Interesting piece in the NYT recently by Frank Bruni. Belated grasp of things, but good that the talking heads are finally starting to notice what’s been going on under their talking noses for years.
In a nutshell, the piece focuses on the eulogising of Aretha Franklin and John McCain. I don’t want to go anywhere near politics here, but the general point is that so many tributes appear focused on the writer rather than the subject. Bruni is pretty fair here – pointing out that those like him with a privileged platform have been doing it too. Introspection is a rare commodity these days.
I think we’re all familiar with the “the bassist from Crotchstrap used to mow my lawn” and general griefsploitation stuff. But let’s just boil this down to how to promote yourself as a musician. Of course, we’re in a prisoner’s dilemma here – if everyone else is exaggerlying their arses off, it becomes normal, so if we don’t, we might sound pathetic. But it is possible just to be honest.
As I’ve said previously in this blog series (The Dark Art of Marketing), I feel that integrity matters. You didn’t work with someone, you just held the door open for them once. You weren’t best pals with them, you just once buttonholed them for a two-minute chat while they were waiting for their limo. You might feel you know them through their music, but you didn’t actually know them at all.
Social media… theoretically a fantastic tool for communication, but sadly in reality all too often an amplifier for narcissism and confirmation bias that warps people.
Hah! So why do I blog? Because I genuinely believe I have useful and helpful things to say. You don’t have to like or agree with any of it. Feel free to object.
Every technological advance throughout history has immediately been used as a weapon even it wasn’t developed as one. You can use a sharp stick to build a shelter or hurt someone. You can use the internet for knowledge gathering and communication or… to hurt someone. Or even to falsely aggrandise yourself.
Let’s not be one of those people, eh? We’re better than that aren’t we?
And of course, if you make it a policy not to lie, you’ll have a much easier life. No need to remember or concentrate – you can just get on and do your thing. Sadly, nowadays that isn’t a recipe for success, but you’ll sleep soundly. And fame often ain’t worth the candle anyway.
Re-re-re-re-spect – just a little bit…
PS This is not a political forum. As always, I welcome comments, but please keep them general and on point, and for this first time ever, I will moderate.