"If you must economize, be stingy with your wife, your clothes, your food, but never on what will make your pictures better. This may sound almost immoral but in the end if you make better pictures you will make more money and then you can enjoy the food and the clothes and buy your wife a mink coat."
-Norman Rockwell



I suppose if I could meet anyone,  Norm would be at the top of my list.

49 comments:

Joe Bluhm said...

Wise post, my friend. :)

Eric Braddock said...

Hahaha... what a quote.

Ericka said...

ok I agree with everything except the wife thing...come on, that's just cruel. Poor wife. haha.

Pop-Monkey said...

As much as I admire Rockwell, I disagree with this statement. The degree to which I disagree depends on whether he is speaking purely about money, or about time, or about a combination of both.

Putting your family on the back-burner to focus the majority of your attention and effort on anything is just immoral, in my opinion. Your kids and your wife aren't going to thank you for being largely absent from their lives as long as you "make it" later on in life and are able to buy them nice things. No one ever looks back on their life and says, "I wish my parents were more rich and successful so we could have had nicer stuff". There is, however, plenty of regret to go around when one finds themselves thinking "I wish I was there more and spent more time with my family".

It's misguided and damaging to put more focus on success and riches than the loved ones in your life.
Francis, I hope if you ever get married and have a family, you will not follow Mr. Rockwell's advice. Family comes first.

Of course, if Rockwell is simply referring to money, as in splurge on the top of the line paintbrush instead of your wife's birthday -- well, I don't know if I agree with that either. Concentrate on what really matters first, and everything else will fall into place. Terrific artists aren't always the most wise individuals.

Pop-Monkey said...

And remember, Rockwell's first wife left him for another man. Perhaps this attitude contributed to that. No woman with half a brain and a decent measure of self-respect is going to stick around and let a man put his art before her.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michael eugene burdick said...

Well, you're in luck.
I just heard that Obama's cabinet is working on constructing a time machine.

Francis Vallejo said...

Thanks for the post Jared. There is substantial documentation that Rockwell wasn't always the best family man. It wasn't until he found his second wife, did he find someone that was able to understand his commitment to his paintings. His son's have made some very political statements about their dad's involvement in their lives.

I'm at an interesting point of my career in that many of my priorities are changing. Before college I went to the gym 6 days a week, flossed my teath, combed my hair, and dotted my i's. Now all my clothes are from Goodwill, I shave my hair, and spend all my money on art related trips and supplies. It has taken its toll, and I realize I have to take better care of myself, and have found value in taking a little time out to run in the mornings, and eat better, which improves my day as a whole.

I suppose I can't imagine the full perspective of this statement since I have no idea what a family requires. My mom still sends me care packages....But I do understad the fact that a bad picture will comlpetely ruin my mood for days, but a good picture will put me on top of the world. No possession or food can do that. Good pictures made Rockwell happiest; that's why I think he put so much emphasis on them.

I wonder how jokingly Rockwell felt when he made the jab with the wife quote? I think overall, most artists are consumed by their work, so it is not fair to ask their wife/husband to accept the lack of attention. It's weird because you can't just turn off your artistic mindset. David Apatoff over at Illustration Art has a whole series of posts on "artists in love." Finding a good balance of a passion for art and a civilian life has, and will always be, a tough path.

Pop-Monkey said...

Hi, Francis.
It's always important to keep your priorities straight and it's interesting to hear about your shift of perspective. As a married man with a family, I'm especially wary about giving my family the necessary attention and care. I sacrificed a lot during my time at Ringling. I was attending art school with a wife and child at home, and I ended up putting them aside for 4 years to focus my attention on school. It's a decision I regret, as it very nearly cost me my family in the end. Even after school, I felt that I needed to continue to throw all my efforts into getting my name out there and "making it" at my family's expense. I very nearly went through a divorce because of it, and I'd hate to see other artists fall into that same trap.

