Over at BigThink, Jason Gots posted an article in praise of "amateurism." He focuses mainly on lo-fidelity talent that breeds a popular, loyal following, such as punk rock and The Velvet Underground. These are the classic examples of popular amateurness, but I guess they have their niche. And enough people, myself included, enjoy a lot of that amateurish stuff. Raw, amateur songs like "The Fire Still Burns" and "Scrabble Girl" fill me with joy every time they appear on my shuffle.
Anyhow, Gots concludes,
I have certainly fallen into the "too self-aware" camp when it comes to my own music and profession. To be honest, I generally hate the things I create. But I shouldn't be so hard on myself because I'm not trying to be anything but an amateur. I think I might just have to admit that amateurness suits me.
I've been thinking about this in relation to my own ambition… or lack of it. Numerous people have told me over the years that I should "go into music" or that I can "make it." And I used to say that I didn't think I was professional enough to do it, that I didn't have enough faith in myself, that I really had nothing to share that people couldn't get from anybody else.
And I'd still stand by those *ahem* excuses.
But, as I'm coming to the end of this Leadership degree (I hope), and as various turmoils distract me in my life, I also can't help but notice how little I want anybody's attention. I don't want everybody looking at me. At all. I am astoundingly content to have a website nobody visits, music nobody hears, and photographs nobody sees. I am more than content with my own lack of influence on the world, even in the arts I claim for myself.
I mean, just look at me:
Does it get more amateur than that? I don't think so.
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