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Artists as outsiders

    I think Art is the social statement of the solitary human- the oyster 
making a pearl in response to the sand grain that got in it's 
culture doesn't have the distintion between Art and craft that wetern 
culture traditinally has had. The Balinese also have ritual performance in 
which they act out,give expression to their scary monsters from the 
Id,seemingly making it much less likely that they project them onto each 
other,or better yet the Other as we in the west do so much. This manifests 
in everything from rejection and mistreatment of kids who are different, 
rascism and xenophobia ,to polarized tribal politics , to War.
  In western culture the outsider status of artists ,makes it more likely 
that the artists have enough perspective to reflect something meaningful 
back into the group,if it cares to notice.Van Gogh only sold one painting 
his life .I think the misfit thing starts in school which tends to 
a sort of attenuated cognitive dissonance .We are taught that we are 
free,freer than any one else in the world has ever been,and that we're all 
equal.Then we're forced to conform by sittng still in one place all 
day,learning what we're supposed to,basically punished if we don't learn 
it,on schedule ,and then we must compete with each other(even tho we're 
spozedto be equal) for who gets the privileges,ie getting into the best 
colleges,getting the best education allowing one to get prefered 
employment,afford to buy the best houses and consumer goodies.Cognitive 
dissonance craves resolution -some find it in actively competeing,and 
getting the goodies-some by rebellling ,and getting negative 
just don't accept,or even understand the terms of the game and dabble in 
creating more interesting worlds for themselves .  I think the term self 
esteem is partly misleading,because what the pressure  for social 
often causes people to do ,is to create a social persona.Persona is the 
for the masks worn in the Roman version of Greek theater 
.Persona,personality is a mask for playing a role. I think social 
involves convincing oneself that one is the character,by convincing 
others.Some of us have trouble with this,or aren;t convinced that they are 
the character they portray. This could be low self esteem,or I could call 
,not getting juicy feedback for the characdter one portrays.The Jungians 
the term Individuation ,for the procerss of forming a sense of self that 
includes the whole psyche,not just the social surface.I think the misfit 
artists in our culture are the ones who have access to the deeper 
subconscious parts of the psyche,which are mostly suppressed when they 
be ignored in "normal "life,thus we can give expression to a deeper richer 
sense of the moment, of the experience of living.We can bring the best of 
our solitary deep selves  and imaginations to the group  in a way that 
enriches everyone,and strikes a balance between self and group that 
require suppression of the self.
   As a child the outsider thing was painful,but now I feel almost like I 
escaped prison by not being able to fit in.
  BTW there is a huge Poetry Slam movement going on inthe US .I'm not that 
interestsed in poetry as a competitive performance art myself,but the 
ancient Greeks were,The Laureate was the winner of a huge competition that 
drew thousands of spectators and was fiercely competitive.