Figurative “Impossible Dream” Actually Impossible

According to this post over at BoingBoing: “It’s all but impossible to earn a living as a working artist, new report shows

I think we all kind of intuited this fact already. It’s why many of us dream about quitting our day-jobs to pursue our artistic impulses, but almost never actually do it. It’s why we think anyone who actually does try it is fucking crazy.

Some say true art has no practical, material utility. Perhaps that’s correct. It certainly seems to lack the useful feature of earning you a living.

Fanfic and Nothingness

This piece at NewStatesman claims to tell us “Why it doesn’t matter what Benedict Cumberbatch thinks of Sherlock fan fiction.”

I haven’t read it yet, but I’m going to guess that the reason it doesn’t matter what Cumberbatch thinks of Sherlock fan fiction is because nothing actually matters. We live in a frightening, indifferent universe, in which human concerns — so overpowering and insistent to us — are utterly insignificant.  We are each collections of self-assembling molecules, which feels like a remarkable thing. Except of course that all of those molecules existed before, and will continue to exist, as disparate elements for a far greater period of time than the brief moment during which they came together to form a human being.

To Honor and Surveil

“Technology has made cheating on your spouse, or catching a cheater, easier than ever. How digital tools are aiding the unfaithful and the untrusting—and may be mending some broken marriages.” {From The Adultery Arms Race @ The Atlantic | Via Slashdot}

Gee, it seems like a reeaal shame that I never got married anything — it seems like it’s a super fun and fulfilling institution.

Picky Daters — It’s Not All Bad

“Just look at what online dating has done to the meet market. The speed and frequency of transactions has gone up. Volatility has spiked as relationship investment strategy has changed from building long-term value to quarterly—or nightly—profits.” {From: How both dating and finance have been screwed by the Internet @ Slate | Via: The Morning News}

Let me tell you a little something about how the men of my family wind up in relationships. Step one is to live in a small town from which few people ever escape. Step two is to get a girl pregnant while you are still in high school, during an era in which you pretty much have to get married when that happens. And then get divorced before you have to start paying for your kids to go to college.

Thanks to the rise of contraception, easier travel options, and changing social mores, there are many reasons to hope that my family line will finally, at long last, die out. (God willing.)

The rise of Internet dating, with its high standards, harsh snap-judgements, and the constant, grinding rejection of its lower-rated users might sound like a bad thing at first. But it’s possible that this phenomenon will reduce the number of second-marriages the men of my family wind up in, so it’s difficult for me to be completely against it.

Clown Better

Today at Awful Library Books they’ve got a book about clowns. It’s called Creative Clowning — as opposed to derivative, hackneyed clowning, I guess. I had no idea there were such distinctions in the art-form; is there much wild innovation in the clowning world these days? Yes, probably, but I don’t want to know.

Just to clarify — in case anyone is wondering — I’m not personally afraid of clowns. It’s just that clowns are people (well, mostly) — people who choose to wear corpse paint and fright wigs, who make a habit of baffling sensitive children at the circus. And that’s terrifying.