We artists are strange products of evolution, pissing on every preconceived notion of the natural world with our sheer existence.

Vince Thurmon thinks we’re evolving towards defiance.

Writing by Vince Thurmon
Art by Issac Bell

On Capitalism

(And Platypuses) 

To be an artist under capitalism is to be a platypus.

We artists are strange products of evolution, pissing on every preconceived notion of the natural world with our sheer existence.

Art is supposed to be made purely for the sake of art itself, but then I remember that Disney exists. I remember that capitalism is a numbers game, a war of attrition. The bigger the number, the better the art. And anything worth a damn costs at least 10 bucks a month or it is hip and cool and it’s totally okay that the person who made it died penniless. What’s nerdy is hip, what’s hip is lame, and all the while I just like to laugh at it all.

I hate capitalism but I also own an Xbox, my best job prospects are dependent on consumerism, and I do intend to eat. So like a platypus that’s been forced into salt water, I, an artist, am preoccupied on how to obtain the almighty dollar.

I think that art is under threat by capitalism, yet artists like myself have only ever inhabited a hyper-capitalist hellscape. It’s the world that gave me all the classic literature I want on a hand-me-down Kindle at 11; it’s also the world that let a TV host/ failed steak salesman be president.

What do I think of art under capitalism?

It won’t make artists extinct, but we’re evolving towards defiance. We’ll comply with varying amounts of maliciousness. Again, we have stomachs that need filling.

Every year, less than a billion goes to the arts federally. The government acknowledges our role in society, but it’s the “private sector” that mostly handles art. That’s where the red tape thickens, and anything with a good budget is following some vague notion of what some fossils think “it” is and what “it” will be. Advertiser-friendly, middle-of-the-bell-curve mediocrity is what makes money, so it’s all that the layman will ever think of as “art”.

We platypuses swim amongst sharks, surviving out of spite. Although our bills don’t quite bite like the billionaires, so we exist as long as we know our place.

In summation: if you want to give money to the arts, do it! Read zines, remember names and pieces. If you’re an artist, it’s your craft, and there’s no shame in pursuing it professionally. Anyone who says otherwise is a chump. Don’t give money to companies who’ll spoon-feed you the same gruel.

Don’t let the sharks eat us platypuses off this earth, please!

About the Author

Vince Thurmon is the nom de plume of an Arkansas-born writer raised and living in New Hampshire. He specializes in goofiness and intrusives. Currently, Vince is working toward an MFA in both fiction and poetry. He also copy edits and writes for Cream Scene Carnival Magazine. @vincethurmonwrites -Instagram

About The Artist

Issac Bell is the artist behind Uneventful Dystopia.

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