My dad attacked me with his hypothesis. This is a sentence that could begin many of my stories, but in this one his hypothesis had clearly evolved from our previous conversation. Yet this conversation is new and, potentially, so mind expanding that you may feel pain from the thought of it. That’s the way conversations with my dad feel: like he’s constantly teaching you a new secret form of mind exercising that he, only now, at this exact moment, feels you are ready for – that you have finally proven to be competent enough for this burden. So, conversation from last night was fodder for mind altering conversation. He approached with his idea of “Genius vs. Talent.”
Talent was what conveyed ideas and Genius was where the ideas were from.
THUS: Childish Gambino. Aka: Donald Glover.
My dislike was born out of like. His taste was so great, and he was a vehicle of such , but it felt like nothing was behind it. There was no human element. If the truth will set you free, than he was still enslaved by the shackles of his desired self-conception. He wanted to be Tyler the Creator meets Drake meets David Cross. Those are all people I wanted to be so I respected his desires, but with success comes a new formation of desire – a self reflection and understanding that one’s wants must change with one’s current situation. Donald Gambino was obviously talented, but his genius was in question.
Genius comes from a complete and honest awareness and explanation of who you are in your art.
That’s what I thought before. That’s what I assumed was the reason that Gambino’s music resonated hollowly – that I seemed to echo back hatred. But Childish Glover kept performing his therapeutic self-controlled-self-awareness. And, in a sense, it kept getting better. It got more pointed and controlled. He understood who he was by analyzing who he was. But it was simply therapy. For him, and people who want to be him.
I was sitting shotgun in the car parked in our driveway and my dad turned off the car which turned off the CD of Beatles-Soundtrack-Remix-Cirque-de-Soliel album. I was back in Maine with my financial, artistic, and social tail between my legs. I wanted to make comedy, but didn’t know what that meant. I attacked him with a hypothesis. Art needs an audience, without an audience it was simply therapy. Not that there was anything wrong with therapy, but the lack of public display makes writing, painting, yelling, artistically expressing purely a therapeutic act. He responded with the appropriate defensiveness of a person who has a novel he’s never shared with his only son and has been editing and re-editing for 40 years.
Gambino, Childish is a self-therapist not an artist. I understand that he has an audience. A much larger audience than I have or will ever have.
And that jealousy is an important part of my motivation for writing this. Art needs that audience because both audience and artist should be going on a journey of self discovery. CG/DG hogs that journey. He selfishly refuses the audience to join him in self-analysis by covering all basis of self-analysis himself. I say this in order to selfishly self-analyze my own feelings of jealousy toward a pop-icon that was born from New York sketch comedy. He refuses vulnerability/critique by self-congratulatory defenses of his past and future actions. He asks for constant pity in his constant response to the haters when he shouldn’t be fucking bitching because he’s accomplished all of his dreams. His raps are simply cover letters to apply to be your idol, and he seems to be getting the job.
I hated Aaron Kane, but respected him. In middle school I was a crybaby who would trip and fall emotionally every day. The response from my friends was to push me back down emotionally. Aaron always threw himself down before anyone could push him back down and by doing so everyone was satisfied because young boys are only interested in making all of their friends as miserable as possible, and yet he was in control. My response was simply to flail to point out that I had been pushed down because I thought everyone needed to be acutely aware of the actions they were making and supporting. It wasn’t fair that everybody laughed with Aaron and only laughed at me.