Why do we do what we do, whatever it is that we do?
Because the alternative is to lay down and die, and that's the stone truth of the matter.
You have to believe that what you do means something, and you have to believe that what you believe means something as well.
Me? I believe that aesthetics matter. I believe that there is good art and bad art, and that while reasonable people can disagree on these matters, some kind of consensus as to the demarcating line of "good" and "bad" is necessary for our society. There are certainly the subjectivists in our audience who will sigh and remind us that all aesthetic judgement is subjective - to which I say, of course, but that's beside the point.
The fact that aesthetic beliefs are ultimately subjective is only the better reason to stand by our accepted standards of what is good and noble and what is bad and disgraceful. Societies create standards and a healthy awareness and constant examination of these standards is what makes for vital discourse. I believe that good art is worth dying for, is a cause worth devoting your life to.
To a degree, I've done so. I'm not living in a garret yet, but I haven't had a shower in over a month, we have no heat besides space heaters (during the coldest New England weather in decades, no less), this house is falling apart, our life is falling apart and my wife is in the hospital. Again. What keeps us going? Besides our love (which is something that I am certain you do not wish to hear about) its a dogged belief that life matters, that its important to keep living and keep striving. This is not where I thought I'd be at this point in my life and for this I am grateful. Pain and turmoil can only make us stronger, can only strengthen our commitment to those things in life that do matter.
So, on the behalf of the Missus and I, here's a big message to everyone out there in this great wide world of ours:
FUCK YOU, WE AIN'T GOIN' OUT LIKE THAT