Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Genuinely Nice Person

Who believes you to be a genuinely nice person, and why?

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 Renrutwakin Art Prize appears to be a genuinely nice person.

Although I am required to take the word of the judges to be the final arbiter in that regard, being a genuinely nice person is meant to be one of the primary indicators of worthiness for winning the prize.

Being genuinely nice, both in person and through the expression of one's art, have rarely equated with one another.  Being genuine and being nice require no skill, no art and no illusion.

Yet, paradoxically, a natural personality can only be perceived as nice when interpreted through culture.

An unnatural personality is fake.  Only nature can be authentic.  All art is essentially illusory.  Whenever skill, art or illusion are involved in the expression of niceness and authenticity, those expressions are likely to be lost without further guidance on symbolic meanings.

Genuine niceness can be expressed through art indirectly, though it should never be regarded as the art itself.  The art can express beauty and mystery and history to convey meanings about morality.

Observing genuine niceness through art is a way to become acquainted with it.  For a society to appreciate and truly value genuinely nice persons, its members will honour the art reflective of niceness.

In my most recent salon for world peace, guests were asked:  Can real art save the world?

The first task of my guests on that occasion was to define real art.  Today, the guests are required to answer the question:  What are the qualities of a genuinely nice person?

How a genuinely nice person relates to nature, to art, to society and to conflict will obviously require consideration.  How a genuinely nice person differs from a superficially nice person will also need to be considered if an accurate answer is to be found.

Whether genuinely nice persons are capable of doing nasty things is certainly worth investigating.  It may be the case that being genuine and being nice are purely contextual.

A genuinely nice person may be considered to have a higher purpose in life than most other persons, but that is not necessarily the case.  To define the essential features of a higher purpose can itself be difficult to achieve.

The separation of morality from superstition is necessary in order to prevent the oppression of the latter.  It is also necessary to separate evidence from speculation.

This salon is a secular institution, meaning that it places nature above culture.  Yet nature is, to an enlightened mind, beyond considerations of morality.  Human society involves the intertwining of nature and culture, the latter being far more difficult to distill and understand than nature itself.

Human interactions with nature and culture are the usual inspirations for art, and for the conveying of meanings, beliefs and opinions in other ways.  Whether anyone can interact with anything beyond nature and culture is a matter of much debate and, indeed, one of the main obstacles to world peace.

Authenticity often equates with meaningfulness and purposeful practices.  A genuinely nice person is therefore likely to be relatively self-sufficient.  This is mainly due to the fact that the sustenance of such a person is not dependent on oppressive approval or unnecessary dependency within one or more cultures.  Yet excessive self-sufficiency can sometimes equate with selfishness, which a genuinely nice person would never express.

To be genuinely nice is to be at the pinacle of goodness, with or without the guidance of one or more written texts or good teachers.  Arguments about whether it is possible for anyone, in essence, to be genuinely nice, without assistance or guidance, appear to contradict the possiblility for genuinely nice persons to exist at all.

To be guided towards niceness means a transformation of the authentic self from something not as nice.  The real, genuine person formed by nature is not, in that situation, as nice as the one formed through culture, at least in the view of the proponents of that culture.

The Twaklinesque arts, on the other hand, are meant to help people find their true selves, removing the layers of culture to find the natural person underneath it all.  These arts invite the questioning of culture, and nature.  Anyone preventing that questioning is unlikely to be particularly nice.

My own work has always involved the search for genuinely nice persons.  I have often been considered to be a genuinely nice person myself, especially by other genuinely nice persons.  Do you have a reputation for compassion, dignity and generosity, dear guest?

As with Villa Twaklinilkawt itself, I always prefer to support an immersive design philosophy in my various activities.  This is in order to include all reasonably informed persons in a wide and wise range of interactive pursuits.  Through my ongoing work as both an ethereal head of state and as an evidence-driven chief executive officer in the educational sphere, it is important for me to obtain the points of view of genuinely nice persons as part of my extensive brief.

Yet several aspects of society itself in the 21st century are not genuine, in any part of the world.  They are not even very nice.  They may meet various distorted needs but they rarely meet genuine ones.

There are many persons who believe their true selves to be rather unpleasant.  They hide their genuine selves behind layers of culture in order to pretend they are someone and something they are not.  The persona of such a person is mainly an act.  The real person is someone the actor believes society will not value and may even punish.

To enter the Renrutwaklin Art Prize is to claim to be a genuinely nice person as well as an artist.  Throughout the judging process, the entrants are required to distinguish between being entranced, being enhanced and the experience of chance in the world.

The artists, through their activities during the judging process, interact in various ways to explore the experience of presence, the experience of trust, and the awareness of suspicion.

A genuinely nice person would never imposed their own beliefs and way of life upon anyone or intrude on anything unnecessarily.  Such a person is therefore likely to be enlightened about the varieties of cultures and personalities in the world.  Such a person is never predatory in any way.  Such a person expresses working and living through a continual process of balanced improvement.

Artists are the producers of art.  Even a small child with the ability to hold a pencil, and use it to express the mind on paper with imagination, is an artist.  Even the judging of art is an art in itself as it requires skill and imagination.

Artists produce art for many different reasons, one of which may or may not include the desire to earn a living through the production of art.  The commercial aspects of art are separate from the production of art, whether in the visual arts, music or literature.

Genuine art is reflective of the influence of intuition.  The small child with a pencil is likely to be a genuine artist when choosing the activity without guidance.  Intuition is the impulse of the genuine self.  Through memory, skill, talent and imagination, intuition, when expressed through art, becomes a still-mysterious form of energy.

To be genuinely nice is the new "cool".  The old "cool" was essentially self-absorbed, arrogant, passively aggressive, abounding in aloofly narcissistic self-pity behind a mask of indifference and occasional bravura.  The old "cool" was willing to allow intrusions as a way to make money.  The old "cool" had disdain for consumerism while profiting from it.

Being genuinely nice cannot be emulated.  All it can do is encourage people to be aware of whether they themselves are genuinely nice or not.

Only after compulsory education and the compulsion to earn money have subsided from influence in a person's life can the genuinely nice person usually become prominent.  Compusory education, family expectations, peer pressure and conformity to workplace situations can suffocate the genuine on many occasions.

Participants in youth culture and various subcultures often attempt to turn themselves, and their lives, into works of art.  They may even believe their chosen expressions are a reflection of a genuine identity.  They put on an act, hoping it will lead to authenticity.

Unenlightened persons may consider genuinely nice persons to be boring, but that is usually because unenlightened persons can only perceive, and express, superficiality.  The old "cool" had as its basis a manipulative, deceptive bullying, just as oppressive as conformity to other power structures.  Even so, it is well known that open aggression has never been "cool" though it is certainly prominent in the world, in many trends of behaviour.

The old "cool" was itself about power, but not necessarily political power or self-empowerment but the power to express cultural influence.  Yet the old "cool" was not the same as the original, pre-modern, nice "cool".

The irony of the new "cool" is that genuinely nice people are emotionally warm and compassionate yet also with a dignity and peacefulness similar to the original "cool" valued by the Yoruba people in pre-modern times.  To resist, without aggression, the authoritarian imposition of unadmired values, whilst managing to remain a genuinely nice person is, indeed, an art in itself.

This may be why Justin Avarejossi has just been named the winner of the 2015 Renrutwaklin Art Prize.