Wednesday, 01 December 2010
In the beginning, there was work. People had to sow and reap and toil for their dreams. We had to practice, practice, and practice some more, praying to the heavens that the powers that be would notice us. Many musicians spent their lives and thousands of their own dollars in the music industry, never getting that big break that God knew they deserved. Poets, writers, painters, singers, designers, artists and artisans of all makes and models tried their skillful hands at being recognized, and only a few lucky balls rolled out of the cage and were called.
And it was good, in its own way. Only the extremely gifted ever rose to the top, and even among them only the best were selected as the representatives of our culture. Was it a perfect system? Of course not. There were poor choices made, and even in those days some people got credit who probably shouldn't have. But it is my contention that there weren't as many mistakes made in those days. Conversely, I cannot deny that there were probably many people who may have been equally or more gifted than many of the most popular and most recognized artists in those days that were passed over by the Machine.
Those days, of course, being the days before The Internet.
I assert that the Internet removed the old problems but in doing so created new ones. Now no one needs to be overlooked by the system, and people like Justin Bieber get down on their hands and knees every night and pray blessings upon YouTube, because they may never have had the opportunities they have otherwise.
Unfortunately, that also means that I, the discerning critic, need to sift through much more silt before I find the gold. Why? Because in much the same way that not everyone is remarkably talented, not everyone is remarkably talented at picking out people who are remarkably talented. And now every wannabe in the world thrusts their demos, videos, and opinions through my aching eyes and ears.
So is the grass greener on this side? I'm not quite sure. What do you think, men? Did the Internet bring more opportunities or just more noise?