Lion of the Blogosphere

Secret to success in the arts

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-secret-recipe-for-success-in-the-arts/#!

The woman who wrote this article (and a previous article) has some valuable observations that most people are unaware of (although people who read this blog will not be surprised).

If you meet someone who appears to be “successful” in an artistic field, it’s probably because they have rich parents, or a spouse who makes enough money that they don’t mind that their marriage partner isn’t contributing anything economically to the marriage.

A college degree in art is a pretty crappy deal. After spending $150,000 to $250,000 to get a degree, you wind up making $25,000/year as an artist, if you are lucky.

So in conclusion, does the author recommend that people major in something practical like computer programming or HVAC? Nope, instead she demands that society change its ways so that people who don’t have rich parents can still have a career as artists:

• universal healthcare;
• universal care for children, seniors, and those with special needs;
• free education and vocational programs for all, from preschool through graduate school;
• affordable housing for all;
• redistribution of wealth through taxation, reparations, and universal basic incomes;

Back when I was a libertarian, I would have been outraged. But now that I realize that robots are replacing human workers, and we have a post-scarcity economy, so I just have minor nitpicks. Such as:

Affordable housing: Housing is very affordable if you want to live in a mobile home on the outskirts of a prole city in flyover country. But because there’s a zero sum game of people wanting to live in the most desirable neighborhoods (including artsy neighborhoods like Chelsea or Williamsburg if we are talking about the NYC area), those neighborhoods are never going to be affordable. Someone should establish a mobile home coop for artists in a place like Reno, Nevada.

But since a basic income and free college is definitely not going to happen during the next decade, it would be good advice for young people whose parents aren’t rich to not spend a lot of money for college and to major in something practical. Someone needs to say “sorry, if your parents aren’t rich, then you can’t do something cool and fun with your life.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 8, 2017 at EST pm

119 Responses

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  1. A career in “art” requires zero education, it is a field with low barriers to entry where someone with not much talent can fake it if they put enough effort in. Art can easily be pursued as a hobby while also working in a real job. From my own anecdotal experience, I’ve seen a lot of talentless opportunists rebrand themselves as “artists” later in life after failing in another career or simply being aimless drop outs at a younger age.

    Though it does probably help to know the right people, seeing as art is all about reputation. If you hang out with the kids of rich people in Manhattan and manage to develop the image of the quirky fun guy, that is how you sell your art. No need to go to art school for that.

    DataExplorer

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • Agreed, although some of the “artists” that I know went to art school and work as graphic designers, which pays something like $40-70k/year where I live. That might not sound like much, but if you don’t have kids, live in a fixer-upper in a gentrifying neighborhood that you bought for $150,000, pay like two grand a year in property taxes, and have a partner who makes a similar amount of money, you can live a middle class life and have money left over for nice vacations a couple of times each year.

      What bugs me about these people is that they seem content to live like they’re in their mid-20s for the rest of their lives. I mean, Jesus Christ, some of these people are in their 40s and their lives are still one big never ending popularity contest.

      Horace Pinker

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • You don’t need to go to an art school, that’s true, but you do need some talent if you want to sell your art. Kids of rich people are not stupid, they got the rich gene. You also need to start with the art thing in your early 20′, someone who try to get into it after they failed in other careers and they are already old, is not going to make it. It is a bit like sport, only few make it to the professional level but there are countless of people who make some art on the side while working in artsy jobs like graphic/interior/product designers, animators, video games, art teachers, art therapists, shop’s window designers, theatre and movies and countless of other jobs which require artistic touch.

      Hashed

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

  2. “Someone needs to say ‘sorry, if your parents aren’t rich, then you can’t do something cool and fun with your life.'”

    Man, so true. I wish to God somebody had told this to me when I was younger. Would have saved me and many others of my generation a lot of grief.

    Two in the Bush

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • America is a country for proles.

      JS

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • It’s not that America is a country for proles.

        It’s that America is full of people who suck at being prole.

        njguy73

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • You made the point. Yes, American proles are at the bottom of the barrel.

        JS

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • Substitute rich for intelligent and have the same conversation for college. Unfortunately, we are promoting the exact opposite attitude.

      The dumbass online college credit for work experience 18 credit bachelors paid for by the military white affirmative action load in my office was invited to speak to a group of ‘struggling’ students about the value of a college ‘education’. I grimaced. This deadbeat was a nepotism hire! At times it seems all of social existence is a lie.

      Curle

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

    • Reno’s not cheap anymore either.

      I like Reno. It has almost perfect weather if you like seasonal changes. Do lots of equity locusts came in from norcal and ruined it.

      Mrs Stitch

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

  3. I’ve observed the following sequence of events in several cities where I have lived over the years, places as different as New Orleans and Raleigh, NC:

    1) Artists and musicians begin to live in a downscale neighborhood because it’s all they can afford.

    2) Hipsters begin to move into the neighborhood because all of the artists and musicians have made it “cool.”

