Out with ‘Atypical’ Elitism, In with Neurobehavioral Equality

Nick Meador shares on Reality Sandwich:

In spring of 2012 I wrote a mission statement for a new project to be called Funding My Existence (FME), which would combine awareness and activism for both the “Creative Class” and “atypical” personality (or “neuro-atypical”) types. The Facebook page contains a nice nutshell description: “Funding My Existence is an online community intended to help people ‘make a living’ if they’re willing to share the fruits of a creative life. We hope this will help bridge our entire civilization into the future we’ve always envisioned.”

Despite a lot of enthusiasm expressed online, it didn’t develop into an operational website. What went wrong? Or what’s holding it back? I think exploring these questions will offer lessons for those of us wanting to build or contribute to innovative social movements.

First of all, I think that this idea was actually at least three separate ideas mashed into one, making it difficult to communicate exactly what I was imagining.

Read more at Reality Sandwich.

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  • BuzzCoastin

    one reason it didn’t succeed
    is
    wee are destined to be our own support
    for our own creative expression
    the outworkings of which
    are experienced as the art of existence

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      I don’t believe
      that
      you read
      the article ;)

      • BuzzCoastin

        Despite a lot of enthusiasm expressed online, it didn’t develop into an operational website. What went wrong? Or what’s holding it back? I think exploring these questions will offer lessons for those of us wanting to build or contribute to innovative social movements.

        I don’t believe you read my reply<:)

        • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

          @BuzzCoastin:disqus, that’s the excerpt. I was referring to the full article. You’re entitled to your opinion. But your reply doesn’t imply that you read the full article. Whether or not you did, I’m still not sure what you’re trying to say. If you’re suggesting that it’s not okay to create support systems for people who have none, then I disagree with you.

          • BuzzCoastin

            If the full article is as badly written as these few paragraphs, then I consider myself lucky to have been spared the full Monty.

            > First of all, I think that this idea was actually at least three separate ideas mashed into one, making it difficult to communicate exactly what I was imagining.

            Unfortunately for you, this is the heart & art of writing, to communicate the indescribable workings within the limits of written language.

      • oneironauticus

        That’s okay, I didn’t either…tl;dr…something about autistic kids, right?

      • The Well Dressed Man

        Merkins
        in the whirled
        wouldn’t know
        if wee red
        or knot.

  • Simon Valentine

    i thought this was going to be about the mysterious and apparently non-existent elite who make “the elite” look like “the criminals they truly are”. instead it’s about polynomial conversion and … here’s where the use of the word alternate is actually ‘absurd’ … alternate equality. some real “meaning of life” and “shape of the earth” stuff. ‘difficulty class, here they come’ is actually an inside joke btw…

  • oneironauticus

    I deeply believe that one of the main reasons that great artists become mediocre artists is because of money and fame.

    That being said, goddamn it would be nice to not have to work 40+ a week (not even including travel)…I don’t want to be rich or famous, I don’t even want to finish art school…I just want to daydream and make…things…and tell people about those things and maybe make them happy for a moment, or make them think new thoughts…that’s all.

    • jnana

      why should others have to work to support your daydreaming? you can make things AND take out the trash just like everyone else. everyone needs to find some productive work that they can enjoy, shovel shit and carry water, and have time to play and make things. I don’t believe in an elite class of artists/musicians. I think they ought to get off their high horse. yes, art is important, but so is taking out the trash, and everyone wants to “do art” but no one wants to take out the trash. except in a Brave New World ;)

      • oneironauticus

        I don’t want to take out the trash because I want to live a life where I barely make any at all. I’d like to be paid to live off the grid and stop contributing to pollution or the other evils of so-called “society”. I’d like to raise my own goats and chickens. I’d like to learn and practice natural medicine. I’d like to plant trees and sell the excess fruit and nuts.

        I’d like to paint and make music while doing all of these things. I don’t see any logical reason at all why this sort of life should be out of reach for most except a particular breed of rich liberal hippies and/or conservative libertarians…

        • jnana

          I suppose I was replying more to the idea that other people should support artists than your reply, specifically. I kinda heard something else when reading yer reply, conflating it w/ the above article.
          that said, I also do believe some have more creative talent than others and its important for them to have the time to express it. I just get irritated by some artists who think they don’t need to work like the rest. i use the term work differently than most, meaning contributing something productive to the community, not paid work.
          also, i’d encourage you to go for it. such a life you dream of is not as far out of reach as may seem. the opportunity is out there and i’m sure you will find it, but i bet you’ll have to take a leap of faith and abandon some insecurities to get there.