Family comes before career. It is a bit of a catch-22, because it's so easy to fall into that mindset of "I'll bust my ass now so I can provide much better for them later", but that's a slippery slope as it's never guaranteed that the type of success you are looking for will come, and the damage done by the time you do find "success" may be irreparable.

Believe me, I do know what a struggle it is to escape that artist's mindset which becomes such a part of who you are inside. If I don't have a good day art-wise, then it tends to color my mood and attitude for the rest of the day or week until I feel I hit a groove where things are going well at the drawing board/computer. I have to work very hard to shift focus when the family needs my time and attention, and I'm never able to shut if off completely (I don't think artists really can "shut it off"). I'm always thinking about ways to make my art better or mulling over ideas for new illustrations or new avenues to gaining some notoriety and paychecks, but I try to be careful not to let that mindset overwhelm me when I'm not "at work".

Sorry to go on and on about it. This is a very interesting subject you've brought up and I felt it important to chime in. Since I've "been there and done that" I thought I could provide some cautionary feedback on the matter. Thanks so much for your thoughts. It's always nice to get inside an artist's head.

Francis Vallejo said...

Thanks again for the response Jared.

I'm trying to imagine including a wife and child into my schedule now...and it seems daunting. Much respect to all the artists that find a way to do so and maintain their art careers. I suppose I am in a fortunate position that I can focus most of my commitments on my artwork, but we all long for companionship, and I of course would love to have a family in the future. Even now the days of just working on my pictures seem far away, with tons of emails, keeping my place livable, and other duties, finding soild blocks of time to work are getting harder, and I don't imagine it will improve. I realize that it will not get easier if I include a girlfriend/family into it...so I guess what Jared is saying (if I may paraphrase) is that as young artist's with few major commitments, we should take advantage of our positions, and get the work done, because time will become more precious as we get older.....(hope thats accurate:))

Francis Vallejo said...

...but that's only from my 23 yr. old speculation. Jared is speaking from experience, so listen to him first.

I've had quite a few conversations with other artists on the merits of creating art as a career to pay the bills vs. creating art that satisfies the client, but also pushes the medium and satisfies yourself. I never want to become a wrist, meticulously working away on someone elses idea, with no personal relationship to the piece I am creating. I'm not a machine, I have a unique perspective to inject into my work. I think that is what Rockwell is talking about. At his time there were a ton of Leyendecker and Gibson "high society" artists. His first ideas for the Post were similar to the trends. But then he realized he had a unique perspective to offer. Then he became a legend. He knew that as long as he created work that came from his inner most core, and was the result of passionate work that was always given the utmost attention, the success would come.

What's better, having a body of work you are happy with that is really making a difference in society, along with the respect of your peers....or...creating art to purely satisfy a client, and checking out at a determined time, only to fade into obscurity. BUT being better able to spend time on other things...like a girfriend/wife/family?? In comparison to the first artist that most likely has problems in his relationships, because of his work schedule.

Interesting decision we are faced with, which direction will bring the purest form of happiness? I'm not sure if I'm articulating myself as I would like to, but this subject is constantly on my mind.

Eric Orchard said...

I think that sentiment comes from the stereotype of the bohemian,alienated artist.I really owe my career to my wife, Jon Foster has said the same as I'm sure many others could. And now with a 3 month old I'm more inspired then ever. It's a balancing act and is difficult at times but I think it's a lie that one must choose between a family and an art career.

Matthew Lopez said...

i didnt read all that was posted, but i think that you have to find someone who understands your number one love for art (if it is) and who accepts that you spend most of your time and money on it.

goodwill and cheap noodles =)

RAWLS said...

Wow...you sparked some good thoughts and conversation with that one Francis! Nice job my friend. I love Rockwell, and I totally understand where he's coming from, but all in all, it is a continual balancing act, that I honestly wouldn't change for the world. If you do it with the right attitude, as I'm trying to learn to do, the two sides really do strengthen each other. My wife and daughter make me strive everyday to be better, in life and art. And the way my mind works as an artist, makes me see my wife and daughter's beauty in a very unique way... again leading to inspiration.

