Why Im Glad Im Not a Minority Writer

I'll admit that I used to be jealous of my compadres who were minorities in my BFA Creative Writing program. The rest of us were just crusty white kids with no rhythm.

So, I used to be a little jealous of the amount of anger material these minority writers had access to. There is a lot of inspiration in one's cultural identity but if that inspiration doesn't allow the artist to create works that break past the illusory bonds of time and space to that oneness that unites us all then the art won't last and won't have quite the impact the artist hopes it will. In fact, here is a definition of good art you can copy paste into your brilliant quotes file. This one comes from yours' truly, Uncle Josh:

"Art (with a capital A) is all about using the contemporary forms of time and space (people, objects and their relationships) to blow apart the phenomenal differences that keep us each locked into what appears to be an inescapable prison (our own egos which are composed of our experience and emotional and intellectual reactions to the present moment, from which we project the future)."

But it is in this projection of the future where humanity's greatest certain unalienable right exists--the right of the choice about how to act this moment. It is freedom of choice about how to act in the moment (in other words, creating their reality in the moment through sheer will) that allowed people overcome atrocities like The Holocaust where every bit of security involved in associating through one's cultural identity was removed completely and the individual was reduced to a scrounging animal. This is the point where survival of the fittest and preservation of self becomes king and the social morays simply drop away like burning paper mache.

I have studied The Holocaust passionately now for sixteen years. I completed course upon course in college and have read book upon book about those twenty years in Germany that saw Hitler's rise to power and a decimation of a culture almost as old as humanity's recorded existence.

I have long asked why when thinking about the Holocaust. This is a very hard question because you are essentially asking for a sum value of millions of peoples' lives in terms of a historical lesson (and what historical lesson could be worth the lives of over 150 million who died in a World War which was the direct result of one man and his dream team of terror?).

But here is my why from The Holocaust--individual freedom emerged intact despite the fact that untold masses of individuals were murdered and had their most sacred identities taken away--their cultural or group identification.

There is enormous associative power in group identification--that is why we are constantly being told to choose, in the moment, which social group we define ourselves as--black, white, gay, christian, conservative, liberal, rich, poor, etc. There is a certain amount of creative inspiration to be derived from one's social group, but if you examine this inspiration closely you will see that the majority of art that comes from this source is usually so infused with the anger that comes from the tallying of group suffering that it has no breakthrough into the transcendent mystery which lies beyond time, space and our petty egos (which only last as long as we draw breath; the spirit is eternal and therefore incorruptible or haven't you got that memo yet?).

So, while minorities may have a lot of inspiration to draw from that produces some great Saturday Night Live and Dave Chappelle skits, most of these are without any true breakthrough; they are improper art, using the artistic aesthetics put forth by James Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

In-group anger can only take an artist as far as they are willing to ultimately let it go completely. Only by willingly letting go of our social identify and, ultimately, our individual identities in the moment, can we touch the true source of inspiration which lies inside each of us like a platinum encased diamond nugget at the centers of our being.

In fact, this is the exact message that I wrote about in my short story Pyrite (http://www.joshuaminton.com/fiction.htm).

I spent a lot of my late teens and early twenties being angry for other groups of people because my group identity (middle class white kid in a sea of other middle class white kids) was the system of oppression and the source of much of their anger. But I'm through being angry and I'm through defining myself with abstract concepts; I'll leave that to the hacks and has-beens. I'm going to do my best to teach this concept of artistic aesthetics to other talented artists so that they too may find that thorny and weeded path inside themselves that will take them to the platinum crusted diamond that waits for them within.

Joshua Minton is President of an Internet publishing and business consulting corporation, Family Bliss Enterprises, Inc. He is also author of two novels, several short stories, poems and articles on art, philosophy, politics, sociology, science, popular culture, business, health insurance administration, internet marketing, blogging and personal success.

In The News:


Hyperallergic

A Conference Considers the Philosophy of Street Art
Hyperallergic
Today, a three-day conference titled Philosophy of Street Art: Art in and of the Street begins at Pratt Institute and New York University. Organized by Gregg Horowitz of Pratt, Nicholas Riggle of Lafayette College, and Christy Mag Uidhir of the ...

and more »

Muncie Star Press

Adam Smith's philosophy alive and well
Muncie Star Press
Nobel Prize-winning economist Vernon Smith (no relation to Adam), philosopher James Otteson and economist and podcast host Russ Roberts will tackle the question: "Will the Real Adam Smith Please Stand Up?" Whether you love or hate the Adam Smith of ...


Does philosophy matter?
OUPblog (blog)
Philosophers love to complain about bad reasoning. How can those other people commit such silly fallacies? Don't they see how arbitrary and inconsistent their positions are? Aren't the counter examples obvious? After complaining, philosophers often ...


