Wednesday, February 25, 2009
making my way with love and pity
On the subway back from buying 5/32" plexi drill bits (for plastic not made of plastic) my ears happened to be assailed by a terrible 4 part a capella butchering of "Stand By Me." A common enough occurrence. And they were given money. Again, not surprising. But that got me thinking. Here they are all these varied and various subway musicians, singers, etc. or various skill levels, but mostly they are not good enough to get paying gigs and so for love of the game come and practice in the subway for pity and change. I suppose it plays into the "A for Effort" mentality. People give money to these guys because "at least they are trying". I find that to be a terrible reason to reward a terrible musician. It gives them hope, makes them dream big of the days when they won't suck so hard. Or, it further crushes their dreams brining the desperate realization that it is only pity and the talent they so long dreamed of having will never be achieved and the best that they can hope for is some drunk tourist accompanying them as they do an acoustic hackjob of "Stairway to Heaven" or a sacreligious rendering of Dylan (harmonica rack and all). Personally, I figure the money would be better served tossed on the street for the ambitious to chase after. At least their humiliation would be less soul crushing.