I have been listening to Machine Head’s “Bloodstone and Diamond” and “Unto The Locusts” albums a fair bit lately along with Serj Tankian’s solo albums “Elect The Dead” and “Harakiri”.
To me, Robb Flynn and Serj Tankian are great writers that take a stance on an issue and put their viewpoints out there. The music business is lacking heroes like these. A lot of musicians just seem to be sitting on the fence. Jon Bon Jovi is singing about moving mountains while Serj Tankian is singing about drum fish and blackbirds committing hara-kiri.
Serj Tankian’s “Elect The Dead” album came out in 2007 before the GFC. It has the same themes on that album that “The Circle” and “Wrecking Ball” from Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen that came after the GFC.
What a great inequality divide we live in. The mega wealthy artists need to hear and read about financial corruption after the fact to write about it. It just goes to show how much they are wrapped up in their own bubble to see how the real battler is really doing. While the wealthy got bailed out by the government and went on speaking tours, the working class lost their houses and their livelihoods.
Even though Serj Tankian is known and recognisable his lifestyle is nowhere near that of the blockbuster duo from Jersey. But his reach and impact might not be far off.
Artists have the power to spread the truth in world where misinformation rules, however a lot of them choose to not do so. They conform so that they don’t upset the powerful ones just in case they are excluded from the social circle.
“Money isn’t everything” is a common catch-cry but the truth is we live in a money economy.
It’s the number one aspiration. My sons third class play from last year was about what they would like to be when they grow up. Some wanted to be famous at a sport they liked and some just wanted to play video games. But, the majority of the kids, especially the girls, all wanted to be rich. It looks like that’s the new norm now.
The belief is that if you’ve got money, you’ve won and no one can say a bad thing about you. The dirty little secret is that it actually costs money to save/make money. If you don’t have any money, how can you save money. The simple math is $0 in money equals $0 saved.
Now if you earn a wage and have $10 a week lying around, you might put that into a savings account. By the end of the year you would have saved $520. Over the course of 20 years, you would have saved $10,400, Sounds great. However, I am pretty sure that something will come up that will need you to dip into these savings. Dental care for your children, costs around vehicles maintenance or some other urgent event. You could get sick, take extended leave without pay and then there goes that $10 a week saving plan.
Seriously if you work for a company with a lot of employees with different ethnicities, how many conversations do you overhear or are involved in when people just say the words “we can’t afford to do [something]”. And it confuses the fuck out of me when they say that they have created a budget, crunched the numbers and made a decision that something they want to do is not affordable.
So what’s the point of the budget?
Isn’t a budget put in place so that you can AFFORD to do something that you like?
To me it looks like we are all putting budgets in place to live within our means. That is why the rich get richer and the working class remain poor.
Isn’t that sad that we have come to this situation in life. Crunching numbers over our quality of life and then purchasing a lottery ticket when the jackpot is astronomical, hoping that the rays of luck will shine down on us.
I for one am terrible with managing money and saving money. I am sure I am not the only one in the world, but we all hide it and pretend that we are better off than what we really are.
While we see losing in sport as acceptable, we don’t have that same viewpoint when it comes to money. In the money game we see winning as the only acceptable outcome.
But money alone doesn’t give you a reach that art/music can provide and that is where I will leave you today, with some words from Robb Flynn, heard in the song “Darkness Within”.
Fill your heart with every note, Cherish it and cast afloat, ‘Cause god is in these clef and tone, Salvation is found alone, Haunted by its melody
Music it will set you free
Let it set you free