4.30.2004

I call it now: our publicity shot will be on the cover of the Montreal Mirror for this year's [CENSORED] issue. Our show, seven nights in a fifty person venue, will sell out each night. We are unstoppable. You heard it here first: [CENSORED]. And you'll hear it again.

4.23.2004

So over the weekend I was accused of settling. Settling for a wife who did not satisfy me. Now, is it true that my wife is exactly what I expected when we got married? No. There are some very disappointing elements to our relationship. But I had already spotted this as a potential problem. I had already made the decision that I could live with a total failure in this department. It definitely has not been a total failure but disappointing nonetheless.

So, did I settle for someone was wasn't going to satisfy me? When you get married should you find someone who you are 100% sure of? Total, unadulterated, pure and uncut bullshit.

People change over time. When you get married, know that the person you are marrying will not be the same person 5, 10, 50 years down the road. Neither will you be. If you change in different directions then there's a danger that you grow apart. Even if at the time of marriage you did satisfy your partner 100%, how can two people changing over time expect to maintain that. Ludicrous to the highest degree.

And then there's the ultimate fallacy. There is no one that can satisfy you 100%. Just forget about it. You can find a ton of people who will satisfy you 50% of the time. It's probably a log scale as you go up in percentage. My wife and I have a relationship that is well, well, well above any expectation I could have for any theoretical relationship I would have with some other woman. But, no, she does not satisfy me 100%. If those are your expectations, I don't think you have a good understanding of how people work.

So, did I settle? For the best thing out there. Sure, I'll take that.

4.15.2004

There are two creative forces, art and entertainment. I wrote about art last week but I think it's important to distinguish between art and entertainment. Art wants to communicate. Entertainment wants to let you feel something other than your real life; this is known derogatorily as escapism.

I have zero problem with escapism. It is an art in and of itself except it doesn't have much to say. Happy Gilmore isn't about to change people's views or inform them. A stand-up comic can use their time as a platform but most of them just want a laugh from you. And we, as audiences, have preferences. We know what we like and what we dislike. And we all need entertainment. Sneering bores who have no time for "vapid, low-brow fluff" are missing some good entertainment. We need art, too. People who can't imagine a good time without a fart joke or a monster-truck crushing something are missing a world of skill and subtlety. Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes) writes that art should be judged by "the quality of perception and expression." I couldn't agree more but those who would hold entertainment to that same standard have closed their minds about entertainment and want only art.

But there's room for both. The works that I find particularly special are those capable of doing both. Art and entertainment are not mutually exclusive. It takes great skill but when it works on both levels, everyone is pleased. These are the things worth striving for, worth sweating blood over in the creative fields.

4.13.2004

I recently purchased a Gameboy Advanced SP. It came with Metroid Fusion. Very good game. It has the graphics of an SNES but portable, back-lit and with a rechargable battery. I can easily imagine a day ten years hence when the power of the Gamecube is portable and so on and so forth.

Time is moving, with or without us all.

4.06.2004

For me, art is about communication. You have a sender, a receiver, a medium and a message. Those are the four components of communication. The medium can be the message but, contrary to the old adage, it is not always so.

Which brings me to my loathing of most modern art. Certainly the abstraction of the medium or the message expresses certain ideas about those topics, however, most people are neither interested nor informed enough to care about what you have to say. Museums have begun to install many post-modern works and I find that a good number of them are formless and devoid of content save to those few who have wrung some convoluted meaning from those pieces. To those people, I say, get your head out of your collective unconscious. The museum-going public is not going to be moved by these works. There is little beauty in babbling to yourself; you cannot move a viewer with blank canvases; there is no communication. When either the medium or the message are incomprehensible, communication is lost and any art that may have been present is destroyed.

I am not advocating that museums should not be challenging the public's tastes or capacity to appreciate art but I am worried about the extent to which art experts are losing touch with public sensibilities. Experimentation is essential and letting the public in is necessary but please pull back on overwhelming the agenda with art that is devoid of meaning to all but a few.

I expect the next step in art is to abstract the sender or receiver. The muscial piece 4m11s, which is just silence but for the ambient noise of the audience itself, is an example of such abstraction of the sender. Making art for inanimate objects might be the next big thing! Abstract the receiver and we'll get all sorts of weird crap.

Technique seems to have been abandoned as artists grow bored with cliches and feeling that it has been mastered. Who wants to make a painting when the Louvre is full? Classical art is in a very unintersting phase right now and all the energy seems to be poured into the new media and especially the internet. It has a low point of entry, open to the masses and, for now, remains validated by popularity. Eventually museums will be forced to exhibit websites, but until then classical art is withering and the new Bohemia requires a mousepad.