Thursday, 16 December 2010

Selfish

Something's been bothering me of late.  It's the thought that, in essence, pretty much all musicians are selfish bastards.  Why do I make such a ridiculous accusation, you may say, when the light of their art shines on the drab corners of the world in which we live?

Well, when you think about it, being able to play music to any sort of reasonable level involves a lot of practice, a lot of time spent doing what you hope to be doing in front of an audience at some point.  The problem is, for most of us, that audience is fairly likely to be extremely small.  Wouldn't it be better all round if all that effort was channelled into something useful?  Like, clearing snow off the streets, doing shopping for people, something, anything?

But, you cry, the pleasure those songs bring to others.  Hmm, I mutter darkly.  One person's pleasure is another's poison.  I've quite often sat listening to some people and violently wished for a portable teleport or for a time-speeding device, i.e. it has brought the polar opposite of pleasure.

The trouble is, the more you focus solely on your craft (and probably yourself), the better you'll get.  It's a vicious circle.  Even the God-like Neil Young, in the excellent biography Shakey (which I'm reading at the moment), is not immune.  A long-time friend of his commented:
Neil's a real artist, but he's a ruthless motherfucker.  He's on his trip all the time.  The wheels are always turning.
That's probably the way it has to be though.

------- Sudden Subject Change --------

On a totally different topic, have you been visiting the excellent Atheist Advent by Ben Young?