Has anyone else noticed the need that ‘artists” have to be more and more outrageous lately? It seems like many people can’t be happy unless they are finding greater ways to shock and repulse others. This seems to especially apply to the art community. They say that “art reflects life” and if that is the case, we are really in a dark place.
I’ll give you some stomach-turning examples in a moment, but let me first bring this back to a child-rearing theory I have.
When you have children, you always want to make them happy and give them privileges and opportunities you may not have had. But if you make the mistake of constantly having to outdo yourself, you’ll end up with a greedy monster on your hands. If every Christmas must outdo the last to make a child happy, if every family vacation has to be bigger and better, if every birthday party has to be more outrageous, you’ll find that the recipient of all this bounty is less happy than other people. They’ll always be searching for that excitement and frankly, it’s just not how life works.
Bigger and better is not a sustainable life model. Eventually, the money will run out or the excitement factor will have to be so extreme that it won’t really be that much fun anymore. Everything after a certain point is just a letdown, and the person seeking that rush will often turn to more extreme and unhealthy choices to try and find a state of happiness that will always be brief and elusive.
So, that brings me back to our current societal situation.
I wrote a few weeks back about the signs of the end of an empire, and ever since then, I keep stumbling across more and more examples of this. This isn’t one for reading aloud around the family table….