Monday, March 9, 2015

On Sob Stories and Happy Talk

http://tomsarmo.com/
 I check out a lot of blogs--mostly those by artists. I enjoy, follow, and admire the bloggers who can tackle pathos and joy with edifying and genuine prose, and definitely avoid those that are contrived, fake, or manipulative.

Writing plain, real talk on any subject is not easy, because being real isn't easy. But I'm thinking life could be much more satisfying if I can get there in my writing, my art, and in my behavior. I'm working on all of that.

http://tomsarmo.com/
I think mainstream media and advertising makes plain talk--and being real--difficult to achieve. Television programming, along with Madison Avenue, pours out fakery, distortion, grimacing grins and synthetic tears--pretending good cheer, humor, and compassion. How can we express "real" when the cultural water in which we swim is so thick with insincerity and cunning?

But I digress. Here's the point: I recently re-read a few of my past posts (probably a foolish thing to do). Nonetheless, I noticed that some of them seem to contain an undercurrent of frustration. Yes my life is tough at times, but I don't want to succumb to the poor-me's--that's not helpful or illuminating. Also noticed that I've tried to temper that frustration in my posts. Thus things might appear to be perfectly wonderful with me. I hope that's not the case, because that's not true--or real--either.

http://tomsarmo.com/
Now, one of my many personal sad songs could be about the difficulties of being a creative person--a person who finds the water-slide of life full of kinks, sharp corners, and dry patches rather than a smooth, well-lubed tube. The life of the angst-filled artist is a cliche, but in some ways it's true for me and for many artists I know and have read about. But I don't have the talent for addressing it plain and real, without sounding whiny. Or even worse, manipulative. Know what I mean?

http://tomsarmo.com/
 The flip side of the same coin is the cheeriness that masks desperation. The creepy "my life is so fun and I'm so successful" chirpy stuff. Ugh--gimme a break already! All of us--artists and accountants and everyone in between--feel desperate at times, and we all seek solace for that. But swaddling it with fake, happy-talk is just as annoying as publicly pushing anguish for everyone to see. Maybe that stuff does sell product, but ultimately, what do the performances inflict on the soul?

Luckily, most of us manage to find contentment at times; but trying to be happy all the time, that's emotional suicide. And wallowing in difficulties is emotional suicide as well. Doesn't over-indulgence in either of those extremes result in missing out on the range of legitimate--and often fleeting--emotions that make existence truly rich?

http://tomsarmo.com/
I'll keep trying to blog real and be down-to-earth. It is a challenge I sometimes find enjoyable, sometimes not. Really.

Thanks!


Ps. Lots of my early posts are missing the pictures, and I apologize for that...

 I deleted a bunch of images on Google because the numbers of them were getting unwieldy. That automatically deleted them on the posts. If there is a better way to reduce the numbers of images on Google without having them go missing from blogspot, I'd truly appreciate an email.







4 comments:

  1. Love the wrestling here. If the artists creates or writes for a specific audience it is hard to be authentic and yet if the artist creates something and no other soul connects to the piece I'm not sure the fullness of the creative is realized. Good to wrestle with the tension of it all.

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    1. Thanks for writing Kelly. I believe creating/writing for a specific audience can be authentic, but only if the artist/writer shares the same passion as the specific audience--and I'm not meaning the passion for money :) I also believe that no artist or writer is an island, so whatever they create out of love will be real and therefore connect with someone out there. (Some might expect or demand that this connection--or passion--should be enough to allow the artist/writer to live solely their work, but that's a whole other issue.)

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  2. I always enjoy your blog because of your authentic voice, both in your art and your writing. I enjoy that you're being real by creating from your imagination -- and that you care enough about the images to use detail and amazing line work. Blogs like yours are an antidote to the mainstream media. I think you find balance as you wrestle with the tension.

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    1. I am glad to know that you have found my work authentic, as your blog is one that I have read and admired for for that very thing. And if my blog is somewhat an antidote to mainstream media, well that is the BEST compliment--thanks, Joy!

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