Popular Artist: The point of art is to make a change. The more people you change, the bigger the change. People say “Oh you are selling out for money.” No, friend — money is just a book-keeping system we use in our society for power. The point of art is power. Art is to make effective change.
Elitist Art: The point of art is to advance art, and that means to know things which have never before been known, and do things which have never before been done. Time is fleeting. We all know what masses of people enjoy — sex, violence, revenge fantasies, and some lie about how their lives as masses are better than they are — some lie about how they are special. Why spend your artistic gifts practicing to be better and better at these gross, unsavory, mechanical skills? Why waste your life pandering?
Popular Artist: You are simply giving a fancy name to “pandering to elites”. Elites want to think that they are special and better because they have the leisure to taste strange new tastes, and the social confidence to say “I enjoy them.” You are simply the court jester to our society’s kings and princes, who are by-and-large ridge hedge fund managers. In other words, if I may express myself popularly — fuck you.
Elitist Artist: Well fuck you with a cherry on top.
Popular Artist: Fuck you with a cherry on top and all the sprinkles —
Elitist Artist: Fuck you with a cherry on top, all the sprinkles and your mother’s —
A PHILOSOPHER INTERVENES
Philosopher: Now, now you too. Allow me to intervene. You’re both friends of mine, I don’t want you fighting, at least not in such a childish fashion. (I.e. I am ok if you fight, but fight like grown-ups.)
Popular Artist: You’re just going to take his side, cause you’re both elitists and more comfortable with elite status games than power.
Elitist Artist: You are just going to say some boring philosophical thing about how we’re both right.
Philosopher: No, I’m not — and don’t tell me what I’m going to say before I say it. Popular artist — you are right that art is about power, but you are committing suicide by giving up your power by shooting at pleasing people in massive scads and groups. You are pleasing people in boring ways. You are pleasing people in ways that are not truly giving you pleasure. Because the ways that give you the deepest pleasure are new. You will only have my respect when you please millions but you do it in a way that actually excites yourself — where you are excited by the new country’s you discover not just by your skill at selling time-shares on old countries.
Elitist Artist you are right in what you say, but wrong in why you say it. You are afraid you lack the power to please the masses and that’s why you are so mad at popular artist. You envy him.