things to think about

Today, briefly, i am thinking about: selling out
June 3, 2010, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today i read this post on Jezebel – i can’t link to it now, i’m on my phone, google it – memorializing reality bites. That movie from the 90s, with winona ryder and ethan hawke. The whole thing is worth reading but one line in particular hit me: the line about selling out, about how the whole movie is about that struggle, the fight between comfort and ideals.

It has been so long since i worried about this. I have been too busy working to think about my process. All i want right now is a way to quit my day job so i can put more time into creative projects. I am applying for things here and there but it’s hard. I am off a massive triumph, the artist is absent show (, did i really not mention it here at any point?), and writing a show for the hot!fest @ dixon place. I am in a place of real careerism.

Is that what we call selling out these days? Building a career? I am trying as hard as I can to stay true to my ideals, ideals which uncomfortably(?) leave a lot of room for monetization and being aggressive and applying for things and making a website. I don’t necessarily hate that art and capitalism are all up in each other. I wish i did. But i think i realized a long time ago that i grew up too financially unstable to hate money. is that selling out?

I feel like that question is so dated. Maybe we all sold out. Maybe my generation grew up without such lofty ideals and we are more pragmatic. Feeling like this feels gross, though. It feels like a cop-out, like i am everything i secretly worry i am. Ugh.

Thoughts? I’ll have to write more on this later.


1 Comment so far
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yesterday i was listening to one of pdx’s indie radio stations and i got really mad. there was this college-age activist on the air talking about the moment when they realized “that patriarchy, like money, is really just an IDEA… it’s not actually a real thing” (and therefore we should have a relatively easy time transcending it). had i not been on the road, i would have called in to say, “listen jackass, money (like patriarchy) is an idea that plenty of scary people back WITH VIOLENT FORCE, and any time you forget that, you are jeopardizing the collective safety of the movement(s). plenty of people in this society stand to literally profit from literally killing you if you’re poor (/a lady/a person of color/an immigrant/queer/trans/living with a disability).”

i think having a little of your own $ is like having a slingshot in your back pocket. you are allowed to have some means of self-defense– fiscally, physically, emotionally– as you navigate survival for yourself and others… and the “and others” part is crucial to doing it ethically. i don’t think there is anything sell-outy about that. i think keeping as many people alive as possible requires real resources. i think you are doing really important work and the world is safer in direct proportion to the number of people who can be a part of it.

Comment by aaronpetryscott

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