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Cash Over Quality

It’s a cash over quality society we’re living in now. Art, music and literature nobody gives a fuck anymore. They want to make pay cheques, own a pool, get fucked by the chick with big tits and end up on the cover of mainstream magazine. You never see anyone doing anything different, new. Turn on the TV. And try to find a program that actually makes you think and ask questions rather than tells you what’s cool to wear. Find one that doesn’t hand you your opinion gift wrapped with a bottle of cheap perfume and a free sample Xanax. I dare you.

The same 30 songs get repeated on the radio every single day, punctuated by the same commercials instructing the populace on how important the size of their cocks are and why exactly Jenny from upstairs won’t sleep with them. This isn’t to say that the good shit isn’t around anymore; it’s just getting really hard to find. Record companies don’t want to take a chance on music that won’t “sell”. Think bands like The Velvet Underground or Patti Smith would get signed today? Played on top 40 radio? Me neither. And as for art and poetry the majority of people would rather go jack off to M.T.V. and shotgun strong beer. So why bother? Why bother writing poetry if it has a one in a thousand chance of being published, and even less of making any money? Why start a band if you can’t be as “catchy” as The Beatles or sell as many singles as Coldplay? Because if you really give a fuck about art, care about the beauty and ugliness and sincerity of it. Hell if you fucking ENJOY IT! Well then who cares if your band never sells an album if you make great songs. Why not write a hundred pages of poetry if you actually like doing it?

So much boring elevator crap is being pissed out by second-rate hack artists who get paid morbidly obese paychecks for it that the thought of doing anything interesting or different hasn’t crossed their minds. I don’t know when exactly everyone started believing this whole “money and fame is the key to paradise” dogma but I for one think it’s complete and utter bullshit. Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire lifetime and Jack Kerouac died a poor man, were they failures? Don’t get me wrong, there’s no problem with profiting off your work, or becoming wildly famous because of it, but what really draws me in about any sort of art is if it’s real, if its good, if it has something to say. Half the time all I hear on the radio is “Keep paying for my house, car and prescription drugs you tasteless mental invalids.” Sure is catchy but I really don’t care. Go out to shows, listen to everything, read everything, find the shit that really tells the truth and support it! It’s easy to say that there’s nothing good on the radio anymore and that book everyone likes is crap, but why not produce an alternative? If you have a passion for jazz but playing pop punk would make you a star then why not burn all those Miles records and pawn your upright bass? Because maybe that one underground song means more to you than ten platinum records, because what’s popular don’t mean what’s the best. Maybe because art for arts and fuck what everyone else thinks?

Tj Brown

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