As the drinks began to flow down easy last night, a slightly intellectual (I use this term loosely) conversation with my lady friend and her older brother started to formulate. They are both Brooklyn based artists, her being a modern dancer and him playing lead guitar in a Jazz Funk band called “Snarky Puppy”. The talk revolved around the thought that as artists, they are genuinely selfish individuals. Not in the context where they have a total disregard for other human life forms, which is quite common in the city, but more to the thought they are so passionate about their art that they focus solely on that and put it above all else in life.
Now, I wouldn’t categorize this as selfishness myself at first. I hold the term to be synonymous with a greedy self righteous asshole with no common decency. (Or someone who always takes the last french fry!) But, as I heard more of their stance on the topic, it became clear that being selfish is a necessary evil in being successful. You have to put your craft as a priority or it will merely become a hobby. Success is driven from selfish acts, the ones who truly believe in their purpose and art will be the ones who prosper.
But, with success comes sacrifice. Whether it be in monetary or relationship form, you will be putting something at risk in your artistic pursuit. So in being selfish, you are being sacrificial. Poetic irony or literary bullshit? You tell me.
written by: Gyasi Howard ≈ illustration by: Ilyse Kullman
The smiles that engulfed their wrinkled faces disgusted her. Chattering amongst themselves and huddled around magazines like vicious wolves surrounding its prey. They sat in their chairs and one by one, slaughtered two-dimensional celebrities that no one cared about except the high fashioned well-groomed hominids who still raved about Luxottica. There was a reason for her despise, just one glance tapped into their entire history, the routine schedule of staying together and hunting in packs. They were living out their high school lives, the high rep preppy fucks that swore they were too good for anyone but themselves. The carnivorous behavior and animal instincts kept them together and 50 years later she found them sitting in the bookstore with her. They were a witches curse, stumbled upon yet never meant to be found. They projected their voices with tidal waves of witch-like chuckles. They raised their volume to make their presence known to any surrounding biomass. They gossiped, they giggled, they growled, they consumed. She never wished it, only wondered what would happen if one simply dropped dead of cardiac arrest. Would they be in shock? Would they feel anything? Or would they simply chatter, filling the empty void of an awkwardly dead corpse with pointless conversation.