Gloucester Citizen

Explore Leonardo da Vinci's philosophy of beauty through over 20 of his ...
wtvr.com
The exhibition will be dedication to da Vinci's philosophy of beauty as revealed in more than twenty of his original drawings, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to explore the sources and influence of da Vinci's work lent from the Uffizi Museum ...
Leonardo da Vinci explores beauty at MuscarelleThe Virginian-Pilot

all 4 news articles »

Wall Street Journal (blog)

How My Investing Philosophy Changed in My 40s
Wall Street Journal (blog)
MANISHA THAKOR: When I was quite young, somewhere around age 11, my dad sat me down with his HP 12C calculator. He showed me what keystrokes to use to see how my money would grow in a hypothetical situation, one where I was able to fully fund ...


Northwest Georgia News

Philosophy professor to speak at Berry College lecture series on cultural ...
Northwest Georgia News
Smith teaches philosophy and theology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has previously taught at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He has been a visiting professor at Fuller Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Fla., ...


49ers.com

49ers Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr. Outlines Teaching ...
49ers.com
49ers Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr. Outlines Teaching Philosophy. Posted 6 hours ago. Taylor Price Senior Reporter 49ers.com @TaylorPrice. a; a. San Francisco's new special teams coordinator is proud to work for a successful ...


Christian Post

Consultant Apologizes for Job Ad Seeking School Superintendent With ...
Christian Post
A consultant who suggested in a job advertisement seeking a school superintendent for a rural Northern Michigan school district that candidates have "a strong Christian background and philosophy" apologized and removed the criteria after the ACLU ...

and more »

Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription)

Heidegger's Philosophy of Violence
Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription)
Last spring, the Frankfurt-based publisher Vittorio Klostermann released the first three volumes (out of a projected eight) of Martin Heidegger's Black Notebooks, a philosophical diary that the Freiburg sage dutifully kept, beginning in the early 1930s ...


New York Times

At Gucci, a New Philosophy
New York Times
And on each seat: a sheet of paper that mused on time and disconnection, framed by two quotes — one from the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben and one from the French philosopher Roland Barthes — and titled after the latter: “The Contemporary is ...

and more »
Google News

Evolution and Exorcisms

EVOLUTION: More surprising to me as I consider where my... Read More

Why Im Glad Im Not a Minority Writer

I'll admit that I used to be jealous of my... Read More

I Wouldnt Change A Thing

CHAPTER ONE: From Riches to Rags:When I look back upon... Read More

Some Ponderable Questions

I am nothing if not inquisitive. Ask any person who... Read More

The Pertinence of Nudity

Every kind of nudity is an abstraction. A man without... Read More

Humans Who Are Disrespected Seek Revenge

The easiest way to gain enemies is to disrespect people.... Read More

Life in the Universe Part II

We are most probably not the only beings in the... Read More

Knowledge and Study of Social Science

. Human being Knowledge & social scienceHuman beings are the... Read More

Its Not Your Fault!

Saying goodbye is easy for the traveler. I am a... Read More

Slavers Claim To be Slaves - Taxation

The United States of America was planned by elite members... Read More

Tempus Fugit and the Dollar Doesnt

Money is time, a commodity which can be used to... Read More

Reducing Human Population Growth

Due to the indoctrination of World Religions and their control... Read More

Checked Into Nirvana. Where Is Joy?

Eckhart Tolle lived upto his twenty ninth year in a... Read More

Privilege - Alfred Lee Loomis and Hecateus

ALFRED LEE LOOMIS:Privilege sometimes leads to productivity and creativity through... Read More

My Insight into Numerology

From time to time, we wonder about the mystery that... Read More

William Butler Yeats

There are adepts outside of what is called alchemy who... Read More

Star-Fire Ceremony

The Templar flag Columbus and da Gama traveled under was... Read More

Nature of Visual Representation

Nature is often called "red in tooth and claw", this... Read More

Viewing from Anothers Perspective Sets Humans Apart?

Recently I discussed what sets humans apart from other animals... Read More

Stranded Notions: Time And Philosophy Of The Individual

As I look back now, a long time seems to... Read More

Nature Worship

NATURE WORSHIP: - Wicca and witchcraft or other shamanic attunements... Read More

Joseph Bonaparte and The New Jersey Devil

Joseph Bonaparte and The New Jersey Devil:"Commodore Stephen Decatur was... Read More

The Keltoi

The CIA's motto is "You shall know the truth and... Read More

Visions Of Heaven And Hell On Earth

Let us now pessimistically endeavour to communication the sentient of... Read More

Conspiracy Theorist

Rudyard Kipling on Masonry: "the closest thing to a religion... Read More