Artistic Types, who’d fucking have ’em, eh? Lazy, good for nothing softies; living off Daddy’s money. Never did a hard day’s graft in their lives. Get your head out of that easel and get a proper job, mate. Contribute something to society, like we do. Get up at the crack of dawn, go slog your guts out for someone else, manage to put enough away to have a fortnight in Benidorm every August, and some prezzies for under the tree at the end of the year, to make the kiddywinks happy. That’s what it’s all about. Not writing some fucking poem about wondering if you’re a lonely cloud or something. Layabout poof nonces.
As a people, we are primed for indifference and callousness. It’s a survival instinct. When you pass a homeless person on the street, your instinct is not to think ‘Oh, you poor thing! However did you end up in this predicament? Here, take my hard-earned wages. Buy a chocolate trumpet for your dog!’ No, we think ‘Fucking lazy cunt. Get a job.’ Because homelessness is not a birth defect. Most homeless people started off like you and me. Then they took a few wrong turns. And that’s what scares us about them- that it could be us. Like some sort of perverse Lottery Finger points down from the sky and says ‘IT’S YOU! NOW START USING ELECTRICAL FLEX AS A BELT, AND GET USED TO SHITTING YOURSELF IN DOORWAYS.’
Mental Health is another issue that we seem hard-wired to not care about. Everyone has their own take on Depression/Bi-Polar/Borderline, etc. It varies from person to person, but the general feeling is: if I don’t have any personal experience of it, it probably doesn’t really exist. We like our afflictions to come with open sores, or a lack of limbs. Sort of like how we like our Art to involve oils and a canvas, not some Turner Prize shit where a bloke is standing in a swimming pool full of apathy, shouting the word ‘DICHOTOMY!’ at a swan. That’s not Art; that’s a rich person acting the cunt.
I’m not homeless or bi-polar. I’m creative. It’s just as serious. It means that what I’m good at is a bunch of stuff that it’s quite difficult to convert into hard currency. It can be done of course. But there seems to be a sort of invisible graph where how actually good you are at being creative is aligned to how little money you’ll ever make at it. On the flipside, the people making all the money from creativity tend to be the people who create shite. The anomaly of this is, of course, the Indirect Clause. The one which states that you can be amazingly creative and make pots of money from your creativity, as long as it’s funnelled through a shitty medium. The people who wrote the songs that the kids cover on X-Factor, for example.
Mostly though, if you’re a creative type and you haven’t achieved your Big Break, life will find you in the very place where you shouldn’t be- the unskilled workplace. Now, that’s fine usually. The unskilled workplace is a great place to have fun, meet people, have a laugh, and take home some meagre pay. The problem is, the creative mind is out of its comfort zone doing things like wiping tables or stacking shelves. In the same way that dropping a level in School (Honours Maths down to Pass Maths, maybe) doesn’t suddenly guarantee you being Top Of The Class immediately, doing something manual when you’re used to using your brain doesn’t make you the Resident Super Genius when it comes to your new job at Supermarket Maintenance: Vomit Clear-up Squad. And your new buddies won’t have any sympathy for you either. These are the people whom you destroyed on Facebook because they couldn’t grasp the difference between your and you’re. Do you think their/there/they’re going to have any sympathy for a 34 year old Poet who can’t change a hoover bag? Are they fuck.
So now, through no fault of your own, you’re back in the classroom. Only this time, you’re the fucking dunce. Pythagoras’ theorum is no good to you when you suddenly find that you can’t fix a broken ballcock in the Gent’s; or you’ve completely forgotten which one is left and which one is right, when it comes to your own feet. You’re in they’re/there/their territory now. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. His name is Dave, and he understands the logistics of shopping trolleys a lot better than you do. So it’s time to swallow all that Learning and Book-knowing, and get on with the business of putting kids in your bread, and food in the table’s mouth. See? You can’t even sentence correctly now. That’s the first sign. Next you’ll be reading The Sun, and complaining about overpaid immigrants, while wearing a Chelsea shirt with some Lithuanian guy’s name on the back.
Welcome to the real world, Jeffrey Archer.