Of Art and Cunning. What's the diff?Written by William Kelly
OF CUNNING AND ART. WHATíS THE DIFF?
Pablo Picasso hadn't much to say about anything but found a thousand different ways to say it. He ended his days frantically sketching female wrestlers from his television set. He was adamantly a realist. He was a demon-possessed little man who evidently thought that creative freedom was to be in a permanent state of demon-possession. They also say that he suffered from satyriasis although none of his wives ever referred to his medical condition. One simply called him ďa dirty old manĒ. Oddly, for a Spaniard, he was an atheist which, of course, allowed him to treat women abominably. Atheism, as Josef Stalin and his likes discovered, comes with a lot of perks. If Pablo's output had been less prodigious we would be looking at him quite differently. Together with Georges Braque he founded Cubism. Just who contributed what to this style is still something of a mystery as Georges wasn't a great talker. If a writer is an eejit it will manifest in his diatribes. Not so with painters because it is harder to tell good guys from bad guys by looking at a blue square. Paul Klee, for example, brutally beat his son on a regular basis as good Germans were taught to do. But, who could tell from his child-like fantasies? Those delicate lines and elfin figures fairly tug at heart-strings. Even Hitler's water-colours have a certain charm. The Fuhrerís dad incidentally was not one to spare rod and spoil child as millions of Jews discovered. Art is sacred after all, isn't it? That's why you had an entire art movement dedicated to taking piss out of it called Dadaism. After 1st World War people figured that if neither they nor their children were sacred, nor life itself for that matter, where hell did art come in? I mean, did anybody clamber over muck of Flanders on his way to certain death with The Louvre uppermost in his mind? That is why Duchamp who had lost friends in great fiasco painted a moustache on Mona Lisa. Duchamp would be famous for that alone. I doubt if he was first either. Every schoolkid in France must have had crack at that one. But, what Duchamp is really famous for is this; he took piss out of art while carefully refraining from taking piss out of his own. We doff our caps. Cunning was greatly admired by ancient Greeks. In politics, law firms, accountancy offices, Jesuit colleges and poker games everywhere it is still revered as a virtue. The global corridors of power resonate minutely with lemming cacophony of black humour afforded by cunning. Art establishments too from Venice Biennale to Turner Prize worship at its shrine. Artists themselves are exemplars in field. You really wouldn't want to be lost at sea in an open boat with low supplies and an artist for company now, would you? Your first and last mistake would be to try and get some sleep. Best to throw yourself overboard and die with dignity.
Back to School? Avoid shortcuts that turn into detours. Written by Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
When Janine (a real person, name and details disguised) decided to get a graduate degree, she thought she was making a savvy career move. She signed up for an online program to avoid "sitting through all those classes."
Three years after beginning her program, Janice realizes she should have done more research. "My degree won't get me in door. My classmates were already in jobs they wanted -- they just needed a piece of paper.
"And," she continues, "my program lacks national accreditation. I will earn thirty thousand a year less than folks who are eligible for more competitive appointments."
But you finished fast, right? Wrong, says Janine! "We didn't have rigorous research courses and our advisors are all adjuncts who are not committed to process. It took me a year to get a topic approved and another two years to write and rewrite thesis.
"And finally, I paid a lot of money for online courses, as well as travel to special seminars. In a traditional program, I'd have a tuition waiver and probably a stipend as well. And, when I finished, salary differential would compensate for lost salary."