Pop-Monkey said...

Francis, I think you've got a handle on what I mean and what I believe (and I'll try not to drone on in this post). This is an important part of an artist's life and mindset that deserves careful scrutiny and attention, and we cannot separate who we are as an artist from who we are as a person.

I got a late start on my art education/career and already had a family going by the time I enrolled in art school. I believe I didn't get all that I could have out of school had I gotten an earlier start, like you young whipper-snappers, but I did harm my family relations by throwing so much of myself into my art education and career-hunting. In the end, I have to be content (not necessarily "happy") with working for others during my regular working hours, making time for the family and then using my spare time (after everyone's gone to bed, usually) to work on my own stuff. This allows me to attempt to pay the bills, pay my family their due attention and get my own artistic needs met. I don't have much free time to have much of a social life to speak of, but I'm hoping a break will come soon that will allow me to do more of my own thing and less of the soul-draining freelance junk.

You are a tremendous talent, and are already "breaking out", Francis, and I'm sure you'll find yourself able to do your own thing exclusively very soon. Then you'll be able to give a wife/girlfriend the time and attention they deserve. Do yourself a favor, though, and if you choose a long-term family commitment, always put them first. You'll be a better, happier person for it in the long run.

Thanks again for the discussion, and your point-of-view. Hope to see you at a con this year so we can talk again in person!

Anonymous said...

Fancis: As long as you always include God in your life, everything will work out for the best. I know that for a fact and I think you do too. Love you and God Bless EMV

Haylee said...

I took the liberty to ask James Gurney's opinion of all this, and this was his response:

"Hi, Haylee,

Thanks for your kind words. I followed the link and read the quote from Rockwell, which was new to me. I would agree with the general statement that you have to pull out all the stops and do your best work, and Rockwell's legacy is proof of the value of his incredible effort.

Where I would disagree is the idea that it has to damage your personal life. Here are some things I'd recommend to a young artist who is thinking about this:
1. Either stay single (like Leighton or Sargent) or marry another artist. An artist spouse actually helps deepen your commitment to your work.
2. Put you studio in your home if you can. If you have kids, make the studio a place that they're welcome. Then they can be a part of your work life. We used to have a box of Legos next to the painting table.
3. Try to keep normal hours and schedule time off and time for inspiration. This just makes quality and productivity better anyway.

I don't know if I'm repeating what anyone else is saying, but it's a great topic.

James Gurney"

To put in my two cents: God must always be the center of everything. Without having that key factor in your life, then you are sure to eternally search for true happiness.

jeremy melton said...

Well i agree with you, I would have liked to meet him too. The conversation would be interesting nonetheless. :) Beautiful work on this blog. Excellent work my friend! 18 years you lived there? Thats cool, i have been there a better part of my life as well. I miss it and i dont all at the same time. Ha! Cheers!

Peter Hong Chan said...

great quote! inspiring indeed.

AR said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mooshe said...

Too many people express themselves through their families. The more people that wise-up and make something more beautiful and innovative than a baby, the better.

Pop-Monkey said...

Mooshe,
More beautiful than a baby? You're not a parent are you? There's nothing more beautiful that a person can make. That's the problem with many children today: their parents don't acknowledge, treasure and nurture the beauty they have created.
There are too many parents who try to live vicariously through their children, which is wrong, but there's nothing more beautiful than the life you have helped create.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mooshe. Art, science and technology are more beautiful and innovative than babies because they require a lot more consciousness to pull off. It's a different kind of beauty but since it takes more intellect and reason to create, it has more to offer the world than something even four-legged animals can do. The world needs more rationality, it has more than enough sentimental mushiness.

Pop-Monkey said...

