There was a blog entry I made some time ago about the documentary ‘Come and Worry With Us’
about one of my favorite bands and generally discussing the problems that come when lacking sufficient money while still wanting to keep producing art, in this case performing and so generally seeing a more realistic approach to the lives of the people ‘on the spotlight’ so to speak, however I realize there is another dimension there to look at and that is part of my lack of objectivity when viewing this documentary, because I had a particular kinship toward the band itself and the people in it, specifically the leader of the band who happens to be part of another band that has been well known for remaining ‘out of the system,’ giving few interviews over the years, rejecting prizes from mainstream music industry, having no lyrics on their songs yet using their titles and general sounds used in the music as a constant reminder of the turbulent times we live in – such as wars, economic depression, general emotional depression, worrying about the future etc.
So, within investigating this, I realized that the people I had ‘admired’ throughout my life were mostly artists that have been able to ‘make it’ into the system without ‘selling out’ or what I then judged as ‘making lots of money into the system while escaping from complying to “the establishment.” That was my type of ‘ideal’ in life, to be ‘out of the system’ – I once thought that was possible, lol – and still make good money and speak on the frontline of ‘the oppressed’ so to speak. I’ve debunked in the past this character but there’s a dimension that I had missed looking at in terms of how I had admired individuals that I perceived as a form of ‘warriors’ themselves, to ‘stick to their guns’ so to speak, to stick to their beliefs and what they stand for which I see that this particular individual mostly does.
In the documentary ‘Come and Worry with Us’ Efrim Menuck actually refuses to place higher prices to concert tickets in order for them to make more money – and so have more economic solvency – because he wants to keep to the point of having ‘fair ticket prices’ for the public. This is something that I would have praised and seen as remarkable – but, is it really Self-Honest to actually go through hardship just to stick to one belief? Or is it really compromising the wellbeing of his own son/family/band for the sake of keeping his stance of anti-capitalism? Is it really common sensical to have a constant war toward money itself and wage a ‘fight against capitalism’ while refusing to do any other work and so placing your own financial security at risk, just because of not wanting to ‘sell out’ or ‘kiss corporate ass’ so to speak? My ideal was to be able to also ‘stick to my guns’ and rebel to the system in one way or another, but back then I had no idea of how even money was created or whether there was a genuine possibility to be ‘outside of the system’ – which I now understand of course cannot be a possibility even if I lived in Papua New Guinea.
So, in this, I realize that any trace of creating a preference for a particular individual based on the ‘ideals’ they stand for and those ideals being essentially based on antagonism toward the ‘establishment’ is still idolizing part of the problem in this world, because their ‘qualities’ are based on opposing something, on waging war against a certain faction and that’s essentially re-creating the idea of ‘resistance’ toward something or someone, instead of actually focusing on understanding the problem and so developing solutions. Efrim himself has said how musicians are cowards because they can sing about the problems but most are not directly involved in creating solutions – and most of the solutions that come from people that follow this kind of ideals are based on further revolts and protesting, which is no actual solution in fact.
Today I was pondering why so many artists can see the problems in society , but all that they have managed to do is expose it in pictures, in complicated objects and abstractions that would take more than one ‘quick view’ from a person to understand the actual message most of the times. I have then seen that as much as art has had this role of pointing out what is wrong with society and mirror it back, it lacks any substantial process of creating solutions. Some have gotten more involved into what would seem as social or anthropological work, getting involved with ‘the art piece’ that is part of a particular community/in situ, however those are still packets of solutions here and there, while the more general type of solutions will always come from the greater realms that still direct our society, which is politics, economics, education systems, media, etc. And art is still from my perspective a niche part of society that creates meta-languages that only a few can understand.
I simply realized that in order to ‘create change in the world’ as I have aspired to do, it takes more than just presenting images, sculptures, videos to people. Sure, it is a stepping stone, a bridge – but ultimately it is one’s own process of self-change that really enables one to understand also the magnitude of the problem and so also the best ways to go directing ourselves to support this change as well.
