“What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.” — E.M. Forster
“When you’re kept by a patron you don’t have to duke it out in the media marketplace for dollars and for readers. In some ways that’s a blessing because it takes a lot of pressure off you.” — David Talbot
. . . . . . . The future . . . the future should have an artist’s colony in Hamilton, Ontario. Primarily composed of writers as the hard nucleus, it can be located in the downtown eastside near Victoria Ave. North. There are two adjoining neighborhoods there — Corktown-Stinson — and these places already have a variety of apartment buildings located in them which can do nicely for overspill of residents.
. . . . . . . Eventually a community center-like building with a large pool and full glass wall windows, a library, a computer annex, and more can be built near Victoria, a short walk from the apartment buildings. There’s already a mall in the exact core of Hamilton, a 13-minute walk away, but another one can be built in the Victoria area.
. . . . . . . The artist’s colony should give a monthly stipend to the citizens while they produce their works. Unlike the “publish or perish” model of the university, the creators would have time to work their magic on the written page. Every one would get a female assistant, and she would rotate through the employees until the writer found one he liked. Part of the goal — the hope — is that the female assistants would “hook up” with the male creators, forming durable relationships. I’m not a big fan of relationships, but recognize that most normal men feel most comfortable being in one and don’t have my ability to drop in on any girl and strike up a stranger’s conversation.
. . . . . . . One of the side streets could be converted to pedestrian-use only, and it is here that the lighted green door is to be found. It is a symbol of the artists’ commune. Powered by solar panels, it is detached from the grid 24 x 7.
. . . . . . . New apartment buildings could go up on Victoria Street, replacing the 3- and 4-story structures already existing. Current inhabitants could be paid money to leave and relocate elsewhere, and then their buildings demolished. Successful writers who sell books for Scion-Sentinel Corp. (the owner of the commune) can buy their own little houses in the area. The transit hub is just up the road, and Toronto is down the lake, a reasonable ride away. Daytripping to the big city is possible.
. . . . . . . Hamilton is to be chosen because it exists in a kind of bubble, a separate side-pocket, from the rest of the Golden Horseshoe (Greater Toronto) census metropolitan area. It is private and intimate. Plus it’s a walking city — you can actually get around on foot to the Canadian Tire, the supermarket, the mall, places you need to shop and go. It has half a million inhabitants, a nice, round number.
. . . . . . . Scion-Sentinel will give free sleek black computers and household appliances and comfortable furniture to every resident. If something gets damaged, an ombudsman for SS will determine if a replacement should be given or if the creator should do without because of his own clumsiness and stupidity.
. . . . . . . The Olympic-sized swimming pool will be a popular meeting ground for the men. BTW, the commune is males-only. Since females produce nothing of artistic value anyway, this isn’t a hardship.
. . . . . . . All-in-all, it’s a good dream. Let’s see if it comes true.
||||||||| Scion-Sentinel will funnel money from my singing career, my writing career, whatever personal venues of profit I pursue into what I call SS Academy. And then SS Academy will support 10,000 creators — writers and other artists, graphic artists, sculptors, painters, musicians — as an ideal goal. I don’t need a lot of private luxuries. I’ll probably sleep on a black leather sofa-chair, or maybe a gym mat, and live in a little house in the area with my people. I thought of living on Aberdeen in one of the big houses and installing creators there, but 10,000 creators need room to spread their wings.
||||||||| To spread their wings, they’ll move to Ontario from around the world. English will be the spoken language, as it already is. People will get along. They’ll learn to respect and like one another, the creators. And in the end, SS Academy will be the core of a new society.