          • oneironauticus

            “i bet you’ll have to take a leap of faith and abandon some insecurities to get there.”

            …or just finish paying loans for degrees never obtained…and I’m really one of the lucky ones, since I didn’t take out very many and will actually be done paying them back before I turn 30.

            Then, maybe, if my soul hasn’t been completely crushed, I can *start* thinking about living the dream…though, by then “the dream” might end up just being a trailer on half an acre of dusty desert.

            I suppose I should clarify how all of this relates to the article: I think I’m atypical, though I wouldn’t say autistic (I’ve been accused of it, before) and some have said I’m ADD but I feel like that’s also wrong, since I shouldn’t be able to concentrate long enough to read long novels…I don’t do well in school or the corporate world beyond the bare minimum…I’d love if someone would just pay me to do what I’m actually good at…

          • jnana

            it says a lot about our society that someone can’t just do what they’re good at. instead of having to cooperate with the natural system to survive, we gotta cooperate w an illusory system (which is a set up), just to survive. very strange we all just take it for granted.

          • Ted Heistman

            I think you said a lot right there!

          • BuzzCoastin

            it’s only acquired conditioning
            that makes you believe that

            have you tried kicking it freestyle
            just to see if Jebus & the other mystics were right?

          • jnana

            that’s what I do!
            and I try to encourage and help others find their freedom, too. it can be overwhelming to do it on yer own.
            HOBO- Helping Other Brothers Out

          • oneironauticus

            …But not the sistahs, huh? ;)

            Alright, fuck it, I’m putting out my beggar’s jar. Alms…alms for the poor…as grandpa always said: “just remember, there’s a reason they’re called ‘starving’ artists”…

          • jnana

            yeah, I’ve thought of that, but hoso doesn’t sound right.
            I met an old drunk punk in Olympia, who shows me his knuckle tattoo that says “HOBO”. drool drbbling down his chin, he leans over and mumbles, “hobo. helpin other brothers out.” at the time I was learning about the camaraderie on the road, so it fit the moment. I still fly that sign, but it doesn’t seem to make me much. I don’t think the work a day folk get it.

        • JaiGuru

          Subsistence farming is a thing. It’s not that you CAN’T do it, it’s that you WONT. You don’t have what it takes. You want someone to fund you so you have a safety net in which you invested nothing but fantastical doodlings.

          News Flash: EVERYONE HAS AN IMAGINATION.

          Yours is not precious to anyone else in this life. Lose the butthurt and live the life you want. But be prepared to take responsibility for it. All things in life are a compromise. ALL things.

          • Calypso_1

            There are persons (let’s exclude children) who exhibit little or no evidence of ‘imagination’ as an independent or functional process. That doesn’t mean that they do not have latent undeveloped capacities or a stunted version of imagination that operates in conjunction with more fundamental cognitive processes. Beyond imagination as a base level definition of abstracted processing of perception and thought, it is fair to say that it is something that requires development to exist outside of very strict parameters imposed by external sources.

          • oneironauticus

            It still costs money to buy land, no?

          • oneironauticus

            How the world (your world) works is that the scummiest and sleaziest cheat and scheme to get others support (financial and otherwise) and when the swindle is discovered, they are praised for their “brilliance” and held up as an example.

            Why exactly aren’t you saying this to Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian or some other god-awful useless person who contributes nothing and subtracts quite a bit? (And those are only the pop-culture media examples…)

            You know, the people who don’t even know the words “compromise” or “responsibility”? People who are told every second of their lives that their imaginations and very existences’ are precious to millions.

            Why do you and all of the people like you allow this world to exist, you blindingly stupid fuck-face?

      • Conspiracy Carrot

        Spoken like a true slave.

      • gustave courbet

        I wouldn’t advocate for you to support other’s daydreaming, but our society pays for the type of labor it values. As such a visual artist, equally as skilled as a computer programer will not be payed a similar wage because his/her impute is not as ‘valued.’ Hence the trend away from the artistic, the visionary, the transcendent, towards efficiency, technocracy, and control. I’m speaking in the broadest generalities, but an example would be the liberal arts degree that 50 years ago could be used to support oneself, is being shunned for professional training as actuaries, medical techs, technical writers, etc.

        • jnana

          im not saying to become another drone. I believe there are many practical things that need being done and nobody wants to do them. the untouchables get stuck doing them. it’d be more just if we all helped w/ the dirty jobs. some people could use a little humility, too.

          • gustave courbet

            Very true.

    • JaiGuru

      Even Leonardo had a day job painting hateful murderous elites’ portraits. Grow up. Get a job. Screw around on your own time.

