If previous generations of artists warned against the evils of television, see Frank Zappa's anthem "I am the slime," what can we say about the Internet? For if slime only oozes out of our television sets, then the Internet is a like a firehose of ooze, blasting out at 800 psi.

While I'm amazed an titilated by what I find, I've begun to get more and more suspicious that it (the Internets) is a sweet temptation meant to lead me away from my dreams of becoming an acclaimed and recognized artist.

There was a time when I tried to stay on top of the thousands of new articles, RSS feeds, and email newsletters, etc. I actually felt as if I didn't peruse each one I might miss that one silver bullet that would magically change things. [I struggled to end that sentence because frankly I'm not sure what I was looking for, call it solve my problems, make me happy, give me the clue to achieve my dreams.] Of course, I now know there is no external silver bullet, magic, or solution.

Which leads us to the crux of the biscuit. One of the grandest contradictions I see in myself and the thousands people I've witnessed, is how I (they) can know what I (they) want to do or be, but still allow myself (themselves) to be tempted away with juicy images, articles, videos, behavior, and other ephemeralia. If I know there is no external silver bullet, why do I find it so difficult to focus on producing art?

It grinds upon my sensibilities when, for example, we claim to be Christian yet judge everyone around us, or not love ourselves (let alone our neighbors). It whittles away at my belief in the common good when people profess to be something when their actions are direct contradictions of their beliefs. What I'm trying to reaffirm to myself and anyone else who shares in this struggle, is that we must be eternally vigilant of our choices. We are what we do. We are what we think about. My focus must stay on producing art, because that's the only thing that will bring recognition and acclaim. Lord, give me the strength to step away from the firehose and be the artist I know that I am.

P.S. I'm stunned at how professionals can manage the infinite number of media choices thrown at them, yet still balance their choices and remain authentic. At this point I'm clueless how to manage this balance except by excluding everything (to the ultimate test and stretch of my attention and will) to focus on the pursuit of my art.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: jurvetson