‘Let us be philosophers! Let us be mummies!’

“Maintaining cheerfulness in the midst of a gloomy task, fraught with immeasurable responsibility, is no small feat; and yet what is needed more than cheerfulness? Nothing succeeds if prankishness has no part in it.

 The title on this drawing is a little pretentious, “‘je me verrai, je me lirai, je m’extasierai et je dirai: possible, que j’aie eu tant d’esprit?’[‘I shall see myself, I shall read myself, I shall go into ecstasies, and I shall say: is it possible that I should have had so much wit?’]” so call me on it…

Die_Götzen2

 … as if there were any of you out there paying any attention to me. A fellow blogger said that “they don’t give a crap about you.” He said all they want to hear about is themselves. So true. Way back in high school I was told that I was an egoist, “Self-interest is worth as much as the person who has it.” and well  — as Freddie went on to say, for better or worse  — I still am. But so are all of you.

…actually i called myself on it. i subbed out the original ‘art’ for this one (the little b/w is of the earier piece)  this ital. graph, too. i’ve taken the me out of the picture itself, i’m still here and there and oddly still with you non-existant souls, standing in front of the thing as if it were real art in a gallery or home or something, as opposed to my idealized studio. the computer, lamp, desk and chair are real but the room and view are not… 

Die_kleine_Götzen

 So that’s what this drawing is all about; a twilight of the idols, little god-objects. the ending of their power or their time in the sun. “All that philosophers have handled for thousands of years have been concept-mummies; nothing real escaped their grasp–alive.  When these honorable idolaters of concepts worship something, they kill it and stuff it; they threaten the life of everything they worship…”

 I thought my drawings had power, which they were like idols and through them I could get the gods to get me what I thought/think I wanted. “All passions have a phase when they are merely disastrous, when they drag down their victim with the weight of stupidity…” You can’t always get what you want… Then there is the constant change, now a status quo, and the thinking that there can still be progress, now obsolete. The futile idol worship is wearing me down so I’ll stop before I become nothing.

 … My drawings, my former idols now mere toys,  are still fun to make, even ones about how drawings will not get me what I think I want, what I desire, dream up, fabricate as an ideal. “‘All truth is simple.’ Is that not a double lie?” I still draw some at my job and I’m paid and that’s the only feedback I get there. One of the classes I teach is about drawing so there there’s a little more money and some feedback.

 But I thought the internet — the blog-o-sphere — would be different that posting my art and commenting on others posted are would get some conversations going. But not so far. Cyberspace for me is as silent as the real world, sorry to say.

  If my art is not useful to get me comradery, respect and/or admiration as idols, means to connect with the powers that dole out such things, are supposed to do. Then can it be useful as therapy? “There are cases in which we are like horses, we psychologists, and become skittish: we see our own shadow looming up before us. A psychologist must turn his eyes from himself to see anything at all.”  (re-read ital insert, above) Knowing myself should feel and do good, shouldn’t it? It should lead to a broader understanding, an understanding of  the others, my fellow egoists.  And by understanding them, can I switch gears, change course and get comradery, respect and/or admiration from them?  i doubt it,  but “…art has a right to pure foolishness — as a kind of vacation for spirit, wit, and feeling.” 

Quotes in red — as well as the title of this text —  are from “Götzen-Dämmerung” (Twilight of the Idols) by Friedich Nietzsche. It’s the last book he saw published before he went “mad.” He wrote it in a week, in late summer, 1888. They are from assorted web site translations.

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