Hey Everyone, I’m an Artist!

Hey Everyone, I’m an Artist!

You can tell a real asshole by how they introduce themselves. Anyone who has ever introduced themselves to me with the words “I am a musician, I am an artist, I am a poet, ” has automatically selected themselves for the Mark Driver Assisted Suicide Fund. I’m sure if you asked a true poet what she was, she would say something poetic like “I am the wind in your ears,” or “I am what you think I am until I persuade you differently, tender lizard,” not “I am a poet”. It’s to easy to make yourself feel good about what you do by giving yourself a title. Assigning yourself to some group somehow makes you become a better person by association. “I am a painter like the Great Raphael, not some schlocky kid wasting good money on art supplies.” If I walked around telling people I was a vice-president of marketing, I’d be called a liar. Yet all these mutton heads without a creative bone in their body walk around assigning themselves the lexicon “artist” just because they get to play Bohemian with their trust funds while the rest of us drag our asses out of bed and show up at a shitty job every day.

I was at this party a few weeks ago. It was a “musician” party. Besides having possibly the worst collective haircuts I’ve ever run across from any group (that includes prison and a hockey team from Minnesota), they were probably the most insufferable bunch of stuffed shirts I’ve ever hung out with (one pitfall of making someone else drive to a party is that you can’t leave when you want). They didn’t even listen to good music. How long has it been since you heard “RUSH” played at a party and it wasn’t a joke? I even was blessed with a demo tape of some random jackass’s band (Imagine combining the Chili Peppers with Steve Vai on guitar and the guy from Cinderella singing about mythological love in-between instrument solos) . Everyone was very confident that their band was very good. I don’t know if music schools attract this kind of human debris, or if music schools take normal people and turn them into drooling fools, but you’d be better off combing the Citadel for open-minded partiers than your average music school. Give someone a bit of formal training in any “creative” field and they become too obnoxious to be let out in public.

The bottom line is that in our own stupid little ways, we’re all artists, we’re all musicians, and we’re all poets. Maybe we’re not all good enough to make a living at artsy shit, but most of the greats never made a cent in their lifetimes, and it’s not like money is a good judge of quality anyways. My friend’s dad started painting at the age of 52. He was suit wearing executive, and would spend his weekends making ugly paintings. His family and friends made so much fun of him that he eventually quit, gave away all his supplies, and stuffed the paintings he had intended to give as gifts into the attic. His painting had been getting better, I just don’t think anyone was comfortable with the idea of him doing something creative. But it see