Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

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    Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    I'll go out on a limb with this (and no worries if you get the urge to rib me). 

    As an extra safeguard, so your cynicism won't get the better of you, please put on your rose-colored glasses.  Don't own a pair?  I have a spare pair for you; here you go.  :)

    Drawing from Terry Francona's pre-publication revelation, 'they're in it for the revenue, and not for the love of the game' (now, where have we heard this re: the music industry), and from the recent forum "greatness" thread, I give you a man of letters, of inspiration and yes, greatness, the late Bart Giamatti.  

    How often do you find a man, born in Boston and raised in western MA, a life-long passionate Red Sox fan, with a Yale education, including a doctorate; who is a scholar, a published philosopher and writer, husband and father; who became one of the most beloved and popular professors at his alma mater; who was a renegade by nature; who did not subscribe to conventional thinking; who ultimately served for 10-years, and continues to be the youngest person on record to become the President of Yale University; who was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (located in Cambridge, MA), as a distinguised fellow ... need I go on?

    And yet, as he is famous for so many eloquent quotes, all timeless, and some of breathtaking depth and beauty, perhaps his most famous is: 

    "The only thing I ever wanted to be president of was the American League."   

    Well, he came about as close as he could come to that dream by becoming the President of the National League in 1986, and then, as fate would have it, he moved up to become the Commisioner of Baseball in 1989.    

    All because he loved, not liked but loved, the game of baseball.    No rose-colored glasses needed, because that is an absolute fact: he loved the game.    He didn't just write about it in elegant and philosophical prose; he lived to fulfill his dream of being a part of it.  It was as though it was Giamatti's calling, you know?

    So what does this have to do with music?  I guess I'm wondering if you know of any musicians, or any executives / producers, etc. who loved music and the music industry the way Giamatti loved baseball.  Despite the fact that Giamatti could have continued his highly regarded work in academia, and write about and be a fan of baseball, he made the leap to his live dream, even though his time was fraught with controversy and the need to take stands on life-altering issues.   

    Does music have anyone like this?    Also, in the quote below, try substituting the word "sports" for "music" and see if the quote works for you.    Everyone is so bitter and jaded lately, I just wanted to create this post to remind myself, and maybe anyone that reads it, that there are people who really do love their work, to whom we entrust our sacred ideals, no matter how old we are, and those rare people have come through for us.   

    "Sports represent a shared vision of how we continue, as individual, team, or community, to experience a happiness or absence of care so intense, so rare, and so fleeting that we associate their experience with experience otherwise described as religious or we say the sports experience must be the tattered remnant of an experience which was once described, when first felt, as religious. "

    ۥ A. Bartlett Giamatti, Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    I think Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, might fit the bill. He definitely wasn't just in it for the money, because he let Elvis Presley get away to keep his struggling business afloat.

    He said, "The blues, it got people- black and white- to think about life, how difficult, yet also how good it can be. They would sing about it; they would pray about it; they would preach about it. This is how they relieved the burden of what existed day in and day out."

    He also said, "Everyone knew that I was just a struggling cat down here trying to develop new and different artists, and get some freedom in music, and tap some resources and people that weren't being tapped."

    He eventually couldn't make it financially in the music business, but he still seemed to be an idealist looking for that new sound to bridge the gap between "race" records and the mainstream. It is very diificult to be an idealist in a business that demands sales revenue and profits, but Phillips comes about as close as you can. He really seemed to be motivated by his love of music.

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    Consider David Geffen.

    Who founded Asylum records....the name Asylum comes from the label signing artists most other labels thought very little about.

    Jackson Brown, Joni Mitchell , Warren Zevon....etc.

    Why would labels not want such succesful artitst?....Geffen had more vision in regards to what is "good music."...( this could be a sidebar to David post, also). OR "WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY PART 5!!!

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    I think Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, might fit the bill. He definitely wasn't just in it for the money, because he let Elvis Presley get away to keep his struggling business afloat.

    He said, "The blues, it got people- black and white- to think about life, how difficult, yet also how good it can be. They would sing about it; they would pray about it; they would preach about it. This is how they relieved the burden of what existed day in and day out."

    He also said, "Everyone knew that I was just a struggling cat down here trying to develop new and different artists, and get some freedom in music, and tap some resources and people that weren't being tapped."

    He eventually couldn't make it financially in the music business, but he still seemed to be an idealist looking for that new sound to bridge the gap between "race" records and the mainstream. It is very diificult to be an idealist in a business that demands sales revenue and profits, but Phillips comes about as close as you can. He really seemed to be motivated by his love of music.



