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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000483.txt from 1999/01

From: (James P Reed)
Subj: Re: [kl] Kenny G Concert Review
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 21:34:21 -0500

This response is to Neil Leuplod's 11 Jan 99 comments about my earlier
message on the Kenny G Concert thread. Neil ended his email stating:

> I also don't see idealism about art as necessarily infantile or
> adolescent. There are harsh realities in life, to be sure, but
> sometimes doggedly adhereing to one's ideals -- square in the face
> of such realities -- results in precisely the type of success which
> was sought all along. It is at the very last moment, just when you
> are about to give up, that the light breaks through the clouds
> and shines upon you -- if only you will hold out just a little
> longer...

Neil, I'm not so sure we really disagree as much as it appears. Not
that I'm above false-pride and ego concerns but there's a point at which
being judgemental and derrogatory may have its uses but is also
self-serving, narcissistic, and not constructive. Not all of us can
succeed at becoming successful artists, which is highly improbable in
spite of your thesis indicating we can, if we follow your formula. And,
as to what is art, not only do we all have enough intellectual
wherewithall to know there is no agreement, I am arguing that such
notions of ultimate truth about what art is are often narcisstic,
infantile, and not constructive. Besides, what is that upsets a person
so much as to have to give enough of a damn to have to put someone else
down for what they do to earn a living? A point you politely overlooked
that not only weakens your argument but is a primary part of what I
originally argued.

It looks like my writing about something that hits one of my hot-buttons
hit one of yours. Theories about successful artists are a dime a dozen,
so are clinical discussions that I intentionally avoided getting into.
Some people decide to do what they best can earn a living from and keep
their art personal. What is it about that which you or others seem to
find so upsetting?

Anyways, who said success or anything approaching it was only
intellectual? Hard work, perseverance, timing, and yes, like it or not
(we really don't have the control that many of us are self-deluded as
thinking we have) good luck are but a few more ingredients that go into
artistic success. Do you really expect someone writing a short email
they want read to set forth a complete disseration with all of the
underlying assumptions, qualifications, appologetics, academic
references and folderall that would be required to provide you with a
more clear understanding of what's being said or discussed? I'm really
sorry if we don't see eye to eye on this but it's nonsense to have to
provide a several hundred page dissertation to make the comments I did
about people flaming away, just so they can feel better by putting
somebody down for being successful.

The negativity of how Kenny G chooses to earn a living versus the art he
is capable of was the primary issue. Should he give up what he does and
produce a more pure and artistic form of music? If so, why? What would
it prove? Certainly we don't have to like his music nor listen to it
other than when subjected to it in someone else's home, etc. The
ripping of a person for not being a pure artist and earning a lot of
money and being critized for it is somewhat petty, whether that offends
or upsets you and others or not. And, that was the major issue of my
original comments. Does putting somebody down for not being a major
artistic force, when they probably could be, benefit anyone in a healthy
and constructive manner? And, if so what is the non-intellectualized,
non-theoretical benefit of such criticism?

Certainly, you have a highly romanticized notion about artists and art
and I'm not about to argue idealism with you. What I am arguing is
nothing more complicated than one persons trash is another persons art.
How many MFA exhibits have you viewed that are debateably art or just
what the student was pressured into producing to satisfy an advisor and
other faculty because of their own boredom and discontent with what they
are already experts about?

Well, actually, that's more than sufficient since I do have other, more
serious writing to do and have probably p-----d off enough folks with my
ranking and raving. I just get tired of putting down successful people
because they don't do what I want, so to speak, and that is projection,
narcissism, and infantilism (not antyhing to do with high ideals),
whether or not anyone like my saying so. That was what I was arguing

But then, reality always does suck when I can't have life my way,
including defining others realities, doesn't it!

Jim Reed

P.S., This really is way too much like my sophomore year of college,
more than three decades ago and yet very similar to what I hear a lot
from my photography students, whom I teach psychology to. Shame on me!
And, I'm sorry if it's all come out too offensive in trying to argue
against some of the flaming that goes on here, and throughout life. I
need a drink and a good laugh so it ends here.

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