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The vilest bullshit (Gaming)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, May 25, 2020, 22:54 (46 days ago) @ General Battuta
edited by CruelLEGACEY, Monday, May 25, 2020, 23:28

Being taught a lie is not an excuse to repeat the lie. The primary function of depression and misery in creative work is to stop creative work. Take it from someone who is both a full time writer and a trained psychologist. You are wrong, and worse, you are wrong in a way which creates the very cycles of suffering which you think are necessary for creativity.

That just doesn’t line up with reality. Nobody says “I want to be an artist, but artists are supposed to suffer, so I guess I’ll go fuck up my own life”. Every great artist I’ve ever met or known of was already fucked up before the art came. It’s entirely possible that there’s an exception or two out there that I haven’t heard of, but I’m perfectly comfortable saying that almost any artist that any of us can name was running from something, fighting something, or trying to fill some kind of hole.

Next: I didn’t say “suffering” is necessary. I said “sacrifice”. Those are very, very different things.

(I did later bring up suffering as one of the things that drives creative output, but I never said it was the only thing).

I think I see where we have a bit of a disconnect. It very well could be my fault, although I thought I was being clear in this. Let me try to clarify it a bit:

It’s not difficult to come up with a short list of priorities that are crucial to maintaining a healthy, well balanced lifestyle and state of mind. We might say things like “Good relationships with friends, family, healthy work/life balance, exercise and proper self-care, hobbies...” stuff like that.

My argument here is that no true art ever gets made without shoving some of those elements to the side. And the really important distinction here is that i’m talking about capital A-R-T. The kind of thing that grabs people and moves them, makes them cry, or jump up and down with excitement, even though hardly anyone can explain why they feel these things. I know plenty of people who like to paint or write poetry in their spare time. It’s a hobby and a creative outlet for them, and that’s wonderful. I think everyone needs something like that. But I wouldn’t call any of these people artists (not that they couldn’t be). Some people are so technically skilled that the go professional. They tour with musical companies playing in the orchestra, or they get a job with a marketing company doing graphic design. They’re skilled the way a tradesman is skilled. But that too is an entirely different thing (to be clear, i’m not saying that these professionals are never creative artists... just that it is possible to work in such fields without being a particularly artistic person).

The reason I draw this distinction is because anyone who has really sunk themselves into a creative endeavour knows what it feels like to have something inside you that you need to get out and you just can’t stop. When it’s 5am and you have school at 9am but you have a picture in your mind and you can’t put the pencil down until it’s all out on the paper in front of you. Or when you’ve been mixing the same song for 26 hours straight but you can’t stop yet because there’s a sound in your head that you’ve never heard before and you need to figure out how to create it before it slips away and is gone forever. Sometimes it’s more of a purely emotional state. Like a scream that has to come out of you and you can’t stop before it’s done because you feel like you’d explode.

That feeling, that compulsion, is such a key part of the creative process, but it always comes with a cost. You are always giving up something. One of those “priorities” that I mentioned above is getting shoved aside. I can’t begin to estimate how many artists have told me over the years that they feel like their creativity is a curse... that they’d stop dancing or painting or writing if they could. Because it gets in the way of their health, happiness, and well being, and they know it. But they feel like they can’t stop.

This is why Bono said “imagine how you’d have to feel about yourself in order to need 50,000 people screaming ‘I love you Bono!’ every single night, just to feel normal”. This is why John Cleese talks about how he had to stop doing comedy once he finally got over his anger issues and depression, because he just isn’t funny anymore. His comedy always came from a very dark, manic place. Hell, watch just about any interview with Robin Williams. He was wrestling with demons every minute of the day, as we all sadly know.

In closing, i’m sorry that you think my opinions are “vile bullshit”. But I know what i’m talking about here, and the body of evidence from across the entire art world is on my side, as far as I can tell. I’m all for sharing disagreements and different perspectives, so if you want to do so with a less petulant attitude, i’m all ears. Tell me why i’m wrong, not just “because I say so”. Or don’t... your choice, obviously.


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