art is stupid and I hate it and where's my ticker-tape parade?

I hate dentists. It's nothing personal, but when you're born with the genetic predisposition to teeth like mine, you don't end up associating dentists with smiley-face stickers and peppermint candy. Nope, it's all about pulling teeth. I hate having teeth pulled. Hate, hate, hate. So you can imagine that I never considered being a dentist, and that finding myself in the business of pulling teeth isn't exactly a dream come true.

Yet here I am, asking people to pledge their support to LOCKER 212, a short film I wrote and somehow managed to convince a bunch of film people to buy into. It's my baby and I love it and think it's one of the most beautiful babies in the whole wide world, but still... I feel dirty. Oh so very, very dirty.

This dirtiness makes me question what I'm doing -- makes me wonder about the value spending a heap of money on a non-commercial short film -- or on any kind of art, ever. What's the justification for art, after all, when a quick glance in any direction reveals more human heartache and need than I could ever hope to assuage? Is art just another way of closing my eyes and not looking?

And yet...

And yet I want to keep eating, myself. I want to work my way into being paid for doing something I love, so that I can eat, and keep doing it some more. I feel like I've got buckets to give, creatively, and my mom's always telling me I'm awesome, so... where's my ticker-tape parade?

People get paid to work, after all -- people who are worse at what they do than I am at this. So, how come I feel like I'm not getting anywhere? How come even though I know that story-telling is inevitable and that no amount of human suffering will ever countermand the human need to tell -- and hear -- stories, I still can't seem to value my own stories enough to be able to ask people to invest in them without sometimes feeling so very, very dirty?

Why can't I always believe that art does open eyes -- that it does heal wounds and feed hungry souls?


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