In an article by Luke Carmen in Meanjin (Autumn 2016) he observes “the senselessness, doubt and despair our anti-art overlords are inculcating in our so-called culture industries“. “Getting Square in a Jerking Circle”, overwritten and jejune as it is, assails the arts philistines who will always be with us, and is certainly about the mark as far as that goes. But so what? Take the cash, and the art will look after itself.
Carmen’s lament is as old as the hills: The advantage is almost always on the side of the cunning social arts satellite than the demented scribbler. In a culture like ours, one that places so little value on the linguistic traditions and our literary heritage, one in which the education system actively devalues it, those with relatively meagre talents and hopes of escaping into the safe spaces of the arts community often consider the ‘writing’ world an easy option.”
The work is the thing. We do what we can to put some bread and cheese and if we’re lucky, jam, on the table. But that is fuel, to fuel our inspiration. Unless you actually dream of “being invited down to the wharf to break canapes with all those cynical shysters with champagne flutes glowing in their eyes, and business cards clutched in their hands” (as Carmen puts it neatly but almost wistfully), rise above it, and get back to work.