Jumped out of the shower and moved around my work schedule (my newest obsession) to write down a few things that popped into my mind. This Jerry Saltz thing really is getting to me man. Critics in general are on my mind. And people. And laziness. And culture vs. knowledge. Which really is ego and humility battling.
Let’s stop whatever we’re doing right now. And think for a minute. Really think. Not about what you have to do, or petty things like such. Think for the sake of thoughts. Think about nothingness, everythingness, love, hatred, music, joy, art, think about something that will make you think some more. Concepts are always a good way to go. But then, you might need more than a minute. Who has time for that?
Right now, I’m contemplating all the notes I’ve put down, and I do really feel lazy. I even thought of publishing this post like it is now. But my ego is stopping me. It’s telling me, jeez, come on, put some order in your thoughts. Prioritize, regroup, delete, rewrite, and make what you have to say readable, if just that. Urgh. Fine. Wait. Is that my beloved ego? Or is that a way darker force? One that wouldn’t stand for easy and mediocre? But would rather push my ass into making an effort to do more, and better? Simply by trying? Which is just a refined version of doing. Like you know, sugar comes from refined beets.
So. I’m washing my hair, and then I think about Charlie. Almost no one (in numbers) reads Charlie prior to the killing. Almost no one (still numbers) reads Le Canard Enchaine or Le Monde or Courrier International either. Compare that to the number of people who religiously read magazines like Closer, The Daily Mirror, Star gossip whatever, and sports newspapers. It’s not that people don’t read anymore. It’s what they read. I’m now trying out this new hair mask, which demands to be left on for 5 minutes.
Why do SO many people chose to read this rather than that? Well. Another way to ask that question would be, who wants to be challenged? Who wants to face the fact that others are smarter, more knowledgeable, wittier? Who wants to realize others know more? or know other things you’ve never even heard about? And so it all comes down to, would you rather be the dumbest or the smartest person in the room? People in their majority are not stupid. Not intrinsically. People are lazy. And laziness is offering your freedom to whomever wants power over you. How easy it is, then, to makes choices for you. And make sure your wish comes true: you’ll remain the dumbest person in da room.
Rinsing off the hair mask. Coming up on my train of thoughts, critics. And the subjectivity of one person. ONE person. Reading a review is worth doing so when you’re getting someone’s opinion, someone who knows shit you don’t know. Facts, or stories, or if they can replace a work in a social economical historical personal context. Reading a review is worth doing if the writer is willing to make you smarter. The critic is not creating anything. The critic is (at her/his best) expressing ideas, feelings towards an artwork, a play, a movie, a record, etc. So how did it get to: ONE person can make or unmake a career (hence, usually, a person) by giving what is just their opinion? Does the majority of the human people slightly grasp how powerful an opinion is? Have we, the human race, become so dumb we must rely on that one voice to decide what art we will like, go see, buy, sell, talk about? It would seem so. Our laziness comes at a price. Our laziness is costing us individuality of taste, and opinion. Shyness rises. « I don’t want to stand alone saying this show is bullshit and this one is everything art should be about. » Right… By becoming more and more lazy in our hunger for learning, we are agreeing to be others’ bitches.
It’s not that we don’t know. It’s more that we don’t really see. Knowledge is power. Whereas what you know is a secret giving you an opportunity for blackmail, or knowledge of how to use a tool (meat carving knife, nails if you are a carpenter, auto cad if you are an architect), or knowledge of how to articulate your own thoughts: that makes you powerful. That makes every single of one us potentially powerful. Powerful not to overpower others, but powerful to understand the world around us, and powerful to make something of our tiny little existence. Especially today. Now that everyone can be everything. Everyone is everything - in my enlarged social circle. Whether in Paris or NYC. I mean, I’m part of that too. Every single person around me does a number of those things and could would or has put it on a business card: write, dance, play an instrument (no, making playlists on your iTunes doesn’t cut it), sing, draw, design, act, direct, bake, design fashion items, take photos, and so on and so forth. But what’s talent? Is it dedication? Is it humility? Is it moving people (or one person)? Is it believing and doubting of your worth? Is it addressing those beliefs and doubts in any way your voice lets you? Is talent sharing, or is it keeping everything for yourself? Is talent thinking for yourself, or is it taking someone else’s thoughts? Is it selling figures? Is it the people you know? Is it who talks to you? Is it how you’re dressed? Is it where you can get in? Is it having a magazine publish something on you? Is it being interviewed? Is it being seen?
Oh I forgot. I’m out of the shower now, getting dressed. Who is capable of saying why they like Matisse cut outs, and why they dislike Picasso’s self portrait at the age of 15? Who is capable of saying why, in a way that will make us pause and say: oh, I hadn’t thought about that. That’s, in my humble opinion, what a critic’s job is. Not dictating our life by letting them decide what we’ll go see. Hey, but that’s on YOU. I, personally, am no one’s bitch. You?