December 11, 2017

 

The Aser Stories 10: Awards

 
 
 

There is a thing about rural life that really bugs me. Maybe it's the same in big cities, but I'm a hedge shaman, not an Apartment 7G shaman. When there are awards to be given out at the various kingdom and desmesne fairs, why are the judges more inclined to look to see the name under the entry in a competition rather than use their eyeballs and what other senses are required and JUDGE the damn entry?

I walk into the tent where local artists have submitted their paintings and ceramics and textiles, and I see some really good work. A painting of a zebra, vibrant and bright against a russet background. Balance, color, worth standing there and looking at. No prize. Beside it, the mayor's cousin's daughter has submitted a garish picture of what appears to be a cow with a board up its ass, judging from the lack of knowledge of what a horse is supposed to look like, on a smeary background of ill-chosen greens and browns. The wall-eyed cow-horse has a red ribbon on it. Best in show goes to a huge picture of a stiff, staring mother with torpedo breasts exposed and a doll-like ugly baby figure attached to one of them. Creator of this Frankenstein's Madonna? The acclaimed artiste who lives at the castle and deigns to give 'instruction' in art at the village craft shop.

A blue ribbon adorns a dumb vase of yellow daisies in the floral arrangement section, while a simple but breathtaking display of lilies gets but an honorable mention. Two women with nasal twangs walking ahead of me say, "Oh, look, Mavis' daisies got a blue. She deserves it, she never got an award before, it's about time they got around to giving her a ribbon."

Maybe that's the crux of it -- being given an award rather than earning one. Does that mean that if you're an idiot all your life, sooner or later someone will give you an award for just hanging in there and managing to survive? If you want your artistry to be recognized, do you have to glad-hand all the local important people and grovel for a well-known patron?

And when you do, and succeed thereby, how will you know if it's for your art or for your subservience? Is creative effort supposed to be all about recognition? Or monetary recompense for your time spent? Isn't that just work?

Money is good to have now and then. But when the stuff, be it painting, or writing, or jam-making or singing just pours out of you, with no regard for what it will get you, then it's pure creativity, free and wild, and worth every effort.

Once, years ago, I drew a great piece of art that should have been hung in a museum for all the world to admire, and was worth more than its weight in gold. I still think on it fondly, and muse upon the ephemeral nature of art. It was a portrait of Chiernavan the Elf that captured her essence and identity, entitled, "For a Lousy Time, Call Chiernavan at 555-4400."

Alas, there's no way the museum would hang the spray-painted door from a restroom in a bus station in Jotunheim.

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-04-30


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In the same series:

The Accursed
The Aser Stories: Sidelong
The Aser Stories 80: Cabin Fever
The Aser Stories 79: Just Don't Say It Before Spring
The Aser Stories 78: Judgment Call
The Aser Stories 77: "Are We There Yet?"
The Aser Stories 76: A Bone to Pick
The Aser Stories 75: Coalition Forces
The Aser Stories 74: Flying Monkeys
The Aser Stories 73: Elspeth, Ad Nauseam
The Aser Stories 072: Starve a Cold
The Aser Stories 071: House Call
The Aser Stories 70: Dinner Dates
The Aser Stories 69: Fire in the Hole
The Aser Stories 68: The Silk Fable
The Aser Stories 67: The Simple Life
The Aser Stories 66: For What You're Worth
The Aser Stories 65: Taking a Shot
The Aser Stories 64: Second Chances
The Aser Stories 63: The Second Step
The Aser Stories 63: Second Thoughts
The Aser Stories 60: Fish Story
The Aser Stories 59: Ace in the Hole
The Aser Stories 58: Knowledge is Power
The Aser Stories 57: Animal Tracks
The Aser Stories 56: Oz Can Keep Them All
The Aser Stories 55: Small Comfort
The Aser Stories 54: Letting Go
The Aser Stories 53: In a Spirit of Healing
The Aser Stories 52: Stinkin' Kids
The Aser Stories 51: No Words For It
The Aser Stories 50: The Friend in Need
The Aser Stories 49: Run for Cover
The Aser Stories 48: On the Fly
The Aser Stories 47: Just Thievery
The Aser Stories 46: Take My Shaman ... Please
The Aser Stories 45: Hot Stuff
The Aser Stories 44: Courtesy Call
The Aser Stories 43: Adding Insult to Injury
The Aser Stories 42: Natural Selection
The Aser Stories 41: Funny Business
The Aser Stories 40: Happy Endings
The Aser Stories 39: Working Dogs
The Aser Stories 38: Taking Sides
The Aser Stories 37: Dumb Animals
The Aser Stories 36: Harsh Words
The Aser Stories 35: Endangered Species
The Aser Stories 34: Common Language
The Aser Stories 33: Legal Torture
The Aser Stories 32: Whose Fault Is It?
The Aser Stories 31: Money Talks
The Aser Stories 30: The Perils of Sympathy
The Aser Stories 29: Raccoons
The Aser Stories 28: The Ghost of Garfer Miller
The Aser Stories 27: Dynamite
The Aser Stories 26: Junk Mail
The Aser Stories 25: Rose-Covered Cottages
The Aser Stories 24: Crime and Punishment
The Aser Stories 23: Image Is Everything
The Aser Stories 22: Is As Does
The Aser Stories 21: Gourmet Dining
The Aser Stories 20: Families and How They Are
The Aser Stories 19: The Difference Between Men and Women
The Aser Stories 18: On a Silver Platter
The Aser Stories 17: Point of View
The Aser Stories 16: Easy Street
The Aser Stories 15: Moguls
The Aser Stories 14: A Mile Toward Change
The Aser Stories 13: The Price of Freedom
The Aser Stories 12: A Question of Nudity
The Aser Stories 11: Rabbit From a Hat
The Aser Stories 10: Awards
The Aser Stories 09: On A Roll
The Aser Stories 08: Raising Children
The Aser Stories 07: Crosspasses Market
The Aser Stories 06: Judge, Jury, Shaman
The Aser Stories 05:Habit and Stubbornness
The Aser Stories 04: The Wrong Question
The Aser Stories 03: The Labor of Love
The Aser Stories 02: Soup du Jour
The Aser Stories 01: Popping the Big Question
The Aser Stories 40a: Customary Behavior
The Aser Stories 36a: Madly In Love
The Aser Stories 03a: Descent to the Underworld

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