Writing about the art is like writing about a dog that obviously has no object permanence.
The artist used to be a relatively happy young man.
He did all the normal things people did.
But most importantly, he lived in the moment.
And I don’t mean in the cliché sort of way, when people say that they seek to “live in the moment.”
If one were to live in the moment they would not enjoy it because, frankly, they would not know what to do with that moment because they would have nothing to compare it to. No experience before of after for it to be better than, similar to, different from.
No one lives in the moment. Unless its that very first moment of awareness. And screaming babies covered in vaginal juices don’t seem that happy, do they? No, living in the moment, my dear friend, is something most terrifying and traumatic.
Just ask any newborn, although you may not be able to get a proper answer.
What people want is a great escape. What they want is not to live in the moment, but to escape it at all costs. They want an orgasm, a moment so full of the feeling that everything else, every thought, is exiled. They want a moment of personal fascism.
Why does the orgasm feel so good you ask?
Because all good feelings are ones of release and of total loss of control, even if it’s only for a second and a half. Because everything leading up to it sucked, your day and maybe even the act itself.
I for one don’t understand the appeal. I may not be human, but I can’t see how any of you people find it anything but repulsive.
Anyway, when people began to realize they all just wanted to escape their shitty lives, they realized with careful calculation (and without pushing people too far) that they could create this release by hand crafting their own artists. Why settle for some amateur? Why not customize the perfect specimen of manhood? Why leave it to the chance of nature and nurture? Why not build the perfect artist?
And it was soon found out that suffering created the most authentic art. So they created the suffering, and the artists they created would relive that suffering.
But what made people in such desperate need of artistic stimulation in the first place?
Well, you know adrenaline junkies! Everything becomes so stimulating that the norm becomes mundane. So one begins to need higher and higher stimulation. Neurologically, I’m quite sure that’s what happened. Sure, you could blame it on the economy, or social issues or bad parenting, but in all actuality we all know it was the copious amounts of corn syrup (okay, only kidding, but that sure did fatten them up good now, didn’t it?). Not that it very much matters what I think, but I think it was a sort of arrested development of the masses. Yes, that’s what I think.
Not that it was their entire fault, exactly – the masses, that is. Sometime during the 21st century, people began to realize that if everyone had this unified desire to achieve the pursuit of happiness, the chances of everyone actually achieving it was rather slim. But it wasn’t just this cold hard realization; it was the fact that people were also failing to find happiness in the anti-reality drugs that their systems had become increasingly immune to.
So as people failed to find happiness in reality, art was the only thing left.
But because art had this entire new meaning and task, naturally it was going to be under a harsher spotlight. Art became life, and boy do people like to complain about their life. They became malicious in their misery, and because they could not achieve their own happiness, then why should the artist? So naturally, all artists must give up the pursuit of happiness. All must give up real life in order to create the best illusion of one.
So naturally everyone began to hate what they needed most – in this case the artist – in order to keep the artist true, to keep them authentic. The Creator’s – which is to say, the non-artists — wanted a new world. They wanted easy living and high rewords. They wanted to sit in front of a goddamn screen and have all they needed.
But this was impossible. It is impossible to give someone happiness when they themselves don’t know what it is they want.
But Subject One wanted nothing more than to give it to them. But he knew he needed help.
Ah, But how did they get away with it, you ask? Well, the critics did most of the work. The media, the Internet, this rapid new way of living made art a passing fad…unless it was so devastatingly obvious that an artist was authentic. To be worthy of the critics praise, the artist had to make a sacrifice. Searching for and completing this sacrifice drove the artist mad, and they found themselves willing to do anything to give their fans the orgasm they so desperately craved, even if it meant rejecting the pursuit of happiness. Because if they couldn’t sacrifice their own happiness, then they were not artists. And if they were not artists they were nothing. So the world split into two. The nothings, who were largely the critics who were free to peruse happiness (not that they ever actually achieved it) and the artists or creators who had to reject it. All were inevitably doomed to be unhappy.
They would lie in bed at night praying to the aliens in the sky, “make me authentic, make me undeniably real, and give me what they need.”
The artist had a feeling of sterility; no matter what he did there would be some who mocked him, someone who did not believe in his work. The critics were relentless. And instead of the art itself being judged, the man behind it would be the one under the magnifying glass.
So it was no surprise when a particular artist (who we shall call Subject One) an ordinary man from an ordinary middle class nuclear family offered himself to the Creators of Project Feel Good. And on a cold winter night, Subject One offered himself, sacrificed himself to these scientists, in the hope that he could become a true artist. Like a nun sacrificing her pleasure in the name of Jesus.
When he walked into the lab, the scientists greeted him warmly. Subject one was in there greetings felt a little of put, the scientists looked mad, depraved and unkempt. There gray hairs resembled the texture of sand paper. There eyes blood shot from the long hours. They gave him a white sterile room for the night, and told Subject One to get a good nights rest. Through him a pillow and shut the door. It made a loud slam. They would start prepping for surgery in the early morning, and by the next sunset he would be a true artist. He would have a deadly need to create. He would make the ultimate sacrifice. He would give up his sanity. After all, according to the creator of Project Feel Good, “to be an artist is to hand over your sanity on a silver platter.”
In simplest terms, Subject One would allow the scientists to inject little grey men inside his head. These men would give him a deadly need to create, and give him the ability to create truly insane art, because that’s all that was left to be done in an age were all else had already been.
