I’ve been thinking a lot about postmodernism – to the point where I am very nearly physically sick. I’ve had to do a lot of research on postmodern theories this year, as well as other cultural theories; and they’ve really messed up my head. Academics are so far removed from reality that they seem to be living parallel lives to those of the people they theorise about, and reading their work just drags normal people into their way of thinking. At least that’s what happened to me. It could be that I am just highly susceptible to academic thought (read: easy target), but all this highbrow thinking with an uneasy foothold on reality is ruining my life.
Let me give you an example: I am a long term music lover, but I don’t like music. At least, I don’t just sit back and let it wash over me. I analyse the hell out of it – what instrument is this, whose fingers are touching it, how stoned was Keef when he wrote this part, how many takes it took and how difficult it would be for me to join whatever band I happen to favour at that very minute. The big problem with analysing music and reading postmodern bullshit is that said shit gets all over your ears.
I really liked the singer Duffy when she hit the airwaves with Mercy. I still like her now, as she is promoting the single Warwick Avenue. She is also hot as sin. However, Mercy’s backbeat sounds just like the Ben E. King song Stand By Me sped up. This put me on edge. Postmodernists say that nothing is really new, that everything is a copy. Duffy copied! Warwick Avenue added insult to injury: even though it is a good song, there are obvious similarities to the bass line of My Girl by The Temptations. Now I am all for white singers performing black music – as long as they do it well – but such an obvious rip off is just too much. And it doesn’t stop there, oh no! I noticed after getting pissed off with these two songs that Duffy herself looks facially like Pamela Anderson – and we all know Pammy’s gifts to man-kind were, in fact, man-made. Thus, I conclude that nothing on or related to the radio is real. In fact, have you ever even seen a radio wave!? I rest my case.
I tried to explain this to my mum, Big Kathy, because she thought I was depressed – which means I’m on drugs and the only way to sort that out is to throw me out of the house, obviously – and she gave me some stupid self-help book which I haven’t actually bothered looking at. Its title is (something along the lines of): “Stop Thinking About Whatever It Is And Start Living In The Real World”. Essentially a self-help book designed to make you stop reading self-help books.
Evidently, the book didn’t work, since my house has a veritable library written by Dr Phil et al., all of which, Kathy has read. I never have read a self-help book, especially one designed to make you “live in the real world”, regardless of having them thrust in my face any time anything appears to be bothering me. I don’t see the point in using watered down psychology to make me think less deeply about whatever’s on my mind – especially since that would spell the end of this blog.
Today while I was living in the real world and not thinking about whatever it is that was bugging me in the first place – without the aid of a self-help book, might I add – I realised that in psychological terms, performing music is one of the healthiest actions a person can make. Based on the attacks on western psychology in Island by Aldous Huxley, where he exposes the notion of repressing any bad experiences then dredging them up wholesale with a shrink over a period of several years, contrasted with the idea of working through a problem contemporaneously, and forgetting about it later; musicians must accept-and-move-on quicker than anyone else. Performing the same song, about the same issue, night after night, going back to the same emotional place, forces musicians to accept-and-move-on; whereas a painter, for example, will only delve into that certain emotional place for one piece.
As Joni Mitchell said: “That’s one thing that’s always, like, been a difference between, like, the performing arts, and being a painter, you know. A painter does a painting, and he paints it, and that’s it, you know. He has the joy of creating it, it hangs on a wall, and somebody buys it, and maybe somebody buys it again, or maybe nobody buys it and it sits up in a loft somewhere until he dies. But he never, you know, nobody ever, nobody ever said to Van Gogh: ‘paint a Starry Night again, man!’ You know? He painted it and that was it.”
I say I was living in the real world when I was thinking about this – I was actually in the middle of a gig playing piano and singing, which is kind of like reality’s en suite bathroom. It’s pretty hard to articulate a thought and focus on a song, so I probably messed up the words and dropped the title of the self-help book into one of my tunes by accident.
Even though the majority of the songs I play at gigs are covers, I still get an emotional release from playing them like the person who wrote the songs. It’s a different type of release though, because I attach certain emotions and loved ones and situations to other people’s songs. I won’t give any examples, because that’s a little too personal; but for most of the people I know, I think of them when I hear a certain song.
In closing, I would just like to make the three following points:
1. I should not be allowed near plants, animals or children. My floor is currently covered in soil because I have repeatedly dropped my cacti, Dennis and Joni Mitchell. Dennis, the big one, is the poster child for this blog. He is not Mr Blobby’s biggest fan right now. Nor mine.
2. To my fans: I have been lying to you all. My blog is not the best blog in the world. No, I’m not talking about HyPhY gHeTtO mAmI (because her MySpace profile has been deleted); but this woman here, Marilyn. She is an absolute legend. She takes more drugs than my mum thinks I take, and then makes crazy hippie quilts while she’s wasted! Yes indeedee!
3. Final point – a disclaimer: although Marilyn is fully within her right to sue for what I just said about her, I hope that she will consider the fact that she has taken my mind off “Whatever It Is” and allowed me to “Start Living In The Real World” with her brain-numbing blog faster than any useless self-help book. Cheers love!