Where do you people think art, science and technology come from? They come from people. People who were created and raised by other people. I'm not talking about the animal act of screwing and impregnating someone -- any idiot can do that. I'm talking about the long, arduous and miraculous process of creating a life, nurturing that life and instilling that life with the basic compassionate humanity needed for our species to thrive and engage in the things you seem to value above humanity.

This is the last I'm going to say on the subject, cuz I'm not sure Francis wants me hijacking this discussion as I seem to be, but I don't want to live in the world some of you folks are trying to create. That's what got us in the mess we are in right now. Art is great, but it's not the be-all and end-all of human existence and should never be valued above people, especially those you call your family. Art can certainly be a part of the process of nurturing and caring for your family, but it does not and should not trump that.

Sorry if I sound like a jerk, but I believe in arguing a point if it's something I believe strongly in.

Anonymous said...

You're not being a jerk Pop-Monkey. I like your passion but I happen to think you are very wrong. I may respond to what you wrote later when I have more time.

El Pagano said...

Vallejo, just wanted to leave a late comment and thank you for posting the link for the Dean Cornwell images. Very nice! As for the Rockwell comment, looks like enough has been said about that. Either way, the comment made me laugh. I think I'd rather meet Leyendecker before Rockwell.

mclean said...

I'm going to fall in the "disagree" category. A lot of really well-thought discussion has already taken place here, I'm not really sure what I could add. But we'll give this a shot.

If you're not in a relationship where your SO is fiercely in-tune with your own goals and ambitions, then you can't expect them to understand and excuse your inattentiveness. Unless you can find someone who is on the same page (and if you do find someone like that, don't ignore it!) I think that one relationship with your art is enough, without complicating it with a second relationship. You shouldn't have to feel as if you're faced with either cheating yourself or cheating your girl. Thats a bad place to be, and will never end pretty.

That is, of course, if you feel that art will always come before family.

You'll figure it all out though! On a side note- did you have any idea that such a small blog post would spark such a conversation!? Using blogs as a means of thoughtful dialogue is exciting to me these days.

Francis Vallejo said...

El Pagano: No problem, glad that you enjoyed them.

Mooshe and PopMonkey: Although I'm real far away from having a child, I can imagine that it would be my best creation to date. I agree with PopMonkey (Jared) that the act of raising the child properly would prove to be the hardest and most rewarding aspect, and is a psuedo-artform in itself.

Now I'm speaking from extremely recent experience that a obsession with your artwork can cause problems. I recently split with a young lady that I've been with for 6 years. Among other reasons, my wild art hours were a factor in this break. As a fact, many artists, especially freelance artists, live very solitary lives, spending much of the time by themselves. I'm realizing the importance of having someone to talk to at the end of the day to keep you sane....Like McClean mentioned, if you do find a girl that understands your passion to make these silly pictures, and has a passion of her own, REALLY keep her close.

Anonymous said...

here's a counter argument to Anonymous who said "The world needs more rationality, it has more than enough sentimental mushiness." - - does your Art, Science and Technology make you a cup of tea at the end of a hard day's work?

PS. francis, love your work! i especially dig your sketches

-D.Y

Anonymous said...

D.Y.-

Well, I can make my own cup of tea and thanks to science and technology, I can do it faster with a lot more choices as to the kind of tea I want. I'm not sure how you thought that was a counter argument to what I said. Also, remember that because of science and technology, a hard day's work isn't as hard as it used to be 100 years ago. Who knows, it's possible that in the future we won't even need to have sexual intercourse in order to perpetuate the species anymore....

I know that sounds pretty bleak to the sentimentalists out there but think of all the relationship problems we'd avoid once coupling with the opposite sex is no longer necessary. The egotistical idea of possessing another person would take a hard hit. Our notions of love and respect would be forced to evolve into something more rational.

Sounds good to me.

Pop-Monkey said...

Sorry, I know I said I was bowing out of this debate, but after that last ridiculous comment, I had to chime in one last time.

To everyone who thinks like that last brave "anonymous" fellow: you are heartless, inhuman robots and you're going to fuck up humanity even more than it already is.