    3) Rents go up, so the artists and musicians get priced out and move to a different downscale neighborhood.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Gerald

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • People have been telling me that Montréal is the coolest city in North America and quite affordable by American and Anglo Canadian Standards, where every hipster should live there. Rents in the outskirts of the city command a higher price than the city proper. French Canadians pay more to get away from human toxicity.

      It’s obvious that there is something inherently wrong and inferior with English Speaking domains. Non-Anglo Western Europeans enjoy a better quality of life, because there are multi-dimensions of what is the good life, unlike the rodent void of the Anglo Prole Sphere, where money is the only source of remedy from pathology.

      JS

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • And again, to repeat the same old.

        One would rather live in a poorer villa-like city like Granada or Naples in Southern Europe than a working class, industrial sh!thole in England like Liverpool or Manchester.

        JS

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • France is broke.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • The cycle is artists -> homosexuals -> hipsters -> yuppies

      Aristippus

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • This is what they’re (not sure exactly who ‘they’ are- I assume real estate investors) desperately hoping for on Staten Island. I’ve been here 19 years and all along they’ve been talking about the revitalization of the north shore.

        A couple years ago I noticed a brief uptick in hipster types but I don’t see it much anymore. What I am seeing is arabs, lots and lots of them. The women tuck their cell phones into hijabs while they gab hands free, it’s kind of funny.

        The problem is the area by the ferry has been blighted for a very long time, tons of section 8 housing, halfway houses, there’s a homeless intake center, three sprawling projects bracketing it (stapleton, richmond terrace, jersey street). Once you get past the blighted area it’s wall to wall catholic prole with a smattering of orthodox jews in willowbrook. Exactly the kind of people gays, hipsters and yuppies despise.

        They painted bicycle lanes on every other damn street in an effort to hipsterize the borough, that was four years ago.

        toomanyspiders

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

    • Artists do make areas cool and provide positive externalities that way. They’re also, maybe even more importantly, people that are poor but have middle class standards of behavior. So a neighborhood with a lot of artists is a cheap neighborhood where people actually behave.

      Magnavox

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

  4. New York City has affordable housing exclusively for artists called Manhattan Plaza. Once upon a time, Larry David lived there, right across the hall from Kenny Kramer.

    ScarletNumber

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

  5. I think it’s even worse than you portray. My kid has an M.A. in Art History (I know, I know – I’m an engineer, mom’s a CPA-some mutation we think) He tells me that the rich kids use this field as a sort of cultural finishing school (Kate Middleton), then use their wealthy friends to get the plumb museum jobs, thereby displacing someone who needs a job to live on. I wouldn’t recommend Art History or Studio to anyone. Altho he does have a very good job as a Creative Director in advertising, so all was not lost.

    Jack Cade

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • Why do you say “my kid” rather than “my son”? Bugs me.

      vip!td

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

  6. They have a point. All artists are somewhat mentally ill. They need structured living environment, they need all those things.

    My Two Cents

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

  7. As with sports, so with art. Some have high barriers to entry and require rich parents, other have low barriers to entry and can be practiced successfully by anyone with talent. Writing probably has the lowest entry barrier. Not many famous writers come from wealth. Stephen King wrote his first novels while teaching high school English!

    Arts that require access to expensive supplies—ceramics, glass blowing, mixed media, painting—probably do attract only the kids of the wealthy. Ditto arts that require lots of expensive training—dance, ballet, etc.

    Seth O'Largo (@SethLargo)

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • > Writing probably has the lowest entry barrier. Not many famous writers come from wealth. Stephen King wrote his first novels while teaching high school English!

      Bill James, who invented sabermetrics, was the night watchman at the pork and beans factory when he wrote his books. He taught HS English before that but failed at it.

      ScarletNumber

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

  8. The other two criteria are:

    It helps a lot to be a hot girl. Because it’s not about the art, it’s about a hot girl making art.

    You don’t necessarily need to be rich, but you would at least need to know young rich people to sell your cool art to. You have to be cool and know rich people. Being cool is a positional service.

    Other than that, it’s all marketing.

    It's all a show

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

  9. Does art success really necessitate a full time commitment?

    Seems to me that a working person could pretty easily devote 10-15 hours a week to art.

    By the way Lion, is it safe to assume you wish your family was better off? If they were, what would you have done differently?

    fortaleza84

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

  10. Why do artists think that they need the entire day to devote to their “art”. Can’t they get a regular day job (preferably a government job where expectations are low and benefits are excellent) and do their “art” in their off hours. If I had a government job where I could leave the office at 5:00 p.m. on the dot, I could be home by 6:00 p.m. and devote 4 productive hours to my “art”, and let’s not leave aside the weekends.

    Johann Sebastian Bach had to support 20 children (7 from his first wife, 13 from his second). He had to put a roof over their head, food on the table, clothe and educate them. He worked his tail off every minute of the day, producing some of the most glorious art the world has known. I doubt he ever thought of it as art. He thought of it as work. Just get it done, get paid by the patron and move on to the next job, there are bills to be paid.

