If one becomes successful in a system then one also becomes a reflection of the system itself. Imagine a person who would become successful whilst living in Germany between 1933-1945, does that not put the morality of that person in to question, even though their profession was that of a clothing company? I believe it does as even compliance is an act of support. According to my logic, everyone who becomes successful within our current system is then questionable. What if one is reacting against the system and becomes a success? I return to my example of the Hippie and Punk movement, the driving force is dismantled and what is left is the image. Ones integrity can only be maintained if the system has a paradigm shift, or one dies before becoming the tyrant.
I believe to be an honest person is to do the task for the purpose of the task itself. If one is doing the task to reach an alternate goal, then one is dishonest in the task. Let’s say one becomes a musician to get laid, then one is being dishonest to the task of creating music as it is only a front to obtain one’s ulterior motive. If instead one placed an ad seeking a group of sexual partners one would be honest. Interestingly the music created by a dishonest person does not make it inherently bad, the music can take on a life of its own and become its own thing separate from its creator. However in most cases, I believe dishonest music will come across as formulaic because it would be likely that one will take the fastest way to success, and that would be to emulate those who came before. Whilst if one was making music for its own goal, I would argue that one would be more inclined to experiment and explore.
One can not be honest within a system of profit, because what truly matters is the goal and not the task itself. It is not about teaching, caring, creating joy or inspiring, what matters is profit. Choosing to be a performance artist might be one of the few vocations that have the highest rate of honesty left, as making a profit or even a living as a performance artist is not possible for the majority who try. Therefore very few opportunists will give there hand at exploiting that vocation. Opportunists will always look for the easiest path. When I say performance artist I do not mean performing artist, they are radically different, the later includes dancers, street performers, actors and musicians of which our system has figured out how to capitalize on. That is not to say that a dancer cannot be a performance artist, a vocation similar to a fine artist such as a painter and sculptor, but through their performance they become the artwork. As far as I know, there is only one performance artist that is known by the mainstream and that is Marina Abramovic. The fact that I felt the need to explain what a performance artist does, is in itself a clue. In contrast I would argue that music is the most exploited art form because of two factors, one it is easy to mass produce and secondly, it has a direct link to our human essence. Every time you chose to listen to a mainstream song I would argue that you are opening yourself up to be manipulated. I believe that mainstream music is designed for two purposes, to earn money and pacify the listener. Maybe you do not feel pacified whilst listening to popular heavy metal, but I would argue that if you are not listing actively then you most probably are listening to the music passively. You do not have to analyze and or be in deep reflection to be active, all you need is to be present with the music.