In the song “Money, Power, Glory”, you said: “I want money, power, glory.”
I, too, want money, power, and glory.
I think at least part of the reason I want money, power, and glory is because of that song. How did you get money, power, and glory, Lana? Things worked out for you, but what if they hadn’t? There is an element of luck involved, isn’t there? Not everyone’s life works out in the way they want, even if what we want changes depending on what we have. If your life didn’t turn out the way it did, would you regret not having attained money, power, and glory?
Lana, this letter collection is addressed to you, but it’s not really addressed to you. It’s more of a narcissistic journal entry than a genuine call for connection. I never really had a phase where I wanted to stan over someone. It just seemed very dehumanizing — reducing someone to an ideal. I think I cared too much about what was going on in my own life to do something like that. I think that you were the closest thing to a celebrity for whom I stanned, but I was more doing so because that just seemed like the thing to do, as opposed to a genuine feeling of connection to you through your music. I just found some of what you wrote to be relatable — I don’t really know much about you beyond that, and I know that.
At the end of the day, I think I care too much about myself to care about you that much. The only life that matters is my life because that’s the life I am living. Your music is a pretty big part of my life, but the money, power, and glory that I want belongs to me. There are people I look up to here and there, but at the end of the day my life is mine. I don’t want to live my life for other people when I could life life for me. No matter how influential, I have my own thoughts regarding how I think people should live life. I only wish to communicate my ideas and not other ideas.
What is the purpose of life? To control cultural consciousness. That is true power. To be able to dictate what people consider to be attractive or unattractive, beautiful or not beautiful, desirable or undesirable. It changes the way they think about themselves, and when you can make people believe certain things about themselves then they start to believe what you want them to believe. Art has the power to control aesthetics. It changes the way we think about our own lives at every point in time — from making dinner in the kitchen to showering in the morning to looking out the window during our morning commute. We all think of ourselves as the object of art in our own life.
I was thinking about this Foucault quote today:
What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?
By controlling our sense of aesthetics, we control our sense of ethics. By controlling ethics, we effectively can control politics. By controlling politics, we control the world.
It’s so weird how influenced are by aesthetics. It’s like the Dunning-Kreuger effect. Even when we are aware of our aesthetic influences, we still cannot necessarily avoid them. But if we cannot attain freedom from influence, what we can control is our ability to influence this narrative. We have the power to create the dominant narrative to influence others instead of being influenced. If we have enough people listening to us, then we can speak and people will listen. If we aestheticize our words, then we change the way people behave. If we control the narrative, we can be free from the narrative. If that is not freedom, then I don’t know what is.