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The Worth Of Art

by Daniel Brenton on September 3, 2015

in Writing

Starry Night - The Worth of Art

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside on that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you

    — Don McLean

Start: What is art worth?

I think like any question, it depends on who you ask, and, of course, on the context of it.

I never really asked that question for myself as a kid, or as a teen, or even into my adult years until very recently, because, outwardly, I took its worth for granted.

And unconsciously, I took its worthlessness for granted.

Unrevered Magic

I started writing stories in my middle school years (when I run across just about anything I wrote back then, it’s a reaction somewhere between wincing and a rolling of the eyes). I recall the moment, while I was in eighth grade, sitting at the kitchen table plotting up what looked like would be a novel-length story, and that was it: I knew that this is what I wanted to do.

I reached a point in high school where I would sit at the kitchen table and would write, longhand, stories pouring out of me, page after page. In my short college experience, I became an English Major, and studied American Literature.

For some reason — be it the guidance of some inner compass or a sense of Baby Boomer entitlement, or both — it never occurred to me that the universe didn’t delight in what I was doing and wouldn’t go out of its way to help me realize my dream. The act of creating was so magical — and still is — that I couldn’t see that it wasn’t revered by everyone, and everything.

Well, it wasn’t, and it’s not.

The unstated message I got from my father during my college years (and internalized without realizing it) was that creativity was worthless unless money could be made from it.

[click to continue…]


A Reflective Writer’s Paradox

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A Writer's Paradox

There’s a sort of dynamic tension that’s been part of my life for a very long time. … Writing is not an easy thing, though some have an innate talent, and I feel I’ve been blessed with a little of that. (And, frankly, it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.) But on the other hand, the majority of my life has been a spiritual journey, and I can’t help but look at my existence in what I feel is the broadest context there is. [ … ]

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Sanctuary, Sort Of

It had been a while since I’d ridden a city bus. Seven weeks ago in my work life I contemplated using public transit for my daily commute. There’s a bunch or reasons, but really what it came down to was figuring out if the Clark County transit system is a viable option at all.

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Not the coolest place in the world. We actually get snow once in a blue moon, but it’s almost as rare as an honest politician. [ … ]

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I’d like to apologize. I’ve been blogging off and on since October of 2006. The handful who have followed me through all that saw I went through a number of phases, and went through a number of dry times. I knew where I needed to go, but for reasons that escape me I kept going the wrong direction. [ … ]

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Guest Post at “Is This the End of Net Neutrality?”

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Stan Tremblay, graphic artist, ebook designer, Client Success Supervisor at web design and marketing company, and former Assistance Publisher and all-around good guy at the house that published my novel Red Moon (the now defunct Variance Publishing), was kind enough to invite me to contribute a post to the CommonPlaces blog on the blistering hot subject of Net Neutrality. [ … ]

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“If We Could Put a Man on the Moon …”

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Apollo 17 Landing Site

How many times have you heard that phrase?

“If we could put a man on the Moon … why can’t we end poverty here at home?”

“If we could put a man on the Moon … why can’t we put a stop to the war?”

“… end homelessness?”

“… put an end to racism?”

“… give everyone jobs that needs them?”

And, usually, the argument involves something to do with, “all that money thrown away into space.” [ … ]

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Is There a Mars in Your Future?

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You’ve almost certainly heard about this around the same time I did, but it took a few days — and a brief comment from a friend — for it to really register with me:

Dennis Tito, the millionaire who made history in 2001 by becoming the world’s first space tourist by spending eight days on the International Space Station, has announced a project that he feels will capture the imagination of the world, and re-ignite America’s pioneering spirit. The venture is to send “[t]wo professional crew members – one man, one woman” on a 501 day flight to within a scant 100 miles of the planet Mars. […]

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