I should probably be embarrassed to admit it, but I just watched some biographies on modern pop celebrities – I’m talking Lady Gaga and Kanye West type of celebrities. I was expecting to see crappy pop music, ugly costumes, and dipshit screaming fans. That’s not what I found.
I found the fascinating stories of some authentic, ambitious, introverted, young, creative people that love to perform, love what they do, and figured out how to make it big. From a classical perspective, perhaps pop music sucks. But from a human perspective, these artists are creating modern art. They are living in the now; not thirty or four-hundred years ago. While a classical musician may limit herself to classical sounds and instruments, a pop singer does not. They do not hesitate to use the full spectrum of available technology to the greatest extent feasible. They leverage monetary funding to create entertainment and neurologically stimulating sounds. They integrate their lyrics, personality, and aura with their audience. They absorb and radiate the collective emotion of our generation. All this, and they make a shitload of money doing it.
But are they also cogs in the system? Tools used by the recording industry to make money? Sellouts and human capital? Yes. But so are you if you particpate in capitalism. I’m a software engineer at a startup. I’m a cog to the endless system of Venture Capitalists, Boards of Directors, and customers. And I’m OK with that. It provides me with intellectual stimulation and a high quality of life.