Hard work and romantic love are virtues that do not need to be parted with, they need to be encouraged and refined. That's why we're becoming the lazy, whiny, entitled and immoral refuse that we are. And you want to keep going in that "progressive" direction? Real love and intimacy has nothing to do with "possessing" another person. If you see examples of that occurring, or folks who hold to that notion, guess what: that's not real love, so it doesn't need to be "evolved" beyond. Humanity's evolution can only go so far before it begins to seem like devolution. Let's erase all sentiment from humanity and see where it gets us.

Cripes, even Spock showed some heart and emotion now and again! (Yes, I just dragged a STAR TREK reference into this, sue me!)

Francis Vallejo said...

I agree with PopMonkey. Art is a romantic creature, intended to illicit emotion from the viewer. If the artist has no sentiment, the resulting work will be emotionless, boring drab.

I think I can speak for a majority, that although the opposite sex makes me pull my hair out and I'll never understand them, they are beautiful people who I can't imagine living without. It's not egotistical, and no one in a good relationship believes they own another person. Anonymous, if I may be so bold, it sounds like you have had some hard times with the opposite sex. Me too. But I believe that once I find the right girl, my artwork, and life, will improve.

Now, going back to the original post and conversation....it started with the notion that your artwork must always come first. I interpret this as meaning you cannot be with someone who expects you to undercut your passion. For example, if you have a large important gig to complete, and the person is complaining that they want to watch a movie, then that's no good. But if they understand that what you are doing means a lot to you, and when you finish you will give them your undivided attention, then you have found a terrific girl.

We can't just turn off our artist's eye and brain. I'll be with a young lady, and instead of trying to be smooth I'll notice a great reflected light under her chin...hahaha....I know Rockwell loved women, they were integral to his work. His 2nd wife read to him all day while he worked! He just made the distinction that he would not allow himself to enter a relationship with someone who would have unfair expectations, that would ultimately, negatively effect his work.

Anonymous said...

Ha, yes, I am even more ruthlessly logical than Spock from Star Trek.

You brought up a good point. There's always a chance that advances in technology will be used for unwise purposes, we have plenty of examples of that to look at. However, the way to avoid going down that path is not to revert to emotionalism and sentimentality, love and all that squishy feel-good stuff. The only way to do it is to become even more rational and as objective as possible. That means questioning all our assumptions and beliefs in order to become more sane.

Do I need to list all the insane things that love and other emotions make people do? How can you say that romantic love is not possessive? Would a man who is in "true love" with his wife be overjoyed and totally accepting if she tells him of her plans to leave him for someone else?

Things like romantic love only separate people into groups. They don't unite us the way people would like to believe. You can't have love without hate. If you love a particular person the potential for hate is always there should anyone want to take that person away from you or hurt that person in any way. The only acceptable form of love, from a logical stand-point is what the ancient Greeks called Agape, that is equal love and respect for all things. This has no resemblance to common romance. If you regard all things equally then no particular person or thing can stand out. Romantic love cannot exist in the mind of a person who has attained Agape. There is nothing to hate except ignorance itself. That's a superior mentality.

I'm not advocating the destruction of sentimentality. I'm saying that it should be taken for what it really is which is a crude way of dealing with the challenges of life.

Francis Vallejo said...

Anonymous, although I don't agree with your response, I appreciate, and am interested, in you explaining your stance.

If romantic love was somehow removed from humanity, how do you think that would effect art?

Pop-Monkey said...

Anonymous,
The Greeks had/have many words for love, and to infer that they held agape love as the ultimate form above all others is misleading and wrong. It is merely one type of love, and is a more specific use of language than the English "love". There is also Eros (being romantic love), Storge (being natural familial affection), Philia (friendship and brotherhood) and Thelema (desire or want, not necessarily sexual). To insist on agape love being the only logical form of love is silly -- it's not nearly descriptive or deep enough to encompass the full range of feelings of love and desire that humanity should naturally be allowed to express. All of the above are necessary.

