sasharas said: For me it’s neither, more like mild parasitism, only there to distort and corrupt things. Cynics can’t even do much harm on their own; they still need an idealist to start the fire so they could play with it.
ah, but an ideology can never come to it’s full fruition as long as there is dissent and doubt. ideology can tolerate no other. whatever ideology it is, in that ideal world, X would not exist. until X does not exist, that ideal will always be just that, an ideal, and not a reality. the cynic will maintain that X exists and always will exist.
in an ideal world, no one would lock their doors.
let’s say i live in Mayberry. in Mayberry, no one ever locks their doors. at some point, Mr X is going to waltz right in to my house and rob me blind and/or threaten the safety of me and my family.
from that point on, if i do not lock my door, i am the definition of a fool. if i do lock my door, Mayberry is no more.
without at least some cynicism, you are a sheep in the midst of wolves. at some point, a wolf is going to eat a sheep. if the sheep does not count on this occurrence and grow some teeth, he is defenseless. but the minute he does, he is no longer the ideal sheep.
the cynic weakens the ideal. the cynic will maintain that there is no perfect world but by that very belief helps ensure that that world will never come. yet the cynic is not wrong.
is cynicism the beginning of all evil?
or the only truth?
tumblr is simultaneously the best and worst thing that could ever have happened to art.
i never knew about hardly any of the great art that’s out there. the most cutting edge artist i was aware of was Alex Grey. no joke. and while i respect his talent, sometimes you want to look at more than “i’m on acid so i’m one with the universe” art. at some point you come down. you can’t take the insights with you. (although i suppose his art is his way of doing that, and i commend him for it). but the point i wanted to make is there are other states of being. other emotions. other ways of seeing. i figure i’ll look at an Alex Grey the next time Tool makes an album.
and i knew of artists who’d been dead for years. i knew of Dali, Picasso, Pollock, De Kooning. Van Gogh, Monet, a lot of the impressionists. stuff you’d find in any art book in the 90s. that was my exposure to art. there was no internet. i didn’t even know of where else to look. the only lesser known artists i knew of were Odd Nordrum and Egon Schiele.
i got on tumblr and it about blew my mind.
i started out mostly just looking at satanic shit, as that’s the kind of mood i was in at that time. i go through phases. i’m not one of those goth kids cutting themselves, i just like the imagery. segue into trippy shit, and combinations of the two, and went on from there.
i find more and more art every day. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve thought i’d found them all. there can’t possibly be any more, i’d tell myself.
and then i’d find more. and more.
i’ve been on here going on a year and my curiosity is not yet sated.
but at the same time there’s so many tumblrs now (and getting more every day) and so many of them don’t give a fuck about who the artist is that it’s getting harder to find out who created a certain picture. they’ll post it without an artist credit, or if one is there, the next person will delete it and add “Follow this blog for unicorns and fist fucking”.
lol, i just thought of something, i should put “Follow this blog, i actually cite the artist” under everything i post.
and a lot of people type their url as the source. if they leave it alone, once it gets two reblogs away the url for the original post appears magically by itself. i don’t think a lot of people know that. it took me a few months to figure it out. and no one can change it either. so don’t worry about people not knowing who originally posted something. it’ll be there.
but when you type in your url as the source and i come across it later, 133 notes away from the original posting or whatever, i can’t immediately find out if you cited the artist when you posted it. i can’t give you the benefit of the doubt that some douchebag deleted it when they reblogged it. your url just takes me to your homepage. i’m damned if i’m going to scroll through your whole fucking blog to find something for all i know you posted last year, just to see if you cited the artist.
and some people do cite the artist, but they’ll do it by putting the artist’s web page as the source. that’s fine and dandy unless you got it wrong. it happens. i’ve gotten the artist wrong a few times. i’ve gotten messages from the artist i credited saying “hey, that’s not mine, that’s so and so’s”. so i thank them and i fix it. and anyone who comes across it later can click on the source (which i left alone, and has become the url for my original post via sorcery) and see the corrected artist. if i had typed in the false artist’s web page as the source, anyone clicking on the source is going to go to the wrong artist’s web page. forever. you can’t change the source. even if it’s yours.