    It was said that Mozart could produce a masterpiece concerto in a few hours. He referred to his working style as just “pissing it out”.

    And all these hacks, bitch and moan, producing ugly, worthless efforts that couldn’t be justified as kindling. And most ridiculously of all, they claim that they need to devote the full attention of their days to produce it.

    If anybody has any doubts that IQ has declined over the past several centuries, just take a look at what passes for art today and compare it with the achievements of those centuries ago.

    I really, really, really, really hate to evoke anything positive from the Nazi era, but Hans Jost (Nazi sympathizing playwright) was onto something when he said, “whenever I hear the word culture, I release the safety on my Browning.”

    Daniel

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • In defense of modern art and IQ, it often is designed with a poor frame, but “big message” behind it. The message, in theory, requires intelligence to formulate and “get”, but comes at the expense of popular appeal because the artist has to explain it. There’s an amount of IQ required to make the message even if it’s trash. Older art has more overt symbolism, but uses coded language to express it, so there’s an understood esoteric language with multiple levels.

      Aristippus

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • I would really love it if you could cite and example of some of this “big message” art, and explain exactly what the message is. When I see Jackson Pollock I just see a lot of paint thrown at a canvas. For the live of me I couldn’t divine a message. With Rothko, I just see a bunch of streaks of color. What’s the friggin “message”?

        Daniel

        December 10, 2017 at EST pm

      • There’s no message, it’s just about the elites feeling elite because they like art that the proles think is crap their kids could have done.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 10, 2017 at EST pm

    • Yeah, you can accomplish quite a lot if you devote an uninterrupted hour or two to it every day, day after day, month after month.

      My impression is that a lot of these wannabe artists, authors, etc. are mainly interested in the trappings of success — having a cool work space in Manhattan or Brooklyn; being able to sleep late and spend the afternoon in a hip coffee shop; travelling internationally to promote their work; etc. A lot of them are wastrel children who want to pretend to their parents, their peers, and themselves that they are doing something productive.

      fortaleza84

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

    • To be fair, many of bach’s children were also professional musicians, so he wasn’t the sole wage earner.

      toomanyspiders

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • But who spent endless hours training them?

        Daniel

        December 10, 2017 at EST pm

    • “ust take a look at what passes for art today and compare it with the achievements of those centuries ago.”

      Art has probably been mostly a positional good for some time. It is an intentionally inflated market where access to the instruments of hype/discourse are more important than any inherent quality in the work itself. It is an insiders game that insiders control; a form of IPO with very little transparency. Exactly the sort of game insiders love.

      Curle

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  11. Except that “being artsy” isn’t fun or cool. It’s lame and gayyyyy. Building rockets like Bezos and Musk are doing or sailing the world is fun and cool. Centuries ago when the only options for “self actualization” may have been limited to watching a jousting tourney or putting brush to canvas art may have been the best choice of bad lot. In this day and age of endless possibilities, it’s no surprise that the only people who settle for sitting around and twiddling with their pencils are goofy, angsty, green-haired loser misfits with emo pants.

    WangHu?

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • A cousin has a son who’s gay and recently moved to Vegas to be a performance artist – soecifically, sword swallowing. That was Christmas last year, watching this kid swallow flaming swords. Pretty impressive, but earning potential? It surprised me when he turned out to be gay. Good family, no obvious friction, brother a Marine. But he grew up in what Sailer calls America’s foremost “vibrant” town, and got robbed by two schvarz at 16, so maybe that made him gay.

      Marty

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • So because he got mugged, suddenly he stopped getting a hard-on for girls and started getting a hard-on for guys? I don’t think so.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • I think the sword swallowing might be a give-away.

        ice hole

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • Swallowing swords should have been a better hint…

        Aristippus

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • I got robbed at knife point and beaten by two White proles at 14 y/o and jumped and beaten by two Puerto Ricans at 13 y/o. Not gay. Still get aroused by an attractive woman; though my mail-order India-concocted generic viagra makes that more enjoyable. Oh, and by the way, next month viagra comes off patent protection; the price might come down to as low as $5 per pill from its prescription price of $20 to $60 per pill.

        E. Rekshun

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • I think Marty has it backwards. In the 1950s through 1970s, tough guys would often target homosexuals for robbery because they were easier marks. Queers were less likely to fight back and less likely to report the crime to the cops. Many were married closet cases so they wanted to keep it under wraps. I also believe many of the cops were somewhat indifferent to the victim’s plight in these kinds of robberies.

        The Westies, a Hells Kitchen-based gang, would occasionally rob homosexuals in the rambles in Central Park. It was quick money.

        Also boxer\hoodlum Bobby Halpern was sent to prison for 19 years for robbing a homosexual. The guy resisted and Halpern almost killed him. Charged with kidnapping and felony assault. When Halpern came out of prison at 44 years of age he returned to the ring and won about six fights. Then he was shot and almost killed by a hit put out on him by his former girlfriend. Really colorful character.

