Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Go Get A Real Job: Art Is Not Genuinely Useful

From 'Advice for Fresh Graduates During Tough Times' by Ben Stein

"First, learn a genuinely useful skill. Abstract art and conceptual sculpture are great if your parents are wealthy. But if times are lean, as they are for most of us, learn to do what people need done: medical care of all kinds (the shortage of nurses gets more acute every week, and wages are skyrocketing), accounting, engineering that is used in defense, and any kind of work connected to the criminal justice system (crime is an ever-growing menace)."

10 comments:

nitro2k01 said...

engineering
engineering
engineering
engineering
engineering

ryley said...

75% of adelaide uni architecture graduates didnt get a job after graduation.

i make more money playing music

win

Jacko said...

Wow this gives me the confidence to keep goin with the music

Mr. A said...

This coming from the guy who did "Expelled". Jeez, he's the kind of guy that gives Economics a bad rap. Our economy is built on diversification of labor and everyone following their personal goals. If everyone followed Ben Stein's advice there would be an oversupply of workers in those industries (which seems to be the way its going), resulting in the wages in those fields falling out. In other words, you would have a bunch of people who hate their job working at a crap wage with thousands of dollars of debt to work off. Great advice Stein.

Rei Yano said...

in tough times people want to be entertained. hollywood was born out of the depression. make music. help people in tough times. when Im in a bad mood music helps me. I get jazzed after a good song. especially when Im down and out without work.

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Mr. A: What a great answer.

Rei Yano: I know exactly what you mean.

Tristan Louth-Robins said...

My life as an artist at the moment is typified by compromise and ongoing tension. I work four days a week then decompress, make music and on the weekend and write my masters thesis on the Monday. I had to assert myself to the hilt at work late last year when I was being pressured into working full-time. Thank goodness I won out in the end and managed to keep my artistic life intact. I'm not quite prepared to sell my soul to the whole week just yet.

Charles said...

I recently read about the life of Philip Glass the composer, when he started to become famous he was still driving a taxi or installed washing machines to make a living.

It's always hard to make a living from art! Hopefully, we can have other jobs that are at least connected to art, like teaching or arts administration or that is art for other people rather than ourselves - commissions, etc.

Anonymous said...

Ah. Just be good at something and you'll have your living. Conceptual sculpture might be or might not, but when a man can sculpt a man or anything he's sure to get job as decorator (you know, decorating houses of rich people and stuff). Same goes for, well, pretty much anything. You like some extreme music styles (industrial/noise etc.)? Then be sure to make some trip-hop/pop-rock reckordings, run a studio, or a repetition place (though you'll cook your brain with all theese untermensch-hardcore). In one of theese bands i saw a guy(a drummer), who could play double-beat quite fast. But then, when he started to play something simple, he just COULDN'T PLAY. Its like he was gripping his drumsticks for the second or third time. That was depressing.

My point is. A good musician is always in demant, same as a good painter (portrait is still a good profit, as it was 5 centuries ago), or a sculptor, or an architect. But yes, some compromises must be considered.

Anonymous said...

Ah. Just be good at something and you'll have your living. Conceptual sculpture might be or might not, but when a man can sculpt a man or anything he's sure to get job as decorator (you know, decorating houses of rich people and stuff). Same goes for, well, pretty much anything. You like some extreme music styles (industrial/noise etc.)? Then be sure to make some trip-hop/pop-rock reckordings, run a studio, or a repetition place (though you'll cook your brain with all theese untermensch-hardcore). In one of theese bands i saw a guy(a drummer), who could play double-beat quite fast. But then, when he started to play something simple, he just COULDN'T PLAY. Its like he was gripping his drumsticks for the second or third time. That was depressing.

My point is. A good musician is always in demant, same as a good painter (portrait is still a good profit, as it was 5 centuries ago), or a sculptor, or an architect. But yes, some compromises must be considered.