Brilliant flash: Artists making beauty while stoned or drunk: is it still legit?

So I’m asking you…

And I may, for the first time, add a “poll.”  WordPress has this capability.  Just for fun.  Folks can vote on the question.  Not sure what I will ask yet or how I will word it or anything or just how weird I will get.

Here goes.  I am telling you, I get upset when I read on Wikipedia about an album or piece of writing and the artist(s) explain, “Oh, we did that while we were stoned.  So we didn’t really know what the heck we were doing.  If any beauty came of it, so be it.  Take it as it is.”

They might as well add,

“We are the World.  And we are filthy rich, too.”

Is there validity to such art?  If the artist has toned hands that have been trained for years and years, and yet does the art with his toes while asleep and drunk, is it still art?  What if it happens to come out decent, by some cruel serendipity?  Does he still have the right to charge the museums a fortune for it?

I am telling you what I truly believe in my heart: What that guy has in his drunk toes I will never, ever have in a million years.  Is it his responsibility to stay sober?

Or are we going to shut up.

Let’s let this dude do his thing and carry on.

Yeah, I get disappointed when I find out a rock group dismisses an album and says, “Well, we didn’t really know what we were doing when we put that one together” and it so happens I’ve been listening to the fucking album for years and in my opinion as former musician, it’s brilliant.

Or maybe the artists should not disappoint listeners by making such statements.  Perhaps they have no clue how much they disappoint us!

Actually, in my intro to my book (might as well put in a plug for my own work here…) This Hunger Is Secret, I discuss the question of what happens when a person gets well.  A lot of “patients,” particularly those that get stuck with this “mania” diagnosis who happen to be the artsy type, are concerned with loss of creativity.

See, I thought I wrote stuff that was sorta brilliant when I was sick and would no longer write brilliant stuff because the craziness was gone and the craziness had driven brilliant writing.

Now, granted, this thinking was way back…we’re talking ages ago this transformation I was referring to in the intro of my book, the time of my 40th birthday.  I am now midway into my 56th year, being now 55 years old.

Patients are afraid that the meds will kill creativity.  That the meds flatten emotion and take away the ability to express oneself.

So the same with getting sober. Alcoholics may be the very same way, not that I would know.  That if they throw the bottle away, then poof!  Out the window goes their ability to do art.  Or socialize or have sex or do whatever specific thing they are fixated on…work, school, math solving, being a doctor or priest, whatever.

Same with an eating disorder I suppose.  Maybe someone with an ED is afraid they can’t do this or that without their ED.  That they can’t face the world or live their life without this partner for life in tow.

Oh honestly…first of all, folks….

This eating disorder that I have lived with for 34 years now is not this Ed. There is no Ed and Ed is not a person, not real, does not have a name, not a partner to me, nor a marriage, does not speak, does not have a voice or persona or personality and I would love to have it gone tomorrow or right now or yesterday or poof never existed at all, like magic, if such a thing were possible.  Can I dream any bigger?

And there is so much I wish I could do but these things are not getting done.  And yet…I will do these things.  Somehow…they have told me this baloney that you must change yourself…but no, the personal being political, the surrounding world is gonna change along with me if I have to drag it with me, wall by wall.

I think that makes a whole lotta sense first thing in the morning, don’t you?

Okay, me and Puzzle, we’re gonna kick ass out there.  Nobody has to know what this crazy skinny lady with the dog is thinking.  I’ll be listening to a headset.

Here’s the poll.  By the way, I’ve never done this before, so forgive me if it comes out goofy. I will make up the question…in a sec.


The poll has supposedly been “embedded” in the post now and I hope I did it properly.  See ya later, alligators!  Puzzle and I are off on our walk finally.


Posted on June 22, 2013, in from This Hunger is Secret, Questions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I figure it’s still “art,” just different than it would be had the person not been under the influence of a mind-altering substance.



    • Thanks so much for your opinion. I always wonder what other writers think about this issue. A lot of writers that I can think of in history were known to be notorious drunks. That plus there were those that were thought of as under the influence of “madness” or some other “altered state”…is madness, or something thought of by the medical establishment as unacceptable in thought or emotion, truly extreme? I doubt it.

      Some folks just have other interests than the status quo. We have better things to do, other journeys.



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