Successfully Retiring an Inane Turn of Phrase

The Republican insistence on referring to appropriate taxation of the greedy rich as “punishing success” bothers me a lot. It’s one of those phrases I feel sure is meant to appeal to the childlike vanity and aspirations of the wingnuts and needle liberals. It’s a stunningly shallow definition of success as the amassing of wealth and power, and nothing more. It’s a strange–and I would argue deeply unhealthy–way to measure it.

What about all the teachers who are sending our kids out into world well-prepared for the challenges life will bring? What about the mothers and fathers who are raising good and decent human beings? What about the artists and musicians who make the world a more lyrical and lovely place to live? What about the people who touch other people with humor or kindness or wisdom? What about the people who make something of themselves using the sweat of their brow and sheer stubbornness? See, I did that.

*needle scratch*

I started messing around with Adobe Photoshop because I was a (childless at the time) homemaker looking for a way to express myself creatively and to feel productive. (I don’t have a college degree, so finding a decent job was probably not on the horizon. I had the great privilege of being able to stay at home and “explore.”) So I spent countless hours teaching myself the program. When I began making my art, I never dreamed anything would come of it; I figured I’d create a few trifles to appreciate mostly privately. I never dreamed it would turn into this.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I hardly make any money doing this. I receive a check for less than a $100 bucks from the site that hosts my gallery  about every year. But my prints sell semi-regularly (lately with more frequency) and my work has been published in a variety of digital art mediums. The prints above are all recent sales. It’s a thrill and it’s a kick. But according to the Republican definition, it’s not a success. What the hell?


13 thoughts on “Successfully Retiring an Inane Turn of Phrase

  1. I bet you’d be “successful” if only your photoshop work was as good as my Sex Nazi! Heh.

    But seriously, this “punishing success” crap is stupid especially because by “successful” they mean “rich” — since when does ‘Murka “punish success” when defined that way? We treat the “successful” like our version of fucking royalty. They get special treatment all the fucking time.

    The “successful” as you properly define them get treated like shit though — teachers, artists, etc.: just a buncha worthless moochers, all of them.

    It’s just total, utter, bullshit.

    Which, coming from the wankstains that are the current “Right” in this country, probably shouldn’t surprise me at all.

  2. Perhaps the word “accomplished” would serve better than “success”. And “skilled”. And “helpful”.

    The love of money is pathetic. We need it. We suffer without it. But what is there to love about it? What kind of sick mind loves it so much that being a millionaire isn’t enough? I’ve always found it pitiful to disgusting when people put money up on a pedestal and measured others according to the amount of money they display.

    • I think there comes a certain point where it’s not about the money itself but just the status and power. And it’s all game for some people. It’s a game to play while other people suffer.

  3. Also, raising the taxes a bit on the greedy muckers will have no real effect on thier way of life. I can’t really consider it punishment unless they actually suffer somehow.

  4. Brotip #1625 sez “Success doesn’t lead to happiness. Happiness is the definition of success.”

    If making your art makes you happy, I would call you a successful artist. How much money you make is a poor metric of happiness.

  5. 68% of all the children I’ve punished never misbehaved again. That is the 4th highest level of punishing success ever recorded.

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