Thursday, August 17, 2006


Submitted by Diane Ford Wood

"In the first place, we know of individuals who are – or have been – spontaneous, whose thinking, feeling, and acting were the expression of their selves and not of an automaton.

These individuals are mostly known to us as artists...

The position of the artist is vulnerable, though, for it is really only the successful artist whose individuality or spontaneity is respected; if he does not succeed in selling the art, he remains to his contemporaries a crank, a "neurotic."

The artist in this matter is in a similar position to that of the revolutionary throughout history. The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one, a criminal."

This quote, which I just dug up for myself after 30 years, is from the book "Escape from Freedom" written in 1941 by Eric Fromm. It has always hovered in the background of my life, helping me to guard against complacency in all things, even when I forgot the quote was there.

To me, it is just another humble reminder to avoid automaton complacency in my life and continue -- through art, music politics or other ways meaningful -- to speak truth to power.

Why include this photo? I am not at all sure! It was a leading, I guess.