    Sounds like a person with ideals alright; a poignant snapshot of someone who applied himself to the work he loved, to promote the music he loved.    I do appreciate hearing of people such as this, as I am an unapologetic idealist myself, and I feel more and more "out of the loop" many times because of my core beliefs.    But don't worry, I have no intention of  making any changes to who I am; I'm fine being in the minority.   

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Consider David Geffen.

    Who founded Asylum records....the name Asylum comes from the label signing artists most other labels thought very little about.

    Jackson Brown, Joni Mitchell , Warren Zevon....etc.

    Why would labels not want such succesful artitst?....Geffen had more vision in regards to what is "good music."...( this could be a sidebar to David post, also). OR "WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY PART 5!!!



    Thanks.   Funny, but I thought of David Geffen, too.  :)   I watched the recent documentary about Geffen, and it was indeed an eye opener.   I remember distinctly (much of the documentary was actually an ongoing interview with Geffen himself) Geffen saying that, much to his surprise, acquiring money did not make him any happier.   He made his first million at age 25, I believe.    But he is a fascinating character study for sure, and I also clearly remember him saying, with humility, that he had no talent himself ... but he revelled in finding it in others, and that he did.   I never knew, until seeing the documentary, that "Free Man in Paris" was written for / about him by Joni Mitchell, and how much admiration she had for him.   

    He did have vision, astonishing vision.   

    AND YES, I thought of making this, "Part  (is it 5?) of our ongoing money-thread, but not only could I not remember what part number it was ... but I was thinking of Martin Luther King Day, and decided to give this one a more fitting title.    

    These are all fascinating people; as for Bart Giamatti, it might sound strange coming from me, but I respect him immeasurably; he had many miles more to travel, but unfortunately, and sadly, his journey ended too soon.   

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    YOGAFRIEND wrote:

    "So what does this have to do with music? I guess I'm wondering if you know of any musicians, or any executives / producers, etc. who loved music and the music industry the way Giamatti loved baseball"

    I'm throwing "Prince" into the mix. The guy puts out music - 33 albums from '78-2010 - because he "LOVES" creating music! This guy has flipped the bird at the music establishment and done things based on his own personal beliefs and love of music. Love him or hate him, I don't think you can ignore the guy LOVES music.

    NOTE: Yogafriend I reserve the right to "rib you" at a later date! lol

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to RogerTaylor's comment:

    YOGAFRIEND wrote:

    "So what does this have to do with music? I guess I'm wondering if you know of any musicians, or any executives / producers, etc. who loved music and the music industry the way Giamatti loved baseball"

    I'm throwing "Prince" into the mix. The guy puts out music - 33 albums from '78-2010 - because he "LOVES" creating music! This guy has flipped the bird at the music establishment and done things based on his own personal beliefs and love of music. Love him or hate him, I don't think you can ignore the guy LOVES music.

    NOTE: Yogafriend I reserve the right to "rib you" at a later date! lol



    Very nice.  

    I have my flak jacket ready anytime you want to rib me.  

    How about a nice round of "The Rainbow Connection" for today's inspirational song?  :)

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

    Mozart died a pauper while writing his ironically prophetic Requiem Mass.  He was spurned by the dolts in the Monarchies for daring to write opera in his beloved German.

    Beethoved wrote his greatest work deaf.  Fair to say most would have packed it in then.

     

    Neil Young, who made albums just to pi55 off the record companies.

    Rush, who promised no more long songs and deep sh1t; that they would write hits, and then gave us 2112, with a credit to Ayn Rand.



    Nice.  As far as some of the classical composers are concerned,  those poor souls would never believe how revered their music is in the modern era; talk about a change in values.  

    Try to imagine some of the artists of today suffering and sacrificing like that to make their music.   Nope, can't even imagine it.  :)    

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    I don't know if loving the music and loving the music industry are entirely compatible...

     

    But I'll add Atlantic Records Founder Ahmet Ertegan.  

    A true pioneer in the business.  A remarkable purveyor of talent starting in the 1940s. Hired Jerry Wexler, who coined "rhythm & blues".  Hired Leiber & Stoller.  Signed Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Cream, Zep and Yes.  Wisely hired technical genius Tom Dowd, who helped revolutionize recording (esp. live recording) at the first studio to feature multi-tracking. Licensed for Stax Records.  The Man lived and breathed the business.

