This is a response to Vol 15 John 21 ("The Song of Roland")...
I was about to make a response to what seemed to me to be Roger's naive response about Roland the "artist," but in your last two voice cards (vol. 15 John 20 and 21) you said what I wanted to say in an extremely articulate and elegant fashion. Thank you! .
I'd like to add a note, however, regarding the political fallout from the general public's misunderstanding about the work involved in artistic creation.
With the collapse of communism as a realistic enemy, the political right in this country has fastened upon artists as new whipping boys to use to stir up votes. The popular misconception that artists are elitist/spoiled lazy wretches who goof around all day and night and don't do real work, which Roger articulated with his Roland charcter, makes it easier for the Jesse Helms-types of the country to decry and decimate what pitiful public funding for the arts this country does offer. More tax payer money goes to military bands than goes to the arts (about 197 million versus around 175 million).
[Note: Of course, what history shows (think about ancient Greece and China as opposed to the Babylonians) is that when we are all long gone and ground to dust and our American civilization has faded onto the heap of history, what will be appreciated and remembered about us, will be from the art, these fruits of suffering, we leave.]