Monday, March 01, 2010

Monetizing the World

On the dashboard*, the page that does all of the nuts and bolts for blogs on blogspot/blogger, they is button to 'monetize' your blog. Needless to say as an anarchist I won't be monetizing my blog, I'd like less monetization in my life, not more. But, it's mere existence reminds me of a constant annoyance: seeing everything be monetized.

The first time I was really made aware of this was at a conference on intellectual 'property'. One of the presentations was on a program in India that patented or registered traditional remedies for various different diseases and maladies. This program was started in response to a major pharmaceutical company taking a traditional remedy, patenting it and making boat loads of money off of it. People clearly saw a problem with this. The solution, which was developed by a group of non-profits, was to register the various traditional remedies so if another company tried to do the same thing there would be legal recourse and the local communities would receive compensation.

During the Q & A one of the attendees asked if this was really the right way to go. Shouldn't the remedies be open and available for use by all, because they had been developed over centuries, if not longer, by hundreds or thousands of people. How could you consider this some sort of protected intellectual property in terms of monetization? Who exactly was deserving of the money from this? Why was the paradigm of intellectual property necessary at all in these cases, especially when many of these traditional remedies had been around for centuries?

Of course, the answer was eminently practical, and in a way right. This registering was necessary because without it the people involved would get screwed by the pharmaceutical companies. But it shouldn't be right. We really do need to stop the monetization of everything. Personally, I'd like to see huge swaths of the world, if not all of it, demonetized.

A I noted in my previous post, I've recently made the rather rash and probably bad decision to become an artist. I really don't expect to make money off of it. Sure, I recently hung some of my paintings at a show and priced them, but I priced them so high I knew they wouldn't sell. I didn't want to sell them for a number of reasons, first and foremost because I didn't want to let them go. They were some of the first things I've done and I'm rather attached to them. More than that though, I can't stand the idea of selling art. All that emotion, and sometimes even thought, that goes into it just makes it feel so much more than money.

But, I guess that's just the way the world works. For the time being at least.

*Please, don't get me started on how much I hate the car metaphors sprinkled throughout our daily lives. I don't drive a car, I drive my bike, mainly because I can't stand cars.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Career Decision

I've recently made a career decision, probably the second worse career decision in my life, right after deciding to get a degree in Philosophy. This was the decision to become an artist. Yeah, bad idea if you want anything good to do with money. Thought the who starving artist thing was just a joke. Well, it's not *just* a joke. I haven't written anything here for a while, totally not my fault, it was art.

But, doing art gives me this weird new perspective. At the beginning I though "hey, I can totally use this to communicate with people." Then I realized that people don't really pay much attention to it. There's lots of it. Really, tons. Shit loads. We have more art in our lives than any civilization than I know of. Or of which I know. Seriously, think about it.

Not good art mind you. Like everything, we prefer quantity to quality. That's what America and Anarchism is really about, isn't it? The most opinions and ideas possible. As opposed to the best ideas and the least ideas. Which sounds like a losing proposition, until you realize that what is best is malleable. There is no perfect immutable goodness. Plato was wrong, sorry. And even if there was, we'd have no way to figure out what it was, so we're doubly fucked on that one.

And that's why I can't communicate with people through my art. Because what I generally consider good, most others don't. If I'm going to be honest with the viewer of my art, or you the reader, then I can't pretend that I think and believe one thing and communicate another. I cannot make pretty art. Or nice art. Or friendly art. Except, possibly, on those rare moments where I really feel those things. And you all are just going to have to deal with that. And by "you all" I mean the vanishingly minuscule number of people who may or may not read this.

And the same goes for my writing. I do my best to convey my meaning thrugh the words and sttructures I know. Sometimes I do a crappy job or am trying to communicate something crappy. Yeah, I say fucked up things some times, I take responsibility for that. I have some fucked up thoughts in my head. But, sometimes the things I say sound fucked up because what I think is good is different than what you think is good. Often times I'm wrong about what I thinkis good, so if you think something I said is wrong, or just fucked up, then say so.

So, onward.

I'm an anarchist, an atheist, , an artist, a roommate, a singer, a logician, an insurrectionist, a typist(immediately), a cyclist and a privileged individual. I am terribly tired of hearing arguments for nonviolence from people who support court cases. The court relies intrinsically on violence. Without violence and the threat thereof the court would have no power. Nor would government. Ultimately, the reason I am an anarchist is because there is no government that does not rule though violence, and that is simple reversion to might makes right. And whatever we may think of the world, we can agree that might does not make right. Ever. Really, nothing makes right. Right is some sort of moral crap we made up, and by we I mean the classes in charge, to make people do stuff that preserves the status quo. That's it. preserving the stats quo. That's morality. That's good art, and good writing, and good prose. So if you liked this, it was probably bad for the world.