        Lewis Medlock

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • Boxer hoodlum Bobby Halpern? A case for Steve Sailer!

        gothamette

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • >>Boxer hoodlum Bobby Halpern? A case for Steve Sailer!

        No, this is a good follow up to Lion’s post that the only good Jewish athlete’s were basketball players until Blacks shoved them aside. Back in the day there were a fair amount of tough Jewish boxers. Very rare today.

        Daniel

        December 10, 2017 at EST pm

  12. The government should actively work to reduce the number of art graduates, as well as the number of graduates in other fields, where there is overproduction (that would even include some STEM fields such as pure math.)

    Right now the schools have no skin in the game. Make them pay for each graduate who defaults on school loans.

    Or the government could pay schools for not producing graduates, just like farmers are paid for not growing crops.

    I mentioned this to a classmate of mine who is a professor at UC Berkeley. He got very angry and accused me of being a Communist who wants central planning.

    WRB

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • your classmate is more confirmation that professors are stupid and evil.

      Thames Jompson, Chair in Class-ism Mushy Peas College London

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • They don’t need to pay colleges to stop churning out graduates. Just stop subsidizing them with cheap student loans and the market will sort the rest out. No credit, no problem.

      Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • “Just stop subsidizing them with cheap student loans and the market will sort the rest out.”

        That’s what they should do to correct the oversupply. But old Bernie keeps screaming about “free college for everyone”.

        destructure

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • Limiting student loans will solve part of the problem but not all of it.
        There still will be a lot of young people who will cajole, bully and blackmail their families into spending their retirement savings and taking home equity loans in order to finance their offspring’s dream of becoming a celebrity artist. And there still will be colleges that will gladly take the money, knowing that the students will have to change profession after graduation.

        WRB

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • yeah. ’cause then poor kids won’t be able to pay for it. they’ll have to become electricians and plumbers. and the US has such an excellent vocational education system and tradesmen are held in such high esteem and make so much money. where there’s muck there’s brass. am i right?

        remember when the US was much richer than it is today in the 1950s, when even private university tuition was trivial and scholarships were easily had?

        neither do i. the US was poorer but state college was free and private college was cheap. these kids today have it so much easier than they did before saint ronald and milton ‘can’t pass actuarial exams” friedman. they have no idea how lucky they are.

        man turns into scotsman

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • Student loans for only STEM degrees past the sophomore level? Maybe that would straighten out the college market.

        Mike Street Station

        December 10, 2017 at EST am

  13. If you are a female, having large tits always helps with success

    Vincent

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • Reminds me of an an art performance I once saw. The “artist” was a naked girl who was basically fingerpainting on a large canvas except that she was using her whole body. I guess there is a market for people who think they are too cultured for strip clubs.

      fortaleza84

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

    • keri russell has small boobs.

      toomanyspiders

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

    • I’d like to see a cost/benefit analysis: boob job vs MBA

      driveallnight

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • I think boob jobs are overrated, all those huge fake boobs look gross and low class.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • Well ok, but I still can’t help but wonder if your career arc might’ve been different if you’d have shelled out for the bolt-ons

        driveallnight

        December 10, 2017 at EST pm

  14. we need to get off this universal healthcare stuff. In the US there is no question that any universal healthcare will only go to blacks and hispanics.

    Otis the Sweaty

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • “In the US there is no question that any universal healthcare will only go to blacks and hispanics.”

      Perhaps you misunderstand the meaning of “universal.”

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • Perhaps you understand the meaning of “US”. You know damn well that the benefits will only go to black and latinos.

        Otis the Sweaty

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • The US wastes 2 trillion dollars a year on its dumb system. Those savings will go to those actually paying for care either through their own insurance or taxes.

        Magnavox

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • We don’t need universal healthcare. US healthcare is expensive because we overcharge for procedures because hospitals are allowed to price discriminate for like kind services. Your food bill would be 10x higher if supermarkets could charge you whatever they wanted based on how rich they thought you were.

        You really think a heart procedure is 60x more expensive here than in India because of wage/quality disparities. I have a bridge to sell you.

        Socialized countries aren’t cheaper because of efficiency, no one can beat the free market. Socialized countries are cheaper because they don’t let monopolistic price practices steal increasingly large portions of GDP.

        Put some insurance and hospital execs in jail and US healthcare will drop back to its historic average of 5% of GDP or roughly $500 billion.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • Medicine has been subject to cost disease. I previously wrote about this. https://lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/cost-disease/

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • Not that I’m discounting “cost disease”, but Sweaty and PRSOLD are right on both counts. As usual, maggie has missed the plot. Yeah, the US has a dumb system. But there’s nothing free market about it. On the contrary, the free market is being undermined by bureaucratic crap. Socializing that mess isn’t going to fix it. It just transfers the cost to someone else. The solution is to tear down the bureaucracy and let the market.sort it out.

