My Life Right In This Very Moment

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That damn thing happened again. This uncontrollable entertainer slash wannabe author has exploded inside me again the moment I started the life hacking away from the catering, home repairs and yards — odds and ends bullshit — and back toward my old way of being a hardcore nine to fiver giving up every day off I could to squeeze every drop of green out of the whole deal. It’s a problem. In one mindset it is key at this job app’d up point to go do the face-time thing anywhere where it’s not just a “blah, whatever” type resume submission.

But instead I’m in the process of opening a Patreon centered on my writing and just finally bought a web-cam of merit to adhere to the “best practices” guidelines they provide. Probably a new YouTube channel before long too. The thinking here is that, as I have whined about before here into the blogs, there really isn’t any good reason for me to online-publish things like pieces of upcoming fictional works and poetry anthologies. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this style of free-flowing Web content and this style of post would always show up on this blog.

However, when I look over my hard drive there is a lot of pieces on here that are better suited for a Patreon feed than just sheer live blogging potential future IPs so third-parties can just come in and give zero credit to the author while using a level of ads that is obviously excessive. People should get paid for their best work and art is work like any other. If I were to guess the objections some raise about this style of crowd-funding it’s that they don’t see writing, music, and art in general as something valid to pour money into unless it comes pre-packaged by the existing industry involved.

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What I think many are unaware of in this matter is that in the “old days” a writer of merit would receive an investment in the form of a large lump sum directly from the publisher then given a deadline to produce. This investment was expressly for living expenses, research materials, leisure time, and anything else that might enhance the final product. No going back from the Digital Era, obviously, so e-publishing is just a beast all serious writers have to tackle to ground or be eaten alive when you try and call yourself that in public. But there are many projects going on here and no time at all to finish all of them unless I do that thing where the heady stuff and the final draft prose is paying for itself.

Enough about that. My neighborhood was popping off a second ago. Live music from up the hill and little kids singing some pop song I don’t recognize from over the fence. Out here in the backyard after running around town a bit. This is Santa Cruz, CA by the way or “Surf City USA” or as I want to be known as the birthplace of NHS and Santa Cruz (Brand) Skateboards & Clothing. No I don’t work for them it’s more that you might have seen those stickers around and those are referring to my little surf / skate town here.

Think I liked San Francisco more but the housing costs are just stupid high so that’s off the table unless I could network that shit. Oh what else? All this poetry explosion going on in my head is probably because I’m in love again, which is nice but complicated when these new feelings are for a long time close friend who is keeping at a distance most days. Always been a fool for love but thanks to serious bumps in the road in my youth I can speak very openly and directly about these topics if people are comfortable enough with me to do so. Often the things left unsaid in romance can be sexier than spilling your guts twenty-four seven but oh doggies do things get complicated sometimes and the need for honest communication shifts into the foreground so strongly that it’s almost slapping you in the face.

Okay, that was a “rant” they call them in this box of digital expression that is linked to other boxes that occasionally do this creating unique ideas stuff. Peace, love and chicken grease.

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Eric Lightborn / Eruptide@YouTube out.

What Is Art?

The Newsweek cover story for this week examines the issue of  “The Creativity Crisis.

If there is any truth to a decline in creativity in the U.S. it likely stems from a lack of value for the arts and a lack of healthy national discussion over the value of art itself in our society.

But the discussion almost always goes straight to:

I like to go through it backwards, because I’m weird.

Renaissance art is soft-core porno. Or … pornography is art. No cheap smut film can match a masterpiece, that’s not what I am saying. It is just a matter of prudish mentalities that separates one form of nudity from another.

The truly obscene becomes a form of art all on its own. Even without the creator ever holding such an intent. It’s really, really bad art. But what the SCOTUS defines “protected obscene speech” is bunk. The more obscene something becomes the more we should be taking cares not to expose young impressionable minds to this art, but I would defend it as free speech even when I find the expression itself downright immoral and disgusting.

I do draw some lines, however. The most recent example that helps to define my view of what art is would be the SCOTUS ruling on ‘crush‘ films as protected. This violates my standard of harm being caused to living creatures for the sake of art, therefore I must stand opposed to protecting ‘crush’ films for they are not fictional animals being slaughtered for entertainment. This standard of mine applies to all art forms, as long as no harm is done in course of making your art I have no desire to shut you down even if you produce a product I find more than merely questionable in nature.

One example of ‘questionable art’ finding its way into American Culture would be the appearance of anime featuring a naked young vampire girl slaying people on Hulu and YouTube with partial white blurring over the scene. I found that single scene not only offensive but outrageous. However, I would be upset to hear of people trying to get the videos pulled for the crime of poor taste.

Art of value is able to invoke any topic and any feeling without being merely obscene, but I have always argued that the only way we will ever be able to discover and reveal the great works of art to be found in our times is to loosen our neck-ties about what exactly we call “art” in the first place.

My medium is words, mostly written but spoken word as well. I used to be able to produce illustration that did not stink, most recent attempts looked like I was five years old. I have focused too much on my writing and any drawing talent I have has fully withered at this point. I’ve also always enjoyed pottery especially wheel pottery. I have never produced a painting I would want to show anyone, and having so little success with that medium I have never been privy to its joys.

This here is art, this post and this blog and this account. It’s a hybrid art, something like ‘HTML Art’ should apply here. Some of you might think I’m playing games or being annoying with something I post, but this is just a place to express for me. And the art I find most interesting is usually the art that pushes out our sensibilities and confronts the subject matter directly.

And that is essentially what I think art is: all creative expression under the limit of doing real harm. I wonder if anyone has a shorter definition and if anyone thinks the SCOTUS definition of “socially redeeming value” has any merit. I personally think that such an absurd and arcane definition of art in the United States and the absolute lack of focus on the importance of the arts in our mainstream culture is why the Torrance study cited in Newsweek showed a decrease in the creativity in our kids.

Until we out-grow our puritanical stage, we cannot grow as a larger society.