On the weekend, Corin Raymond and I were performing at a music conference in Toronto along with 700 performers, bookers and buyers and there were real rumblings, and I am not talking hunger pains brought on by the conference hotel restaurant menu prices.
There’s no loss of appetite or thirst from all of those assembled to bring real, live, quality and important art into the hearts, minds and ears of any and all of those who wish to join us at the table, but the truth is, when it comes to satisfaction, most people now get their slice courtesy of laptop drive-throughs and download diners.
I get it, Corin gets it and all the folks on the weekend who dedicate their lives into making live entertainment part of your lives get it and I believe that you get it too, but I feel there is something else going on.
Like a slowly growing high pitch, an itch beneath your neck collar, an unnerving aftertaste or a weird smell that comes and goes, something’s telling me something, and it’s deep and it’s nagging and it’s hard to define but it brings with it an ominous sense of personal vertigo and I am not down with it.
I’m not down with how we return to HBO reruns to keep our couches company when there’s an art gallery exhibition up on High street. I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable with how we haplessly trawl through youtube looking for something, looking for anything rather than than the good stuff that’s showing at the local indie cinema tonight. And I am appalled by my own struggle with a possible online ‘infodiction’ that terrorizes me with unspeakable international news feeds, traps and distracts me with inane factoids, consumer grooming subliminal baits and the pull of the insatiable social networks while a local play or music show is delivering life affirming stuff and building community 15 bucks and 15 minutes away.
It’s not what the internet has to give that bothers me, it’s the power of what it can take from us that is starting to claw at me.
In the arts and especially in the music and film worlds, the digital revolution has been a financial devolution for all who stayed back in old school, but now even the young kids are starting to feel disenfranchised, smoking found cigaret butts behind the bike shed, faces searching screens for answers, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.
Time and money, right.
IMHO, people now seem to worry more about the price of living rather than the cost of not participating in life.
FYI, people now seem more anxious about not having enough time to enjoy life, when actually, the moment is the time of your life.
Even Einstein, who profoundly re-imagined our understanding of time and chose a frugal life, even he ironically reflected on his life with the lament, “I wish I had had more fun”. And I can’t even find his Myspace page!
Anyways, you get my drift, you’re on my mailing list (or facebooking the hell out of the evening) because you are part of the solution and figured even if I’m preaching to the converted, I was feeling the pain of my community this weekend at the conference in regards to where live performance art is headed and wanted to share that in order to make it more real.
Maybe my heads-up doesn’t do anything more than help you avoid walking into a street sign, but if by chance, this noise from me becomes a gentle signal that coos to you and your extended tribe to consider that local art-space, the indie film venue, paying for online content (after you have shared the feck out of it) or simply sharing my fear of The Thing, then I am grateful for your time and consideration in being advocates of my peoples and living wage arts.
So lets have more fun and screw the time and money thing as soon as we can, you don’t have to be an Einstein. The change will fill the pockets of your local community entrepreneurs and entertainers while the time will be spent living live and local, amen.
Much respect, DRM