I'm a happy Booby!
I saw an article somewhere in an art mag on the commodification of a gentleman from Syria who sold his skin. A movie was made, Oscars were nominated. Based on a true story. Modern slavery. Much can be said about the details and will be.
I had read a book by the foremost psychologist of the last century the grandfather of cognitive therapy, called The Myth of Self Esteem by Dr. Albert Ellis. Just reading that I wasn't a thing to be evaluated and appraised lifted my lifelong depression and over-anxiety. It was the kind of relief from psychological pain that yogis and religionists call a spiritual experience, but with them, it is mere distraction. In fact, it is in their interests to perpetuate the pain so that they can continue to sell a temporary relief. Original sin, misuse of the term 'evolve' (you aren't apparently) etc etc.
This is the cure.
I mean there are no magic silver bullet cures for anything, it's been 18 years and I work daily to overcome the programming that started at birth. The family therapist said it would continue to return but it wouldn't stay.
There are a lot of environmental contributing factors such as my coal miner fathers' lung cancer, extreme poverty, fascist siblings, derision from conservative neighbours for taking handouts from the government, they used to stand outside our house and shout abuse in Calgary, I was stalked, hunted and beaten on my way to and from school. Without family money, girlfriends were forbidden by the fathers, I had no prospects. Careers were forbidden because I couldn't afford education, barred from the middle class, like many men, I resorted to driving for a living. I hated it, I hated the world, I hated me.
Lonely and dependant on expensive mood-altering drugs like the daily use of pot, I had a series of girlfriends who liked my long hair but since I couldn't afford kids, they left when boredom set in. Devastating to a romantic, flowers, one true love guy like me.
The point of all this is that it was all conditional, my self-acceptance. Even though I quit drugs, quit smoking cigarettes, went to art school and earned honour rolls and degrees, there was always another rite of passage I hadn't achieved.I had made a commodity of myself and that commodity was constantly being self-evaluated for its worth.
So of course like everyone else, I was insane with anxiety and depression. The Prozac epidemic. Then along comes this guy quoting Epictetus, who said, “What disturbs men's minds is not events but their judgments on events.” This took some getting used to. He even laid it out in detail, I was being 4-year old demanding conditions be met or else tantrums would ensue. The demands are the three major musts, complete with subgroups.
The mind-blowing point, for me, is that unhealthy negative emotions are a consequence of these demands, for which there is no evidence. Healthy negative emotions are motivating and therefore self-helping. The trick is to turn one into the other. So he created a handy form for doing exactly that.
This guy was a student of Albert Ellis, and he was dying of liver cancer when I met him on Facebook, stubbornly refusing to upset himself about a normal event that happens to everybody. His name was Will Ross and through his teaching, care and compassion, I began to use his tools and still do. I mean he was from New Zealand and try as he might he couldn't make me understand cricket but thankfully our friendship wasn't conditional.
David Burns in his Feeling Good book quoted studies at Stanford that proved when you say I highly prefer to have what I demand, but I don't HAVE to, the brain chemistry changes with the same effect as Prozac.
The key to the whole mess is the stupid notion of self-esteem, and turning myself into a commodity. A family therapist pointed out to me that when my income went down and my wife threw me out, that was a business deal. Relationships are unconditional.
Especially relationship with myself. If she said I highly prefer you make more money right now but we'll figure it out, incomes are always up and down, jobs are all temporary really, or even more importantly if I said it to myself, things might have been different. Two months after I moved out a small ad agency hired me for a small fortune every month. The event didn't cure my depression and loss and overanxiety, I was still a commodity.
So in 2007 I read Ellis's thoughts on self-esteem and wrote a poem.
I can see clearly now...
W.O.Mitchell a narcissist who taught me my fav art-making technique, cloned a daughter, Willa, after estranging his two sons probably with the typical chaos and no-win situations narcissists love. Think of Donald Trump with a typewriter. He yelled ALL the time. Sound and fury.
I helped the abused helpless wife Myrna do the family taxes, I was 12. Willa adopted me in junior high, she was always taking home strays trying to win her Dad’s affection by virtue signalling. He hated me, he thought I was poking his kid. Myrna! Look at what the boy has done now! Later in life, John Eastland spoke to me the same way when he discovered his wife was also participating in their open relationship. He seduced everyone, even his son’s girlfriend. Nancy his wife was pregnant and he said to abort Jerald’s kid or he was throwing her out. So she did. He recently died and the world is a better place.
The Welfare had sent me to the rich kid’s school because I was smart, broken and abandoned. The drunken tradesman’s abused kids at the working-class school were stalking me and beating me so that I was terrorized and didn’t leave the house. Sort of like the strategy of Twitter conservative bots these days.
