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.
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?