     

     

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    I think that maybe in it's formative years Rock music mainly was a passion for many people involved. Of course, they were always looking for the next Elvis , sometimes trying to create the next big thing ( see my post on teen idols).

    Just like sports, and with Francona's claim ( 100% believable) that the Red Sox team owners are more about ratings and money than they are passionate about baseball.....just look to Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here' a concept album about agents and record company execs knowing about dollars and cents, and not knowing anything about the music..."by the way, which one's Pink?"

    Corporate types sticking their grubby little noses in a business that they think they can run better than the artists or the baseball guys. Francons is a baseball guy, Tom Werner and John Henry are the wannabees. I can really see Tom Werner sitting down and talking with John Lester and asking him if he could try throwing the ball with his right hand instead of his left....you know, just a suggestion. or wondering aloud if David Ortiz should try a lighter bat.

    One wonders if the record execs had sat in on the recording of Stairway To Heaven...would it have been a more "radio friendly" 3 and a half minutes long? 

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    One wonders if the record execs had sat in on the recording of Stairway To Heaven...would it have been a more "radio friendly" 3 and a half minutes long? 



    Do you remember the radio edit of 'Stairway' (never released as a single, btw, as none of their songs were)...?

    I do, but thankfully it fades farther every year.

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

     

    One wonders if the record execs had sat in on the recording of Stairway To Heaven...would it have been a more "radio friendly" 3 and a half minutes long? 

     



    Do you remember the radio edit of 'Stairway' (never released as a single, btw, as none of their songs were)...?

     

    I do, but thankfully it fades farther every year.



    When the record label heard Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen they wanted to release a radio edit instead of the 6+ minute studio version, Queen refused! Kenny Everet, a radio DJ  in the UK - "stole/was given" a copy of the single, played it a dozen or so times over the weekend and the rest as they say is history....it went on to be a Number #1 single......twice!

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    Among modern musicians I think Joe Bonamassa might be one of the true believers.  He seems to be on a mission to make as much music as humanly possible and to pay respects to and interact with as many of his favorite fellow musicians as possible.     

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    With regard to the current Red Sox ownership, I've been a fan of the team for 40+ years (seriously) and I think they are by far the best ownership the team has had.  They're filthy rich, obviously, and they're certainly not in the baseball business to lose money.  But they sign the big cheques.  They plow the revenue back into the team payroll.  Needless to say results have been disastrous recently but it's not from lack of spending on players.  And they helped bring the team its first championships since 1918.

    Professional sports teams are now a sort of strange hybrid between sports and entertainment so it's difficult to apply an idealistic value system.  The money is ridiculous, and the appetite of the public is insatiable.  I was in Toronto this weekend with the family to see an NBA game.  We paid over $500 for 3 tickets to see the Lakers play.  Then after the game we went to a fairly large restaurant/bar for supper.  One of the NFL playoff games was on.  What a scene!  I would guess there were about 200 TV screens in the place, with most of them tuned to the game.  It was nutty...but fun if you're a sport wacko, which obviously I am too.

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    There are many musicians that get criticized for being idealistic and unapoligetic. Two that immediately come to mind are Bruce Springsteen and Bono. Both have donated countless hours to causes that most people agree with, yet for some reason, many find fault with the way they go about it. Yes Bono is a bit of a blowhard, yes, Springsteen is a bit of an opportunist, but their goals are the same, to help out their fellow man.

    Bono's goal of reducing third World debt, thereby increasing the standard of liviing in those countries is in my mind, noble. Yet the argument is, how much of Bono's estimated fortune does he actually give to charity, and the tax breaks he enjoys in his native Ireland,  cause some to call him a hypocrite.  And yet, everyone from Presidents to other World leaders seek him out on these issues. 

    As for Springsteen, we all know his story, and the time he takes to help folks in need, especially in his home state, or region. He is a viewed by many as a modern day Guthrie, who writes about the working man, and issues related to suffering and hardship. Yet for some reason, some view this as shallow, because unlike Guthrie, he never really suffered the way the working man has, and therfore cannot relate. 

    There are merits to both arguments for each artist, yet neither is apoligetic about being idealistic, nor should they be. In their own way, both have used their enourmous wealth and fame towards good ends.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to polar123's comment:

    There are many musicians that get criticized for being idealistic and unapoligetic. Two that immediately come to mind are Bruce Springsteen and Bono. Both have donated countless hours to causes that most people agree with, yet for some reason, many find fault with the way they go about it. Yes Bono is a bit of a blowhard, yes, Springsteen is a bit of an opportunist, but their goals are the same, to help out their fellow man.

