The Emperor’s Bird

You listen for trains
and hope for birds. . .

The Emperor's Bird

I’ve been watching Kurosawa movies again just to be awed.  Ran, with its beautiful, bow and arrow battle over the temple where the emperor sits, resigned to whatever his fate is; there is this code of honor that Samurai have as warriors that is awe-inspiring.  I’m going to Japan in a few weeks and would like to know more history.  The Samurai and Ronin stories are really cool.

In the backdrop of this learning, the Bravo people are in town “auditioning” young artists for their ‘reality tv” series.  It had to happen.  The squirrels and douchebags that degrade, debase and otherwise belittle other professions or non-professions found the perfect petri dish of incompetence with which to collaborate–The “art world!’

I tell young artists that come here and work here the same thing:  If you don’t absolutely have to be an artist, find something else to do.  This is a vocation (notice I didn’t say “career”) for people who have no choice.  Don’t foul the water by “dabbling.”  I hate hobbyists.  You want a hobby, Snapper-head?  Collect fucking stamps.  This is a vocation; the closest thing I have to anything resembling a faith.

We become artists to speak to the future and to engage the world and enter the world in a meaningful way.  If something in this life is worth doing, it is worth doing full-on and all out.  You don’t sell yourself as an artist to be on TV and to be condescended to by assholes like Simon Cowell,  or whomever will be his weasel equivalent in this circle-jerk.  In ancient Japan, if you cocked off to a Samurai, he would cut more holes in you than you could bleed out of.

In Chicago, 1,400 mouth-breathers showed up to audition for this thing.  Every dickhead with a snot-ring,  pink hair and questionable hygiene stood in line to be appraised by some TV creature, or worse; some TV creature’s assistant.  They got treated like simpletons and asked to sign an odious agreement that included a gag order. . .like fight club.  They don’t want you talking about “Reality TV: ArtWorld Douche-Bags: the Series,” or whatever they’re calling it.  Defenders of this horseshit point to the careers of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood from American Idol who got large and lucrative recording contracts.  Fair enough.  Both of these women can sing.  But could either of them write a song like Angel from Montgomerey?  No. That took a John Prine, who isn’t exactly camera friendly.  What I’m getting at is that this will be largely cosmetic,  like every other goddamn thing on television.

This is being produced by Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City fame or, as I liked to call it, “The Four Annoying Sluts from New York” show.  These were the wenches responsible for the popularity of “cosmopolitans,” wherein you fuck up perfectly good vodka by putting cranberry juice in it.  It was also a show that didn’t resemble a single interesting woman that I know.  Four dopey narcissists getting together every week to talk a lot of bullshit nobody but them gives a fuck about.  These are the women most men run like hell from.  Well, in her infinite wisdom she decided to cull some diamonds from the rough of the art world.  Is she a collector?  No.  She is an “enthusiast”– whatever the fuck that is.

I’m all for artists getting a career.  I employ five of them and have employed many over the years.  Nothing is more exciting than watching another artists’ curiosity harden into a vision.  It is a sacred thing; and it isn’t entertainment.  It is a vocation. It isn’t a living; it is a life.

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