Society of Quantity
"If critics say 'no wonder she is a genius, because she is devoting all her time for art,' then it would be a better place in the world that there would be more people who are interested in focussing their energy to the fields that they are interested in." That was Akiane Kramarik's mother in an interview about her daughter's art career, and despite her broken English, she has the right idea.
This post will be revisiting the general topic of art and beauty again. I believe that modern society is overworking us in unnecessary ways. We are no longer focussing solely on the growth of our culture, but the profits we can get from our business ventures so we can jet around the world. The artist has been relegated to a place of lesser significance compared to the CEO or politician. What worth should we place on what these people produce? Very little, I think. Sure, they can sort of manage the running of a country or a business, which can help the economy, but what do they actually produce? Just more numbers and dollars, not tangible, physical beauty through the works of art or literature that flourished a few hundred years ago. What is profit if your society is terminally ill? The market is now based on a consume-and-discard idea - be a consumer and not an owner.
Akiane Kramarik is best known as being a teenage, now 25-years-old, art prodigy who has been painting since the age of 5. She has enjoyed the success of being a self-made millionaire through hard work and dedication to her craft. If she wasn't able to devote so much of her time, it is unlikely that she would be as successful as she is. The assistance of her spirituality has spurred her on to keep following that passion, which is something we should regain in the content our age produces. Apathy and a rootless identity has pushed the low expectations further into the mainstream. It's sad when the art you see inside a hotel lobby makes you feel something for a second; the most generic of store-bought art.
We have eventually progressed to the stage where working many jobs at once, or having a work history of many casual jobs is the norm. We are in need of more order and stability. We desperately need quality. Not quantity of how many jobs you have worked to prove you are competent enough to wage-slave for someone for 40+ hours a week. Devotion to a craft, perfection of your craft, improving the content of that industry's produce.
The work that artists create now pales in comparison to the beauty of yesteryear, partly due to the changing lens that we view art through, evident in the abstract art movements. I remember specifically learning about Jackson Pollock in primary school, and even then I knew that the art we tried to replicate was empty; it had no impetus to it, it wasn't stirring or have any depth or grip. Now the art world is filled with white liberal bourgeois snobs, instead of your regular, everyday people, because I believe the coarseness of the art has alienated them. How is Number 17A by Jackson Pollock worth $211m? Same goes for No 1 (Royal Red and Blue) by Mark Rothko, which was sold for $75m. Of course, there are many others I could list, but I will leave it at two. They are evidence of the anarchy and chaos of western society in the post-World War Two period, and are abusive to the senses. When art and architecture aren't based on any prior wisdom or rules, and instead shifts towards totally new and experimental methods, instead of tweaking the wisdom we know to work and bring beauty, the results are disastrous.
Homeschooling is something more people should consider, which I am planning for my kids, as it can help them aid their talents in meaningful ways, and not have useless information taking up time or space in their heads; retain the essential, discard the non-essential. If a painter is looking increasingly like they have a special talent, what use do they have for mathematical equations, chemistry or english tests? Because of this flourishing, I think many countries have deliberately made it hard for parents to teach their own children what and how they want them to believe and act, or outright proscribed it. It's a deadly combination of parents working a lot, the kids going to a factory model school and then being confused and flooded with, most of the time, useless information that doesn't help produce anything meaningful or worth noting; it just keeps the status quo going by putting people into jobs they aren't passionate about. This lack of zest may explain why people are so lost and suicidal; they are unfulfilled.
Overall, a need to rethink the way we structure our society is needed. We shouldn't value people that don't produce beauty over those who do, we need to slow down a bit and rediscover who we are. Read old books, appreciate beautiful art, sculpt a strong body. Become quality!