    Bono's goal of reducing third World debt, thereby increasing the standard of liviing in those countries is in my mind, noble. Yet the argument is, how much of Bono's estimated fortune does he actually give to charity, and the tax breaks he enjoys in his native Ireland,  cause some to call him a hypocrite.  And yet, everyone from Presidents to other World leaders seek him out on these issues. 

    As for Springsteen, we all know his story, and the time he takes to help folks in need, especially in his home state, or region. He is a viewed by many as a modern day Guthrie, who writes about the working man, and issues related to suffering and hardship. Yet for some reason, some view this as shallow, because unlike Guthrie, he never really suffered the way the working man has, and therfore cannot relate. 

    There are merits to both arguments for each artist, yet neither is apoligetic about being idealistic, nor should they be. In their own way, both have used their enourmous wealth and fame towards good ends.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



    Bravo! Now this is the kind of post I love. Idealism is not necessarily just a trait in those who have not been successful financially. I defended Bono on another thread. Sure, these two artists are seen by many as self righteous egomaniacs or as being too far removed from the reality of understanding the people they are trying to help. Good for you for not being swayed this criticism and for looking a bit deeper.

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    I don't know if loving the music and loving the music industry are entirely compatible...

     

    But I'll add Atlantic Records Founder Ahmet Ertegan.  

    A true pioneer in the business.  A remarkable purveyor of talent starting in the 1940s. Hired Jerry Wexler, who coined "rhythm & blues".  Hired Leiber & Stoller.  Signed Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Cream, Zep and Yes.  Wisely hired technical genius Tom Dowd, who helped revolutionize recording (esp. live recording) at the first studio to feature multi-tracking. Licensed for Stax Records.  The Man lived and breathed the business.

     

    Thanks.  The two values are not necessarily compatible, but they are not mutually exclusive, either.    It's a healthy mental exercise for any one of us to give some thought to positive models, people who were on the vanguard, in any discipline.  It must have taken (and still does) some "guts" to pursue and record artists that were potentially"high risk" in terms of retun on investment.  

    Some of the *early* record label founders are great examples, even if their successors have had to change the business paradigm along the way.  There's no profession that is exempt from having to do that ... (I can attest to those growing pains, can't we all?).   

    Ertegan sounds like a visionary.   Sounds like he stuck his neck out more than just a few times, too.  :)

     



     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    Among modern musicians I think Joe Bonamassa might be one of the true believers.  He seems to be on a mission to make as much music as humanly possible and to pay respects to and interact with as many of his favorite fellow musicians as possible.     



    Interesting choice.   Music fans on the forum are such ardent fans of this guy -- part of that is also attributable to the attention he's paid to those that have gone before him.  Anyhow, he seems to be the one to keep an eye on ... :)

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    With regard to the current Red Sox ownership, I've been a fan of the team for 40+ years (seriously) and I think they are by far the best ownership the team has had.  They're filthy rich, obviously, and they're certainly not in the baseball business to lose money.  But they sign the big cheques.  They plow the revenue back into the team payroll.  Needless to say results have been disastrous recently but it's not from lack of spending on players.  And they helped bring the team its first championships since 1918.

    Professional sports teams are now a sort of strange hybrid between sports and entertainment so it's difficult to apply an idealistic value system.  The money is ridiculous, and the appetite of the public is insatiable.  I was in Toronto this weekend with the family to see an NBA game.  We paid over $500 for 3 tickets to see the Lakers play.  Then after the game we went to a fairly large restaurant/bar for supper.  One of the NFL playoff games was on.  What a scene!  I would guess there were about 200 TV screens in the place, with most of them tuned to the game.  It was nutty...but fun if you're a sport wacko, which obviously I am too.



    Nice feedback; great.   You do have to look at the backdrop and the history of the club (previous ownership, what they've accomplished, how they treated managers and players, etc.) and do some *benchmarking*  in order to give a more reasoned response to the accusations about current ownership.    You seem to be able to do that.  

    Nothing stays the same, and long-standing (and suffering ... hahah)  fans can lament the "current way" of doing business, but there comes a time to either accept and move on or be miserable and bitter.   As you saw, my thread was based on reading the excerpts from Francona's book; I couldn't help but smile at the similarity between the sports industry and the entertainment industry -- once again.  

    You're right, the two have veered perilously close to adhering to similar values.   It's just hard to be reminded, perhaps.  I used to think Theo Epstein got into baseball management for the love of it, and his being a home boy made that all the more sweet.   Not sure if that is true, or just my impression.   