It’s interesting that one of the reasons I wanted to be an ‘artist’ is precisely for the kind of statements an attitudes generally attributed to artists such as: ‘an artist won’t lick the establishment’s boots.’ I had not questioned even for one moment that in doing this, one is standing in a constant warfare toward ‘the system’ instead of realizing we all are the system. In this stance, one is acting as any other ego in this world that is separated from others, that is standing with some and against others, while having no real practical solution development process in it. In this it is about clarifying that it’s not about the process of creation here, but rather the personalities I had placed more value and as such an experience on.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to ever idolize a particular lifestyle that stood for a particular idea of persona that I wanted to be based on my desire to stand ‘against the system’ without ever realizing how only an ego can stand in separation from another.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to idolize another individual based on the principles of ‘standing up to the system’ or ‘sticking to their guns’ as a way to exemplify people that would still survive and ‘make a living’ in an apparent non-sellout way to ‘the system,’ wherein I had created a sense of heroism toward people that would ‘dare’ to do this, and see them as role models, without realizing that in reality creating such kind of ‘stance’ toward ‘the system’ is once again perpetuating the problem as in standing ‘against’ those that we perceive as ‘the wrongdoers,’ ‘the evil ones,’ ‘the capitalistic mafia,’ without realizing we are all part of and co-creators of this ‘evil mafia’ as our world and money system and we would not be able to have the lives we have right now if we weren’t part of the system as a whole, which implies that by virtue of being a human being in this world, using money, using resources, relating to others, existing in this world = it implies we are all part of the system.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to romanticize the idea of my ‘role models’ being individuals that were cryptic in nature, were antagonistic yet sad and dismal about the state of affairs in the world, which I associated with being profoundly ‘sensitive’ individuals and within this, justifying their stance of being ‘against the system,’ without realizing that this is in fact a victimized state of showing ‘the system’ what ‘it has done to them’ and also remain within such excuse to not partake in the actual process of self-responsibility and self-creation that is required to genuinely change things.
We can actually all learn how to coexist, communicate, come to agreements and work together within the system using our creativity for the betterment of all in a Practical Way, instead of using art as a way to only use representations to criticize, judge, point fingers and blame and taking the vantage point, the righteousness of being the ‘fair one’ that is doing ‘nothing wrong’ and can only resort to ‘complain about it.’ This is precisely how we have disempowered ourselves, by creating yet another bubble in society wherein all the people that are most informed about the problems, that see and understand the problems, that can even create ‘art’ based on it are not really working within the spheres where real change can take place, which is in education, in politics, in law systems wherein we can in fact change the codes, the rules and how we manage our society.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have surrounded myself with people that I thought I had admired for ‘taking a stance’ within the system, mostly of judging and complaining about it which I once identified as ‘powerful’ but in fact, it is the most disempowered state one can be in, and more so only channeling one’s observations into a song or a painting or a discourse against ‘the powers that be’ instead of genuinely understanding the process of changing the world beginning with oneself, stopping all antagonistic stance toward ‘the world’ and the perceived ‘evil ones’ and walk the actual process of self-forgiving all the antagonism and inner conflict toward reality so that one can focus on learning how we came to create this mess, this world-system problem and so focus our time, attention and dedication to becoming the solution, to creating and presenting solutions as that’s the real way we can genuinely unite in one single voice that stands as self-responsibility and no longer remain as futile resistance and antagonism.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself for having ever been in awe and amazed at people that I would see ‘standing up to the establishment’ or ‘daring’ to speak about everything that is wrong about the world and see them as heroes, as ‘superior’ individuals – without realizing that speaking against, shouting, marching, protesting and joining the antagonistic ‘choir’ so to speak is rather a stepping stone and a relatively easier thing to do – it also creates a self-belief of righteousness and justice, but what has been missed is pondering how such reclamation, how such anger and spite toward the system is in fact supporting to create a solution at all? How is one’s anger, one’s sadness and despair, one’s decision to ‘not sell out’ in fact supporting to change the nature of ourselves as individuals and so with doing that, changing the nature of the world system that does function in a enslavement-mode.
