In the 21st century, we tend to just the value of a man’s work by how much money he earns and how famous he becomes. But fame doesn’t guarantee quality and this phenomenon is not new. Ernest Hemingway was outspoken on this subject and things have become much worse since Hemingway’s day. This is a reminder that you can’t always judge a book by its cover.
Hemingway said, “We have writers who can’t write, painters who can’t paint, and actors who can’t act, and they are all making a million dollars a year.” The very idea of a writer who can’t write or a painter who can’t paint seems outrageous. But today there are many famous “writers” whose books are ghostwritten. Even those who write their books or articles are often unskilled in the use of language and achieve recognition through shock value or attracting attention to themselves. The same problem exists in the art world. Painters who throw paint at a wall or declare that anything can be art proliferate.
The pride of achievement should be based on real accomplishment. But in order for us to appreciate the pride of achievement, we have to accept the now controversial idea of values and standards. “Everyone” isn’t entitled to be called a writer or artist. Everyone is entitled to try. But unless we return to a perspective that doesn’t confuse celebrity and notoriety with accomplishment, we are likely to look forward to more writers, painters, actors, singers, and self-proclaimed artists who are nothing but charlatans with good publicity agents. To explore a plan for you and your family through Cultural Conservation today, click here.