There's a difference between being hurt that your love for another is being threatened and feelings of possession of that person, though the two can exist concurrently. I do not presume to possess my wife to the degree that I can control her thoughts and actions and dictate ultimatums to her. We do both belong to each other, as we have said as much and more in our vows, however, and are expected (within the bounds and definition of a marriage relationship) to be accountable to each other, to serve each other and to meet each other's needs. It's not about expectations leveled against the other person, it's about expectations of yourself to uphold your responsibilities in the relationship. If you both concentrate on what you can and should do for the other (not because you are their possession, but because you truly love them and have promised certain things), many of the problems that occur in marriages today will be lessened.

The potential for hate will always be there because we are human, not because we insist on sentimentality. We are flawed creatures and the notion of worldwide unity and brotherhood can never be fully realized. It is an ideal we should strive for (I'm not saying to embrace hate), but turning to pure logic and shunning sentimentality and emotion is not the answer. Much of the greatest achievements of humankind have been "illogical". I'm not saying logic in itself is bad, but it's far too broad a subject to apply here in such base terms, and I don't believe that sentimentality and emotion are necessarily exclusive to logic and reason in all instances.

Now, I really do have work to do...

Watts said...

I agree with the quote, but if the wife is the sugar mama while the artist is getting on their feet, then they must be nice.

Francis Vallejo said...

I just read an interesting passage in Rockwell's book "My Adventures of an Illustrator."

It goes:

"I developed a principle: if you don't love anybody, I said to myself, if you don't become involved, then you won't get hurt. So I filled my days with work and my nights with parties and tried not to think about anything, succeeding pretty well. And after all I had my work and the habit of going out to the studio every day, which reminded me every morning that life wasn't just bootleg gin and pleasure...."

Rockwell had this revelation about a year or two before he went through a divorce with his 2nd wife.

Anonymous said...

"if you don't love anybody, I said to myself, if you don't become involved, then you won't get hurt."

Yikes, that's just an awfully childish and cowardly way of dealing with the issues of love and romance. Basically, he's just running away because he doesn't like getting hurt. He was trying to ignore and maybe even kill the part of his personality that wanted to be loved. Obviously it didn't work because he got married a couple more times after this "revelation".

You can't deal with the pain of love by running away and ignoring it. Ignoring something doesn't mean it isn't still there having an influence on the choices you make. That actually makes you more vulnerable. The real solution requires scrutiny over every possible aspect of it until you uncover the delusions that cause you to have such an exaggerated desire for another person.

Romantic love is merely nature's way of tricking us into reproducing. All the pomp and circumstance that society piles on top of it is actually quite hollow if you really look at it. We don't need to be in love to make art. Unless of course, the opposite sex is your main source of inspiration. Then I suppose you'd be screwed if you ever found out how false love really is. Unless you found another source of inspiration.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Is it really so tragic when a marriage fails? Marriage is an outdated institution. There is no shame in failing at something that you did only because you weren't in your right mind at the time.

Loneliness is what addicts to the company of other people call boredom.

Pop-Monkey said...

If marriage is an "outdated" institution, then it only speaks of our tragic degradation and moral atrophy as a people. The breakdown of the family is one of the major root causes of all that is wrong with society, and it is producing people who have no idea what real love is, why it is important and who don't have the maturity, responsibility, dedication and sense of commitment to uphold worthwhile and critical ideas like marriage, family and parenting. I think those failures are quite evident here in some of the responses. Art without love? Nature "tricking" us into reproducing? There are higher things than these at work in this world and to ignore them is folly. You think you want that kind of world, but you really don't. It will only hasten our downfall.

Anonymous said...

