THOUGHT PORN: [MONEY vs HUMAN WORTH]

ARTPORNBLOG’s EXPERIENCE

holding-money

“Money is any clearly identifiable object of value that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts within a market or which is legal tender within a country.” – Wiki.

My understanding of money is that it is supposed to help humans. It is there as a separated medium in trade which is widely recognised as holding worth by the majority. Yet in my experience it appears that money no longer represents an unaltered meaning of worth and instead is concerned only with it’s own worth. A love of money by many and the greed of some individuals has caused money to be placed ahead of human worth in many instances.

I appreciate that this has probably been going on for hundreds, even thousands of years and has been a problem throughout history, however, I am writing about it now because it is relatively new to me. I am now directly affected by these issues as I live in a city in which both myself and the communities I find safety in are being devalued by money. As a human I feel that my worth has been placed, by those interested in only themselves and their desire for more money, as less important than that of money; and therefore money has surpassed it’s initial usefulness to assist humans and instead has become a hindrance to so many.

Like many things it seems that if you have an abundance of something, (e.g.. money) then you can’t see the issues it’s causing. You may only see the stuff it’s assisting you to get. It’s buying you options and time. It’s buying you a home and a safe space. It’s buying food for your belly and water to keep you clean.
Yet when this thing begins to run out or the supply dries up, only then do we see the impact it has on our lives. We may begin to envy those with an abundance of these things and see that they are blinded to the negative effects that their desire and greed may have on others.

In many ways I am in a privileged position. Mostly because my parents support me financially. This has allowed me to find a home and live my life on a day to day basis knowing that I can eat and be clothed. I am slowly working through my issues and difficulties to create a myself a sustainable business which will hopefully support me as an individual and also benefit others, particularly those in the Queer community.
However, this support will only last so long and go so far; my parents cannot continue to support me for forever and neither do I want them to as this limits my freedom as an individual to make my own decisions. I would like to earn enough to be self sufficient and to offer help to others who are finding it difficult to get started.

As a society we have reached a stage in which profit margins are deemed more important than the wellbeing or safety of communities, minorities and individuals.

I will use the example of the closing down of many of London’s most prolific queer venues in the last 6 months as this is something that I can relate to and say I have been personally affected by.
There is of course an argument to say that naturally venues will open and close; eventually they will come to the end of their lives. However, these venues were not coming to the ends of their lives – they were busy thriving places with both a loyal and passing clientele. Most importantly they were safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ community to socialise, be open and find themselves.
As these venues serve a minority it is clear that they will not make as much money as the potential thing that will replace it. But does this make the minority less valuable than profit margins? Are we saying that minorities don’t matter? And that they have no place in our city where money is concerned? In these instances we are placing the worth of money above that of humans. The new luxury flats that will replace these venues will not serve as many people as these venues were serving, however, they may make more money.
Furthermore, Soho, the Gay capital of London, is being turned into yet another gentrified tourist spot, with key venues like “Madame Jojo’s” being replaced with a Novotel. There seems little point in building a hotel in a spot in which you are knocking down the culture. Surely you build a hotel so people can visit the culture? But I guess not where money is concerned.
There is an argument to say that the demand for Gay venues is not so high anymore as it has become more socially acceptable to be Gay, however, as a Gay man, (and now a Queer being), that this is not my experience. It is clear from the amount of attacks and suicides on and amongst Queer people that safe spaces and venues are most definitely still necessary for development, happiness and education; they hold more value to Human lives than that of profit margins. If gay London is dying then perhaps we need to invigorate Queer London. The emphasis needs not to be placed on money to benefit these people but instead on the livelihood and wellbeing of a community that encourages acceptance and integration.

As an artist living in London I had expected to find the help and support I needed to make my work, however, there is no funding available to artists with no university degree, and it is near impossible to afford the education necessary to gain one as it will now cost me a minimum of £30,000 for fees alone to go to university. This is not including the further exams or courses I will need to take to get into one or rent and living costs while studying. And the chances of me getting work in the field I studied for are small in a city which does not value art the way it used to.

My biggest struggle with earning money in the UK has come from my mental health differences and the lack of support and understanding we have of mental health in this country. Having Mental Health differences has proved very problematic when it comes to gaining or maintaining employment. And even more difficult is seeking and receiving informed, educated, experience based unbiased help.

The most likely treatment you’ll be offered by a healthcare professional is drug treatment. Which by the way costs money. There is not enough funding in the mental health services to offer enough therapists and if you do get on a waiting list you for one, you can expect to wait approximately 8 months before you get a consultancy and that is if you haven’t been forgotten or somehow dropped off the list.
Quite frankly there is little help on offer for you in the UK if you have mental health issues unless you seek alternative methods. I have found 12 step fellowships and rebirthing breath work to be helpful and I am truly grateful for these yet they were never suggested to me via the NHS.

Thanks to money and our greed as a society, London is turning into an elitist commerce driven city with zero substance. It is cleansing itself of art and culture and becoming one big street food pop-up shop where the ultra-rich can carelessly stamp on the lives of those less wealthy in an unimaginative number crunching faux cultured metropolis. Minimal Graphic design and screen prints of bikes and beards have replaced fine art and creativity beyond the tiny confines of a trend and it is no longer possible to do anything without a computer. There is little or no space for the poor due to ridiculous soaring rent and education costs and there is falling hope for minority communities as money has been placed as more important than safety or the wellbeing of vulnerable people.

Fortunately, there is hope. I am very lucky to have been welcomed into a queer community. I have some work in clubs; not enough for me to be fully self supporting but it’a helping me find some feet. The levels of acceptance around my differences both intellectually and mental health wise is incredible and I have found some safe spaces. I am learning love and acceptance around myself and others and artistic endorsement and education exists outside of university in this scene. However, it is at risk. And if the money situation gets any more severe then this community may not survive and London will have lost a key source of education art and culture.

If London and the rest of British society continues in this money hungry direction then many more will be forced to leave and seek new pastures. It is upsetting to think that we as humans in a modern society have gone so far as to place the value of money above the value of humanity and that we do not practice what we preach as an open-minded, welcoming society. Perhaps what I am looking for no longer exists, but for now I at least have some places I can still go to get some of the basics I need in order to build a life for myself.
I’d like to believe that with education and love there is possibility for change and that London can become a thriving colourful city again for arts, culture and acceptance.
written by Ted Rogers “Artpornblog”

xXx

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