DEAR JIM, SINCERITY IS NOT ENOUGH
Actor Jim Carrey has been painting for a few years and now released a slick documentary on his awful art. Despite the blinding wreckage Carrey has applied to canvas, there is an outpouring of support because, no matter how bad Jim’s painting are, it’s obvious that Carrey is sincere in his efforts to paint. Since we live in a time when anything that feels authentic and sincere is rare (and therefore marketable) the mob responds to Carrey’s sincerity with open arms. Is Carrey’s sincerity alone enough to make his art any good?
Consider what author Aldous Huxley said about sincerity:
“A man may desire with all his soul to write a sincere, a genuine book and yet lack the talent to do it. In spite of his sincere intentions, it turns out to be unreal, false, and conventional; the emotions are stagily expressed, the tragedies are pretentious and lying shams and what was meant to be dramatic is badly melodramatic. All human beings feel very much the same emotions ... but only two or three in every hundred are born with the talent of expressing their knowledge in artistic form.”
We wonder, since Carrey is a talented comedian, mime, and actor: is his sincerity real? Or is he just acting? And how could we ever know for sure?