Monday, June 07, 2010

“Money can’t buy it, baby” – Annie Lennox

I usually try not to get bothered with trivial news. It’s a mindset that becomes more and more difficult with each day as “infotainment” and its trappings seem to rise further and further up the ranks of top news stories on most news related web sites. Difficult in the sense that there is more BS to filter through. While swatting away a few summer flies from an ice cream cone is easy enough, making one’s way through a swarm is quite another. . .


All that aside, one of these gossipy items did manage to catch my eye this morning. Its headline read, “Elton John sings at Limbaugh’s fourth wedding” and then in smaller text “Openly gay singer was reportedly paid $1 million to perform at event”. You may read the same story here if you wish :

Now, I don’t want to spend much of this glorious morning focused on this trivial news bit when I have much to do today and we all know that there are much more important news stories and situations that demand attention, but I must admit, this whole story bothers me to some small degree.

In my opinion, Rush Limbaugh represents a walking bucket of the most putrid swill imaginable.


He is the antithesis of much of what Elton John has publicly endorsed politically and socially on a myriad of levels. So WTF is Elton John doing performing at Limbaugh’s 4th wedding?!

Why, the answer must be money of course. According to the article, John received roughly 1 million dollars for the performance. Now, based on a large percent of the web sites, Elton John’s current net worth is around 500 million dollars. Does he really need to feather his nest egg that much more that he would whore himself out like this pig of a man? The whole situation reeks.

I understand thoroughly that Elton John has spent many years doing tremendously good things to help important Aids charities and human rights organizations and more. What I’m hoping is that there is some larger picture that I’m missing out on. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a hypocrite is “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings”. In my opinion, this seems to be a clear cut case of some acting in contradiction  to their stated beliefs.

Perhaps I’m just way off on my rationalization here, but I just can’t agree with the whole - maybe they just have to agree to disagree politically, socially, moralistically, but – money is money after all – mindset. Doesn’t anyone really hold true to their convictions any longer? Or, perhaps it’s not that black and white.

Or, maybe I just can’t get my head around the money connections to it.  If someone like Limbaugh offered me $1 million to create a painting – would I do so? I most certainly currently do not have a net worth of $500 million dollars and being paid that amount for just one painting would  most certainly change my career and my life for the rest of my days.

So frankly, yes, I probably would take the money and it would be my hope that I would then be more able to afford to support organizations that strengthen the efforts to combat the same ignorant mind-shit that Limbaugh professes daily.
Does that make me a hypocrite or just a savvy artist who realizes that the only way to win the game is to figure out the other sides rule book while getting paid by them as you do it?

In that scenario, who then becomes the more powerful person - the one handing over the money, or the artist that ultimately uses that same money in ways that eventually help topple the power-tower of the payer? 

It seems to be a mumbo-jumbo of green tinted right and wrong and the fog is thick. I’m going to hope that Elton John has his eye on some bigger picture that justifies his performance. If not, then he most certainly will drop several degrees on my personal respect-o-meter. Of course, not that that would or even should matter to him as he most certainly has no idea of who I am. But multiply my mind-set by hundreds of thousands, and he may have a PR problem on his hands. But then again, it’s probably nothing that money can’t fix. . .

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Here comes the summer. . .

June 1st. Memorial day weekend has passed and that means that the “season” has officially started here on the Delaware coast.

Personally, I can’t remember the last time I was so ready to welcome in the summer. Most certainly, this rush into the arms of the sun and heated sand is an offspring from the terrible memories of the one of the worst recorded winters in the region’s (and certainly my own personal) history.

Just yesterday as I was taking a brief stroll to my mailbox and felt the baking heat of the sun on my face and neck a thought popped into my mind informing me that it was only less than 4 months ago that the same path was a wintery barren wasteland of ice and snow banks several feet high. It made me welcome the sun even more and I quickly shook the imagery from my mental etch-a-sketch into nothingness.

I never want to experience that kind of winter again. It seemed eternal and I can’t recall ever feeling so darkened by a season. I fell into a deep funk that seemed to last as long as the winter itself. It was a new and wildly unwelcome experience for me. Fortunately, I made my way out of the ice tunnel and into the beauty of Spring.

And now, the summer season is upon us and I welcome it with arms widely open. Reawakening, remerging, renewing – whatever you wish to call it – they are all wonderful experiences – sometimes even magical. With the beginning of Spring, I felt as if I had successfully emerged from some dark and forgotten hole. I spent the early parts of Spring, symbolically dusting my self off, steadying my stance, and shaking new awareness into my head.

Now, Spring is beginning her swan song and Summer is anxiously awaiting her entrance. I will graciously, and with much admiration, escort Spring to her exit stage left and eagerly lead in Summer from stage right.

Already, l’ll be teaching a class with the Wilmington University beginning June 30th and I’ll be stage managing Christopher Peterson’s phenomenal show again this summer  - and of course, I will be painting up a storm with two upcoming exhibitions.

So, ladies and gentleman, how about a big round of applause for Summer. . .