crevelingma wrote:Didn't mean to offend...just a plea for us all not to take ourselves so seriously.
Why shouldn't we take ourselves seriously?
It is fine and good to enjoy oneself. We should do it regularly. But we should also have the ability to be serious when it matters.
You may argue this doesn't matter, but it remains symptomatic of a larger problem. It is a perpetuation of a culture of greed which sees profit as its own reward, but doesn't see any reason why profit should only come where reward is deserved. This design has numerous technical flaws, is demonstrably repetitive, and when analyzed for content, there is none. The style is not distinctly anybody: it is an overused generic trope no different than copying old looney tunes animation and pretending it's your own style. And this completely neglects questions of integrity brought up by history, both in practices elsewhere and respect for the rules and themes here. Yet it wins over better work. In a merit-based world, that would never happen. In stating that people should take themselves less seriously in this case, you are stating that people should not care about merit. That's how kingship worked, and that's how monopolies are built.
Ah, scream the masses, this is what was voted for! Money talks! But all money is saying here is "we don't really care about what we spend money on." This is true in general. My mother spends more time in the junk food aisle while shopping than in produce. The New York Times bestseller list is crammed not with books that authors crafted over years, but with names that throw a new title at their fans every four to six months. Katy Perry exists. When one says "You guys are just whining," they imply that it doesn't matter what effort you put in when you are doing something. It doesn't matter if your work is meaningful to you. What matters is the money. And that is such a debasement of what it means to be a human that we SHOULD take it seriously.
There is a shred of truth. The money does matter. The money matters because I don't want to take my car to a mechanic who I'll need to see regularly. I want to spend what I need to to get it properly checked out and fixed. I don't want to spend $20 on dinner where everything is greasy and flavorless. I would rather spend twice as much on a smaller portion that nevertheless satisfied me more. I would have no pity for a hundred workers without jobs if a Wal-mart ever closed, but all the pity in the world to see a little local drug store with two employees go under. It is true, I do not always get to throw my money at the people who are trying to do what they wish to do on their own honest terms, and make an honest living on their passion and skills, but those are still the people I want to see succeed. Those are the establishments I will seek out if I can, and urge others to. The person who does something just to make money will always find some way to scrounge a dollar from their greed. The people who have a true passion should be the ones allowed to practice it. If two shirts exist to be printed, and one has 1000 votes but no content, no soul, and no worth past the monetary, and another has 400 but you can taste the passion in it, you can feel that this is a piece that matters to the artist, and you like it, in an honest, intelligent, analytical way, that's the one you should commission. If the popular "artist" gives up, they'll find some other way to con people. If the passionate one gives up, you've crushed a man for refusing to play the game of dishonesty. Proud of that? Some people are. And we should take that pride seriously, as the threat to the human spirit that it is. These are people who believe we exist to sell our souls. Whether we believe in souls as literal items or not, it should appall us that that is a praiseworthy stance. And we should take it seriously that we are, as humans, asked to trade our most human qualities for greed.