        Healthcare and taxes shouldn’t be anyone’s top priorities. Immigration, trade deficits and judges are way more important.

        destructure

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • Readers here should know better. Wastefulness in America has a cachet, value transference.

        JS

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • Put some insurance and hospital execs in jail and US healthcare will drop back to its historic average of 5% of GDP or roughly $500 billion.

        You are so completely full of shit. How can you possibly know that will happen? You reckon that’s what will happen. That’s all you can do with that puny little brain and libertardian fantasies: reckon.

        You really think a heart procedure is 60x more expensive here than in India because of wage/quality disparities. I have a bridge to sell you.

        I’m comparing US per capita costs to the OECD average. You know nothing about this issue.

        The US system is doubly anomalous. It’s unlike any other sector of the US economy and unlike every other health care system in the developed world. A good five seconds of intelligent thought (something beyond all but maybe three of the commentors here) will tell you that treating it just like any other good or service will never work.

        Magnavox

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • no true scotsman…it’s the stupidity stupid.

        the solution to the libertarian problem is permethrin. there is no other. very sad.

        man turns into scotsman

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • Magnavox, there are libertarian solutions and there is something called enforcing the rule of law. Price gouging used to be very common in the auto repairs industry. Try charging a guy $5k for an oil change now by stacking a ton of not requested miscellaneous procedures now and see how quickly you are hauled away to federal prison.

        You don’t think we’d all pay the insurance negotiated price (typically 80% below list price) if .gov stepped in and throw the CEO of Aetna in jail along with some hospital admins for collusion and violation of the Sherman and Robinson Patman acts?

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • i assume that paul ryan’s dog is joking, but i’m not sure. maybe “libertarian” means whatever you want it to mean.

        of developed countries none has a lower taxes to gdp ratio than the US, or a smaller government. the city states of hong kong and singapore don’t count.

        since 1970 median real wages in the US have grown the least. applying the same standard to the US that its ideologues applied to the USSR, the US is a total failure.

        venezuela actually has lower taxes than the US.

        QED.

        ron burgundy

        December 10, 2017 at EST am

      • It’s generally legal across all industries to let people negotiate and to give discounts to bulk buyers. Is it some great mystery, dummy, why an individual patient doesnt have much leverage negotiating after theyve had their procedure? If it were made illegal in healthcare then insured patients would pay more and the uninsured people who actually pay anything would pay less and overall healthcare spending wouldn’t budge.

        And here’s a hint, dummy, how is someone supposed to shop around for the best price if they’re mentally or physically incapacitated?

        You’ve got this libertarian fantasy lodged in your puny little head and it ain’t going anywhere because you are dumb.

        Magnavox

        December 10, 2017 at EST am

      • I agree that libertarianism doesn’t work well in healthcare, because the vast difference in bargaining power between an individual sick person and the huge medical industrial complex.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 10, 2017 at EST am

      • “since 1970 median real wages in the US have grown the least.”

        Correlation doesn’t imply causation. There are obvious reasons for wage stagnation.

        First, developing countries always grow faster. Because they have more upside than a country whose economy has already reached its maximum potential for the current level of technology. So it’s not simply a matter of looking at the country’s growth rate at any point in time. One must also consider it’s level of development at that point as well. To use a metaphor, children grow faster than adults because they’re at a younger stage in their development. But, after they reach adulthood, their growth slows down.

        Second, one should also consider what system a country had when it was growing. Your favorite example, Scandinavia, had their greatest growth under free market. Only after they achieved that growth did they institute socialist policies. That was the case with most countries. Attributing the growth to socialism is putting the cart before the horse.

        And, third, the US has had some of the highest immigration in the world over the last 40 years. The population has increased by 50% over what it would have otherwise. That’s 100 million more workers driving wages down. After all, labor prices obey the rules of supply and demand as well. Even more, most of those immigrants come from 3rd world countries with IQ’s in the low 80s. They’re not capable of earning a lot of money. So that’s driven the average down as well.

        destructure

        December 10, 2017 at EST pm

  15. A hobby isn’t a profession. Artists asking others to subsidize them is like wannabe musicians asking others to subsidize their dream of being a rock star because they’re not good enough to pay the bills with it. Or subsidizing a second rate athlete so he could live out his dreams? Yet these knuckleheads are always having grants and fundraisers “for the arts”. Why don’t they ever hold grants and fundraisers for electricians and plumbers? Because the world actually needs electricians and plumbers. The world doesn’t need any more lazy, drug addicted schizophrenics throwing globs of paint at a canvas.

    How could a normal person expect to make a living at a hobby when there are millions of people who do it for fun?

    destructure

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • “The world doesn’t need any more lazy, drug addicted schizophrenics throwing globs of paint at a canvas.”

      Now don’t hold back, destructure. I mean these artists have feelings, but you need to express your opinion. Tell us how you really feel! ……..LOL!

      maryk

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • “Tell us how you really feel!”

