I am bored with Youth NETI
I admit it. I am bored with youth. It can be downright frustrating when younger people disrespect my age, negating my life experience and assume, in their youthful exuberance, that I am some old buffoon, not to be taken seriously; that they get it, are with it, and that I somehow, don’t or aren’t.
But when I realize that when they do this, how much it limits their potential growth, keeps them stuck in their limited world view and exponentially impedes their chances for success, I thank God, because its my best hedge against any serious competition they may one day offer me.
For those of you who may be wondering what all this NETI stuff is about, let me say, among other things, it is a parody on personality culture. It is a parody on youth, on the way we package ourselves as product. As artists, we make products, no different than Ford or General Foods. The brighter and more exciting the box, the more attractive the cereal is to my children as they walk down the cereal aisle. Of course we know its even worse in the world of art and entertainment, where the genius is often more in the packaging than in the product itself.
Packaging is a an opportunity to play with identity, which, if you understand the ancient texts, is not real. The “I-ness” and “you-ness” of a thing is only there by agreement. Identity does not exist on the spiritual realm where all is one. I’m pretty sure my ego will not be accompanying me in paradise.
This is what NETI is about. NETI, the aging rock star, the eccentric artist, the enlightened guru, the hallucinating druggy, the groovy, carefree alter ego, is that he is not these things.
At our NETI decompression party last night, which was a blast BTW, a new friend, also a guest at the NETI Opening the night before, who was sincerely convinced NETI and I were indeed two distinctly separate people, asked Cate and I, “so, are you two kin?” I’m guessing she must have assumed 1) Cate, being such a hipster, must be married to the oh so hip NETI and 2) Cate and I get along so well and are so comfortable together it’s almost like we are siblings.
Frankly, I love playing with identity. That’s why I’m an actor and an artist. It is an opportunity to play with ideas, like identity. I also love being open about pretending. For me, truth is at the heart of what it is to be an artist. Artists manipulate their media, which include the patron, to foist self-examination upon the world. My hope is that NETI, the work as well as the packaging, makes us think more deeply about our purpose on this Earth.