”), then these people inevitably will come into conflict. You cannot force others to live like you do, so we should at least agree to disagree and find a reasonably practical level of mutual respect (or “non-disrespect”) to get by.

The reality is that people cannot work together, at least not for long. We just cannot look past our own metaphorical little bubbles of existence and imagine living in a society like that. Sooner or later, we’re itching to outfcuk outdo someone or have the upper hand in something.

I’m reminded that—

“You can’t save the unsaveable.”— Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge” (2017)

I personally feel we’re too far gone on “separateness,” but thankfully this shit doesn’t keep me up at night.
.
To those who believe we CAN work together for the common good:—

  • It can be true. It is possible to find some way to peacefully co-exist. The starting point is (or should be) working together on scientific and technological advancements. It’s because, if we’re not continually seeking to improve the basic material quality of life, then what’s the bleedin’ point? — There is still time. As long as we don’t destroy ourselves, we could almost literally be living in a Star Trek society.

Rubbish. Have you never heard of the saying, “War is the Mother of Invention [for Market Intervention]”?

Star Trek society can only exist if we have infinite resources — we don’t have that. (It wouldn’t work even in Star Trek, which is already fiction.) It might be possible to have lots of resources like mining other planets. Barsoom Mars is almost literally our nearest mining pit and giant petrol station. The asteroids are like flying mines. But we’re not ‘there’ yet. We don’t have the technology. We’re not going to get to that tech level for several lifetimes yet. So don’t put the cart before the horse.

And even if we do get to that tech level, chances are it’s first going to end up more like a Star Wars kind of lawless world — like Handjob Solo’s dog-eat-dog crimewave Corellia or Luke Slywanker’s tainted Tattooine or Pay-For-A-Lay Rey’s junk-poaching Jakku before it turns into anything remotely like star-spangled Star Trek. There are already far too many political and corporate entities fighting over resources on Earth today for profit-taking.

Indeed, that advanced tech level will make our antisocial tribal tendencies to antagonise and “punch our way through” even more dangerous and self-limiting.

Forget “Space: The Final Frontier.” Space is boring. There’s nothing there. Everything is spaced out too widely. Don’t get worked up about it. It’s still fiction.

“I wonder, Monsieur, if you have that clearly in mind.” — Colonel Dietrich to Belloq, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)

To those who believe we CANNOT work and live together in the same way:—

  • It’s self-evident truth that you can never force a thing upon another person and that free will can never be infringed.

Sure you can — what’s slavery and servitude then?

Let’s not even go that far. Try something far more common — an employment contract with a non-disclosure agreement, all in an “at-will” labour jurisdiction in a regulated industry sector. Minimum wage not even a factor. Explain me “free will.”

You can’t take away “choice” entirely of course, but you can manoeuvre a person — even entire societies — via their individual and collective emotions and beliefs as well as systems. It is possible to make people choose what you want — or what the hell is advertising and public relations?

Free will can’t be infringed my sweet Aunt Fanny — eff off with that cringe, mate.

“This is the most powerful cock in the world, and you’re gonna give head to blow it clean off.” — Dirtbag Harry, ‘Mag-Nom Forced’

The problem with the world is that people believe you cannot force others to live like you do.

This has never been reality. Those who believe in theocracy absolutely can force those who believe in the separation of church and state to live and comply in a theocrazy — and vice versa.

Therein lies the big issue:—

  • How does one ‘create’ or structure a society that has both free will and a singular directive?

An actual slave is still a human being with a free will. Problem is, that free will is restricted when you deny him the choices or manipulate the choices available. Sure, the slave can still choose to run away, but that’s easier said than done in the context of a slave, innit?

Free will is only as good as the choices open to you. A crass proof of concept:—

In the UK, the EU and many other countries, you have the choice of going with the National Health Service — or go private, go hybrid or go without.

In the USA, China, Africa and Latin America, 90% of you go private or go to hell go without.

Those are all choices for your free will, no matter how we present them. But a choice of “2” vs. 4 is the difference between a dilemma and a decision.

I can anticipate your next argument:—

  • Sure, but the authorities can force people into being imprisoned if they’re caught breaking the law.

A non-issue and not an important variable for this discussion. The context of that is breaking the law. Taliban Afghanistan imprisoned people caught having education, never mind committing an actual crime.

