Art Could Be the Answer
by James Glaser
July 16, 2008

People in the United States are depressed. I can see it in the people shopping in my gallery. Oh, you get them talking about art or their kids, and they start smiling and have a good time, but there are some subjects you should stay away from.

I always remember my dad telling me to stay away from religion and politics when speaking to somebody new. Those two subjects, in my Dad's way of thinking were 50-50 subjects. You were either right on with them or you were on the "other side" as far as they were concerned. 50% was not a good enough chance for my dad.

I really don't worry about being right on with people, but I have learned to stay away from talking about, the price of gas, the cost of food, Florida Public Schools, our government, taxes, insurance, inflation, crime, transportation, the railroad system, the weather (in the summer), the stock market, banks, loans, Florida real estate, and the amount of crime in our country.

Like I said, it is safe to talk about art and children, and sometimes children can be a touchy subject. Florida's over all dropout rate is 30%, and 70% for some minority groups. So children can easily become a bad subject, too.

I paid my phone bill yesterday, and the cost of a phone line for my credit card machine at the gallery is only 28 dollars a month, but they add on over 15 dollars in taxes and surcharges to the bill. So, don't be talking to me about phone bills.

So, that leaves art. Making something with your own hands is satisfying, and seeing something that somebody else made with their own hands can be both interesting and inspiring.

That is what we need in this country. Interesting and inspiring subjects to think and talk about. Art fills the bill, either creating it or appreciating it.

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