I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. A year ago, six months ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it.
- Henry Miller
The insecurity and relative deprivation of the artists’ lifestyle is often described as an advantage over the staid existence of buttoned-down professionals, and in this way artists signal the superiority of their existence over both the poor and the privileged. Says Shappy, a local performer:
I don’t think [yuppies] have any creative gumption. Yes they may take chances on a business deal or an ad campaign or something stupid. . . but they don’t have the balls to put it in play in their own personal lives. And when they see people living I think they’re jealous of the artist’s lifestyle, wishing they could feel like they could be free and live on macaroni and cheese and not have to worry about these accounts and their bills and their credit cards and their SUVs, and their blah, blah, blah. You know, I think a lot of people want to be more bohemian, but they don’t want to take the chance on actually living the life as a bohemian. They’re too insecure without their credit cards.