Just An Observation
I am writing this just mere minutes after the eclipse and seconds after photo after photo of this natural phenomenon started to appear all over social media. I often wonder what happened to actually experiencing things and enjoying them for what they are. Nowadays it would appear that so many can’t experience anything without letting everyone know they are experiencing it too; the experience is secondary to showing it is being experienced.
Social media has turned vast numbers into attention seeking obsessives who assume everyone is as interested and fascinated with their lives as they want us to believe they are. Personally I always feel if someone is busy telling you what fun they are having then it can be assumed that they are really not having that much fun at all, otherwise they wouldn’t take the time out to tell you so.
This desire to let others know what a good time they are having always irritates me most at live gigs. It would seem nowadays that seeing your favourite band or singer is no longer enough for most people and spending a fortune on a ticket and then even more on over priced drinks at the bar does not then entitle you to relax and enjoy the band. Instead it is more essential to whip your phone out and record the experience to share on Facebook or Youtube for the benefit of those who haven’t gone to the expense of buying a ticket or the inconvenience of queuing up to be ripped off at the bar.
Not that I suspect that this sharing of things is any way an indication of the altrusistic nature of our society- a benign benevolence which encourages us to share our wealth of experiences with those who are less fortunate- but more a confirmation of the ‘look at me and how wonderful my life is’ culture we have bred over the last few decades and most specifically over the last ten years.
It would seem nowadays everyone has an opinion on just about everything and at the same time everyone feels entitled to these opinions. Whilst I value different opinions I do not think everyone is automatically ‘entitled’ to one. Entitlement comes at a price and that price is knowing something about what you have an opinion about and being aware of the facts that have led you to form that particular opinion and how it relates to other perspectives ; opinionated is a million miles away from having an opinion and has far less value…in my opinion!
There have been plenty opinions flying around this week about the fact Kanye West are headlining at Glastonbury this year. I have no idea why this is such a big deal or why West is such a vilified figure. Yes, I will concede that the guy comes across as a total knob-head but since when did being a nice person make up for a lack of talent. Lou Reed who was/is an idol of mine is constantly depicted as a pretty despicable, not particularly likeable human being but he made some great records, wrote some outstanding songs and made a huge contribution to rock and roll. Likewise Bob Dylan another major talent who I wouldn’t really choose to spend any time in the company of.
The cult of the nice personality belongs on talent – I use this word merely as guideline- shows such as X –Factor where people vote for who they like and how they come across, not necessarily based on what they do. In the midst of the West debacle it seems to be forgotten that Glastonbury isn’t really a yardstick for anything relevant in rock and roll anymore and is more a celebration of corporate success for people who can afford to spend several hundred pounds-at least- to watch a band several miles away. At least they can take selfies and let everyone know they have been there, as this seems like an essential form of currency in the modern age.
And also why is West getting so much stick?
There was even a petition doing the rounds this week demanding he be removed from Glastonbury and replaced with a ‘Rock Act’. I am unsure what the latter even is anymore and anyone who had bothered to listen to West’s 2013 album ‘Yeezus’ would recognise that whatever they feel about the guy he is actually a talent to be reckoned with. I would rather listen to him than Coldplay or Oasis who are lumpy and derivative examples of Dad Rock. Surely a huge ego, arrogance, being outspoken and obnoxious-hello Liam and Noel- are essential tools of survival in a business rife with these things. I certainly find it more entertaining and preferable to a bunch of fawning, obsequious sycophants who go around saying everything and everyone is ‘just wonderful’!
So no, I won’t be going to Glastonbury!
I also won’t be signing any petition to have Kanye West removed from the bill. I feel petitions can be used for something more useful and relevant than to decide which overpaid and over indulged act plays at an outdated, overrated and over priced festival. The Glastonbury one and last week’s one to re-instate Jeremy Clarkson just distract from more important issues in our society right now. Rather than spending time and energy in signing petitions why not start supporting live music in your locality. Seriously you might even enjoy yourself without having to prove to anyone else you were actually there and maybe being there might actually be that enjoyable experience so many are trying to prove they are having!

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