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11/9/11

Bring Your Etch-a-Sketch to Work and Play Your Ukulele

I know I’ve written about Amanda Palmer before, but since she’s only gotten more amazing, it seems another, longer, love letter is due.

It revolves around this song, that was heard for the first time by a crowd at Occupy Wall Street last month:


When I first listened to it, I tweeted that this song is everything that is right with the world. And I still mean it. The song’s not really about playing the ukulele. Well it is, and it isn’t. I considered posting the lyrics here, but jeezum crow, there are a lot. Just look them up (you’re on the Internet, after all) - or, better yet, donate to get the track & get the lyrics with it!

Here are a few snippets:  
“So play your favorite cover song,
especially if the words are wrong,
cause even if your grades are bad,
it doesn't mean you're failing.
Do your homework with a fork,
and eat your Froot Loops in the dark,
and bring your Etch-a-Sketch to work and play your ukulele.
Ukulele small and fierceful,
ukulele brave and peaceful,
you can play the ukulele too, it is painfully simple.
Play your ukulele badly, play your ukulele loudly...”

“...Quit the bitching on your blog,
and stop pretending art is hard.
Just limit yourself to three chords.
Do not practice daily!
You'll minimize some stranger’s sadness
with a piece of wood and plastic,
holy fuck, it's so fantastic playing ukulele!”

The song is about creating. As I’ve stated here before (and in real life, ad naseum) aesthetics are an essential part of being human. Expression is necessary for true happiness and fulfillment. Sharing with others breeds intimacy and understanding. And no, art is not hard. “Good” art is hard, but does it really matter if what you’re doing is good enough to hang in a museum or sell a hundred thousand copies of? Not really, so long as it makes you happy. This is a thing I keep trying to remind myself of - the “do not practice daily” is a wonderful joke on the traditional “disciplined career artist”. Most likely, you’re not going to be able to dedicate every waking moment to your craft. But...dude, calm down. It reminds me of a great scene in Six Feet Under when Claire sees her old college professor. When he asks how it’s going she says “Oh,I haven’t even picked up a camera in months.” He replies “Fuck art, how are you?”

Amanda Palmer is a perfect role model for the Millennial generation. We’re a frustrated, overstimulated, too-smart-for-our-own-good group of young adult children. We work hard and we’re not getting what we were promised out of life, but we’re finding ways to be ok with that, so long as we can pay our rent and eat well enough and still have time to go out with our friends on the weekend. We’re self-made people, we’re making it work with little instruction. We’re blazing new territories with the aid of technology so far beyond what any previous generation could have conceived that our minds should be blown each and every day - yet it we just go with the flow.

It’s so easy to get downtrodden by the current economical climate, the lack of jobs, the political hoopla the state of the world, and so easy to get distracted by the sparkly, dizzying everything-and-nothing-ness of the web. Yet we keep creating. (And the web does help this process when we let it.) We always need to keep creating. Even if no one else will ever see, or the only people who do are lovers and friends and family. And since those are already the best people you know, that really ain’t so bad.


Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1YgpX7mbE Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

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