Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Obervations in Commerce 17; Capitalism and the 'You'll grow out of it' Complex

OIC 17

Capitalism and the 'You'll grow out of it' Complex.

'I'm sure you'll grow out of it,' is a phrase I'm sure, we've all heard being said to us when we were kids. Especially with regards to some of our hobbies, passions etc.
This observation came from looking round a musical instrument store the other day, and links Capitalism as being a culprit, when it comes to committing the crime of influencing the 'growing out' of a passion or hobby etc.
I graduated from music school in 2008; a 'Professional Diploma for Drums', apparently.

Looking around this musical instrument store, I realised that it would have been 14 months since I sat behind a drum kit and played a beat.
14 months of not doing anything related towards your passion, would be classed as 'giving it up', or at the very least 'growing out' of it.

But rhythm has never left me since the day I discovered it. So why 14 months? Why do I no longer have the drive to sit behind a drum kit and play away 'til my heart's content and my arse numb?

I am partly to blame in all of it, for sure. After all, it was me that sold my drum kit to pay for an air ticket to Thailand at age 19.
However, I feel now, in hindsight, there has been another force at play that has contributed to my musical disheartening; Capitalism.

$4000 read the price-tag to the beautiful drum kit in front of me. Immediately my mind's eye scaled a short montage together, showing me what exact forms of corporate torture I would have to endure to be able to afford such a beast.
Then came the cymbal rack. $400 here, another $250 there. Not to mention all the hardware the kit would need, the protective casings, the actual ownership of some property and thus capital, to be able to store the whole lot.
Following my mental-montage, the disheartened feelings of deception.

Once I found playing drums was something I couldn't live without doing. Now, buying a drum kit is something I don't think I could live with.

Musical instruments are a category of objects which are some of the finest examples of craftmanship. And it's not the craftmanship that gets to me, after all, that is a form of true self-expression. As is making and playing music.
But where the chain breaks for me, is at the link we know of as Capitalism.
Every instrument in that store was being sold at a horrendous profit. Combined with the soul-selling actions I would have to commit to own one of those beautiful wooden things, I figured I could manage without one.

And it's that attitude of 'I can go without' which I think has been forced on to many of us via Capitalism.

Many of us stop our childhood activities because we're told to, either by authority figures, our social circles or even society in general. We'll call that group 1. Group 2 consists of the few of us that keep up these activites. Whilst doing so, the activities provide some sort of release - a method of venting all of the shit that stores up within us. And usually, to be able to do these activities, we have to sacrifice our time, our lives, so that we can sell our labour and thus our souls - only to try and claw back at our fragmented hearts in our own 'leisure time.'
Group 3 consists of the even fewer numbers of us who have come of age, and still wish to partake in these activities. I would say it is we that have it the hardest.
If we don't do our activity, part of us dies.
If we do get to do our activity, we've had to kill a part of ourselves to do so.
The cause of said duality being Capitalism.
I ask, is that right? Is that spiritually liberating? Is that fair and just?

In my imagination, I think if Capitalism didn't exist, group 1 would reduce in size. People wouldn't shun each other's activities as childish; we'd all be doing them.
Group 2 numbers would increase, because people would realise that they could still do their activities without having to sell their soul.
And group 3 wouldn't even exist, because their wouldn't even be a system from which we felt we would have to break out of.

The presence of Capitalism meant that my outlet, that was once playing drums, has now been converted to another activity. I listen to music daily to get my rhythm-fix, air-drumming furiously to let my body know that my rhythm-centre in my brain is still alive.
But do I think that's fair? Fuck no. There are still plenty of times when the dreams of playing on stage and touring the world with my band enter my head.

However, I feel that right now, the only solution I have, to remain integral to myself, is conversion. By converting my previous outlets into different areas of self-expression, my sanity and dignity can remain somewhat intact.

17b. The Art of Movement and Capitalism

Self-Expression via music isn't the only niche that Capitalism has infiltrated. I'm sure upon closer examination, we could find hundreds of niche activities that have been invaded by the C-word.
However, there is light at the end of that C-shaped tunnel. And that light comes in the form of movement.

One of the many pluses about the art of movement is that it is relative to you and your surroundings. The important part of that sentence is you.
No company, no capitalist agenda, can strip the you from you, not unless you allow it. But when you extend your self-expression into something unconsious, eg a skateboard, a drum stick, even clothes, etc Capitalism has access to those unconsious things. Which then confronts you with the task of assessing how you will go about expressing yourself via an unconcious medium, whilst not giving your soul away to a company. And that is a very tricky thing to be able to do, especially in today's Capitalist-infiltrated world.

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