“Andy foresaw it all”, by Eric Wayne. 1/2017.

No news is good news has two meanings. One is that there’s no bad news, and the other is that one hasn’t succumbed to the addiction of imbibing the toxic brew of daily news reports. We all know how stress-generating the news cycle has become, and I had to eventually admit that when I consumed the news I would consistently experience the feeling of anger. New reportage is now so attached to certain belief systems and agendas — it’s almost impossible to find objective reporting — that it seeks to persuade rather than inform you: to recruit you rather than edify you.

As news events became increasingly volatile, and created a conflagration out of thin air via their self-fulfilling prophecy of sensationalist reporting, I more than once publicly vowed to not write about it. This gave me some relief. I could monitor the unpleasant goings on, but wasn’t going to step onto the battle field, where even your neighbor and family members can become mortal enemies if you or they have a different opinion about our new homecoming kings and queens.

But the news would still piss me off, partly because I could easily see through the manipulation, cherry-picking, and deliberate, gross misrepresentation of whatever really transpired. I was beyond fed up with constant attempts to pull the wool of indoctrination over my eyes. I resisted being socially engineered for someone else’s self-serving benefit.

Finally I decided to shit-can the news altogether. I unfollowed my favorite news channels and commentators on YouTube. I’d long ago stopped looking at people’s political tweets, or partially digested memes and headlines shared on Facebook. And I stopped looking at news sources which I fundamentally disagreed with, but followed anyway in order to expose myself to other angles and not be yet another victim of regurgitating the carefully cultivated pap force-fed via confirmation bias echo chambers.

I just cast off the whole conglomeration of news and culture wars like an overstuffed back back. Weeks later, I don’t miss it. There’s no vacuum where there was once breaking news. I can honestly say I’ve even forgotten about it. Not only do I not know what is going on with Trump, Biden, Harris, AOC, or any of the main characters in the unfolding mockumentary writ large, I’m not even vaguely curious. It’s not my battle, and isn’t intrinsically interesting. It’s the addicting, empty calories of feeling like you’re learning about politics, society, and reality, while merely being subjected to a smoke-screen of propaganda always designed to mold and steer your beliefs in one direction or another.

I’m too busy doing much more practical and purposeful things that revolve around my own life, and my own story, to even notice the absence of news.

I’ve started a YouTube channel, learned video editing software, and uploaded my first video on art topics.

None of this means that I’m not interested in matters of contemporary political reality, or that I’m not informed about what really matters. For example, I watched the latest Adam Curtis (of “Hypernormalization” fame) 6 part documentary, Can’t Get You Out of MY MInd, about how political ideas and grand attempts at instilling paradigms and social engineering have plagued the last century, with absolutely devastating results. I’ve also watched the BBC seven-part documentary “Civilizations” about art history and culture, leading to at least WWII (though I would ONLY recommend the episodes hosted by Simon Schama, as the other narrators crossed over a bit into hammering home their utterly predictable agendas].

I haven’t even looked up the status of the impending stimulus. I’ll either get it or I won’t, and if I do it will show up in my account.

I’ve already created the first 8 minutes of my second video. Here’s a teaser:

I’ve infused my personal recipe of psychedelic/sci-fi/spiritual flavors, as well as a topping of 60s-70’s zeitgeist, including snippets of classic rock.and Battlestar Galactica. But there is original insight that can’t be found elsewhere, or else why bother? I’ve discovered, rather predictably, that when it comes to making videos, it becomes another creative outlet for me. Naturally, I’m not satisfied with making didactic, educational videos about art. I want the videos themselves to be an expression of my unique vision, in which case they potentially become minor works of art, of sorts, in themselves.

I made videos in the past, including one for the Andy Warhol/Trump image I shared at the top of the post.

This is just me sitting at the computer recording myself and my desktop

I started making videos about 5 years ago, and mostly stopped 3 years ago [those 2 years I wasn’t teaching, so had more free time]. I never really got into it to the degree I am now. But part of the reason is that instead of keeping up with current events and the spin being put on them, I started looking for art-history videos to watch, and there aren’t nearly as many sources for it as one would imagine. There’s room to get in.

The other reason is that I need to make a promotional video for my own work in order to apply to online galleries that sell digital art. Suddenly, digital art is no longer not a viable kind of sellable art: it has surpassed physical art in prospective value for up-and-coming artists. You may have heard of Christies selling a Beeple digital collage for nearly $70,000,000. He’s sold other works online for millions. Other digital artists are selling works for thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands. Whether or not I can break into the marketplace, and make a tiny sliver of what big name digital artists make remains to be scene, but I owe it to myself to try.

People who know my art well [note that practice pieces and tutorial work I share is training, not my real work] recognize that I don’t do what any other digital artists do. That could be an asset or a curse. While it is remotely possible that people might recognize me as a more traditional, fine art, avant-garde type of contemporary artist — as opposed to an illustrator or someone who got ahead messing about with new technology — the most likely scenario by far is that, because I don’t have an enormous Instagram following [I couldn’t cultivate the necessary addiction], and my work is varied and unexpected, it will be glossed over or dismissed as not what people are looking for. I may make nothing or an insulting pittance.

But it might be possible that between my art, a video channel with regularly uploaded videos, my blog, and attempts to break into selling digital art, I may be able to generate enough income to segue into being able to stay afloat, living low-cost in the developing word, without having to keep my day job. Better results may also be possible, but I probably need to get off the runway before I can fantasize about soaring over the landscape. So far I’ve spent years taxiing in the runway as regards making a living off of art.

Now that I’ve regained time, energy, and momentum previously sacrificed to the ostensible greater good of participating passively or actively in the news cycle and ongoing culture wars, I can make a stab at it.

