Time to blow off some steam.

iwritemusic

New Member
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Consider this meme.

Last night, I watched an interesting lecture on the fall of Rome that challenged the long-standing paradigm of how the empire met its ultimate end. (Here's a link) In the lecture, the Professor makes the point that we cannot rely on the historical rhetoric to understand the fall because it is propaganda. In other words, the distinction between Roman and Barbarian was manufactured to serve a political purpose; yet it does not reflect the true 'facts on the ground'.

In the same way, we spend a lot of our time dwelling in the manipulative, abstract dichotomies of both traditional and social media. I would suggest that our online lives don't describe who we really are either. In fact, if we were to encounter those who write the nastiest Tweets or YouTube comments in hospitals, funeral homes or public performances, I suspect our in-person experience of our online adversaries would be quite different, but we never let ourselves go there, do we? Never let down your guard. Too risky.

Whether from politics or business, there is an extraordinary amount of artificial pressure placed on each and every one of us to perform to achieve some sort of greater goal. And yet, for all of the supposed achievement that has already come via the 'enlightenment' (I hate that term), society has only become more entitled, less patient, and less generous as a result. Society has also become less honest, as it rarely mentions the trail of wreckage left behind by every 'accomplishment' it trumpets.

As it turns out, cognitive science has developed a list of maladaptive schemas that describe various fractured ways that we interpret and respond to life. One of these schemas is called the "unrelenting standard". We're not talking about perfectionism here (which is bad enough), but an impossible standard where nothing is ever good enough. Social media has not only helped to coalesce this destructive attitude into a depressed cultural outlook on life, but it prescribes discord and invective as a means to palliate the very sense of hopelessness it creates.

Professional musicians are under an enormous pressure to create music for society so weary that it no longer appreciates music. It used to be good enough to come up with a catchy tune and some beautiful harmony to go with it. But now appreciation has given way to stimulation, presumably to numb the pain of life, such that every piece must be overwrought with technical polish and ear candy so that folks can "get off" on our music as though it were some kind of drug or a sexual device. If only music could command the same price as street drugs and pornography! Worse, many of those who still appreciate art only do so because of its power, and not because its beauty.

Ok, so what does any of this have to do with the meme? Well, it's just a long-winded way of saying that even though we live in a weary world that is generous with criticism and stingy with praise, it is a more accurate description and experience of reality to celebrate and encourage the astounding level of talent and intelligence contained in this forum than to criticize and ignore it.

/Rant

- Nathan
 

Dear Villain

Active Member
View attachment 33651

Consider this meme.

Last night, I watched an interesting lecture on the fall of Rome that challenged the long-standing paradigm of how the empire met its ultimate end. (Here's a link) In the lecture, the Professor makes the point that we cannot rely on the historical rhetoric to understand the fall because it is propaganda. In other words, the distinction between Roman and Barbarian was manufactured to serve a political purpose; yet it does not reflect the true 'facts on the ground'.

In the same way, we spend a lot of our time dwelling in the manipulative, abstract dichotomies of both traditional and social media. I would suggest that our online lives don't describe who we really are either. In fact, if we were to encounter those who write the nastiest Tweets or YouTube comments in hospitals, funeral homes or public performances, I suspect our in-person experience of our online adversaries would be quite different, but we never let ourselves go there, do we? Never let down your guard. Too risky.

Whether from politics or business, there is an extraordinary amount of artificial pressure placed on each and every one of us to perform to achieve some sort of greater goal. And yet, for all of the supposed achievement that has already come via the 'enlightenment' (I hate that term), society has only become more entitled, less patient, and less generous as a result. Society has also become less honest, as it rarely mentions the trail of wreckage left behind by every 'accomplishment' it trumpets.

As it turns out, cognitive science has developed a list of maladaptive schemas that describe various fractured ways that we interpret and respond to life. One of these schemas is called the "unrelenting standard". We're not talking about perfectionism here (which is bad enough), but an impossible standard where nothing is ever good enough. Social media has not only helped to coalesce this destructive attitude into a depressed cultural outlook on life, but it prescribes discord and invective as a means to palliate the very sense of hopelessness it creates.

Professional musicians are under an enormous pressure to create music for society so weary that it no longer appreciates music. It used to be good enough to come up with a catchy tune and some beautiful harmony to go with it. But now appreciation has given way to stimulation, presumably to numb the pain of life, such that every piece must be overwrought with technical polish and ear candy so that folks can "get off" on our music as though it were some kind of drug or a sexual device. If only music could command the same price as street drugs and pornography! Worse, many of those who still appreciate art only do so because of its power, and not because its beauty.

Ok, so what does any of this have to do with the meme? Well, it's just a long-winded way of saying that even though we live in a weary world that is generous with criticism and stingy with praise, it is a more accurate description and experience of reality to celebrate and encourage the astounding level of talent and intelligence contained in this forum than to criticize and ignore it.

