Friday, December 23, 2011

Unlucky artists

Why are there so many movies and books about bad or unlucky authors, artists, musicians and actors?  The conventional wisdom is that their creators are just "writing what they know."  I.e., at one point in time, these poor musicians/writers were themselves undiscovered, and so they understand what it's like to be down and out.  Their bad ideas and misplaced struggles can be laughed at.

Actually, those movies and books are written and produced by those who are "in," and quite thoroughly in.  They write them not because that's what they were, for the most part, but because they're fronting--they want to pretend that they're artists who developed their craft, had tough luck, and finally honed their skills enough to get a lucky break and make it.  In fact, their soulless crap is why there are real people out there with real skills who haven't "made it" (i.e., the cultural at large is ignorant of them; Einstein works in the patent office), and their stories about plucky, down-and-out artists are their way of pretending that they're keeping it real, or at least were once.

Don't fall for it.

Update: Woody Allen helps this one demonstrate this principle in Midnight in Paris.

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