I wish that people’s lives were less trying and that people in general were better-off socioeconomically, because I think that the hard conditions of life cause us to want easy art: the kind of art that plays the background and demands little or no attention.
I’m not saying that by making life itself more comfortable for people, they would all automatically begin seeking out difficult pleasures in art; but, if times weren’t so consistently tough, I believe that a great number of minds would be liberated just enough—and thus retain just enough surplus energy—to begin to care about the artworks that possess great depth of thought.
When one is surrounded by turmoil, one wants to escape into a story that is simple and undemanding in an easy medium like TV or online video—life’s turmoil drives us to seek refuge in base works; and the most sublime works get passed over.
It’s totally out of a pastor’s control whether or not people listen to her sermon. If I were a pastor, I would announce that I must, for the sake my own mental health, give up on trying to understand what my congregation wants. And then someone would throw a piece of fruit at my head.
Over the last few years, I’ve continued to use the online world as a placebo—I know that it’s not working, it’s not getting my words out to anyone; even though I’m posting publicly, my writings are more secure than if I were to lock them in a drawer. What I just said is a bland repetition of what I’ve said before; I’m starting to echo myself dimmer and less interestingly (I’ve been whining for 97 blog years).
When creating my sermons, I focus on those who are willing to listen—I treat them as I would like to be treated: if I were part of a congregation, I’d want the pastor to swear at God and lift her skirt. (I mean the pastor’s skirt, not God’s; although, come to think of it, lifting God’s skirt would be fine too). The problem is that average people are different from non-average people: they don’t want the same things that we do. They want horror; we want boring horror.
Knowing the truth about the minuteness of one’s potential audience mitigates the pain of unpopularity; but one still needs to feel that at least a single irresponsible critic out there might like what one is writing—even an illusory hope will suffice; and that’s why I’ve continued to woo the Devil in this here diary. I know that the act of doing so is wrongheaded, but my excitement about the chance of reaching the Fiend is enough to propel me into further follies.