Art in the OutrAGE

Well, it’s February again, and that means Song-A-Day. After 2020’s sadly abbreviated participation, I’m not sure how things will go this year. On the one hand, I may have a large backlog of music in me, and there is certainly no topical shortage after the dumpster-fire of a year we’ve had. I’ve become far less comfortable directly saying what’s on my mind, though, as the world has become aggressively intolerant of anything that doesn’t reinforce a dogmatic extreme.

Like many, I’m tired. I have pandemic fatigue. I border on despair when looking at our so-called leaders. I have zero interest in seeing yet another political opinion, informed by little more than a headline or a meme. I’ve been largely focused on the future, no surprise there, but despite my worrier / planner nature, I have traditionally been an optimist about humanity’s ability to make intelligent choices, and about how technology will be an aid and not a hindrance. That optimism has rapidly faded.

The populist zeitgeist worries me. A culture addicted the artificial drama manufactured by 24-hour newsertainment and “reality” television cannot survive the long-term. It certainly won’t be the rising tide that lifts all boats. I worry that our society’s outrage addiction and refusal to compromise not only makes progress more difficult, it takes light away from the true transgressions. If even minor things are painted with the broad brush of some *ism or other it takes away light from, and diminishes the outrage we should feel when, the truly harmful incidents occur. Every group aspiring to Featured Victimhood is crying wolf, gleefully egged on by powers that thrive on division.

All of this has made writing music challenging. I had been making excellent progress on the film score I’m in the middle of, but had an intertia-interrupting event that stalled everything creatively. I’m hoping that Song-A-Day will help prime the pump and get things flowing again, but then we run into the issue of time management – write a cue, write a song, and everything else that goes along with a typical day – I know it can be done, but I’m still working out how I’ll be doing it.

So… it’s a weird time. I’ve been pulling up anchors left and right. No longer trusting the current, I’m trying to row out to deeper waters. As with Song-A-Day 2019, I am starting the month with absolutely no mental backlog of ideas, no topics I strongly want to explore, and an unwillingness to discuss the things I might have in the past because even exploration of an idea that doesn’t fit the narrative is enough to make the villagers run for the torches and pitchforks.

I can’t tell you what’s coming – I have no idea. It might be escapist, it might be morose. If I haven’t scared you off yet, let’s see what happens…

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