Isn’t it only self-interest to create an experience within oneself of righteousness about one’s ‘beliefs’ and stance when such beliefs are defined according to begin against something/someone? In fact, all our past revolutionaries have become personalities printed on posters as an example to new generations of a perceived ‘way forward’ for change through ideals of change and a call for revolution, when in fact that will only lead to and perpetuate the ongoing wars we have.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to associate the word idol or hero in the context of people I have seen have apparently ‘stood up to the system’ but only in a fighting mode or in a ‘resistance’ manner, which ultimately keeps the war going between ‘two sides’ that antagonize each other and do not actually get to put down the defenses and work together in self-responsibility to create genuine solutions. This would be the new heroism, wherein we no longer have to ‘fight a battle’ to ‘win’ and so be identified as the ‘hero of the day’ but rather define here-oism as an individual that lives by principle, that commits to being fully HERE as Life and whose actions are aimed at benefiting him/herself and others as well.
Heroism means to stand in absolute self-responsibility and accountability, to ensure one stops all inner wars first, then a real hero or role model emerges as someone that won’t ever antagonize themselves with another, but instead lives the realization that it is only through self-forgiving our polarization, our antagonism and inner battles that we can create a genuine world living in peace and harmony, just as the one that many artists or ‘heroes’ have attempted to create. But ultimately, living in actual self-responsibility makes you no one’s enemy, no one’s ‘freedom fighter’ and so, war is annihilated when recognizing and living in equality.
Integrity is the congruence sticking to live by and apply living principles that stand within the consideration of what is best for all, that implies not only sticking to what one prefers or sees as ‘righteous’ but implies actually actively pushing oneself to become a self-responsible and self honest human being. This means walking the talk and stopping any form of hypocrisy by denying what is here as ourselves and blaming someone for it. All is self-responsibility, all is our self-creation.
Real self-change begins with oneself, begins with recognizing that this system as ‘capitalism’ is not the problem in itself, but ourselves as human beings . Taking an antagonistic stance and pretending to be an ‘outsider’ to it all is abdicating self-responsibility and creating a new self-religion, a trendy form of excuse, justification and self-belief that the battle against the government/ the establishment can in any way be ‘won’ when there’s nothing to win in a world where if we don’t actually get to work together, we will simply deplete everything that is here and we won’t have anyone to battle on any longer because fighting is never the solution, self-direction and common sense is. Why haven’t we realized how we actually co-create wars as we fight for our plight to freedom? Why should we even have to ‘fight’ for something that should be given as a guaranteed living right?
The solution for myself is once again to be very aware of any reminiscence of praising individuals for having ‘strong beliefs’ that can be disguised as justice, as ‘fighting for what’s right’ but in fact when looking at how they live, what they think and where they stand, compromising one’s financial stability for the sake of ‘sticking to one’s beliefs’ is not common sense. More so with artists, there’s a lot of creativity and engineering processes that are being squandered only in pieces that are shown in museums or streets, but still just pieces of matter, words or images that intend to open up people’s eyes but I’ve realized that art in itself as a material thing is is not enough – it can be a starting point, a bridge, an opening toward a certain perspective or view, but currently we mostly lack ways in which to give a follow-up to that ‘awakening’ process.
That’s why sharing about this self-creative process is the most important thing I see is required in our current society, so that we can shift our focus from the fights and antagonism or despair, toward an actual recognition of our power and ability to change ourselves and so change the world. Sounds like a cliché, but I’m testing this real time and it works, and it is not a quick fix since it is like re-weaving one’s own life toward a supportive outcome. I can guarantee that you won’t be the same as you were before, but isn’t that the point of living: growing out of the constriction and taking one’s own self-directive decisions and choices in life? What a better way to do this but within a principle where all/everyone is considered, where one recognizes one’s own potential and so lives in the world embracing the current consequential outflows of our past, because we understand that cringing about it makes no difference – and instead, we focus on applying, living and becoming the solution.
Within this I realize that I have actually stopped following ‘role models’ and decided to rather commit myself to be my own role model and within that become a living example for myself and others of what living as a self-responsible being implies. This is then something that entails committing to live by the principles of life in self-honesty wherein I decide to make of my life my own work of art that I can actually fully stand for and so debunk the ideas of having to follow other role models that so far have led us nowhere. Not even admiring a great man that shared with us the process of Self Forgiveness is acceptable, because in admiration one beliefs one is incapable of standing as equal to another, and that’s the whole point of walking this process: to recognize our full potential as equals within our individuality, which means: each one holds a very specific key to world-change.
Life is rather short, we only got one life so let’s live it every moment fully in self-creation mode.
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