Seriously depressed from abuse at school and abandonment at home, I failed a grade, straight A’s to straight D’s, the school reported this to The Welfare which made my widowed often hospitalized Mom move houses. I had got her in trouble with The Welfare, more guilt and shame. But along with depression, I was becoming disillusioned and hard, I seriously didn’t give a fuck, I only existed to pump her welfare income. It was around then that she taught me to roll my own cigarettes as I was ‘stealing’ her tailor-made smokes. The only life skill she passed on to me. Lung cancer.
At the new school, we became buddies Willa and me. Being an extrovert she got me out of the house, and I worshipped her for her talent with voice and keyboard. I helped her finish projects because like her Dad she was a narcissist, always lying, therefore, overvaluing me initially so that I was smitten and when she couldn’t finish anything, she got bored and moved on. So she used me to get through school.
We were having coffee at Barney Google’s ice cream parlour across from our high school, I played guitar there in a 12 bar blues band and Willa sang, where I was struggling to write a research paper, which no one had ever taught me how to do, conservative schools prefer maths and science. I loath being a calculator. “Oh. That’s easy, just write the way you talk, that’s what my Dad always says.” University-level advice on being creative. Right there with my banana split. Well, nobody is all bad.
A few years later she developed an interest in screwing everything in pants and took a run at me, the romance flowers one true love kind of guy, and I rejected her premise. She never spoke to me again putting me in the undervalue dump and smear part of the narcissist cycle. I was devastated at the loss of my friend, it was all a lie.
I had been volunteering at the Drug Crisis Centre living in a lonely room and board on a student loan after quitting my useless high school, and attending college when the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission which ran the volunteers, offered me a job and training to work with street kids. They trained me in spotting narcissist sociopaths and to use REBT to manage my mental health and teach others to do the same. I eventually ended up working at the prison with inmates similar to the conservatives’ kids that used to terrorize me for amusement. Hence when Willa cycled back into my life in our small town all the fire alarms went off in my head. Her overvalue seduction was convincing but I smelled a rat. I left her half-naked and horny, I wanted to think about this. It was like being pressured to buy a used car when you know deep down this is a clunker.
I once did my Myers Briggs thingy, a hundred questions about my preferences, classifying me as an INFJ, the rarest of all types, same as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa which is odd for an atheist like me but at one time I was cult recruited when vulnerable, so I see the draw.
They say INFJ’s like to have someone to write to, which is true in my case. I write to me. I crack myself up telling my most intimate secrets to myself, writing the way I talk in my head to me ever since I became healthy, my best friend. When I was dependant on others to accept me because I had been programmed with conditions on my acceptance of self, of others and of the universe, and most people I am sad to report are self-serving charming used car salesmen, conning me out of my resources for their benefit, I was left lonely broke anxious and hostile. A self-made clunker.
Once I got healthy and started to like myself, a process that took years, disputing one cognitive distortion after another, it seemed endless, with rational responses, I really started to enjoy my life and my process in art.
I was programmed to think I was a failure in visual art because the painting had to be representational, hard-edged and a perfect replica of the thing I was trying to paint. Hitler had the same distortion, a typical distortion of perfectionists. His art school threw him out. Mine did the same, only 100 of us graduated in all areas combined out of 800 first-year applicants.
Debra, my first painting major prof actually hit me. I was struggling to do a portrait from a photo in my first professional studio at art school, and it was not very good. It was my first professional crit and I was anxious as hell as I was painting garbage. As she didn’t hesitate to point out. “What about that stuff on the floor?” I had painted a bunch of 2-minute abstract compositions exploring line, shape, tone, colour, and rhythm in a design class. “oh that, that’s easy, just fucking around” That’s when she hit me. Hard. “When it’s easy it’s called a talent, you idiot.” So I got to stay in art school.
Turns out almost nobody has talent in areas they admire, “I really want to be a realist figure painter but I don’t HAVE to.” Especially when your genius, such as it is, is laying in other areas. It’s the therapy of art therapy. Dr. David Burns in his book Feeling Good talks about the studies at Stanford that show when a person says I highly prefer to have what I demand but I don’t have to, the brain chemistry changes with as much effect as Prozac. Talk therapy. Artists have been training each other for centuries with this.
