What I do is hard. There’s no doubt about it. Oh, I have my critics. But what do critics know about creation? About creating art? About creating something that resonates with people, that people enjoy and from which they derive meaning?


But my audience knows. They understand me and my work. And they are thirsty for more and I come to them as water to a desert. But the water does not simply rain from the sky. I must make it with my hands and my mind in acts of true creation day after day.

For there is no easy way to create. The hard work must be done. I work hard, searching assiduously to discover new art. When I find something that I know will resonate with my audience, or that I feel they simply must see for it speaks Truth, I begin the painstaking task of collecting the art, downloading it, opening it in Photoshop, carefully removing any identifying mark, name, or URL. Then I save a fresh, new, high resolution image to be presented to my audience having been freed from the encumbrances, no, the shackles, of identification: pure art as it is meant to be and as I have created it.

Then, still nervous every time, like a new father sending his child off to school for the first time, I post my work, unsure how my, admittedly adoring, audience will receive it. But it’s always a success. Each work shorn of any base connection to the poor craftsman that shaped it, stamped instead with the mark of the true creator, of me, the curator.

On Work, or: Why You Should Listen to Me and Get to Work

“Hesiod, the poet himself, a man of many talents blessed by the Muses, once told his brother Perses, “Work the work,” (ergazeo ta erga) and never has a truer word been spoken.

Work is the lifeblood of man, that which gives one purpose in an otherwise squalid and pointless existence.

Don’t get me wrong. I stay as far away from the stuff as is humanly possible. If Hard Work and Physical Labor approached me with a winning lottery ticket for a cool $50 mil. I would run a mile. It’s not so much that I object in principle to working, or “hard work” as it’s usually put by those who subject themselves to the experience, the actual blood and sweat of work, so much that I object to it in practice. I’m a thinker, not a doer, and people like me (specimens of such estimable class and value) are few and far between. Our talents and our energy must be conserved and directed toward the idea of work, the essence, the Platonic ideal of the thing, not the action. If something needs doing, I make note of it to any and all in earshot and wait for someone to do it. Perhaps it doesn’t get done. Do I worry myself about that? No. The execution, the alleged “hard work” of a thing is not my concern. The real work has been done between my ears. There is the achievement of man, in the thinking, not the doing. 

In truth, I work. I work very hard; most people just don’t notice, which, if we’re being honest, is their failure, not mine. Try as I might, the work I do just does not get the recognition that it deserves, a true crime against humanity if there ever was one. 

Build a school? No thank you; but I know where one is needed. Clean up the polluted river? A fantastic idea, of which I actually thought, so off you go. I think City Hall needs new leadership, so why don’t you run for mayor? Someone better do something about that pothole on Main. Cars drive too fast down my street; why doesn’t someone do something? Clean up the park, build houses for the homeless, adopt a shelter dog, recycle, stop air pollution, grow your own food, feed the hungry, clothe the needy.

I have all these ideas and no one will execute on them. 

It’s as if no one wants to work anymore.”

Excerpted from an interview with F. Rutherfords Finklehouse-Shays, heir to the Finklehouse-Shays diamond mining empire.

This “essay” or short story (or perhaps satirical monologue, as was suggested to me, would be better) was written for the monthly Symposium at the Soaring Twenties Social Club (https://soaringtwenties.substack.com/). The topic for the November issue is “Work”.