    PS You saw the Lakers play last weekend?   Glad you had fun.   I once was in TX for a conference a bunch of years ago, and decided to take advantage of seeing a Houston Rockets game while I was there (still have the tee-shirt).   Having no attachment to Houston, I still had a ball at the game.   I have to say, while I'm at it, I've never seen so many good-looking men and women at a sports event in my life ... it was impossible not to notice.  What's in the water in Houston is anyone's guess (not that I'd want to live there). :)

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to polar123's comment:

    There are many musicians that get criticized for being idealistic and unapoligetic. Two that immediately come to mind are Bruce Springsteen and Bono. Both have donated countless hours to causes that most people agree with, yet for some reason, many find fault with the way they go about it. Yes Bono is a bit of a blowhard, yes, Springsteen is a bit of an opportunist, but their goals are the same, to help out their fellow man.

    Bono's goal of reducing third World debt, thereby increasing the standard of liviing in those countries is in my mind, noble. Yet the argument is, how much of Bono's estimated fortune does he actually give to charity, and the tax breaks he enjoys in his native Ireland,  cause some to call him a hypocrite.  And yet, everyone from Presidents to other World leaders seek him out on these issues. 

    As for Springsteen, we all know his story, and the time he takes to help folks in need, especially in his home state, or region. He is a viewed by many as a modern day Guthrie, who writes about the working man, and issues related to suffering and hardship. Yet for some reason, some view this as shallow, because unlike Guthrie, he never really suffered the way the working man has, and therfore cannot relate. 

    There are merits to both arguments for each artist, yet neither is apoligetic about being idealistic, nor should they be. In their own way, both have used their enourmous wealth and fame towards good ends.

    Frankly, I think it's just a sign of the jaded world we live in that people criticize artists that devote time, talent and yes, money, to social causes.    I remember posting about Springsteen's support of kid with cancer (put myself out on a limb with that one, too) and getting a few snide comments, not that I minded.   I only admire him more as time goes by, not less.   Funny how that works.  

    I said in another thread recently, where someone commented that Springsteen was in the grouping of the dreaded "over-rated",  that perhaps, if anything, he's suffered from over exposure, at times, and part of that is his involvement in social causes, similar to Bono.  Bono has not been in the public eye much lately, at least not in the USA.   

    The ironic aspect of criticizing rockers like Bono and Springsteen for being involved in social causes, and supporting and going to bat for them, is this:  if that's the worst thing you can say about someone, then bring it on.  :)   I'd be perfectly thrilled if the reason people poked fun of me was due to my support of social causes.   Can't imagine a better reason to dislike me.  :)

    BTW, I love her as a singer / songwriter / musician, therefore, it used to upset me that Sarah McLachlan was ridiculed for being a spokesperson for the ASPCA.    Why people had such a jaded view of her support was beyond me at the time.  I suppose there are many other examples in this realm, but McLachlan is another example for me, because I think so well of her efforts.     Thanks.  :)  

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    PS You saw the Lakers play last weekend?   Glad you had fun.   I once was in TX for a conference a bunch of years ago, and decided to take advantage of seeing a Houston Rockets game while I was there (still have the tee-shirt).   Having no attachment to Houston, I still had a ball at the game.   I have to say, while I'm at it, I've never seen so many good-looking men and women at a sports event in my life ... it was impossible not to notice.  What's in the water in Houston is anyone's guess (not that I'd want to live there). :)



    Interesting that you mention that, because one of the things that struck me on this trip to Toronto was all the good-looking people.  It's a happening place right now. 

     
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    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to devildavid's comment:

     

    In response to polar123's comment:

     

    There are many musicians that get criticized for being idealistic and unapoligetic. Two that immediately come to mind are Bruce Springsteen and Bono. Both have donated countless hours to causes that most people agree with, yet for some reason, many find fault with the way they go about it. Yes Bono is a bit of a blowhard, yes, Springsteen is a bit of an opportunist, but their goals are the same, to help out their fellow man.

    Bono's goal of reducing third World debt, thereby increasing the standard of liviing in those countries is in my mind, noble. Yet the argument is, how much of Bono's estimated fortune does he actually give to charity, and the tax breaks he enjoys in his native Ireland,  cause some to call him a hypocrite.  And yet, everyone from Presidents to other World leaders seek him out on these issues. 

