I hope that you had an excellent new year.
This is an op-ed piece you may like.
The theme for this month will be New Years’. (This piece has nothing to do with that)
If you want to read past themes, you should go here.
We are going to start to have a link to a certain book in each post.
I know that when I am on Amazon, my order only needs a few more dollars to get free shipping, so I thought it would be nice to include those types of books for you here.
These are not the bestsellers, more like deals for those of you with a few bucks on that order of yours.
We will also be starting a monthly book giveaway, so keep an eye out for that.
Thanks for reading.
Book - The Great Gatsby
Author - F. Scott Fitzgerald
For 9 bucks you can get arguably the greatest book ever. That is a pretty good deal if I need to add that amount to my Amazon order.
Does A Writer Own Their Own Words? - Op-Ed Piece
What would you pay for your favorite piece of art? Assuming that you could afford it, what would that piece even be? Are you a historian and want to get a statue of the greek boxer, maybe one of Aphrodite in all her beauty? Perhaps you are a sports fan and want a piece of Ruth’s bat or Jordan’s game-worn jersey. Maybe you like music and want to get your hands on an original sheet written by Mozart or Page’s infamous guitar? If you are like me, you want to get a famous book. One that I have multiple copies of, but that is a more valuable edition. Or I would get a piece by an author that I like.
Whatever you wish to be the thing that visitors see when they enter your house, if you are like most people, you have thought of this fun question before. It’s like when people ask what they would do if they won the lottery. Not the small lottery either. I am talking about the 600 million dollar prize lottery. What sports team would you own? What would you have in your house? What business would you start, or just buy? Will you ever win that lottery? No. But it is fun to contemplate as we watch commercials selling us insurance and check our Facebook status. You will probably never be in the situation to purchase that special piece of art that you love so much, that inspires you in ways that you may not even fully understand, but don’t worry, most of us won’t. We all have to live with a small replica of the Thinker statue. We have to buy a Jordan jersey that isn’t from a game. We will have to play on our Gibson guitars. I will have to buy a Bukowski book that is not the first edition. Plus, that is not the point of art anyway.
Art is apart of who we are as people. Like breathing the gas-filled air to fill our lungs, and eating calories to get ourselves energy to work through our 8 hour days, and interacting with our brethren to move forward in our lives (sometimes quite literally), art is inside of us, as much as it is outside. (If that makes sense) From the cavemen who drew on the caves (and to that one guy who thought that books were a good idea) to the modern manga artists who draw female characters of generous proportions, We express our strange, fascinating selves through art of many mediums that I am sure you are familiar with. We laugh at the chaos we can’t solve. We cry at the sadness we can’t control. We think over the problems we have a chance to crack. We like to reflect on our emotions and experiences so that we can better understand the world and ourselves. I don’t know about you, but this world can get pretty confusing sometimes, throwing more at me than a wide receiver; that I am unclear on what to make of it all.
I don’t know which way to go to work. (Should I take the main roads or the highway?) Where did I leave my car keys (Was it in my jacket or my drawer, or somewhere else)? What day of the week is it? (It feels like Tuesday, but it could be a Thursday) ;
And that is not even getting to the big questions we all have when we are sitting on the toilet or taking a shower. They are the questions that philosophers spend time to think about more than you or I do. I know that you are a long sitter, and you take your time cleaning, but that doesn’t compare to those guys. When you’re asking what you should watch on Netflix, the philosopher asks if Netflix is even real. What are you doing with your life if the images on the screen are made before you view them? Why are you so enamored with watching certain videos? (Hey, I told you that we couldn’t compete with those philosophers) These questions can hurt our brains so much that, like Homer Simpson’s brain, after Homer makes a wrong decision, it decides to leave for the day. All that thinking, and what do we have to show for it? Nothing! Doh! A common question those pesky brains ponder is; what I am even doing here. Is there a place I can go to learn more about that? Do any of you know of any book recommendations? I checked Amazon and Goodreads, and it’s so strange, but there is not a list called “Books That Help Greg Answer What He Is Doing Here” I, like many others, experience confusion about my place, pain in my soul, jubilation in my triumphs, and other life moments that shape me, and that all makes it more confusing. Should I listen to your advice? (Even though it kind of sucks) Should I do what I want to do? (Even though that also kind of sucks) How come I feel this way? (Is this right or wrong that I am doing this?) The ever-changing vast world and our limited selves are the main parts of our lives, and boy, do they give us plenty to think about. Thank god for art that allows us to answer some of these questions, or at least try to.
Naturally, some of this art, is better than others; I don’t think I have to explain why here. Every parent out there knows what I am talking about. There is that one kid who draws the sun and a stick figure, and the other kid who drew a self-portrait and utilized the lighting of the colors to bring attention to the beard he doesn’t have. This is good art, (you know that stuff that you would buy), is seen by more eager eyes, heard by more engaged ears, and read by more becoming brains. We like this art, so we don’t just stick it on the refrigerator.
