Saturday, August 11, 2007

I said something to my roommate that I like the least a few weeks ago, which was surprising to me as I said it, but seems real enough to repeat now, for posterity. She was painting a picture and talking about how she doesn't know how to play an instrument, but wants to learn how, so she can play music. I say to her "Why? Music is hard. Like, I understand the punk rock idea of anyone can make music, but- you already have an artistic outlet, you paint. There's too many bands as it is. Instruments are expensive." Music is just one of those things that's really appealing to a certain age of people- The idea of wanting to be in a band is as common to teenagers as the idea of writing a novel someday is to forty-year-olds. I'm talking about myself as much as I was talking to her- I can't play music, and I can't draw, and I like music and comics, but I can write prose and I can make movies, and can articulate my emotions as well through that as anyone can expect to through music- Certainly, a lot of the people I know who play music might not be interested in that art-making element to it, so much as the idea of "playing" for the sake of fun, and ritual catharsis, which is valid, and its own thing, but that requires a decent amount of skill that some people will just not be able to get to even after shitloads of practice. You need to be fluent in a language to articulate how you feel in it, and most people will never be that fluent in drumming or guitar. Most people aren't even fluent enough in English to write about things, and that's their native language.

Note: I mostly only said this to her because I think she's dumb and doesn't have anything to say in any language and so I don't mind dream-crushing. But I've heard enough terrible music to think that maybe the idea that being a painter or a writer or a seamstress or whateverthefuck is just as valid as making music, and you should just go with your skillset and what you excell at or what makes you happy, rather than your ideas of what's fashionable and social within your subculture. This isn't meant to dissuade genuine outsider artists, just bandwagon-hopping scenester flies.

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