The race was rained out today in California. Tony Stewart won the race by being in the lead when the race was stopped. It promised to be a good one, but it didn't happen. We switched over to the UNC vs KU. About half way into the game, I said, "If UNC loses, it won't be because KU beat them." UNC beat UNC. KU just watched them do it. And we watched the last two holes of Tiger Woods winning a big silver trophy. We found Hardcore Pawn. The Jerry Springer Show in everyday life. The only thing I saw of value in it was that it showed me I'm glad I never thought of wanting to work in a pawn shop. What a horrid job. It would take somebody who gets a thrill from conflict. Arguing over money as an every day way of life I'd feel cheap as dirt. I don't mean to throw blame on the people doing that sort of work. I'm just thinking about my own decisions for myself. All that emphasis on money would leave me feeling empty inside. Over the course of years in painting, every time I started making good sales and money increased, it hung over me like a dark cloud when money eventually became the purpose. A day came when a painting has no spirit, is dead in my eyes, I realized money had moved in as the focus and my spirit left the painting. That's when I see what I'm doing and stop painting.
Finally, I have come to a place where money has nothing to do with it. When somebody asks if I'm selling anything, I say, "Art doesn't sell in Sparta." Focus on money drains the spirit out of me. This go-round, the mountain musicians period, I'm doing without any idea of selling anything. I've put a couple out on view with price tags, but certainly no expectation of a sale. If I made them $10, might sell one or two then, but I wouldn't count on it. What's really great is when you gove somebody a painting as a friend, then a few years later another friend buys it at a yard sale for $2. First impulse is to be insulted, but no need for that. I was glad friend who bought it for so little got it, and friend who valued it so little was rid of it, out of the house. It didn't even buy a pack of cigarettes. I have to paint with no thought to sales. Don't even want to sell them, but the time comes when my house that is too small already, gets smaller and smaller as I attempt to store paintings.
It's a really screwed up attitude I have toward money. Age 14, 1956, I worked all summer for minimum wage, saved $100 in a savings account the teller at me no one could take money from but me. LOL One day I looked in the savings book I kept in a drawer beside my bed, and every dollar had been withdrawn. I asked daddy what happened. He said he needed it and don't ever mention it again. At the end of the next summer, I spent the entire $100 I saved, to get rid of it so he couldn't steal it. Having no recourse, I spent it on myself so I could have something out of it instead of somebody who stole it. I never forgave him and never put any money aside after that. In my decision making at that that time of my life, I determined that I would live my life without reverence for money. I use it for the tool it is and never try to "make" money. To make money takes too much focus of attention to money, which I've seen throughout my adult life, is a false god. Using it as a tool is not using it as a god, which makes it a means of exchange, its original purpose. When bank CEOs take it all for themselves is when it becomes a god.
The pope is visiting Mexico now preaching that it's love for money behind the drug wars in Mexico, the killings. He is telling the working people of Mexico not to be so carried away over money. Like they're the problem. They don't have any money to be carried away with. The people who meet his description are not in the throngs hearing him. I felt like that was as lame as "just say no" and the politicians and evangelists demanding abstinence instead of prevention. Merely safe sound bites. The pope is surely on the road to Mexico and Cuba about money for reasons other than philosophically. He's concerned about the people falling away from the church. It's a big bureaucracy, the original bureaucracy. Many centuries ago the Roman church made the switch that occurs as a natural law: a bureaucracy is formed to benefit a given bunch of people. Invariably there comes a time the people the bureaucracy is set up to serve end up serving the bureaucracy, and that's how it remains.
I understand the point of view that the drug issues in Mexico can be cured by working people wanting money less. They wish they could. It's the same as nothing to make such an abstract solution to a problem the people he's talking to see in terms of the mafia threat: give us your money and we won't kill you. They see it in terms of artillery in the hands of young guys who don't pay attention to the pope. The people the pope is talking to are the people who live by the mercy of the war lords of Mexico. If he were serious about the drug war problems in Mexico, the pope would do well to address the American people, whose massive consumption of illegal drugs the Mexicans are supplying. To legalize is the only solution. Talk about farming coming back. Marijuana would be a bigger crop in USA than it is in Mexico. Farms would be popping up everywhere. The crop would be sold at auction like tobacco. It would be a big business like liquor became a big business. Underworld problems would go away or shift to something else, urban crime would take a dip. It would serve the need we have to self-medicate when working people can't afford psychiatric help.