Now the major question (that I am sure those philosophers thought of already); what the heck do we do with it? (The art, not the philosophers) Is it okay for someone to take all of the good art and keep it for themselves? Like one of those dragons that hoard all of the gold? You can have a whole gallery of all of Picasso that no one but you can see when you wake up in the morning. I mean, that’s a big ego trip, and I won’t like you if you did that, and it is pretty selfish of you to do, but is it okay to do? (If you could, I mean) Being selfish isn’t always bad. The kid who studies all night and doesn’t see their friends is selfish because they want to pass the test. The athlete who goes to the gym to get jacked is selfish because they want to get more muscles. Parents who hire a baby sitter are selfish because they don’t want to spend time with their kids. All of these are acts that people do with themselves in mind, aka selfish. But that doesn’t mean any of them are bad. But let’s get back to you in your morning robe and cup of coffee as you stroll through your gallery of Picasso. You think to yourself how the artist was so versatile that it is a beauty you get to see this. You paid for this art fair and square, and now you get to observe the genius artist as you have a good cup of joe. Is that okay? No. At a certain point, art is not for the artist that delved hours of their life into it or any one individual who paid enormous fees to claim a stake, but for the world to embrace it. The art is so valuable that no one man or woman should ever really own it.
Basically, what I am trying to say is that Indiana Jones was right. It belongs in a museum. It should be taught to children and shared among each of us. This is all of ours. Not one person. Or one country. Or one entity. This is a work of a genius who was a human being and who, while here, gave us a timeless item that we can all have, and we can all benefit from this being shared among us.
Is this fair to the artist? Eh… Probably not. The artist gets screwed here. For most of the items I learned of, the artist was long dead and had no real say in their art.
It is a catch-22. For the artist to be loved by many, the artist must give the world his art, thereby not allowing the very art he loves to never truly be his own.
At what point is the Venus de Milo not really its owner? When are Ruth’s bats not his own? When are Frost’s books not actually his? These things get shared, passed around family members, discussed at tables, and analyzed by the critics, so much that the artist can’t help but feel that their works are not theirs alone.
The other day I heard on the radio of an item by a famous musician going up for a bid. The item and auction are irrelevant, really. What matters more is the significance it holds with us. I then got to thinking of what I would want to have at an auction like that.
A third new-found book by Homer?
An original edition of Shakespeare?
A new unread poem by Frost?
All are things that I would gladly pay through the roof to own. I’d probably have to sell that roof and my house, and my whole wardrobe, and my car, but I would have a new poem by Frost, so it would be all worth it.
Do you see my problem with the original proposal? I assumed I owned the piece of art. I don’t, even though, yeah, I have a piece of paper that says I own it. That classic book, or first edition, or original poem, or whatever it is, is the world’s to own. It is not meant for my eyes only. I guess you can say that in terms of art, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
This is not a fun pill to swallow as a writer. I am basically admitting that I will eventually sell my work to the world, whether I like it or not. I may not make any money at that point, heck, I may even be dead, but no matter how many words a writer writes, he or she has to realize that their production is not theirs alone.
Let’s take this from what you are reading right now. As soon as this is published, I am not sure that I really own this. Yes, I wrote this; I am the mind behind this piece. But as a reader, you can make of this anything you want to, really. You can take a few lines and only remember them. You can quote this in your own piece, as I did with other arts here. You can continue my thought process here and elaborate on what I wrote. You can analyze this and explain why I am wrong here. I can control what I write, but I can’t control how you process it.
You see this on social media all the time. Articles are written, and people go with the article wherever they want to go with it. Some praise it. Some hate it. Others mock it all together. In some cases, the article is made into something different from its original message, and the artist is left there having to take it all in, helpless from the masses’ opinion outweighing their own.
Tough shit, artists. That is the risk you take as an artist. When you opened up that word document, when you dipped the paintbrush, when you put on the jersey, you signed up for the possibility that people may take your art in any direction that they want. The best that you can do is hope that one day, someone wishes to buy a book you never published or some notes that you wrote a draft on. Then again, if the other artists are any indication, you’ll be long dead by then anyway.
I just want to remind you about the book giveaway that this blog will start soon and that we will be continuing to write themed pieces for January.
If you do like this post, please share this on social media. It means a lot to us. Thanks.
Check These Out
Follow This Blog On Social Media
About The Blogger
Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. He is currently working on a Harry Potter featuring the Irish warrior and his one friend. He hasn't gotten the plot down, but he has a feeling that Hary won't be a hero in it, Voldermort won't appear and Harry won't attend Hogwarts. It will be a Harry Potter book though.
Learn More Of The Blogger