It is incredibly important to be able to laugh at yourself when the occasion calls for it. I’ve always been a fan of self-deprecating humor. When you are able to laugh at yourself, you express a level of maturity and humility that is that is the cornerstone of our humanity. When you are able to laugh at yourself, you can forgive yourself, and if you can forgive yourself, you can forgive others.
Today I was reminded of the old King Missile song “Sensitive Artist.” For better or worse, those lyrics are describing me on certain occasions!
Sensitive Artist by John S Hall
I am a sensitive artist...
I am a sensitive artist.
Nobody understands me because I am so deep.
In my work I make allusions to books that nobody else has read,
Music that nobody else has heard,
And art that nobody else has seen.
I can't help it
Because I am so much more intelligent
Than everyone who surrounds me.
I stopped watching tv when I was six months old
Because it was so boring and stupid
And started reading books
And going to recitals
And art galleries.
I don't go to recitals anymore
Because my hearing is too sensitive
And I don't go to art galleries anymore
Because there are people there
And I can't deal with people
Because they don't understand me.
I stay home
Reading books that are beneath me,
And working on my work,
Which no one understands
I am sensitive...
I am a sensitive artist..
Yes, I love books and music by people you’ve never heard of. Ever hear of “Les Chants de Maldoror” by Comte de Lautréamont or the Avant-garde experimental band Dead Voices on Air? It alright if don’t, just making a point. The thing is that I try not to be pretentious about it. I try to remain humble and I try to remain human despite not always feeling comfortable amid the crowds at art galleries (I’ve always been an art world outsider because of this, and it has effected my networking skills). Yes, I suspect a good many of these people will never understand me, but that is OK. It doesn’t mean that I should stop trying to connect with people.
Perhaps the lyrics for the King Missile song are a bit mocking in its description of a “sensitive artist,” but if you own up to it, and maybe even celebrate it a little, at least then you can change the more negative aspects of it (arrogance and pretension) and reach an understanding with those other people who are not “sensitive artists.” If you are like me and fall into the, God forbid, “sensitive artist” category, it is important to remember all of those other humans who inhabit this planet, if for the simple fact that they considerably outnumber us and could kill us all in an instant if they wanted to, but also as a way to promote peace and understanding.