So I’m about to rant. I know…you’re saying to yourself, “Oscar, you always rant.” But this is going to be a special kind of rant. I’m going to unburden myself with all the reasons why artists need to be supported. In every way, emotionally and financially. We don’t live in an age of benefactors! If artists are going to be the voice for the under-heard and disadvantaged, then we need fuel for the fire, we need people surrounding us and giving us the energy to keep fighting.
So first off, if you want me to give you a freebee then come at me with a genuine curiosity about my literature. I’m happy to share under those circumstances and have emailed free copies of my stories to many of my followers on this blog. Because many of my followers are artists themselves and understand where I’m coming from. I support them as much as they support me. It’s called reciprocity. But don’t come at me like a privileged little shit and expect me to give you a freebee because you’re an over righteous douche bag. Don’t approach me like I’ve violated you because I’ve attached a meager 99 cent price tag on a short story. I’m sorry you have to walk all the way to your car in the driveway and dig out 99 cents from your console.
Second, I went to college for six years to obtain the degrees I hang on my walls, to write provocative stories that are meant to help you grow as a human being as much as entertain you with my tribal culture. I’m not an ethnographer. I’m an artist. I’m not here to get rich, but it’d be nice to eat more than just ramen noodle soup sometimes. I’m sure my kids would appreciate that as well. I’m not working out of a multi-millionaire’s purse. I don’t have a benefactor paying my bills. I work fulltime. I’m a fulltime, single father. And I write fiction. My drive to realize the benevolence of this literary profession is the reason I write. I believe in the literary field’s ability to transform people to better understand each other, like I believe in America’s will to give people the freedom to figure out how to live cohesively. All of that faith and effort takes time and energy.
Lastly, if there is any spirit left in this mass consumption society, we, the artists, possess it, and remind you with every word and every painting and every sculpture that you too have spirit and you need to go seek it out and find it. There is a reason people are drawn toward literature, paintings, sculptures, music, etc., etc. When you hear that song, when the words in a story make you pause, when a painting makes your mind quickly move from confusion to problem solving it’s complexity, you are remembering your own spirit and connecting to your own spirit. Once you have that feeling you want to find it again. We, the artists, give you opportunity to engage with your own spirit.
So please don’t come at me like I’m a brutish millionaire sucking the pennies from your pocket. I’ve somehow, through symbolism, packaged a piece of my spirit for you to consume.