I don't think family break-ups are tragic either. What the world needs in order to become sane is more authentic individualism. A true individual is someone who can think for himself and doesn't just blindly accept social traditions like romance and family, someone who isn't in a constant and desperate need for the approval of others. True individualism requires honesty. The truth is that we are always alone in the world. You can never be absolutely certain that your wife/parents/children/friends love you. There is just no way of knowing someone else's thoughts. Anything you do to convince yourself that you know what someone is feeling is necessarily a fantasy. Millions of people pursuing this fantasy is obviously what causes the world to be as crazy as it is, because they are basing all their expectations on a delusion. We are born alone and we die alone. If that sounds depressing to someone then it's because they've spent most of their life trying not to think about it.

Seeing love for the delusion that it really is automatically gets the individual rolling in the right direction towards his development as a sane and highly conscious person. Without that you are always depending on other people for your sense of worth or identity. And as is clearly evident, even if you uphold your part of the bargain in a relationship there is no guarantee that you won't be betrayed. Even if you are the best partner the world has ever seen there is no guarantee that the relationship will last. Anything can happen and when people put all their hopes and dreams into such a fragile arrangement it's no wonder why they go insane when things don't go their way.

Wanting to possess someone and depending on them for your own sense of worth is unwise. It's better to let people be free and not place any unrealistic expectations on them. Let them develop into free-thinking, non-attached individuals. Things like marriage and the myth of romantic love only destroy the potential we all have to become highly conscious, truly human individuals.

Pop-Monkey said...

I LOVE these "anonymous" individuals who have the answer to life. What truly miserable human beings they will end up becoming. Keep "evolving", pal -- you're obviously well on your way to achieving the pinnacle of selfish human existence. Marriage and relationships are too "hard" and "fragile" for you, eh? I guess that makes them not worth the effort then, huh? Pity. Your "truth" smacks of pathetic loneliness and bitterness to me.

I also love how folks like yourself assume that because someone holds to a particular notion or ideal that you don't, or that has been around for longer than your tiny mind, that they do so out of "blind" adherence to tradition or "the norm". Can you perhaps find it within your self-absorbed skull to imagine that some people actually devote a great deal of thought and concentration to the things they believe. Simply because an idea has been around for a long while does not make it outdated or irrelevant and deserving of societies turning away from it. Such progress merely for the sake of progress equates to futile and childish rebellion. Like a toddler squawling at his parents for not allowing him to play with a sharp object. Or, perhaps more accurately, a child lashing out at his playmates and smashing their toys because they hurt his feelings.

This notion that we are always alone, can only rely on ourselves and we are the only ones worth living for is stupid, selfish and immature, not to mention depressingly narrow. Is it wrong to believe that there are greater things in this world than oneself? Do you honestly think humanity stands a chance if it subscribes to your callous notions? It's quite clear, from looking around this world that your path leads to destruction. We're reaping the results of your wrongly idealized notions that love is irrelevant, family is not worth the attention and effort and a man's greatest concern should be himself. THAT's what got us into the messes that we're in, not the "fantasy of love", don't you get it? I'll say it one last time -- I don't want to live in the world you're prescribing, and you wouldn't either if you could see where it would lead.

Sure, there are a lot of screwed up families, individuals and governments out there, but that's because we're becoming increasingly self-centered and callous, not because the long-standing tenets of our societies are wrong and outdated. It's YOUR way of thinking that has resulted in all these ills in the first place -- so you want to evolve and become "higher beings" by continuing down that slippery slope instead of rolling up your sleeves, looking past your own bloated sense of self, and committing to do the hard, self-sacrificing, honorable work of living for others and passing on noble sentiment and example to the next generation? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Your ship will run aground with you at the helm. Read a map and change your course, because you're not helping things, "anonymous".

I would certainly argue that family breakups are tragic. I would bet that you've experienced the negative affects of a family dissolution/mismanagement as it's clearly warped your point of view. Anyone who speaks so coldly of love has had to have been embittered by someone treating them poorly. There's a nation of children out there whose maturation and development have been stunted, whose sense of morality, ethics and personal responsibility has been skewed and who grow up with a sense of destructive entitlement because their parents couldn't be bothered to show real love to their kids and insist their kids mirror that love in their lives. So, we get an atrophied generation who passes that atrophy on to the next, which causes further atrophy, and so on.

