Monday, November 30, 2009

Heavy Handed Metaphor

Man, these blog posts are getting less and less frequent.


Here is a metaphor that I try to live by (the key word being try):

A human being is like a tree. A tree takes in large amounts of nutrients from other sources. Stuff like air, water, soil and sunlight. In turn, the tree provides oxygen for species around it as well as a habitat, shade or food.

Similarly, human beings are always taking in intellectual nutrients. We experience art in the form of literature, music, movies, visual art etc. We also gain knowledge and entertainment through an infinite amount of sources. Like the tree, we must provide as well. It is our responsibility to provide others with what we have received and are passionate about. Why do you think it is that the highest degree we offer in the educational system (doctorate) is given to those to aim to be professors?

What does this have to do with music? If one takes music seriously, he/she should always be giving as much as he/she is getting. This is part of the reason I write this blog. Every day, I listen to music for hours. I read random music-related Wikipedia articles, get private instruction in two musical mediums, and oh yeah, take several music classes. But because of this, there need to be many ways to give back. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not worried about a one to one ratio. In other words, I don’t believe that for every hour spent learning about music, I should spend an hour writing it/about it. College is the fledgling stage of intellectual growth. The whole point is to be learning as much as possible.

But...I believe the tree metaphor is true for just about anyone. If you have great knowledge and passion for law, you should become a lawyer and give back what was given to you in years past by protecting people from injustice. This is all quite idealistic but in the words of Wilco, “What would we be without wishful thinking?” Or in the words of Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam, “If I make a mark in time, who’s to say the mark is mine? I am just the underline on the word.”

The purpose of this post is twofold. First, I’d like to share my philosophy. Second, I’m hoping it can motivate me to write here more and also write more music. I don’t know how many people read this but in the words of a Blue Scholars sample whose source I’m not familiar with (last quote, I promise), “‘Hey Pete, why do we even write songs like this, man? People ain’t gonna change.’
‘I don’t know Bill, you know, uh, there might be somebody out there, you never can tell.”’

*Last month's heading was from T. Rex's "The Slider"


  1. The lyric is from "Sovay" by Andrew Bird. Yes! I've ot gotten one yet.

    And I like it. Both the post and the song, that is.

  2. Some out of work old man read it and loved it.

  3. And the actual subheading (not the post's title) is from "Welcome to the Working Week" by Elvis Costello.