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View Full Version : niceness is golden, or why poseurs are shit



zhao
25-05-2006, 04:20 PM
of all the people I have met in my life, the ones who have had the most success/recognition in their fields, artists, film makers, theorists, writers, musicians, etc, the ones who are famous and sometimes considered to be legends, have been the nicest, humblist, and agreeable characters imaginable - with not a trace of ego in their demeanors.

when I walked up to Tim Hawkinson at his first retrospective (have since gone on to have retrospectives at MOMA NY, LACMA LA, and who produces some of the most amazing work today), and told him how much I love his work, he looked at me and asked "what do YOU do?" and for the next 15 minutes all he was concerned with was what kind of paintings do I make and what kind of design do I do for a living, etc. here was a major young artist on his way up and he was very interested in some random person that walked up to him - and not in himself at all.

I can give many other examples of good friends and people I've met who are like this - accomplished individuals who are genuinely fascinated by art and ideas and life and people, and possess not an ounce of pretension, have no prejudices, make no judgements, and do not subscribe to bullshit ellitist ideas about exclusivity or stupid distinctions between high and low.

and it is the miserable losers who pretend to be what they are not, the ones who are very much unhappy with themselves and their lives, the fake-ass poseurs of the world, it is these who act in demeaning, ugly ways; who are mean-spirited and use any chance to put other people down to make themselves feel better.

N A P H T A
25-05-2006, 04:56 PM
Well said!

As a mere casual observer of recent shennanigans in this place (and as a mate of Droid) I shall refrain from throwing my 6pence into the wider issues that this seems to relate to...

I will say however, that no matter how much general bitterness has resulted from the recent incidents in which certain users have signally failed the board in this regard, one thing seems certain to me: Dissensus will only be worse off if regular posters start leaving en masse. Participate, and set the standard by how YOU behave. There will always be people who are incapable of envisioning others as anything more than soundboards or foils to help them reaffirm their own identites. Let them depart, if they will... :)

gek-opel
25-05-2006, 07:47 PM
I remain somewhat unconvinced by niceness... (many of the highest achievers are equally mean spirited egotists who care nothing for others.... it can tip both ways) however "not being a cunt" seems to be quite a good rule... too many ad hominem arguments kill a board... dead. (and they are dull too!)

zhao
25-05-2006, 10:58 PM
it can tip both ways

yeah DJ Spooky is a conceited twat and a half and I guess he's considered a "high achiever"...

revision: I don't mean all "successful" people in society's eyes are down-to-earth and nice. I don't mean the opportunists and the shameless self-promoters - I mean the people of a higher consciousness, the "real" artists and visionaries out there, they are almost always humble and gracious. they are always driven by a genuine love, instead of worldly gain or recognition.

the undisputed truth
25-05-2006, 11:04 PM
I save my humility and noble values for real life...

...it's safer to just play tit for tat on line ;)

http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/tittat/story.htm

D84
26-05-2006, 03:40 AM
For me it's quite simple. If I meet someone new I know nothing about them nor them about me - so it's always best to be polite and see what they have to offer...

I guess it also comes from being a student and being proved wrong so many times by teachers etc. It's nothing to be ashamed of: it's all part of the learning process.

If someone is rude or something my reactions depend on my mood or the context - eg. I might start an argument or I might move on.

Most people end up getting filed under "Idiot" though - right under me of course... ;)

And as a friend said recently, if you go around demanding or expecting respect, you're likely to get none.

dogger
26-05-2006, 10:39 AM
yeah DJ Spooky is a conceited twat and a half and I guess he's considered a "high achiever"...

revision: I don't mean all "successful" people in society's eyes are down-to-earth and nice. I don't mean the opportunists and the shameless self-promoters - I mean the people of a higher consciousness, the "real" artists and visionaries out there, they are almost always humble and gracious. they are always driven by a genuine love, instead of worldly gain or recognition.

weeell, real geniuses, the once-in-a-generation masters, are "driven by a genuine love", sure, in the sense that they are completely consumed by their work, they have to be. but no real genius is unaware of his talents. if we're looking for common trends, this more often leads to a contempt for/inability to interact "nicely" with lesser mortals.

and does this matter? i don't admire joyce as a writer because i think he was a "nice guy" i would like to have a pint with - i couldn't really care less. another (literary) example - pound. complete twat, no doubt, raving fascist, but he wrote fucking great poetry.

counter argument - all great art is personal (because great art requires style, and style requires individuality, and individuality requires personality), therefore the personality of the artist is important.

so the necessary complication to the above is that the private personality of the artist - e.g. their "niceness" - is unimportant; what matters is their artistic personality - the personal way they approach their art and see life.

entirely different from being nice, gracious or humble.

D84
26-05-2006, 12:13 PM
Ah yes, the artistic ego - probably deserves a thread of its own if there hasn't been one already.

I fully agree - give them a bit of latitude etc. You don't want to get cut by a passing ego...

I'm not sure though if artists' rudeness bears much correlation with how good they actually are, which for the most part is quite subjective, than with how good they think they are... And professional success depends on so many other factors than just the quality of a person's work...

Also for some people creating requires a lot of personal time to prepare and basically think about the work in question. I don't think there's anyone here who hasn't been rude to people when they've had a lot on their mind.

I also firmly believe that there's only so many people you can talk to in a day - and this is especially true of successful artists.

I have a friend who I think is a great artist and he went through a period when he was behaving atrociously and still freaking me out with his work (ie. it was tops), even though our friendship was quite strained at the time. But he paid a price for that professionally and he's only starting to get back on track.

On the other hand, when I met him I had no idea who he was (he had just got his first big gig) and we got on famously...

gek-opel
27-05-2006, 11:08 AM
Another example along Dogger's line of thinking: Miles Davis... Complete horrific bastard, wife beater and all in real life, but his artistic voice was one of utter humanism, his trumpet an audio-signature of compassion and mournful delicacy...