Friday, February 24, 2017

The Self-Importance Furnace

I have been listening to a lot of podcasts, lately. Most of them are about music and music production.

If I were the scientific type, I would calculate seconds and figure out exactly how much time is wasted in "deference." But maybe you will take my word that it is "a whole lot."

At first, I was vaguely aware of it, but, now, it has become the proverbial sore thumb. I started listening to other podcasts, just to see if it was something particular to music people, but, alas, no. Let me explain before I get even more annoying:

Does anyone have the backbone just to actually assert his or her opinion about something? I swear that every single time a person on the podcasts I listen to explains how he or she prefers to do something, they make sure to mention -- as if it is a boilerplate requirment --  that it is "perfectly fine" to do it another way; that other ways work; that the person is not saying not to do it another way...

In the meantime, valuable seconds of a half-hour podcast are wasted. Again, maybe someday I will calculate.

At the same time that this shows a lack of backbone -- a kind of empty stab at sensitivity -- it also shows deep egotism. Do they think that because they like to write music on the computer and not at the piano or on the guitar, that I am going get all nervous and change my way of working? -- that I am going to be ashamed that I am not doing it the way do and change my work methods? Do they think I need to be coddled and comforted? Well, I do not...nor does anyone else.

To use the popular phrase, we need to "get over ourselves." How important we all think we are? But what did we expect to happen when we handed the general populace 24-hour cameras and social media accounts and the ability to share themselves with the world before they even brush their teeth in the morning? -- before we created photo-filters that make a family trip to the beach (which really entailed six back-seat fist-fights, numerous greenhead fly bites, endless child whinings, numerous parent meltdowns and wet sand in the balogna sandwich...) look like a gauzy, film-scored quest into Faerie? When we are able to represent ourselves as perfect in bytes of sound and image, we start to believe in our own sleight of hand; we actually start to think we are special.

We really are not. And we are allowed to have opinions because those opinions don't have the weight our egos assign them.

Once, after a Phillies game I went to with my uncle (when I was a kid), I said, "Man. Every time I go to a game the Phillies lose." He responded: "What makes you think you are that important?" A wonderful lesson.

Yeah, I know it is a modern cliche, but...we really need to get over ourselves.

So, please, podcast celebrities, stop wasting my time and stop feeding your self-importance furnace by reassuring me that I don't have to do what you say. That's a given, trust me.

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