Trying Too Hard

trying too hardThe world seems to be trying too hard.

Just this morning the ticker-tape news on CBC news included these little gems; Bear bites boy off 9-year-old boy in Chinese Zoo, 350 Runners finish windy 20km race in Newfoundland, 14 people arrested after New England Pumpkinfest turns ugly, South, North Korea exchange gunfire across border.

Other than being vaguely entertaining, it really wasn’t news. North and South Korea exchanging occasional fire across the border? Pul-eazah, deliver some real news.  For instance, perhaps give a little more screen time to this Ebola vaccine,  the pr0-democracy demonstrations in Hong-Kong, or perhaps even the on-going sale of Canada’s democratic principles and social humanitarianism to China itself.

On a much less serious note, but serious to anyone (like myself ) who considers art, of any kind, the expression of the human spirit, consider Neil Diamond’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The only feeling I had for old Neil was pity.

What old Neil Diamond needs is to be himself, not a duded out old songbird trying for one more. Thank you for your classics Mr Diamond. Even Jimmy Fallon, whom I adore as a truly talented man had to force amusement during the most entertaining part of the interview;

Neil’s performance was a swinging tribute to the 70’s, a decade fashion needs to leave  behind.  Granted, Mr. Diamond may be considered an attractive older man, with  skeletal legs holding up his leather jacket and huge, gaunt eyeballs, I just wanted to go on stage, gently take the microphone from his hand, and pat him on the back as I escorted him to a comfy chair and a plate of biscuits.

Even dear old Leonard Cohen’s last album was nothing to write home about. Sorry Leonard, you know I love you, but your persona as the ever-curious lover was awesome. Save the singing of your new poems, and let us instead hear you recite your poetry as poetry, not lyrics. You are a literary icon, not a playboy. We love you, but make room on the stage and pocketbooks of music lovers for fresh, new talent.

Take Hozier for instance;

 

Give me something unique, sincere, and weird, but don’t give me mimicry of the truly great originals.

The recent global slap to U2’s ego was heard around the world when Apple invaded our privacy and assumed everyone wants the same type of art imposed on our unassuming playlists.

Classics are classics because they gave a stellar performance during their five-minutes of fame on the world’s stage. Let them remain classics.

Julia Child cannot be mimicked, nor can Bob Dylan or Don Cherry. They became the royalty of their own weirdness, and we celebrated them for it.

Enough of the knock-off chefs with over done hair and glasses trying to imitate the sincerity of the proud, Michelin-starred-chefs-of-the-past .

Enough of the Nicki Minaj’s dancing around to someone else’s hit. Sweetie, we lived through Madonna’s coffee table book, your bare ass isn’t anything new.

Let us all have the courage and grace to flow from year to year being our own, unique, selves, without trying too hard to be someone, or something we’re not. That includes doing real work, reporting authentic news, and promoting fresh talent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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