You say "free-thinking" and "highly-conscious", I say "uncaring, callous robot". You don't have the slightest inkling of what it means to be truly human -- it's not perfect, and it takes hard work to do it right, but it's worth it in the end because we are not alone. Or maybe you do know what it means, you just can't be bothered with the effort and the occasional skinned knee.

Pop-Monkey said...

That really is my last word on the subject. I'm through arguing my point. You're not going to change my mind -- I'll only feel sorry for you and grind my teeth that there are people in the world who think that way -- and it's going to take a real-life revelation to jerk some of you out of your stupor, not my rambling blog comments. All will be revealed to you in the end.

Pop-Monkey, over and out.

Anonymous said...

I would never say that marriage and relationships are too "hard" to maintain. They are in fact, relatively easy. Thinking for yourself and not relying on others for your happiness or sense of satisfaction are far more difficult. Things like marriage are popular despite the obvious shortcomings because they allow the person to relinquish any responsibility over the difficult task of becoming a true individual. They relieve the anxiety that comes with making important life choices. Indecision is reduced to a simple task of copying what everyone else is doing. All you have to do is what makes you look good in the eyes of others. The question of whether it's right or wrong never enters consideration in any truly cognitive way and that comes as a great relief. Is it really a mystery why the world is crazy if people don't bother to question what's right and wrong and only do what feels good?

The fantasy of love is purely selfish. All love is self-love. Everything you do out of love for others would mean nothing if you weren't getting something back for it. It's actually quite simple. The benefit with becoming wise and non-attached is that you no longer experience selfish desires because your mind dwells only in what is ultimately true. True wisdom is not uncaring; non-attachment and indifference are not the same thing.

I didn't say that marriage is outdated simply because it's been around a long time. It's outdated because it's based on egotism. True wisdom has been around a long time too (maybe even longer) and it will never be outdated. Just because most people are ignorant of it doesn't mean it isn't valid.

As for your personal attacks I won't comment except to say that my family has always loved and supported me even though they don't agree with my philosophy. As for my love life, I've had my fair share of ordeals with the opposite sex. The only difference is that I came to see what an endless circle I was running in at an early age and it has made all the difference in my life.

Francis Vallejo said...

...I deleted a comment above that wasn't needed on my blog. You may say whatever you like about me, but DO NOT bring up any negative talk, especially personal, if it concerns other contemporary artists. This is a public forum, a lot of people read what is said.

Staying anonymous is fine I suppose, but would you type these same things if you were signing the posts?


I'll type up a formal response to these thoughts soon (moving into a new place..) I didn't realize the conversation was still going.

-fv

Pop-Monkey said...

Francis, when I saw that you had come back and deleted a comment, I assumed it was my last rant, which probably should be deleted, but I see that it was not. I was going to come back and apologize for it and ask you to delete it, so that's what I'll do.

I don't know whom I'm apologizing to, as you did not care to use any sort of name, but my comments were a bit over the top. I still stand by my beliefs and I disagree with just about everything you have said, and still believe your way of thought will cause further ruin, but I certainly did not need to phrase it in such a way as to be rude and insulting. As you can tell, I feel strongly about this subject, and I'm going through a very stressful and emotionally draining time in my life right now. I think I need to stay away from message boards and blog comments as it's just too easy to lash out right now.
My sincere apologies to "anonymous" and to Francis for hijacking your post comments with such increased venom.

Francis Vallejo said...

Jared, No problems with your comments man. I really respect your opinion since you're living through much of what we're talking about.

I deleted a comment above that was aimed at the personal life of a valued teacher of mine.

Anonymous said...

No apology needed. "Venom" is required in discussing these sorts of things. Knowledge is never acquired painlessly.

Good luck with whatever is causing you stress.