For the first time in quite some time, Subject One woke up with hope: hope that he would be able to finally give the public the art (and in turn the artist) that they needed, and with that, the escape they craved. These were crazy times. He yawned, scratched his head, and examined his fingernails, which were now full of dandruff. “Would you look at that,” he said. “Creating already.”
The scientists were eating their breakfast. Subject one walked into the kitchen. He reached for some bacon when one of the scientists wacked his hand with a spatula. “Tsk tsk tsk” he said, “not so fast, mister. We want our artists to be miserable and hungry, now don’t we?”
This morning, the scientist would inject the grey men into Subject Ones skull. And these grey men would begin to wreak havoc, giving Subject One only the most tragic and tormented memories, memories that would cause poor Subject One to go mad and create art only a mad genius could create.
Art that was inevitable, and this act of sacrifice would give him so much undeniable credibility that the public would be enormously grateful.
With the breakfast eaten and the patient prepped, they were ready to begin. They grey men were injected into him. They started their work immediately on poor Subject Ones brain. They got rid of his logic. Then they took away all inhibition. But something was missing.
Torment. Torture. Suffering. Misery.
So instead of taking away another part of Subject One’s mind, they created something instead. A false memory. One so horrible that no words could do it justice (so you will just have to take me word on it).
At one point they thought they might puncture his vestibular apparatus, thereby making the act of creating art the only way for him to find his sense of balance. But they realized, of course, that good art needs soul and the soul is memory, and if he did not have balance in memory how could he have it in art? So they decided to just give him a brilliant twisted beautifully unique past. A past that was so exciting that it could do nothing but inspire passion and a need to release that passion. Ah, he would indeed be oozing brilliant visions in no time! It would be coming out of his pores. Little did the scientists know this would cause a break in the fabric of reality and cause poor Subject One to unintentionally produce intelligent life.
Once the grey men were inside, it didn’t take long. Subject One had already begun to think in a new way. The Creators were excited to be getting results so soon. It transcribed itself on one of the monitors. The scientists read it aloud.
"You feel like your mind is trapped in one fragment of one point in a lost and long gone memory.
Just that one moment in your history.
And all you dream of is to be some sort of superior species,
one beyond human need, but with the benefits of empathy.
Empathy! A quality passed down from your human ancestry, a survivor of all previous centuries,
A quality responsible for everlasting beauty without the need of a bullshit entity.
You start to look back. You try and convince yourself it’s all just a made up memory, but a memory so persistent in the way it made your chemistry.”
“Traumatic events make your mind click on as effortlessly as turning on a light switch,” said one of the scientists, upon reading Subject ones new thoughts. “Once turned on, the circuits begin to rewire themselves and create a tortured psyche.”
“Oh, of course,” said another scientist. “How else could we be sure of their authenticity unless we cause their mental disarray? How would we know their pain to be authentic?”
"There’s only one accepted blueprint when it comes to the mind of an artist," said the first Scientist.
“He must suffer, like all the greats…William Blake, Charles dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, T.s Elliot, Vincent van Gogh, Douglas Adams and of course mister Woody Allen,” said another scientist.
“But why?” Said a third scientist. “Why must he suffer?”
"Without suffering,” answered the first scientist, “the praise of the public could become enough, and the artist might stop creating, their impulse might fade, they might become fulfilled we need him to have a core emptiness, a core dissatisfaction and a core misery"
Meanwhile, in subject ones subconscious…
"And if it doesn’t fit
they will turn off your switch, eliminate the light and leave your mind in darkness.
They will reflect their own perceptions and create your own reality, and take away your natural instincts.
When they’re done and you think you have finally won the battle
they will all abandon you.
You will try to reconnect the missing pieces because a feeling of loss still remains. You will be left with symptoms without understanding the cause.
Don’t let them tell you who you are. Don’t let the men inside you be your only way.
Don’t let them suppress your individuality.
Don’t let them define the appropriate way to give to humanity.”
And suddenly the artist reached up his nose and grabbed at the men that had been living inside him. “Existence so futile and so torturous,” he grunted. Reaching deeply and painfully past his sinuses and into the optic chiasm, he pulled out the grey men. His brain had rejected the grey men.
" I wont allow you to take away my happiness. Fuck you. Fuck the public, and fuck the critics. Fuck your mother for creating you, and hers for creating her. Fuck humanity for being so entitled. You want art?”
The artist shoved his finger up his nose and picked a winner and smeared it on a white canvas.
“Appreciate me, fuckers? Accept me.”
As the artist stormed off the creators noticed something rather peculiar. As they approached the smeared bugger, the closer they got the more they noticed it highly resembled some sort of man-bird.
The artist had effortlessly created a masterpiece.
The man-bird booger-man on the canvas suddenly spoke. “Hello,” he said. All the creators practically jumped out of their lab coats and ran out of the lab.
I’ll never forget that. How rude they were. What a horrible way to enter the world. I may be but a wee animated bugger on a white canvas but I do have feelings now, don’t I. You may ask how do I know this story? Well who doesn’t know the story of their birth? Parents really love to go on about that sort of thing. We are their greatest creation, blah blah blah.
When the artist saw all the creators running out of the lab he curiously went back and found me. “Hello daddy” I said. My first real sentence! Aren’t I just precious? Anyway thanks for listening to my story. It gets a bit boring being hung up on the wall of a museum all day long. The audience said goodbye to the man bird who looked rather content under the warmth of the limelight. Some left but most stayed behind to read the description next to him as he fell asleep, “religion is just really good art and art in turn is just really good religion”. Do what makes your nipples hardest