      • oneironauticus

        I have a job, you fucking moron. How do you think I have internet? That costs money too.

        • Iuwus

          actually charlotte i totally get where you’re coming from. i’ve been feeling the same way for a long time. as per the rest of the conversation, i’m not down with somebody paying for my whole life so i can sit on my ass. it’s humiliating and disempowering imo. which i think is what you think right charlotte? but i am definitely feeling that education and art is slipping away down a drain and needs to be kept afloat. for instance, many people only recognise art that is squeaky plastic and pre-packaged and marketed to them, or poo poo art that doesn’t work for them personally, in a very consumerist, introverted manner. the way amateurs are treated i find appalling, everybody focuses on the skill and ‘how’ the thing is made, not what is made or it’s past and future evolution. people will not pursue art because they feel they cannot live up to the standard that ‘business art’ sets, they simply do not have the funds to buy pro equipment, or the trust fund and upper echelon connections, and generally people will not accept anything less than million-dollar pro. if people cannot express themselves through art, a precious link is lost. i am not entirely sure we are loosing this link out of pure ignorance of our actions or some kind of sinister intention.

          • oneironauticus

            Well, yes. Exactly. I don’t necessarily agree about being paid for it being humiliating, but that may very well be because I barely recognize money as an actual thing…all money is Monopoly money until I remember that everyone else still believes it matters and begrudgingly balance my checkbook (or, well, not a literal checkbook, but you know…apt illustration).

            What I really want is the freedom to do as I damn well please. What I damn well please happens to be to create things for others to enjoy (not only from my imagination, but also the literal fruits/nuts/jams/goat cheese of my labor). I don’t think that’s as selfish as some people would make it out to be…

            In fact, I think continuing to live this standard life that’s shoved down my throat would be a selfish thing to do.

            The alternative seems to be to stay in a job which ultimately helps no one, just to support myself through a degree I don’t need, for the chance to meet “the right people” to get my work into “the right galleries” to be insulted by people I despise who don’t deserve my efforts anyway, no matter how much Monopoly money they can cough up. I’d rather give it away for free, to people who can truly appreciate it, than to stand for that. I honestly don’t know how some art-major people I know who say they feel the same can put up with it…

            “if people cannot express themselves through art, a precious link is lost. i am not entirely sure we are loosing this link out of pure ignorance of our actions or some kind of sinister intention.”

            As has been said, culture is not your friend.

          • Iuwus

            oh i wasn’t trying to imply that being paid to create was humiliating. i was addressing this ‘fart about on your own time’ concept. unfortunately words like ‘daydream’ seem to have acquired connotations along the level of ‘lazy slacker’ which is where some of the conflict was springing from i think. it’s in the same kind of thought camp as ‘the imagination is not real and therefore unimportant’. i would reckon anyone who’s bothered to spend any time at all exploring it would find this concept laughable and a huge trivialisation.

            it’s not the only game in town for an inspired life though. the school-uni-work gig. personally my plan is to work up enough money to set me and my husband up with a rv so we can travel around at our pleasure and quit houses and stable jobs entirely. the only thing that really limits options is imagination and what you’re prepared to do to fulfil your goals. and also how blinded you are by the ‘there can be only one way’ curse of the current system. which is apparently dangerous insanity to many i mention it around.

    • BuzzCoastin

      > I don’t want to be rich or famous, I don’t even want to finish art school…I just want to daydream and make…things…and tell people about those things and maybe make them happy for a moment, or make them think new thoughts…that’s all.

      do that
      skip art school
      try doing the impossible while you can

  • kelethian

    I think after the elementary school shooting done by such a “person”, we can include them in society only under strict protocols of having a shock collar with medicine delivery. With an emergency C8 charge. No price is too high to pay for security. And we cant take chances – think of our children.

    • oneironauticus

      I can’t tell if this is satire, or not, given the rash of ultra-conservative view-points on recent articles… :

    • JaiGuru

      Or we could just stop violating the rights of teachers by not prohibiting them from carrying if properly licensed.

      • oneironauticus

        OH, YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE.

      • oneironauticus

        OR, we could just get rid of teachers and replace them with armed guards!

        • Calypso_1

          Let’s just arm the children.

  • The Well Dressed Man

    “Creative class” are the new trustafarians. They’re not quite as helpless, but neither are they as harmless. People who get on their high horse about how “positive” and “subversive” their glorified advertising careers are make me want to move out to the burbs and become a machinist.

  • Ted Heistman

    I think it was a noble idea, assuming the art is any good.