    As for Springsteen, we all know his story, and the time he takes to help folks in need, especially in his home state, or region. He is a viewed by many as a modern day Guthrie, who writes about the working man, and issues related to suffering and hardship. Yet for some reason, some view this as shallow, because unlike Guthrie, he never really suffered the way the working man has, and therfore cannot relate. 

    There are merits to both arguments for each artist, yet neither is apoligetic about being idealistic, nor should they be. In their own way, both have used their enourmous wealth and fame towards good ends.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



    Bravo! Now this is the kind of post I love. Idealism is not necessarily just a trait in those who have not been successful financially. I defended Bono on another thread. Sure, these two artists are seen by many as self righteous egomaniacs or as being too far removed from the reality of understanding the people they are trying to help. Good for you for not being swayed this criticism and for looking a bit deeper.

     

     




    Thanks DDavid. Sometimes things need to be put in their proper perspective, and I hope you are feeling better!

     

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

     

    In response to polar123's comment:

     

    There are many musicians that get criticized for being idealistic and unapoligetic. Two that immediately come to mind are Bruce Springsteen and Bono. Both have donated countless hours to causes that most people agree with, yet for some reason, many find fault with the way they go about it. Yes Bono is a bit of a blowhard, yes, Springsteen is a bit of an opportunist, but their goals are the same, to help out their fellow man.

    Bono's goal of reducing third World debt, thereby increasing the standard of liviing in those countries is in my mind, noble. Yet the argument is, how much of Bono's estimated fortune does he actually give to charity, and the tax breaks he enjoys in his native Ireland,  cause some to call him a hypocrite.  And yet, everyone from Presidents to other World leaders seek him out on these issues. 

    As for Springsteen, we all know his story, and the time he takes to help folks in need, especially in his home state, or region. He is a viewed by many as a modern day Guthrie, who writes about the working man, and issues related to suffering and hardship. Yet for some reason, some view this as shallow, because unlike Guthrie, he never really suffered the way the working man has, and therfore cannot relate. 

    There are merits to both arguments for each artist, yet neither is apoligetic about being idealistic, nor should they be. In their own way, both have used their enourmous wealth and fame towards good ends.

     

     

    Frankly, I think it's just a sign of the jaded world we live in that people criticize artists that devote time, talent and yes, money, to social causes.    I remember posting about Springsteen's support of kid with cancer (put myself out on a limb with that one, too) and getting a few snide comments, not that I minded.   I only admire him more as time goes by, not less.   Funny how that works.  

    I said in another thread recently, where someone commented that Springsteen was in the grouping of the dreaded "over-rated",  that perhaps, if anything, he's suffered from over exposure, at times, and part of that is his involvement in social causes, similar to Bono.  Bono has not been in the public eye much lately, at least not in the USA.   

    The ironic aspect of criticizing rockers like Bono and Springsteen for being involved in social causes, and supporting and going to bat for them, is this:  if that's the worst thing you can say about someone, then bring it on.  :)   I'd be perfectly thrilled if the reason people poked fun of me was due to my support of social causes.   Can't imagine a better reason to dislike me.  :)

    BTW, I love her as a singer / songwriter / musician, therefore, it used to upset me that Sarah McLachlan was ridiculed for being a spokesperson for the ASPCA.    Why people had such a jaded view of her support was beyond me at the time.  I suppose there are many other examples in this realm, but McLachlan is another example for me, because I think so well of her efforts.     Thanks.  :)  

     



    I"m glad that you mentioned Sarah McLachlan.  I am a fan as well.  She gets a bad rap sometimes, and really there is no reason. What she is doing is pretty useful. It is an interesting contradiction, on the one hand we love our celebrities, but we just don't want them to tell us what to do. Most folks roll their eyes when a celeb starts pontificating, yet, we rush to the TV to watch them perform, take out our wallets when they gather for any type of crisis, and spend gobs of $$ to see them live. 

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     

    Among modern musicians I think Joe Bonamassa might be one of the true believers.  He seems to be on a mission to make as much music as humanly possible and to pay respects to and interact with as many of his favorite fellow musicians as possible.     

     



    Interesting choice.   Music fans on the forum are such ardent fans of this guy -- part of that is also attributable to the attention he's paid to those that have gone before him.  Anyhow, he seems to be the one to keep an eye on ... :)

     



    I saw Joe interviewed on PBS.  It was one of their fundraising deals and they were showing clips of one of his shows.  In the interview he was wearing Buddy Holly type glasses and he looked and sounded quite nerdy as he talked about how highly he thought of PBS and their good works.  He came across as such a nice, humble, smart guy...I think I have a man-crush here... :-)

     
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