the point i’m trying to make here (i’ll hammer it into your skull one more time and then i’ll change the subject, i promise) is DON’T FUCK WITH THE SOURCE. just leave it alone. don’t type anything in. it will take care of itself. trust me. i know, you’re going to post something, and freak out because there’s no source url saying it’s yours. you’ll think i’m full of shit, and you’ll have some sourceless post out there, and no body will ever know you posted it. they will. there’s no need for it to be there now, because it has your url on the top of the pic on their dash. they can see it. and if one person reblogs it, it’ll say they reblogged it from you, so there’s really no need for their to be a source url. then when someone reblogs it from the person who reblogged it from YOU, that’s when it shows up. swear to god. it shows up when it’s two reblogs away.
there are, thankfully, internet tools to help me find the artist of that pic you posted but didn’t give a flying fuck about the guy who for all you know cried his fucking eyes out after he was finished painting it. good old reverse image search. i can right click on that pic and get the url for it (you know, the tumblr.sp4e85yowndgf-yq4y.jpg) and put into a certain place in google and it’ll tell me where else online that picture has appeared. greatest invention.
only to have to sift through pages and pages of more tumblrs who didn’t cite the artist’s name. or pinterests who got it from a tumblr who didn’t cite the artist’s name.
there was one where i had to go through ten google pages to find this one pic and i finally found it on deviant art. the picture on tumblr had thousands of notes. thousands. i think it had maybe a dozen comments on the artist’s deviant art page. no one knew it was his. no one cared to find out.
that happens a lot. seems to happen more and more as tumblr grows. one of the greatest means for spreading a work of art is paradoxically making it harder to find out who painted the fucking thing. there’s been pictures where i just flat can’t find the artist. i always try. but sometimes the information just isn’t there. and the information isn’t there because you didn’t put it there.
not all of you, of course. some of you are awesome. but enough of you, and you know who you are.
and you can suck my fucking dick.
i’ve never understood the urge of some people to explain what a piece of art means to them, whether it be a painting, a poem, or a song. even if it’s their own piece.
don’t get me wrong, art is subjective. it’s supposed to mean something to you. even if it’s just an emotional reaction, a feeling. but what it means to you is likely not what it means to me and vice versa, and if i tell you what a piece of art means to me it can actually ruin that art for you. taint it. you find you suddenly don’t like it so much anymore.
i’ve experienced this sensation more than once, from both sides of the equation. when i was in high school i fancied myself a poet, and submitted a couple of poems to a literary journal some people in my school district put together. the poems were accepted, and they called me up to come pick up my copy, and even read it aloud if i felt so inclined.
being of a shy and reclusive nature, i declined the opportunity to read it aloud, but stopped by for my own copy, as i thought that was pretty cool. the girls who were in charge of the whole thing were happy to meet me, and told me they liked my poems, yadda yadda yadda. one of them asked me what the poems meant, one in particular. not wishing to go into it, as i found it hard to put into words anyway, i just said whatever it means to you. a generic answer. so she told me what it meant to her.
and i really wished she hadn’t told me. i was almost offended. it was virtually the opposite of what i was feeling when i wrote it. made me feel like my poem was pure adolescent drivel (which i guess it was, seeing as i was probably 17 at the time, but not that kind of adolescent drivel anyway). i tried to be polite about it. didn’t want to be too much of a dick. but i was taken aback, just sort of laughed, a little astonished, and said “no, that’s not what it means.” they laughed too, so i hopefully didn’t embarrass the girl too much, but even if i did i suppose she’s over it by now. ought to be anyway.
and, on the other side, i was posting art on here from some dude, don’t remember his name now. erotic art, arguably blasphemous in nature. i just thought it looked cool. that’s pretty much my entire criteria for what i post on here.
but the guy had commentary on each piece. i mean that’s his right- it’s his art, his website, he can do whatever he wants. but his commentary made me not like the pictures as much. they suddenly didn’t look so cool anymore. i mean i posted them anyway. just without the artist’s drivel to ruin it for everybody else.
i think that’s kind of interesting, how it works both ways. take that girl who was interpreting my poem back in high school, for instance. if i had taken the time to go into what the poem was “supposed” to mean, would she have liked it as much? would it have made her wish it wasn’t accepted into her precious journal? quite possibly. i could have potentially ruined the experience of the poem for her, just as she nearly ruined the pride i had in my poem in the first place.
not everyone has my opinion on art, i realize. i’ve actually gotten into arguments with friends over it. for me, art is an aesthetic, emotional experience. not intended to have any meaning other than that. when you tell me some perceived “meaning”, you just took away my experience. you tainted it. other people thrive on these “meanings”, love to interpret and discuss.