  • Ted Heistman

    See here is the problem, basic living expenses, a quiet room, food, a somewhat positive, stress free environment should not require a heroic effort. I mean if you want work 50-70 to live in some mansion that’s fine. But having a non demanding day job in order to have the time and energy to create is becoming almost impossible.

    • Calypso_1

      Basic living in many environments requires a heroic effort (or does so until one learns the requisite skills necessary for that environment). All societies are grafted onto the environment. They may, in many ways, create more efficient use and distribution of resources from fertile to marginal regions through collective effort. We can suppose that society is a contract to better individual status. Does that have to be the case? Is society actually anthropomorphic or is it the emergence of another order? In an organism no single cell is indispensable to the the collective. Or of greater significance, certain cells and groupings have greater importance to development and global functioning.
      So is the increasing difficulty of creation by more marginally functional groups symptomatic of pressure and dysfunction of the larger organism….that is indeed what the focus of many concerns in a subculture such as this are about. Our host is diseased and higher functions are deprived in the throes of survival.

  • Ted Heistman

    I am a creative person, diagnosed with learning disibilities, I struggle with anxiety and PTSD, due to being assaulted several times as a child and into my early 20′s. I feel like I have a lot to contribute, in terms of Art and writing and inspiration. But for most of my life I have moved from menial job to menial job. Its not that I think I am better its just that many entry level jobs aren’t a good fit for me. I am a bit of a fuck up at menial tasks. Not a total fuck up, but I make more mistakes than what most employers want to have, most of it due to problems I have with working memory. I can’t do the same thing over and over again efficiently. Most of my anxiety comes from starting a new job and waiting for people to find out what a fuck up I am. Its not fun to be an intelligent person and get bullied by less intelligent people for messing up on simple tasks. But that’s basically been my job experience. Occasionally I find things I can do OK at, like working at call centers but the pay is low and its not what I want to do in life, which is to be a writer and an Artist and spend time outdoors. When you have a low paying job its often necessary to get another one, which leaves little time or energy for creative endeavors. As I have gotten older morale among people in general has gotten lower at many jobs so I end up blending in more, plus I think my brain has learned to compensate. But still I always dread looking for day jobs, because in my experience they mostly all suck.

    I actually have lived in the woods and foraged for plants and animals and have also spent two summers organic gardening. I find this type of thing very rewarding. The challenges involved didn’t seem stressful or insurmountable to me at all. This leads me to belive that modern life sucks way more than in ages past contrary to popular belief. But for some people, especially really cautious security oriented people, who love routine and having everything spelled out for them by an employer, maybe modern life is really great.

    But I think for a lot of creative people, who value initiative and personal autonomy, modern life sucks ass. But many entrepreneurial people with a similar personality as I seem to do really well. I, however am not into business. The business world really bores me. In and of itself, making money is just not a motivator.

    I really think I would have been better off being an Indian or a Mountain man 100-200 years ago. I even think being born 20 years earlier would have been better, because then I could have homesteaded in Alaska, but that all ended in 1980 when I was 9 years old.

    So I am actually looking forward to modern life going over the fucking dam. I am not impressed with it all. This massive technological infrastructure is not worth the pay off. All I really want is free time. Time to do what I want to do.

    So that’s my struggle, and I guess I will keep struggling on, What else can I do?

  • Iuwus

    you want to know why it didn’t develop into an operational website? well i signed up on the mailing list and sent an email to the site basically asking if i could get involved to help out somehow, and get more information in general. i was less interested in the support aspect and more interested in finding another place to meet likeminds. however i received no reply, and there was never anything sent along the mailing list, so i assumed it was some kind of elaborate research troll or perhaps i was too dumb and weird for them to reply to, and thought no more about the whole thing. so maybe you guys need a better public relations department or something. cos it would be surprising to me at this point to find out this is actually a real project.

    • Ted Heistman

      good points

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      @Threedinium:disqus, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. It’s possible that I may have missed an email from you. But I’m not sure why you wouldn’t have received any updates from the FME email list, if you did sign up. I haven’t sent out many notifications in the past few months (see: personal complications in the full essay linked above)), but I have definitely sent updates some since creating the email list. Anyway, if you still want to get involved (and I hope you do), I recommend joining this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FMEAdvisoryTeam/ — It’s specifically for people who want to connect with others around the hope of creating these kind of changes in our society, and also to support each other.

  • Ted Heistman

    Speaking of being a starving artist here is my etsy page https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoyoteShaman?ref=si_shop

    • oneironauticus

      Woah…you can do that? And here I thought Etsy was only for jewelry and vintage knick-knacks…I might friend you there once I set up my own shop. ;P

      • Ted Heistman

        good luck!

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