/Rant

- Nathan
Thank you for expressing so eloquently, thoughts I've had for a long time. I will share it with my wife, also a musician, and hope that all who read your post will be moved to consider your final sentence.
 

blackzeroaudio

New Member
First time I've seen this meme outside of the metal community...I think the actual point of this meme is to convey that the music is so "heavy/nasty/brutal/extreme/whatever" that it's impossible to listen to without making that face. Meaning the song is amazing.

Believe it or not that's a good face in the metal world...not a face of disgust.
 

Karl Feuerstake

Active Member
Professional musicians are under an enormous pressure to create music for society so weary that it no longer appreciates music. It used to be good enough to come up with a catchy tune and some beautiful harmony to go with it. But now appreciation has given way to stimulation, presumably to numb the pain of life, such that every piece must be overwrought with technical polish and ear candy so that folks can "get off" on our music as though it were some kind of drug or a sexual device. If only music could command the same price as street drugs and pornography! Worse, many of those who still appreciate art only do so because of its power, and not because its beauty.

Ok, so what does any of this have to do with the meme? Well, it's just a long-winded way of saying that even though we live in a weary world that is generous with criticism and stingy with praise, it is a more accurate description and experience of reality to celebrate and encourage the astounding level of talent and intelligence contained in this forum than to criticize and ignore it.
I wouldn't normally correlate internet memes with high-order thinking and philosophical concepts. They might occasionally function as a distillation of some kind of social commentary but that's just it, they are a gross reduction meant to evoke a humourous response. But on the subject you want to discuss, I would say you do raise some interesting observations about the world of music - my main counter-argument would be that when you say this world is generous with criticism and stingy with praise, what makes you think any time in the past was different? There used to be music critics that published journals and articles which viscerally attacked other composer's works, and this sometimes expanded to attacks on the composer themselves, and occasionally even on the composer's race or religion, etc. Some of these criticisms have completely vanished today, such as that on race, religion, beliefs, and often the person's character as well. Instead the criticism becomes more refined against just the art itself.

Things may have changed a bit with the advent of Social Media as now anyone can voice their antagonistic view behind the veil of anonymity (or at the least without consequence), and there is just a larger mass of individuals capable of venting their views thanks to this new platform. In the past only 'professional' critics may have been generally able to be heard on a large scale. But then I think about audiences at performances in past times that threw fruits and vegetables, that cursed and demanded their money back, that even rioted, and I think.. well things are probably a bit better these days.

I also don't think human nature has changed with the advent of Social Media. It has merely adapted.

Social media has not only helped to coalesce this destructive attitude into a depressed cultural outlook on life, but it prescribes discord and invective as a means to palliate the very sense of hopelessness it creates.
There is a much more eloquent way to say this. I can think about most of the abstracted concepts you want to discuss but this one threw me for several loops as I had to decipher what you actually meant. And then I disagreed in the end anyways.

I don't think social media 'prescribes' that, rather it enables it mostly by virtue of anonymity and lack of consequences. But that is not prescription, as that would imply some kind of deliberation and intent - as I was getting at above, I think it is just more in some people's nature to find ways through the cracks and to act like little shitheads. To deviate here a bit, God knows I have acted in such ways at times too, especially in the past as a teenager, but still occasionally even today if I'm to be brutally honest. I usually only pull out such behaviour as a response to other people doing it to me in a multiplayer video-game, though I acknowledge it lowers me to sink to their level. One might be more exalted to refrain from such a response altogether.

One of the main problems I have observed with the internet culture is that you can hide your age; and very often people who are trolls are just teenage boys. This kind of behaviour is highly immature and stems from a confusing, frustrating, and rebellious time many of us go through in our youths, and fortunately most people grow out of it, though indeed not all. Such a subject could be vastly expanded and discussed far beyond the purview of just Social Media, but this is a whole other discussion and I'm not entirely sure I wish to formulate all my thoughts into words at this time. Maybe someone else will engage me on it and I will reflect deeper in preparing a response, but for now that's all. Teenage boys = assholes.

On the subject of this forum, indeed it is a great place. Nearly everyone here is thoughtful and helpful and the community as a whole works together to lift each other up and make it a better world for music. We all do have that thing in common - a deep passion for music - so fortunately we should be able to identify with each other in that way. I think the moderation element is important as well to maintaining the integrity of the community, but good behaviour breeds good behaviour in itself. It is also an enjoyable community because many composers / producers are deep-thinkers as well, I suspect it often comes with the personality type that it takes to make a composer, so it's very enjoyable to have discussions like this with people who can be rational 😄 you'd be hard pressed to find such a conversation on a place like Youtube.
 
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