“I find it troubling that writers, musicians, and other members of the creative economy are often asked to work for free...No one would ever ask a car mechanic or plumber or the chef at the corner restaurant to provide unpaid labor. Why are writers treated this way? https://t.co/fXS2WyGQZV— Bill Benzon (@bbenzon) July 19, 2018
Is this what we get for insisting on art for art's sake, starving artists? When we insist that art is more important that life itself, is somehow outside life, we do so to insist on the importance of the arts. What I'm wondering is if the other side of that valuation isn't a situation where very few who choose the arts as their vocation are able to make a decent living doing so, where the arts are seen as childish, and yet are disappearing from our schools, and yet a world in which a very few artists can become rich by making tchotchkes traded by oligarchs as status symbols–that is, the world we live in now.
Perhaps it's time to rethink l'art pour l'art. And that, I suspect, means we've got to rethink our whole way of life, top to bottom and inside out. Let's get to it!