The point is, we can force a person by sheer force into a physical place they cannot escape from — but what about forcing people into IDEAS? We’re talking about people making decisions and carrying out actions because of “ideas” (such as beliefs or ‘principles’). It’s not like I could personally force anyone who believes in theocracy into believing the separation of church and state — but the ‘establishment’ can.

‘A Firewall to Harms’ would’ve been better

The problem with the world is that people cannot at least agree to disagree.

People with this “agree to disagree” mentality are dangerous because it’s an autistic amateurish way of thinking — because they’re afraid of a little hard work that’s needed in thinking in general.

“Agree to disagree” doesn’t change facts and doesn’t improve the situation. The world still needs ‘money’ and a government of some form. We cannot ignore this. And then conflict becomes inevitable because of that.

I’m pretty sure characters like Hitler, David Duke, Charles Manson or Jim Jones or Stalin or Maoists felt the same way about the world — that’s why those guys and their mates wanted to make their “One Perfect Society” populated with people with suitably and fashionably convergent beliefs — until the next regularly scheduled convergent belief is broadcast.

It’s dynamite on paper and manna from heaven for people born with monorail minds — but it doesn’t help the rest of us.

That’s because the rest of us know that “one society” never existed in any lifeform, never mind the human species.

Around 30,000 or 40,000 years ago, three different human species co-existed on Earth. One society my foot.

  • It’s a bit like growing up dining only using a knife and fork. The learning curve becomes rather too steep when you arrive at the dining table to find it only has chopsticks. Learning something new while the hunger is still hammering is not a great recipe.

The point is to have a way for all human beings to be in multiple kinds of societies — rather than “one” society. That helps bring different experiences and capacities together without having to kill or maim each other in the process.

I mean, who gives a shit about ONE society?

The rest of us have different jobs or work to do on different days, have to make money to pay different bills, have to work with others with different backgrounds and different abilities, and have to eat different meals throughout the day in different seasons wearing different clothes — and ‘one’ society??!

Your mother and father are already different people, for chris’ sakes.

Man up, peel open your sphincters, remain in the world of reality, and smoke something else of a better quality in your pipe.

The real problem with the world is…

Maybe I’m being almost fashionably slightly naïve here, but it seems impossible for “one world, one people, one common good” to happen — given what human nature is like, which is this:—

  • I’m scared of change, so I have to pretend it’s impossible. I can’t suggest any ideas or offer any arguments that’s passably realistic, so I’ll just call the other guy a retard.

1977 joke:— How do you stop a retard? Use a retardant.

I already respect precious little of many people’s shit-talk on this topic. Like my Auntie B., I would physically hurt you if you came within arm’s reach of me even thinking that trolloping tripe.

There is no smaller size of condom to fit your dick, if you get my meaning here.


Below is a novelty message pad found at a Salvation Army rummage sale. It perfectly encapsulates the main problems with the world. (Photo by author)

piss me off 2017-12-31-22-50-13


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 01 Sep 2020. (B19047)

All images via allchans unless indicated otherwise. You know the drill.

Initialement écrit le 14 mars 2019.


Check this out. It’s for New Zealand, but it’s a great idea and will work of the rest of us. Never a truer word spoken.

* * *

To The Rt. Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zeland

Dear Mr Key,

Please find below our suggestions for fixing New Zealand’s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks and the Maori iwi [folk] that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan.

There are about 2 million people over 50 in the workforce. Pay them NZ$1 million severance each for early retirement with the following stipulations:

  1. They MUST retire. Two million job openings — unemployment fixed.
  2. They MUST buy a new British, Australian or American car. Two million cars ordered — car industry fixed.
  3. They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage — housing crisis fixed.
  4. They MUST send their kids to school/college/university — crime rate fixed.
  5. They MUST buy NZ$100 worth of alcohol/tobacco a week — there’s your money back in duty/tax etc. (Non-smokers and non-drinkers exempt.)
  6. Instead of stuffing around with the carbon emissions trading scheme that makes us pay for the major polluters, tell the greedy bastards to reduce their pollution emissions by 75% within 5 years or we shut them down. It can’t get any easier than that!

If more money is needed, have all Members of Parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second-home allowances.

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know. If not, please disregard.

Yours sincerely,

xxx

(via Fred L.)

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.

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