Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Molding the Cogs
I thought I would take a moment to detail the bullshit of art school. It isn't necessarily art school; rather the problem exist in the entire educational system or disinformation system, stealer of minds and destroyer of souls. I am talking about the court mandated public education system that everyone who couldn't afford to pay for the really good Catholic school brainwashing was subjected to. Personally, school wasn't terrible for me and for a lot of people I am sure it seemed like basically a pain in the ass to varying degrees throughout the fifteen years or so it took to graduate high school. However, when we stop for a minute and think about what we learned and the experiences accumulated and really study the lessons, not the content of the bullshit classes but the things we were trained to do; you start to see this monolithic systemic mind homogenizer. We like to think we need to go to school to learn math and the alphabet and George Washington when in reality that stuff is really basically a cover. I mean you say you're educating so you gotta do something. The real education, the education you're not even aware you're getting begins as soon as they can get you in there; I was five when I went to kindergarten. They come at you when you're fucking five. It really is a terrible thing. So you enter the little classroom and the first thing you learn is who is in charge. You learn there is someone telling you to do something and hell she looks nice enough so you follow along and take a seat on the rug. You start to socialize with the other, generally confused five year-olds and you learn names and then oh shit what's up what are we doing? 'Okay now everyone stand up and put you hand on your heart and read the board. Oh shit you don't know how to read or have any vocabulary. That's right. Well just try to make the sounds I make with my mouth and by the time you know what these words mean, we will have gotten you to eat that shit up.' And everyone looks at each other and shrugs and eats string cheese and the nice young lady helps you paint and gets you into the routine. The next twelve years or so are a variation on that first year, every passing year you fall more neatly in line and ask fewer questions and no one bothers you. Remember those twelve years of waking up early and spending seven hours a day five days a week for the majority of the year in a building with strangers that change just quick enough so that no one really gets to know anyone. If anything school is about conditioning human beings to be okay subjecting themselves to spend about eight hours a day, five days a week, just about all year round doing something, anything, that is, if not completely terrible you still would not do for fun or free. That's really what the whole thing is about getting people to be okay with the way things are. With some people, almost all, working their entire life for a handful of dimes as a slave to the wage. The whole thing is set up to root individuals out of any 'important' job, these people need drones. Consider what happens if you have compassionate and aware enough parents that refuse to release their childrens' minds to strangers who will regurgitate the same bullshit that they lapped up as children. If you don't have a high school education where can you work? The people with enough instinct for freedom to get the hell out of those mind washers should be rewarded but rather they are chided and derided and refused from any sort of major role within the system. It's that much easier to sell drugs and break laws that are set up to put people in these positions that lead to, in the best cases, a little bit of money but generally to a life of confinement in a privately run prison filled with 'criminals'. The fact that this government is still able to rationalize the death penalty should be indication that there is no rationale left in this vacant building that has long since been ruled by the most depraved and immoral people. The rulers of our world have never taken so much from so many to benefit so few, and it can only get worse. The slow erosion of reality in the minds of the public is the goal, until there is nothing but a land of zombies waiting to do the bidding of the master; the other major lessons of those years in those buildings with those stranger: hierarchy. School is about learning that there is a power structure that everyone fits in to whether you want to or not. It might not be so much about instructing pupils on the nature of power and its structure as it is about making these kids feel that power, recognize their place and fall in line. You say certain words, certain arbitrary words and that gives them a reason to flash their muscle, their control over you. They take you to their little offices and give stern warnings. 'Know your place boy' they tell you and in one of those twisted little pieces of irony is that if you keep up you eventually get kicked out. You have freedom from their rules but fewer choices, more noses looking down at you wondering why you couldn't finish high school. When an employer has two applicants, one with and one without a high school education; he's not considering the graduate a better candidate because he knows more bullshit facts about the United States or because he knows this guy must have some vague notions about algebra but because he knows that person has been trained. One candidate has a certificate that says 'I know the rules, I'll follow directions, I'll play the game.' The nature of a capitalist economy depends upon hierarchy of one man being in a position over another. This is my issue with art school. That is why I call it bullshit, because this system of hierarchy is still being imposed. The teachers still give grades and hold a position above other human beings in such a way as to determine their fate. Now college is simply an extension of the earlier education excepts now it's a scam where they create this huge bubble of easy money to get the 'brightest' from the first incarceration to pay for an extended stay. I will acknowledge that in college you get to pick your nap times but the rules haven't changed. I know this about college and education, or so it appears to me, but art is about the rejection of those things. Art is about freedom and truth and the ability of a single person to transcend their own mind and use what we all share to communicate something beautiful to everyone. Art is about finding the chains and the ropes and the trap doors and tearing them apart and shining light in every dark corner. I am supposed to be learning about art while these people hunch over me telling me what I should do with a little smile and wink like they don't feel the authority they have, the power. Hierarchy poisons every relationship it touches so how can I have any sort of meaningful exchange of ideas with people who don't even have the courtesy to acknowledge their dominion over me. I tell my instructor an idea which is swirling around my head looking for a place to land and they nod approvingly and give advice, pretending to be wise the whole time with this twinkle in their eye that says 'I got you bitch.' They control this letter that they present to you after the period of time the class occupies expires and if you did not follow instruction properly they can take that time from you. 'You fail bitch!' their little eyes gleam. Now that's the theoretical situation. In reality my professors are very kind, warm and inviting people who I find very interesting. I respect these people for making art their life but I just can't shake the system, the meat processor I always feel like I am in. Grades have much less influence in creative endeavors however, they're still there and it makes things kind of awkward because most art people, teachers and students are in a group that is largely rejecting the capitalist indoctrination (or the rules of this particular game or the worship of money or class or exploitation or stolen lives) and regimentation we were raised in by choosing to study art but, the grades still need to be accounted for. A person's final grade in an art class is comprised of attendance, if you turn your assignments in and a combination of breast size, milk quality, likability, and mood of the teacher. Oh yeah and the art produced, a tiny bit though. They really aren't concerned with what you produce as long as you produce. I think if we were really going to learn, the motivation or the pressure of the grade should be on the form and content of the works produced. If the teacher can't motivate you to come to class you should not be penalized, at least simply for one's absence. I mean sure you have a quiz everyday that's different, but just not being there. There are all these numbers to things too. Integration into the machine. You got your social security number, driver's license number, sat scores, grade point average, net worth, gross income, inches long, employee id number, school id number, account numbers and the list goes on. We are largely viewed by our overlords as simple numbers whose limits are defined by yet more numbers; numbers which define our lifestyle which depends on the number of zeros at the end of your statement. I guess what I am really trying to say is it's not just art school bullshit, this whole fucking place is full of it.