in the distance.
I want to thank those of you who had such gracious comments regarding my post of yesterday. I only know you through this blog and your blogs but it has come to be a meaningful community to me as I think it has for you. I allowed myself to drift into a perilous mood and expressing it in my blog was possibly not wise but it is how I am sometimes. Reading a compilation of Orwell's essays called All Art is Propaganda, by George Packer, intro by Keith Gessen. This is a statement Orwell made several times in his writings. So much thought from the 1930's feels so relevant these days. There was a definite political correctness influencing artists and writers of that time; "Anyone sensitive enough to be touched by the zeitgeist was also involved in politics."
"It was a time of labels, slogans, and evasions. At the worst moments you were expected to lock yourself up in a constipating little cage of lies; at best a sort of voluntary censorship." Anything that wasn't anti Fascist was suspect (not that being Fascist is a great idea!) but the point was there was a lot of censorship going on and stifling of free thought. "It is inconceivable that good novels should be written in such an atmosphere. Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscious-stricken about their own unorthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened." The same holds for all the art forms. In this current political climate there are slogans and projected suppositions regarding ecology, human rights,
animal rights, and what it means to live an "authentic" life. I admit to being on the side of Democratic Socialism...I like having a government who cares about the health and well being and education of its citizens but one who does not infringe on the rights of that citizenry to think and act freely without fear. This is a tricky balance. In every time of history there are complicating and mitigating factors that influence and push events. Artists need to feel free because they are the canaries in the mine so to speak. They hold up a mirror for everyone to see into if they choose to. Even art I don't care for or ideas I don't believe in have a right to be out there. Thus, I do try to be honest but understated in my own work. I don't really want current ideologies to be plastered in my face but I don't want anyone telling me or any artist what to paint or write or dance or act...My pain is for all those in other places struggling to have that right...to just be who they are without persecution, (accepting, of course those who for whatever reason are inclined to seriously anti-social and psychopathic behavior - even full blown anarchists don't want gunslingers and barbarians at the door! Question: Can a violent psychopath be helped?). Here, in our "relatively" peaceful Western society, though, certain notions are stifled and big corporations seem to be financing a lot of worrisome things all in the name of the bottom line. I like to consume stuff too - I grew up in a consumer society, but I know when it is over the top. That is why I am finally finding that I need much less than I used to think, and it is a big relief. Look at the photos above of where I get to live. Our home is modest, our income low, but we live in a spectacular place as yet unspoiled and I am frightened that soon there will be no place like it left. If "all art is propaganda" than I hope to propagandize the idea that, when we are fed, housed, healthy, free, educated, (and I mean REAL food, not MacFood, human scaled and sensitively designed homes and work places, education that is open ended, open minded, and thought provoking, and health care that is fully available without bankrupting you) and mostly that we are kind to one another "all we have is all we need." Gee, I don't ask for much, do I...