So I gradually began to accept myself in art school without that condition of ‘perfection’. I mean, it’s insanity, since it doesn’t exist so I learned to chuck that perfectionist art concept in the art garbage and focus on my satisfaction instead. Years later when my dying wife threw me out of our home, a decision applauded by her ultra-conservative farmer father who owned the house, her brain turned into hamburger by Huntington’s disease, I read Albert Ellis, the Myth of Self Esteem. Not surprisingly it said the same thing, throw the perfectionist notion of self-esteem in the garbage and focus on creating satisfaction instead. I must have a healthy wife and a house and a studio or I’m no good = a lot of non-stop pain largely self-created or I could do as Wassily Kandinsky did, sit in your micro 1 bedroom apartment and create unconditionally, works that bring huge satisfaction. He changed the entire art world by doing just exactly that. Oh.
So I created a method of teaching painting called Painting From Start to Finish in 45 Minutes. I marketed it to art school and the University and began to teach it. I mean those drawn to painting are impatient to start with, we just are. Those that like long process do something else.
Paint, if you fuck with it, turns to overworked mud really quick. So if you paint for more than 45 min you just created expensive garbage as you need to use highly pigmented artist quality paint or you create mud in like 5 min. If you paint over what you just did because you are hoping by some magic, you became a genius in the last few minutes and you did, fine, otherwise, you made more expensive mud. If you don’t agree with W.O. Mitchell that the first thought is the best thought, and you go painting, you embark on a frustrating self-hating mud making odyssey.
Or you can say pretty much all there is to say using a stick with hairs tied to the end squishing it around in glue that has ground up coloured rocks thrown in, and when it looks like grass or whatever, stop, grab the model, drink the wine, make love and call it a day. That is what we call painting, an intense experience of satisfaction and the residue is a record of that satisfaction. If you want something pretty to go over your couch there are lots of charming seducers that were thrown out of art school running art galleries to sell you that shit, then, you know, fuck your wife.
Or you could just enjoy the beauty of the handmade mark. Way more satisfying.
Spread the wealth, we all win
I too live in Calgary and own a .ca, grandson of a Scottish grandfather and Irish-American grandmother homesteaders, and a mother from the predominately Irish, England's last official colony, Newfoundland. I received my diploma and then degree up the street at the local art school a world-class, highly respected, very tough school. I happily market to the entire planet on all the usual global platforms thingys, like this one you are reading now, please subscribe, ya freeloading bastards. :)
The Local Laundry guy spouts his emotional seduction marketing in 'buy local speak' targeted at the local Calgary conservative fascist morons who believe that the other is bad, not our tribe/cult nationalism that sounds historically ominous.
The buy local advocate proudly says he got his formal indoctrination in MBA school somewhere else, in Sweden, where if you read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo you would know that Sweden had/has a very active Nazi sympathizer faction. Also a very weird anti-mask policy similar to IDU right-wing herd mentality countries such as Brazil and India which has killed thousands if not millions this pandemic, mutating the covid virus into the 3rd wave so contagious it gets in through your eyes. If it's out there its job is to mutate and kill you.
Herd morons are trying to backtrack and cover up the world over, like the pic on Twitter of Stephen Harper the IDU head getting his vaccine at the not local Shoppers Drug Mart whose booking software ‘broke down’ the first day and still isn't working.
So here is classic emotional cult recruitment marketing. First speaking of the not local immigrant parents dispensing a highly addictive and destructive (it actually shrinks the brain) albeit legal drug so that they can continue to be terrible at the collaborative relationship and be their own boss. But it's now a local business so it's ok is the spin. Family values and the contribution to religious (masochistic guilt payments), work for no pay, volunteer charities are also mentioned several times. Albert Ellis the world's foremost psychologist of the last century in his paper The Case Against Religion said: “Masochistic self-sacrifice is an integral part of almost all organized religions: as shown, for example, in the various forms of ritualistic self-deprivation that Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, and other religionists must continually undergo if they are to keep in good with their assumed gods.”
Never mind that. Charity is a terrible notion because it's an unreliable way to fund an organization. Why? It's based on the unreliable and abusive cult of (they tend to burn out and deprogram, the creatures) volunteerism using the guilt and masochism of people trying to buy their way into heaven. Put that in your business plan and see what your banker says. Still, as virtue signalling, it looks good and all narcissists want to look good as they live for that shit until they inevitably don't produce the goods, therefore looking bad, so they smear you as they dump you and move on. Bankers aren't stupid, they call this a bad risk for a reason.
After the charity/volunteerism pitch he comes to the 'our product is superior because we made it here' pitch. There is absolutely no evidence to support this claim. Toyota, the best-selling most reliable car ever made is manufactured from excellent parts sourced the world over that are proven to be of more value than just looking good. Bankers like this a lot. It's called evidence. Ironically, Toyota started as a commercial cloth manufacturing company, the grill of the Lexus is a stylized loom shuttle.
