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bear by san

March 2017



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david bowie realism _ truepenny

never in my sweet short life have i felt this way before

So I was reading this *. And listening to Radio Paradise. Which, just as I was finishing, kicked up this. Creepy and synchronistic, yes. Perhaps even serendipitous.

I gotta say, suddenly I like Mick Jagger a bunch more than I ever did before.

"It is not correspondingly apprehended that he replaced the heroin comprehensively with liquor."

Damn, that's a fine and arresting sentence. That's craft. Even if it's Bill Wyman (no, the other one) impersonating Mick Jagger.

And I know just what he means, in the end, about the terror that your best work is behind you. If ever an artist didn't suffer from that one, I never heard from 'em--unless that artist suffers from the fear that she will never create anything marvellous, and never has.

Some of us get both. And the angst is not lessened at all by the understanding that this driving force in our lives is essentially ephemeral and probably of as much lasting impact as a hot fudge sundae. But then, maybe I'm wrong. Because art is not just a first world problem. Art is not something that stops when you don't have enough to eat. (I've been there.)

Art may in some ways be a primary function of the human psyche. And that, right there--if anything comes close to making me believe in the divine, the immanent, the ineffable--that would be it. That people who have been dead for a thousand years still have the power to offer us, today, comfort and insight and grace. That humans on the other side of the world have the power to reach out and explain themselves to anyone who will pause and listen.

That's kind of something. If anything is anything at all.

*via rezendi's twitter feed


Great post! You made my day, which really needed something thought-provoking to jump start it.

I blame Mick. *g*
Must be something wrong with my brain. I don't parse, or like, the Jagger sentence at all.

I love everything else about your post, though, especially the nature of art.
You may need to read the article, and see it in context. *g*

(also, thanks)
Mm, yes. This, here, good.
Thanks for that link, and for the discussion afterward.

The self-analysis of artists is really, really neat.
Holy crud. That article fascinated me. I never expected that.
I know. This is not the media image of Mr. Jagger. Suddenly I understand why nerds like Townshend and Bowie hang around with him.

ETA: I was also kind of sideswiped by the casual feminism/antihomophobia. Go Mick.

Edited at 2010-11-05 04:04 pm (UTC)
And that, right there--if anything comes close to making me believe in the divine, the immanent, the ineffable--that would be it. That people who have been dead for a thousand years still have the power to offer us, today, comfort and insight and grace.

Well said. That right there is what continues to delight and boggle me. That I can read Sophocles, or Sappho, or Horace, or Catullus, and not only translate it from Latin/Greek, but also get meaning from it, and not only meaning, but ideas and thoughts and feelings that are beautiful and meaningful to me and have an effect on my life. It's crazy.
Yeah. It crossed my mind that it might be a hoax, but it pleased me enough that I decided I didn't care.

And Bill Wyman has a track record as a music writer. I don't see why he'd risk it for a little petty revenge, especially when Mick comes off so well in the piece.

That even hunger or poverty doesn't stop art getting made. We'll draw on the walls if that's all we have. We'll sing in the gutter if that's all we know.

And damn, Mick Jagger. Who knew?
Not me. *g*
Anyone who thinks art is a First World issue is a fool, and clearly not a.) aware of recent findings in neuroscience and b.) discriminating against artists no matter how privileged the artist is in their Other Life.

One of the things I'm learning as I begin to delve into studying interpersonal neurobiology with an eye toward integrating education and neuroscience is the role of environment in activating certain genes. One of those is a risk-taking gene (yep, apparently exists). Positive early experiences switches on the creative side. Negative switches on social pathology behaviors. And then I just finished reading a study about the economics of early intervention which integrated neuroscience and econometics to make some...interesting conclusions.

Our brains are wired to enjoy art--visually, verbally, musically, and physically. Doesn't matter what the culture is.

So issues of art are NOT first world issues. The expression of the particular issue may be a First World issue. But Art is not fucking first world.
Art is not a luxury. Q.E.D.

Huh. I wonder at your research, because my experience is that there are a lot of post-traumatic creators out there who use art as a coping mechanism.
For another example of an artist reflecting on his life's work, here's computer games designer Chris Crawford at sixty facing his mortality and thinking that his twenty-year quest to create fully interactive stories may be for naught.
A clear clean line of color
Breaks up the surface.
There is power in this fine grit
Of chalk
Released upon
The cold sidewalk
And each new line
Brings more strength
As a face emerges
Beneath my hand.
Man has been doing this
For thousands of years.
Look at the cave walls
And tell me it isn’t so.
I can make cold clean lines
Dance and flow
With meaning.
The entire universe
Can be condensed
Into a single pastel point
A rough surface.
All, all, all of it
Flooding every sense
With the sharp
Dry taste of chalk
And concrete.

There is no answer here
Because there is no question.
There is only this.
I wish this was by Jagger as I find myself quite liking him now.
Longer than a thousand.

Gilgamesh. Tomb painting. Hell, cave paintings.

Which is to say, you are right.
I really like Slate.com, and that was a great article. Sad to start out such good friends and fall apart like that. Drugs and fame can be pretty toxic.

I find I can't let myself think about how fragile and ephemeral my work life is. It's too scary.
Well yeah.

It is scary.

And we all have slumps, too. 0/0