        If I told you how I really felt about “artists” then I’d probably be arrested. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against legitimate art. I’m pretty good at pen & ink drawing myself. But a lot of art is crap. And the kind of person who identifies as an artist and devotes themselves to it is generally a leftwing twat.

        destructure

        December 10, 2017 at EST pm

    • I side with the “artists” here. In fact, like them I’d like funding to turn my own hobby into a profession – reading and posting on Lion’s blog. And the way all these amateur artists think they are creative and talented I truly believe that my posts on this blog over the last 4 years have shown me to be an interesting, intelligent, and valuable contributor to the discussions here.. Also, I am certainly improving the image of Italian-Americans by showing that we are capable of far more abstract thought than many people believe. So where do I apply for a federal grant to qualify as “guidette of the lionsblogosphere” so I can get steady income for my brilliant self-actualizing?

      (this is satire. I hope that was obvious!)

      maryk

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • +1!

        E. Rekshun

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • +2
        Satire? Not obvious to me!
        😉

        amac78

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • Outstanding, maryk

        driveallnight

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • I’m so inspired, I’m going out to get a fake tan right now.

        It's all a show

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • Good lucking getting a grant outside of the university. Being a guidette doesn’t help your cause, when such grants are being passed out like candy to NAMs, who have similar aspirations.

        JS

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

    • Sounds like the open source community to me.

      Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • Art (REAL art) is one of the few things that gives humanity dignity. The problem is so much garbage has infested the art world. Same for architecture.

      toomanyspiders

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • Is humanity of any relevance in the 21st century? From a pragmatic viewpoint, there seems to be a surplus of people who have no value to society, given the rise of technology that has taken their place.

        JS

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

    • “Artists asking others to subsidize them is like wannabe musicians asking others to subsidize their dream of being a rock star because they’re not good enough to pay the bills with it.”

      I’ve heard it said that the British dole brought us the British Invasion (music), glam and Punk.

      Curle

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  16. But because there’s a zero sum game of people wanting to live in the most desirable neighborhoods (including artsy neighborhoods like Chelsea or Williamsburg if we are talking about the NYC area), those neighborhoods are never going to be affordable.

    People want to live around artists. They don’t want to live around some boring super rich person, especially one that leaves his apartment empty 95% of the time. A neighborhood can’t be artsy (for long anyway) without artists.

    Magnavox

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • A very small fraction of the population wants to live around “arists,” most of whom were aptly described by someone further up the comments as “lazy, drug addicted schizophrenics throwing globs of paint at a canvas.” Putting a paintbrush into the hands of a disheveled, smelly, green haired freak doesn’t magically turn the freak into a desirable neighbor. Most people know this, Maggie.

      I think you also know this, but since you don’t have the money to live next to “boring super rich people” and have to suffer the company of smelly tatted up weirdos LARPING as artists instead, I can at least understand your comments in terms of backwards rationalization. Rationalization is a logical defense mechanism in the face of a hard, unforgiving world, so in that sense I fully understand and support your decision to convince yourself living next to “artists” is a desirable outcome. Some would say you should stop rationalizing and instead work to improve your lot so that you can escape the company of artists and live in a rich neighborhood, but I’m a realist. Not everyone can be a winner, and some people are just fated to spend most of their lives living next to “artists.” If you can convince yourself that is something you actually want I say rationalize away!

      WangHu?

      December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • You could criticize what I said as cliched, certainly. But to try to present as my own, idiosyncratic delusion is, lets just say, not the right criticism to make.

        Magnavox

        December 8, 2017 at EST pm

      • I believe what magnavox is saying is the ‘ideal cool neighborhood’ has the perfect balance of wealth and culture, not just a lot of rich people filled with ennui.

        toomanyspiders

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • “most of whom were aptly described by someone further up the comments as “lazy, drug addicted schizophrenics throwing globs of paint at a canvas.”

        Yeah, most “artists” don’t meet that description at all. People like “artsy” neighborhoods because they are filled with hipster types with college degrees making craft beer, opening interesting restaurants, inventing better ways to make coffee and making furniture. To a large extent those are all “artistic”/”creative” professions. Those people might be smug and insufferable but they are no more unpleasant as neighbors than the typical narcissistic sociopath who becomes super rich. And as Lion points out, most of those “artists” come from the upper middle class anyway. Super rich neighborhoods are great if they are heavily Jewish, like Scarsdale or the Upper West Side in Manhattan. Super rich neighborhoods of WASPs or Asian immigrants are horrible.

        Peter Akuleyev

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • There is a non-negligible number of well off people who don’t particularly like living among rich people. My experience is they aren’t necessarily all that interesting to be around. I’m not necessarily promoting artsy neighborhoods but the appeal of these places is they tend to be stripped of the unnecessary glitz and glam that makes wealthy neighborhoods feel sterile. New York feels sterile now compared to the early 80s. Seattle has been ruined by money. Waikiki, which used to be a nice, fun and slightly funky place in the 70s is sterile now. Places like Ashland OR still have a nice, funky mid-tier feel to them, but the number of such places feels like it’s shrinking.

