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Showing posts from April 8, 2007

Ricky Nelson

Remember the Ricky Nelson song Garden Party? How many artists have made the same logical error as he does in his chorus: "you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself"? From the standpoint of logic, this is a non sequitur. This says: if you can't please everyone else, then don't please anyone else except yourself. In its pure form, this is the motto of the navel-gazing artist who believes the arts are totally and completely about self-expression, and that to consider pleasing anyone else is to "sell out." There are few who wholly subscribe to this idea, but they do exist, and have existed. But there are other logical: "you can't please everyone, so please as many as you can," "you can't please everyone, so be happy with the ones you DO please," "you can't please everyone, so don't get so bent out of shape about bad reviews..." Well, the list is endless. The point, however, is to avoi…

On Class

The conversation over at Parabasis about class has been quite interesting. Be sure to read the comments, which are insightful and passionate. Other bloggers, such as Laura Axelrod, have added additional thoughts.

It is interesting the direction that conversation has taken. The focus has been almost entirely on the class of the artists, many of whom come from working-class and middle-class families, and whose lack of financial wherewithal negatively affects their ability to regularly practice their craft and develop their aesethetic. Can it be done? Certainly -- but it can be done easier if, like, say, Richard Foreman, you have a trsut fund to draw upon.

But another interesting common thread that I noticed is that almost everyone whose comments I read talked about the burden of student loans for their undergraduate and graduate educations. As someone still paying off my student loans at the age of 48, I can certainly relate. But perhaps more to the point, what these student loans …