Sunday, November 08, 2009

Freedom v. Protection

There are dumb people who are smart enough to realize they are dumb (construction sites, college campuses, assembly lines, taxi cabs, and 7-11s are filled with this category of folks).

There are dumb people who are too dumb to realize they are dumb (TV studios, prisons and episodes of "Cops" are filled with this latter group).

This pretty much accounts for 99% of humanity. But what of the others? The one-percenters? What about the "artists" of the world, those who write, paint, sculpt, compose, invent, sing, act, dance, perform, and those who "wing it" in a hundred other ways? These featherless bipeds who imagine they are artists and were born to create . . . are they not smart people, but too dumb to realize how dumb they are? If wealth and happiness are the measures, then I do not know any smart artists. . . .

Most of the 99 percenters say they admire the one-percenters. They see the glitz and bling, they hear the applause and shouts, they see the art shows and book signings, but they do not see the rest of the picture. How many of the 99 percenters would give up their steady paychecks, their paid vacations, their health coverage, and their retirement checks to become an independent trucker, so to speak? I can tell you straight: Very few. True artists pursue their passion even if the trail winds through a junk yard to a slice of cold pizza and a cardboard bed under a bridge. These people are convinced that their whirl on this mortal coil was meant for more than a lifetime of wage slaving in which the reward after thirty years of dog-like obedience is a gold watch, death from cancer two years after retirement and their name misspelled in the local obit.

I once came to a "T" in the road. One sign pointed to Freedom, Oklahoma; the other sign led to Protection, Kansas. And, as one true old artist, Bill Shakespeare, might have said, "therein lies the rub." Ninety-nine percent of humanity ditches freedom for protection; one-percent fore goes protection for freedom. Both groups make their choice. Some will know the slavery of protection all their lives; some will know freedom, but hardships, all of theirs. God Bless both groups; without the one, the world would stop spinning; without the other, this orbiting orb would be as gray and sterile as a rock in space.


Art of the Day