        Curle

        December 9, 2017 at EST am

      • Also in very very high end housing developments in places like London, New York, and Dubai the owners spend almost no time actually living there and hold them simply as investments.

        Magnavox

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

    • “People want to live around artists”

      You can’t possibly believe this.

      Mike Street Station

      December 10, 2017 at EST am

  17. I have a better suggestion for the author of this article: nursing.

    Work 3 days/week (or less), great benefits & flexibility. Plenty of time to make art.

    And most hospitals will reimburse you for school.

    Also: Pittsburgh is very affordable and has a vibrant arts community. Low wages though.

    martinslag

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • The essence of bowlcut Asian autism distilled into one brief post. Brilliant.

      Stuck in RTP Traffic

      December 9, 2017 at EST am

  18. We don’t live in a post scarcity economy. You have never proven this and the very idea is ridiculous.

    Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

    • We live in what Galbraith called an “affluent society.” Read that book, Lion!

      Magnavox

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  19. “So aspirational SWPLs can be full-time artists” would be a good message to send if you wanted to poison the well and make UBI more unpopular with most people.

    Greg Pandatshang

    December 8, 2017 at EST pm

  20. america is very cheap really. there are some cities that are expensive, but generally speaking there are a lot of 1m+ metropolitan areas that fall well within the realm of affordability (i.e dwelling price to annual income multiples equal to or less than 3): https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/01/2017-demographia-housing-affordability-survey/

    there are probably heaps of great places to live in the united states that arent just san francisco and new york, and some of the very expensive cities there seem actually pretty horrible, like los angeles.

    james n .s.w

    December 9, 2017 at EST am

    • I know Lion will disagree because he’s a NYC supremacist, but places like Omaha, Minneapolis, Nashville, etc., are all fine places to live. (And I say this as someone who grew up in the L.A. area.)

      For my money, the best bet are ~100k-500k Midwestern university towns: Lincoln, Champaign-Urbana, etc. In these towns, you get 80% of the cultural experience as NYC or LA but only 20% of the hassle and cost.

      Seth O'Largo (@SethLargo)

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  21. One of my daughters is a talented artist (another was too but she stopped drawing) with a deadly sense of humor. She wants to create her own animation studio one day. I figure there’s plenty of money to be made in that, look at how many animated series and films are wildly popular. I’ve also encouraged her to learn orthodox iconography, some of those icons sell for a sizable amount. She’s self taught so we never spent money on her abilities, although as she got better I indulged her with some supplies.

    toomanyspiders

    December 9, 2017 at EST am

  22. I have many friends who are full time musicians but most of them are: young, good looking (especially the women), unmarried, and connected with the “cool” crowd. It really is just like high school. The best advice I could give to an artist (in any artistic field) is “be cool”, or be thought of as cool. Some of them definitely have money as well, which is obviously a key ingredient if any of the above are missing.

    I do have one buddy who is a full time musician with a wife and son. He just got signed to a small label but I highly doubt the deal (or any of his touring income) is substantial enough to amount to a serious contribution to the family budget (his wife is obviously making the dough).

    The only exception I can think of is “session” or sidemen musicians. I know many guitarists, bass players, drummers etc. who are good enough to tour full time as hired guns (everything from stadiums to small bars). Once they have kids, though, they try to get out of touring in favor of studio work.

    A kid I used to babysit for is now touring with a pretty huge band. His Facebook feed is a constant stream of amazing European tours. I can barely stand to look at it.

    SWPL2

    December 9, 2017 at EST am

  23. I think people with artistic temperature had it best when humans were hunter-gatherers (which is most of our history). Every piece of equipment needed decoration, masks and headdresses were needed. Designs were painted on pots and clothing. Artistic people would have been in constant demand.

    CamelCaseRob

    December 9, 2017 at EST am

    • Mass reproduction has sucked for artists. Who needs live musicians when you can just listen to mp3 files? Who needs painters when you can make infinite print reproductions?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • The end of human civilization as we know it.

        Musicians were considered prolish in many pre-modern civilizations. Aristocrats and intellectuals enjoyed their melodies, but found the face twitching profession to be low class.

