Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We Need a Reset Button

The corporate system, our present economic system that controls the flow of goods, services and finance, wants to make it seem as if the drones, the workers, have some say in what happens within its world, but the only option presented is the level of bribery required to purchase the loyalty of individuals so they perform the tasks required, tasks which are designed to distract them from examining the system they support. Our corporate system is nothing more than legal robbery, robbery from those lacking the force of violence to topple the system they are locked into. The world needs a revolution so that life can be restored. We live within a system that worships distraction, that wants to keep everyone amused by new gadgets, new cartoons, new bands, etc. The system purchases us with gaudy theater, with a circus, and then our jaws go slack and we offer up our chuckles and ask for another beer. The rabble is kept amused and convinced they are to blame for their failure.

In our economic world their are two entities, one that produces nothing and steals the profit from those that produce useful goods. There are entities in this world, highly profitable ones, that have positioned themselves through their control of governments, through their control of media, through their control of the entities that produce ideas, at the very center of our economy. These legal entities manipulate the system so that every transaction must go through the systems they created. These systems provide little value, but are highly profitable. Those that control our financial systems have leveraged their wealth to purchase every entity from our universities to our government so that they are always in a position to profit without delivering any meaningful service. Trillions of dollars of real wealth is siphoned away and transferred to those that control this financial system. The purchase the loyalty of everyone that gets in their way. The do not kill, but they can weaken and ultimately make ineffectual any opponent.

Where is the revolution? Where are the people pouring into the streets with clubs in their hands willing to force change upon a system that robs all working people of the profits of their labor. Housing--who walked away with billions in profits while many went homeless? Unemployment--who received their billions in bonuses while millions jumped through hoops to maintain their unemployment checks. Where is the entity that will stop those that manipulate, but do not produce? Where is the force that will bring justice to those that knowingly stole, that used their system to steal from the working people? Where is the force that will rise up and end this destruction of our way of life? And of course, we need to change this way of life that was forced upon us so that we could be controlled! Where are the riots in the suburbs?

The entities that control our communications want everyone to believe we live in a world that rewards those that produce, those that add value, but we now have a system where those entities that add no value receive the greatest reward. Economic activity is measured by the adding of value to something pulled from nature or through the development of some idea that someone is willing to purchase. What value does our financial systems add to our world that that is worthy of the profit it receives? They are sophisticated, and use economic, political, ethical philosophies to make it seem as if we live in a system that rewards hard work, that provides opportunities to those that will work hard and sell their loyalty. But we are maintaining a system that only wants to uses us, that wants to manipulate our minds, our trust, our ethics. No man will protest the system that provides them with a paycheck. The system bribes those that should be speaking out. The system purchases those with the mental aptitude to bring about change. The system sucks in and alters any opposition. To change the system will require revolution. The system is so refined, so well developed, that every revolutionary becomes a part of the system.

Where are today's revolutionaries? Where are the people that will push the reset button? Where are the people that will stack up the cobble stones and shut down the system that robs them of their lives.

If we step out of line, if we raise the alarm who will they send to convince you of the right path? The police? The new job with the high salary? Where are the revolutionaries that will be able to avoid the system, the blob of meaningless work or the arms of repression?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Painting

I have been thinking about my work and the meaning it gives to my life. There are two views on this. One is that work is what you do during the day and that living is what you do outside of work. This is the don't quit your day job philosophy. The other view is that work itself is supposed to provide some meaning to life, that it is an outgrowth of who you are and should represent something meaningful. The majority of us, unfortunately, are stuck in mode one because of the very nature of work and the work that needs to be done. Toilets need to be cleaned, assembly lines need to be manned, and accounts need to be balanced. I suppose most people are able to strike a balance between work, what they do for money, and what they do for meaning? I am feeling this strong desire to combine the two by having my work be meaningful. A decade ago, for some mysterious reason, I did a dozen or so paintings, and then just stopped. Looking back, and seeing the paintings today, I see them as the best things I ever did in my life, which is depressing as hell. Do these few mediocre paintings represent the best things I have ever done after 48 years of living?

I don't know if I can go back to painting, if I can put in the hours and hours it takes to even start a particular piece, or if I can face the disappointment that comes from starting something then discovering I'm not ready to undertake it which happened in the past. Part of art is growing, and being willing to fail.

Ten years have gone by since I last completed anything, but somehow the idea of starting again is always in the back of my mind but the will to start again never conquers my laziness. I know I would have to do another 20 complete paintings before I even started to understand what I was doing. It would take me months to feel comfortable with a pallet and a few tubes of paint. I want to do it, but I know it would take a lot out of me. But then, I am not really doing much of anything with my life.

The things of which I am most proud are the things I never talk about because I am proud of them. Yes, they hang in my house and, OK I admit it, I admire them because the tell me I am capable of something that is a little better than mediocre. I know I am not a Picasso or a Manet, but I am a Bauer which is something.

And here is the thing, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks about what I am doing. I remember years ago I went out with a woman that was a painter. She lived in a studio apartment and had a mattress on one side of the room and the rest of the space was taken up by her paintings. The floor was covered by a large tarp. She had a stereo in there and some jazz albums. She was willing to dedicate her life to the production of her art, her vision of what art was. It doesn't even matter how good or bad it was, what mattered is that she was passionate about it, that she wasn't a hack, she was the artist working her day job, and painting at night. I wonder what happened to her. I wonder what happened to me.