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I have a theory that if you are an artist, you are an artist whether you create art or not. This is because what counts is that you have an artistic mind.
In practice no one will ever call you an artist unless you actually create art. This is because without the creation of art, the artistic mind atrophies and dies.
My favorite passage in the New Testament of the Christian Bible is this passage in the book of James:
‘So too, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ James 2:17-18
What do you want to be?
You become what you practice. Practice art, you become an artist. Practice running, you become a runner. Practice love, you become a lover. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you want to become something practice is the only way to become it.
Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Quote by Yogi Berra, 1925 – 2015, American Baseball Player
Yogi the Great
Yogi Berra was one of the best baseball players ever. If he was mute and never said a word he would still be in the hall of fame many times over. Look up his statistics and there will be no doubt.
Yogi the Poet
But Yogi did talk. He said a lot of very funny, odd and surprisingly insightful things. Many are non sequiturs where the first part of the quote seems to make no sense with the second part of the quote. That gave me the idea of taking the quotes one step further, doing a mash up of two of his quotes and see what I can come up with.
Drawing and commentary © 2015 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Quotes by Yogi Berra, 1925-2015, American Baseball Player
This ain’t nothin’ but another future.
Pet Peeve Rant
A pet peeve of mine are the Facebook posts that brag about how great the past used to be. How we didn’t have seat belts and we didn’t die, how we didn’t have the internet and we played in the mud and we didn’t die. How we had respect for our elders and we didn’t die. That grandma cooked things from the garden and from stuff given by a neighbor and we didn’t die.
The upshot of all that is ‘The past we had was great because we didn’t die.’
There is then of course a comparison to now. Now we have fat kids on the internet who don’t play in the mud and they are going to die. We have seat belt laws and that takes away our freedom to die. Other peoples’ kids are brats and they are going to cause themselves or others to die. Our country is going down the toilet because of all these terrible people who weren’t raised right and that is going to cause us to die.
The upshot of that second part is, ‘the past was much better, the present sucks and the future is going to suck even more and as a result we are all going to die.’
Style and Culture
And this really shows up in style and culture. The saggy pants? They show humanity has fallen. Forget that the same person who says the saggy pants suck also says the old style of the high waisted shorts from the 80s suck too. Low sucks, high sucks.
Music today sucks of course. Why? Because it’s not the old music, which was much better and proved we were geniuses back then. And people allegedly making music now? They suck and their music sucks because they aren’t as great as we were.
It All Sucks
Here is the truth; if you think the present and future suck it’s because you are becoming an old curmudgeon who has forgotten how your grandparents said the same thing about your generation. It’s because you gave up on discovering new music and movies and art and literature. It’s because you are afraid to see your world disappear but you are even more afraid to explore the world today. So you sit and complain about things you haven’t really explored or tried to understand. You judge because judging feels good and backs up your prejudices and inclinations.
It’s All Great
Here is another truth; the youngest generation doesn’t really care what you think. They are on to you. They listen to your rant and know you are speaking from ignorance. They know their music is awesome and their art, and their movies. They know their food and attitudes and work ethic and a million other things are just fine. They don’t need your approval.
The truth is the worst of the older generation has ALWAYS condemned the world to destruction at the hands of the younger Barbarians at the gates. Ancient Greek curmudgeons complained about the younger generation 3,000 years ago and it hasn’t stopped yet.
How To Not Be A Curmudgeon
And the other truth is the best of the older generation stays open to what each new generation has to offer and does it’s best to understand it on the new generation’s terms, not their own. They keep an open mind about music and art and tattoos and clothing and style and words and sex and ways of understanding the world. They are the ones who stay young and engaged in the world today.
Drawing and rant by Marty Coleman
Quote by Yogi Berra, 1925 – not dead yet, American Baseball player and Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet
I am finally back to the napkins! I took some time off to speak at and attend the BlogWorld LA conference for the first time. Then I headed south to San Diego to visit my father and sister. I am there now, finally with some time to draw.
Travel is much like a life education vs. a formal education. It’s important to never confuse the two. With a formal education and a regimented, organized travel experience, let’s say for business, you need to be sure of what it is you hope to accomplish and what you want to learn. It’s good to have it planned.
But in your life education and in all of your travels, business or not, there is another layer that exists, and that is the layer of not knowing why you are going somewhere or learning something. I don’t mean you have no idea at all, I mean you have to allow that you CAN’T know it all in advance. Your deepest experiences and lessons come to you without your prior knowledge that they are about to arrive. It is those things we couldn’t have anticipated that resonate the deepest.
So, don’t freak out if you don’t know every step of the journey ahead, whether in your education or your travel, If you did, you wouldn’t learn much.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily.
Quote by Yogi Berra, 1925-not dead yet, New York Yankee baseball player and manager
Simple enough. Whether you are famous or not, if you have someone who like you chances are you have someone else who doesn’t like you, based strictly on the fact that the other person does.
Of course, famous people have it to a much larger degree. Maybe you have the fame that leads to people ‘unfriending’ you on Facebook. Maybe you have the fame of people not going to your concerts anymore because too many people like you. It’s not cool anymore. They knew you before you were ‘popular’.
Maybe you are Lady Gaga and people just completely hate you no matter what, they don’t have a clue what you do, what you sing. They only know that an annoying amount of people pay attention to you and if they do as well then they are just part of a crowd.
In the end, the person with confidence and belief in oneself, whether a high schooler suddenly faced with some serious hate going on or a world famous celebrity, will be the ones who can withstand the popularity AND the hate.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Yogi Berra, 1925-not dead yet, American athlete. By the way, if you think he is ‘popular’ because of his funny phrases, you should also know that Yogi was the catcher for the New York Yankees Baseball Team from 1946-1963. He was on 10 winning world series teams (a record), was MVP 3 times, an all-star 15 times!