I question your motives

If you are a musician, or singer, or performer heed this special advice…
It is not necessary to tell me you are in the house. I know you are in the house. I can see you (or alternately, hear you if I am listening to a recording). Announcing to me your presence will only perplex me. Did you think that I did not know it was you? Did you think that previous to this announcement the audience assumed you were a holographic image and that you were not in the house. If you are in the house (or on the radio) I know that you are in the house and you do not have to tell me. Also, you do not have to repeat it.
Additionally, if you plan to rock either the house or me you don’t have to actually tell me. Telling me that you are in the house and that you have plans to rock said house does not actually mean you can or will. I will immediately become suspicious of you and your motive.
When Coke spends a lot of money to tell me that it tastes different than Pepsi I know that the size of their lie is directly related to the amount of effort they put forth to convince me of such a thing. If Coke actually did not taste like Pepsi I would know it and you would not have to tell me. They both taste like your mom’s ass.
Armed with this simple knowledge of marketing, I feel confident knowing that the more you promise to rock the house, the less rocked I will feel. As a member of the audience I should not cheer your intent to rock the house or me, but I should only cheer the actual event of being rocked. Asking me to approve of your intentions might be fine once, but repeatedly it smacks of cold desperation.
The first rule of writing is “write what you know” and we know how often you break that rule.
The second rule of writing is “show, don’t tell”.
In your efforts to write a song, please remember these rules. Show me how you intend to rock me or the house. Actually do the rocking. Do not just repeat over and over that you are in the house and that you intend to rock it.
Next week we will discuss the use of simile and metaphor in songs using John Mayer as the bright shining example of everything that is wrong with the state of education in this country (and how it probably got that way because no one wanted to pay taxes because they wanted another garage).

Pissed? Yeah

The problem with listening to the news all the time is that you get pissed off about things more often than say someone who watches American Idol.
Yesterday, NPR was telling all about the ‘Cheap Money Era‘ and how it was coming to an end. I could not find a transcript to the story so you will have to listen to it. The gist is that with all the cheap money available there was a flood of cash. Now there’s all this liquid cash and nowhere to invest it. So you have all these uber-rich people and corporations and whatnot sitting on all this cash and saying “man, what the hell am I going to do with all this cash? If I can’t invest it then I can’t make more money with it”.
This morning I had to listen to a story about the infant mortality rate in Mississippi. The state with the highest infant mortality rate in the country was getting better, but since 2004 it has gotten worse. Poverty stricken and poorly educated women do not have access to even the most basic healthcare. A woman on Medicaid living in a deeply rural area will not see an actual doctor until she is about 8 months pregnant and only with someone advocating for her. Fewer and fewer doctors are accepting Medicaid and those that do are generally located in the cities.
How exactly does an impoverished woman in the middle of nowhere get to the city to see a doctor?
And then beyond the basic healthcare needs, these women don’t even have enough information available on how to take care of themselve or their gestating babies. In a state that regularly ranks near the bottom in k-12 education standards it is no surprise that huge swaths of the population do not understand what goes into a balanced diet or even what good nutrition might entail. Even if they DID know that, I’m still not sure how they would afford much of what they needed to eat.
We won’t even get started on sex education and birth control. Hell, even if they knew about it, it’s not like they’d have access to it.
It is stuff like this that so deeply shames me. In a nation where the biggest worry of the wealthy is what to do with all that excess cash, we still have people, large numbers of people, who don’t even have their basic needs met. Not only are their needs not being met, but they are in a cycle of poverty dug so deep they don’t even have the tools to escape it.
So I say a giant FUCK YOU to Laissez-Faire. A great big giant FUCK YOU to anyone who thinks that the best idea is to just leave these things to charity, to trust that they will just be taken care of. These things are not taken care of, they’re ignored. The poor and the uneducated are blamed for their decisions, for their circumstances and we say tough luck to you. The rate of return on investing in the poor and the uneducated is just way too low, I guess. It’s probably more adventageous to invest in those shoes with the roller skates in them or in oil. I hear the oil industry is set to make record profits again this year. AWESOME!
Am I being too simplistic? yeah, I am. I know that I am, but I also know that the gulf between these two articles I listened to is so deep and so wide and so shameful to every single person in this country that getting pissed off and being simplistic is not the worst sin.
I am ashamed and you ahould be ashamed and this shit needs to stop. We have no right to be proud or happy or smug in our circumstances when so many infants are dying for lack of resources when those resources exist.