The Life Dissonant

Sun Ra’s music just makes sense sometimes. Willem de Kooning’s artwork (not my namesake) just makes sense sometimes. Fascists hate abstract art. Already enough reason to like it, but there’s something there. They denounce it as “Degenerate art;” that sounds cool as hell, though.  

It’s a kind of solidarity, really. The exact narrative — really hard to tell, very unclear. What do you know, then? At the very least, someone has expressed themselves. There’s a shared aesthetic to relate to. The artist likes dark splotchy green while being confusing — you like dark splotchy green while being confused. You can make real friendships that way, no joke.  

While you second guess yourself, you can guess for an eternity what it means. The abstraction only ends when you need it to. It’s a usefully delusive way to get yourself to meditate. Learning much or hardly learning? Something to fill the void, intellectual white noise maybe. I’m not wasting time with emotions, I’m time wasting with erudition. In the meanwhile, wasting away in due time with the delusion. 

Making it is so personal. It’s funny. Everything is subtle, indirect, well-thought-out and nuanced sometimes. Other times, it’s all rough, vague, directionless, unscientific and blatant. The funniest part is when people argue about which it is. They can just look so darn similar. Two masterworks of the same prestige and breed might be made over the course of a year or in the blink of an eye. Caught up in analysis, we can sometimes forget our basic definitions: the difference between concrete and abstract, for example. 

Sometimes it’s shoved around; into ivory towers or into living rooms of flowery hipsters. It can be self-fulfilling to that guess work we were doing a few paragraphs ago. If the artist explains themself too much, they’ve outed their artwork. It will wither away. It’s like taking a bite out of an ever-ripening banana. It tastes bad so then every other banana of its kind can be thrown likewise in the compost bin. It was never meant to be eaten, just stared at for eternity while you ask yourself if you’re hungry, if you feel like a banana and if it’s ripe enough. 

There is a beautiful relationship you can have. Finding a random bit of abstract stuff. The lack of direct meaning and clear impact are why. If you spend enough time, the relationship you cultivate is necessarily like no other. It can be a time capsule. Kind of a puzzle you can put together however you like. Unconditional of clear information to keep you grounded. If you give it the time, it can be endearing as shit, really. 

Fascists hate it because of all of this. It promotes individuality, unique feelings and thoughts. It can’t quite be weaponized or propagandized. How sad for them. There’s warmth and beauty too in walking to the beat of a communal drum or painting the neighborhood mural. Something that means nothing in particular to anyone at all is boundless, however.