The music, once lifeblood, is wallpaper now.
Distraction packaged to a T. No more introspection. No more grand concepts to espouse. Where once we found a wellspring of honest communication, a power for true consciousness raising, an untainted form of collaborative self-expression, now we see these things collapsed and eclipsed by the weight of ego and braggadocio.
Somewhere, there was a change. The true talent of expression has given way to the vapid skill of claiming talent at expression. Have we gone so far down the rabbit hole that we are willing to accept this as our escape from the world? Does the call for shallow entertainment carry further than the call for meaning?
Deaf, dumb, and blind, the children dance to rhythm without reason, and rhyme to meet a word count. Futile exercises in formula. Mindlessness. It’s hard to speak wisdom when appealing to the masses. It’s hard to pull the weeds from the garden when you’re sitting on the fence. Still, what’s good to sell is good to buy, and what’s easier to sell than the surface?
We stand close enough to the canvas to see the finer strokes, but not the bigger picture.
The middlemen are multiplying. It’s getting harder to make out the voice of an artist among the others squabbling for position in his work. Platforms are sold according to expected outcomes, and advertisements bring more revenue than human beings.
It’s the coldest kind of war. The separation of life from life. And those who sell the mortar want to build the walls.
In consequence, only marketable beauty is allowed the privilege of generating art. So much for being made of star-stuff, as it turns out, you need to look the part. When you rely on the promotion of others, you need to play the game by their rules. No biting the hand that feeds you.
Short of some cultural revolution, it’s nothing more than a waiting game now. We’ll lack the means to fight the fight when there’s no one left to show us how. And one by one, the men and women who used to lead the way fade away.
When our daughters and our sons have been diluted, then maybe we’ll decide to make a difference. And even now we gamble on the fact that our hindsight will remain just good enough to remember how. To protect innocence.
Meanwhile, we continue to buy these lies. Cheap at the price of the true artist’s livelihood.
Stars are born. Hope dies.
The bottom line is the bottom line.