So after some more claptrap about local hires are superior (what if they are unqualified?) aka family values (what if your family are drunks?) which are never defined and no explanation of actual (based on unemotional evidence and research) dysfunctional family values of the alcoholic which are well defined as codependence and Stolkholm syndrome of the drunken abusers, they skate over, as in never mention, the materials the clothes are made of. Bamboo. The Local Laundry is made from bamboo. Grow a lot of bamboos locally do you?
Demand for bamboo from primarily China has sometimes led to clearing forests to plant bamboo. Bamboo clothes are generally synthetic rayon made from cellulose extracted from bamboo. The viscose rayon process treats the fibres with lye and adds carbon disulphide to form sodium cellulose xanthate. After time, temperature, and various inorganic and organic additives (including the amount of air contact) determining the final degree of polymerization, the xanthate is acidified to regenerate the cellulose and release dithiocarbonic acid that later decomposes back to carbon disulphide and water. A 2014 ocean survey found that rayon contributed to 56.9% of the total fibres found in deep ocean areas. So much for the ‘natural’ local spin.
Cotton and wool and silk are the human traditional clothing materials because the human body is host to bacteria that excrete a smelly substance. Commonly known as B.O. So clothes have to breathe to prevent the buildup of odour and don't get me started on fungus such as the ones that cause dandruff and are controlled by the drug Nizor. Bamboo aka rayon isn't great for any of this in my purely anecdotal experience, but it's plentiful and cheap in third-world cotton-wearing countries using cheap slavish labour so what the fuck, throw a buy local marketing spin on it and virtue signal your drunk dispensing Irish parents. Talk about unconscionable intentional manipulation.
I'll stick to Eddie Bauer, honestly made in places like Mexico and Bangladesh. My jeans last for 10 years of being not in the landfill and are being replaced with a lifetime guarantee building my customer loyalty because they are interested in, you know, me, the customer. I paid for my original jeans 30 years ago. I tell everybody I know, word of mouth marketing is invaluable, just ask google reviews. So I buy everything at Eddie. Their bankers aren't stupid either.
Mexicans need jobs too. They don't have a Justin Trudeau and CERB. Spread the wealth folks, we all win.
or any other satisfaction...
1/ other's likes and dislikes only describe them. you can lead a conservative to knowledge but you can't make him think.
your work only describes you.
sale of your art/ideas: 10 views 3 interests 1 sale
same for the sale of anything or dating, whatever
1 million pop. = 100,000 sales
2/ art cannot produce emotion or reaction, it doesn't have secret mind powers that control people or every artist would control the stock market.
evidence-based cognitive psychotherapy REBT shows that what you think about events creates your emotions, which is why you have control of your emotional reactions
3/ I like your work. that sentence describes what I like and don't like. If I critique it, my crit is based on criteria: what were you going for, how close did you get, how do we get you closer, how does it compare to genius in the field. Loving you is irrelevant.
4/ 900,000 people out of a million are not going to like you. 100,000 will. how many do you need to love you? 1? 10? a million? I must be liked is a depression causing insanity.
I highly prefer to have what I want but I don't have to. the purpose of life is to create my satisfaction, I use my free will and power of choice, I may not have as many choices as I desire, but I still have some.
5/ as soon as I say you must create my satisfaction for me by liking me I am your slave. conditional acceptance.
of the universe
= mental health and freedom from over-anxiety
I lost an arm and leg, I deal with it, then ignore it and create satisfaction with my free will and power of choice.
In art school after the first year of fundamentals, we had individual jury crits, the best artists in our chosen field were called in from international art academia to sit on our jury
every. three. months.
pass or fail to continue with our education. 800 people started 100 graduated 4 years later. this preserved the integrity of the credential.
the work on the gallery wall
a row of chairs for the 6 jury
Tell us about your work. The dreaded question.
It’s painting, it’s about paint.
How can it be about paint? The critical theorist actually yelled.
the painters smiled, how they longed to say that.
How can it not be about paint? was my response. I get my permissions from Rosalind Krause. Ms. Krause was the current darling of critics and art theorists.
So we never talked about my student work we talked about my permissions from my genius big brothers and sisters in the art world who were actually educating me.
Where is your artist statement?
Picasso never made one so I don’t have to make one.
My final 3rd-year crit, the big one because the few who go on to 4th year are considered professional artists essentially paying for critique, a professional practice. Gallerists came to our studios seeking fresh art.
I stood up before the jury when they finally assembled and announced, ‘in the best sense of the word, fuck ya, I’m satisfied with my work and that’s my educated eye’s opinion from here on in’.
I received a standing ovation. ‘We’ve been waiting for 3 years to hear you say that.’
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