[If you are addicted to the news and think it’s uber important you see what’s going on, process it, and comment on it, I am not criticizing you. Obviously, I’ve been there far too long myself, and only up until recently believed it was important for me. And maybe it was and is for other people.]

~ Ends

And if you like my art or criticism, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). See how it works here. Or go directly to my account. Patreon-account
Or you can make a one time donation to help me keep on making art and blogging (and restore my faith in humanity simultaneously). donate-button

23 replies on “No News for Over 3 Weeks: I’m Cured

    1. Yeah. Funny thing. I sometimes fantasize about being stranded on a desert Island like Tom Hank’s character in Castaway. And I often fantasize about living in a space ship like in “Silent Running”, if you remember that old movie. So, I probably wouldn’t mind some time on Walden Pond, but I’d need my computer — ironically enough — to do my art…

      Like

  1. Eric,
    There are two views on why things happen. Either things just happen or there are people trying to guide things in a certain direction. If you subscribe to the guiding hand theory you are probably familiar with Hegel. He was one of the first to come up with the thesis-antithesis-synthesis idea to force change. If you want something to happen you do something that will get a reaction from the other side that will cause people to accept your original idea as the lesser of two evils.

    Not sure if you know but there are only a couple different major media outlets that own all of the news now, and are all basically an are of the government. They use propaganda to push their agenda. Just keep repeating something enough and people will believe it. I think it’s hard for Americans to figure out because they mostly believe our government is there to help them.

    Do you ever wonder why things never seem to get better? Maybe it’s designed that way? Once you start asking the right questions you can find some interesting answers.

    Matt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear it. It looks like a lot of people are jettisoning the news, just to judge from comments on my blog. That’s a bit hopeful, because it means people are wrestling free of it, and rejecting its priorities.

      I almost have a reaction to it like an ex-smoker, where now I find it repugnant and wonder how I ever consumed it.

      Like

  2. Amazing article Eric, couldn’t agree more with this. It has become painfully clear that 90% of what we see is propaganda feel so much better giving it no attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yet another commenter agrees. This is hopeful. If a half dozen of my small circle have removed or sidelined “the news” from their lives, then that should indicate really quite a lot of people are also doing the same. That’s a paradigm shift in the making, and a much needed good one.

      Glad you enjoyed my article, and thanks for commenting.

      Like

    1. Not likely at all. Chances are they won’t let me in the door. Let me explain. They, for example, want to know how many Instagram subscribers you have. BA HA HA HA! I am super unpopular on IG. They are looking for the new “new”. I’m not a fad. But I’ll give it a shot anyway.

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      1. Yoda?

        Look at it this way. I have never said I would be at all rich, and I don’t want that sentiment or prediction attributed to me. So, I’m clarifying that your are saying that, not me. I see that there’s likely an enormous uphill struggle and a shit-ton of hard work to scratch my way into making a living at all. That’s the reality, unless one is very lucky, or coming from monetary privilege.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you did this Eric. I too can see through the lies and nonsense of the news, it will always be a cancer, the exact opposite of what we need to be creative. I recently read a book called The Joy of Missing Out which delves into this topic deeply, the opting out of news, ads and these awful things that are like a tumor on one’s consciousness, I stopped watching TV, added an ad blocker to my browser, watch YT through a VPN and ad blocker and as a result I’m freed from all the BS it definitely made my life happier. Here’s a review of that book.

    I wish you well in your digital art.
    https://contentcatnip.com/2020/09/06/book-review-the-joy-of-missing-out-by-svend-brinkmann/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool. I read the article. I certainly with him on cutting out all the news and advertising. However, in my case, I do find that the only way for me to get from where I am — which is a train wreck in slow motion leading to homelessness — to where I want to be [an artist who can stay afloat], I have to be better at my game, and that requires better habits, and so on.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, it’s not THAT bad! It’s just that if I don’t level up my game to where I can make some money doing art (and blogging and making videos), I’ll never be able to quit the day job. I only work part time, so survive by the skin of my teeth, doing what I have to, and what I love to. It’s my refusing to give up on art that threatens my livelihood.

          Like

  4. Hay Wayne (not the painting by Constable) I have not managed to quit the “news” which is less toxic without WHN but still nasty. But I have bought a tablet. I quizzed you about what to get. I bought the Wacom One. They might intend it to be the entry model to their series but I think I will stick with it. The cost per unit work area doubles with the larger tablets…and I am used to 8.5 x 11 inches. With a stylus (vs mouse) its really amazing. Hard to imagine learning to sketch on it but for one who already sketches its a smooth transition. Now I need projects to render with the new tool slash toy. Keep well and enjoy your exile. I can’t think of you without picturing those beaches….the beach here is pretty but its also cold and rocky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool. I tried to look that one up, and there’s a “Wacom One”, and also a very different “One by Wacom”. One is a graphics tablet (you can draw directly on the image on its screen) and the other a drawing tablet (you draw on it and look at the image on your computer).

      I think mine is a the cheapest drawing tablet from a few years ago. It was the only one they had at the local mall in Thailand. Works great. Never had a problem. It’s certainly more than adequate for digital sculpting.

      I haven’t been doing as much digital painting lately, but a graphics tablet is probably the best for that, because you can draw/paint directly on the tablet.

      Well, glad you are enjoying your tablet, whichever one it is. It’s much better than using a mouse if you are going to draw or paint! Also grad I was of some sort of help.

      Like

  5. I feel the same. No news (or very very little at least, just headlines occasionally, to understand/monitor external mentality) is best. The answers are within mostly, and usually much different from whatever the news is promoting.

    Liked by 1 person

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