        JS

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  24. Interesting article on the arts in the Soviet Union:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2000/10/19/the-arts-in-russia-under-stalin/

    CamelCaseRob

    December 9, 2017 at EST am

  25. Skip art skrool and buy a stencil set.
    This guy’s paintings sell for eight figures (after the decimal point).

    Check out Christopher Wool.
    This one brought $23 million:
    http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/christopher-wool-b-1955-if-you-5792515-details.aspx

    And my personal favorite:
    https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/l-christopher-wool-fuckem-8-c-o3ekjvlomp

    Christopher Wool:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=christopher+wool+-+sotheby%27s&sa=X&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=0ahUKEwja7Ibusf3XAhUEON8KHf1bBDkQsAQITw&biw=1442&bih=766

    https://www.google.com/search?biw=1442&bih=766&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=EhMsWp67BKai_QbMl7nYAQ&q=christopher+wool+-+fuck+%27em+if+they&oq=christopher+wool+-+fuck+%27em+if+they&gs_l=psy-ab.12…77404.87503.0.89654.21.21.0.0.0.0.170.1839.19j2.21.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.5.436…0j0i67k1j0i24k1j0i30k1.0.PnIes9GKjeY#imgrc=OTC6WCKQgW8hlM:

    Nedd Ludd

    December 9, 2017 at EST am

    • Of course, if you did the same thing, it would be worth absolutely nothing because you’re not a famous artist.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • There is one toy that will never become obsolete:

        I’ve never achieved competency with this device. It amazes me how people are able to draw impressive figures with it.

        JS

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  26. All men should be required to wear body cams when talking to artsy women or put on rubber gloves before the conversation. Men, just like the police, cannot be trusted to do their job without sex, race, or phobias getting in the way.

    cesqy

    December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  27. “The arts” have nothing to do with art. It’s all a bullshit industry for trust fundies. Actual working artists (such as ballet dancers) are, as Lion said, proles.

    I can’t believe I used the word prole. I dislike it.

    gothamette

    December 9, 2017 at EST pm

    • Being a ballet dancer takes years and years of very expensive training and the single most unprole physique.

      Prole comes from 1984 where it’s derisively used to refer to all members of the proletariat, showing how far the engsoc has deviated from its socialist roots

      Magnavox

      December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • and it’s the inner party members who collect art and give to the ballet.

        the outer party members who contemn philistines.

        art is prole. money can’t buy taste. and fine art and music and dance and all that are bad taste. there are a very few good novels and poems, no good drama. so belle-lettres is not entirely prole. 1984 is one of those very few, though chomsky dislikes it for some reason.

        man turns into scotsman

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • that is, the primary function of fine art in a class riven and class obsessed society is what veblen called “conspicuous consumption”. it’s the marketing of a vacuum. all marketing no actual thing marketed. and in the case of drama and music it serves a similar function to that of street drugs, anti-depressants, and organized religion. it’s soma for the alienated in a system which alienates the masses of necessity.

        nikolai "the one and only true scotsman" yezhov

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • The ballet dancer physique is extremely aristocratic, but dancers themselves come from pretty unprepossessing backgrounds. During the Balanchine Aurora, his principal dancers were all extremely working class in background. It’s a bit more middle-class now, but still skews towards working class.

        There is one prima ballerina at the New York City Ballet now whose father was a truck driver. Another comes from Bakersfield and her mother ran a dance studio. Her father was a football coach. For a lot of them, dance is a way to rise in status.

        gothamette

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • It’s a myth that ballet training is expensive. In the United States, a lot of kids start out in church basements and other such casual backgrounds. By the time they get to be adolescents when they have to make a choice, that’s when the money issue becomes paramount. Virtually every dancer that has made it into the New York City Ballet was a scholarship student at the school of American Ballet. Otherwise they wouldn’t have made it.

        gothamette

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • I don’t know much about ballet. But this article says conservatively $120,000 just to age 18 (with 30k on shoes alone).

        https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/high-price-of-ballet-diversity-misty-copeland/

        Magnavox

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • Less expensive than college!

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 9, 2017 at EST pm

      • “1984 is one of those very few, though chomsky dislikes it for some reason.”

        Some reason? I would guess because 1984 paints his utopia as a dystopia.

        Mike Street Station

        December 10, 2017 at EST am

  28. I majored in art, worked summers talking myself into meeting a payroll so I understood sales and small business, went to Hollywood, never graduated after an offer to do a script and paint some director’s latest girlfriend, became a script doctor correcting the ignoramus mistakes in other’s scripts, invested wisely, made millions.

    Now I travel around the world spreading libertarianism and meeting cute girls way younger than me who just love the idea of an elderly artist with a Dalton Trumbo vibe in need of care and feeding. When I’m bored I do some interior design complete with my selection of local objet’s d’art and my creations.

    Like many successful rap artists today I also minored/concentrated in accounting, business law, economics. Most artists today are like non-libertarians in economics: they accept the silliest Marxist notions and produce junk.

    Helps to learn enough of languages to be charming with foreign clients.

    The libertarians started an artist colony in Nevada some years back. They moved to Texas.

    Bob

    December 9, 2017 at EST pm

  29. Heh, Reno isn’t cheap these days. You missed the boat, which left at the bottom of the crash in 2011 or so.

    I lived in northern Nevada for 15 years. Bought in 2001 and watched the value collapse and come roaring back in the last six years. Try looking in western Nebraska or the Dakotas.

    http://www.renorealtyblog.com

    sestamibi

    December 9, 2017 at EST pm


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