where the difference becomes particularly glaring is in music. i enjoy music. i just frankly don’t pay much attention to the words. to me the vocals are just another instrument, adding further melody and rhythm to the song. i was dating a girl who was really into Tool and she told me about how Stinkfist was about being fisted. it was frankly obvious once she told me, but i had literally never even thought about it, just enjoyed the song. it took me along time to enjoy the song again after she told me that. i was pissed. she took a song i really liked and gave it the mental imagery of Maynard James Keenan getting fistfucked up his asshole. i was all “goddamnit why did you have to tell me that”.
and before i get asks telling me how i missed the point of the song, of how he was using it as a metaphor, or how he said it was “about choosing compassion over fear,” i don’t care. i don’t deny him his meaning. perhaps the writing of it was deeply cathartic for him, and perhaps for others as well. and that’s great.
me, i want to get lost in how he sings the syllables to the words that could just as easily be pure gibberish, for how much it would affect my enjoyment of the song.
my girlfriend couldn’t understand that. just as i couldn’t understand her urge to dissect a song for its deeper meaning and metaphor.
it’s not that i’m incapable of understanding it, or respecting the genius of it.
it’s just that i don’t care. it’s not what i look for in a song. i want something i can bang my head to, or tap my feet, or just get lost in the sublime beauty that i experience when i listen to it.
i don’t deny you your meaning. your experience.
i just don’t want to hear about it, because it has an adverse effect on mine.
keep it something mysterious and magical, that you can’t quite put into words.
an emotion you can’t name, that fades further from your grasp the more you try to describe it or define.
that’s what art is about for me.
Zdzislaw Beksinski refused to discuss the meaning of his paintings. insisted they were just images he saw in his head, in his dreams. refused to entertain possible meanings offered to him by others. the conversation began, and ended, with the painting itself.
i like that.
to theresidentpatient : (one last footnote, i hope i hope)
i guess what it all boils down to me is i’m against the exaltation of our little human vanities, as i said before. but even that, when looked at closely, could be looked at as a selfish vanity in and of itself- i look at the exaltation of human vanities as one of the reasons our human civilization is heading into decline and its inevitable end. but even that, from a truly objective standpoint and seen from the indifference of the universe, has no real ultimate importance. what am i, on a ‘lofty noble quest’ to rid the world of its vanities? a vanity itself. thanks again for your question.
to theresidentpatient :
regarding the ‘exaltation of vanities’: even then, your question still remains, from an objective standpoint, “why not?”
you got me, man. touché.
theresidentpatient asked: I was reading a post you wrote a while ago about how vegan/vegetarianism is arrogant. Your point was an interesting one, but I must ask why you think humans should model their behavior after the natural, indifferent tendencies of the universe. From an objective standpoint, there's no reason /not/ to, but from that same objective standpoint, why /should/ we?
i only said it was arrogant if the vegetarian/vegan in question is doing it because he/she thinks eating animals is immoral per se. but perhaps i didn’t make that point quite clear, i honestly don’t remember word for word what i wrote as it was a while ago. in my opinion all morality is arrogant from a purely objective standpoint, as morality is a purely human creation. there are no echoes of said morality in the universe outside our own minds. so in a sense all morality is passing judgment on a universe of which we are a part, passing judgment on creation itself. to me, that’s pretty arrogant. but from a practical standpoint, we all practice morality to some extent, otherwise our whole civilization would break down (which to me is inevitable).
the world was here before us, and it’ll be here after us. humanity is but a chapter, and as our morality will not outlast us, it has no meaning.
hmmm. i’m worried i’m just repeating what i said in the post you mentioned, so perhaps i’m not answering your question very well. i think the point i was trying to make was not so much that veganism or vegetarianism was bad (i don’t really care what somebody wants to eat, as long as it’s not my arm or something) so much as to not lose sight of the fact that it’s ultimately a vanity (but we all fall into that category, don’t think i’m picking on veggies there).
thinking long and hard about your question, you’re absolutely right. from an objective standpoint there is no real reason to follow the universe’s example. but to me, it’s more difficult to exalt our little “vanities” if we, from an objective standpoint, are able to acknowledge them as such. perhaps i’m not so much ranting about vanities so much as their exaltation to lofty heights?
thanks for the question! boy, i sure hope i answered it to some level of satisfaction.