This Article is About
music
self expression
business person
sitcoms
diversions
possessions
squash
'my Music'? More Like Yours
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\'my Music\'? More Like Yours

How many of you have this problem: In accordance with my PC’s OS (currently Windows 7) my drive has default folders named ‘My Pictures’, ‘My Music’, ‘My Videos’, etc. The business-person’s mind-set creates these ‘default’ folders for the ‘users’ to store the music, pictures, or videos they buy—their possessions, not their creations. I have to create my own ‘leaves’ on the ‘My documents’ directory-tree named ‘Just My Pictures’, ‘Just My Music’, etc. for the music, pictures, videos, poetry, et. al. that I have created. These are not things I bought; they are creations I have made, either by digitally recording my music, digitally scanning in my artwork, or typing poetry, essays, etc. into my word processor.

It may seem a little thing to you, reader, but I’m pretty leery of it all the same. To pattern our life-styles into a commercial, consumer-only syntax that doesn’t even allow for the possibility of self-expression—that can’t be healthy. To say that my stuff is the stuff I own, rather than the stuff I do, is the same as saying that what we do at work is who we are—that we have no relevance as individuals or family members, only as consumers and laborers.

It is easy to make the argument that people are only consumers and laborers and students and little else. The seven billion people on Earth provide sufficient economic pressure to squash us all into whatever role we’re needed for, despite whatever we’d prefer to do for a living. And the same economic pressure ensures that we’ll buy whatever is being sold, rather than waste precious leisure time on making something for ourselves, or fixing the thing that was broken.

The stress that comes with modern life makes diversions like alcohol, sitcoms, drugs, video games and reality shows almost irresistible. We save and plan for months, years sometimes, just to get a few days outdoors where we can hear the wind rustle the leaves in the trees. This is not delayed gratification, this is life discontinued until further notice—with a tiny few days of vacation, just so we know what we’re missing.

So I’ll understand if you think I’m just blowing smoke up your skirt—if you say to yourself: ‘Too late—the damned super-rich and their international corporations have already taken over.’ In many ways, I admit, that is a valid assessment. But the beauty of America is that we have freedom—nothing we do is illegal, unless a law is passed against it. And, even with illegal activity, there’s no guarantee an arrest would ensue.

What’s important about that? Well, when the Internet first began to be a popular network, there were no laws governing what could be done on-line. There are now, of course, but only after years of unethical abuse of the freedom we enjoyed in those early days of the WWWeb. Drugs, also, were used quite freely before we started passing laws against ‘recreational use’. My point is that if a US citizen thinks up a new thing to do, it is legal to do it—at least until the thing you’re doing attracts enough attention to become political.

Thus anytime I do or make something for myself, rather than buying it from a store, that is a threat to the capitalist hegemony—anything we write or perform for ourselves decreases the amount of canned art being downloaded from Amazon or iTunes. Anything we grow for ourselves protects our diet from the extinction of legacy fruits and vegetables. Everything we teach our children at home counteracts, in some degree, the poor quality of our educational systems.

We are not prisoners of the world we’ve made, we’re participants. So leave your ‘My Pictures’ and ‘My Music’ folders empty, and add new folders for ‘Just My Pictures’ and ‘Just My Music’. It won’t matter what files you save there—as long as they’re your own.


Street Talk

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