A Question of a SelloutPosted on May 5, 2011
Most of us think of selling out in regards to music but it applies in a myriad of ways, and the theme is as old as commerce and art itself.
For those of you who never took art history look up The Medici.
If you are an artist, or know one personally, you’ve seen this ugly existential wrestling match up close.
You’ve seen the dirty under skirts of the music, art and entertainment business and know her for the whore she is.
But is wanting to make a living with one’s art selling out?
Do you have to sell out in order to do it?
Perhaps the topic itself is dated, as my pessimistic side thinks that selling out is all those crazy kids are dying to do these days.
Is selling out allowing some mega corporation to buy your amazing song and pitch cat food with it?
Is it allowing them to do it in the name of mowing down the rain forest, say, instead of some innocuous service such as cat food?
What the fuck made The Clash Rock the Casbah?
Ok too many questions, but you get the point.
Some of the most talented people are eating their hearts out over the careers of far less gifted kiddies who are “making it” all the while quickly approaching the big expiration date.
That’s 40 by the way, as if you didn’t know.
And some of them are willing to go to serious lengths to get that approval, that award, that applause, that rent check. There are some days when selling cat food with a song sounds just fine. The rain forest however…
Honestly, if I stop with all the clever writing (which none of the above actually is) my guess is we all know exactly what it means to be a sell out.
It means going against your better nature for the sake of a naked and undulating gold toothed greed.
It means doing what you know you shouldn’t and stuffing that little voice of conscience right down the hole in your gut where all your dreams had to retreat to when you decided life was too tough.
It means catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and having a hard time liking the guy looking back.
But would you if you could?
Could you take a little personal guilt in exchange for security and money?
Would you dumb it down for a dollar or two?
Would you still make art if no one was looking?
You’d sell your soul for a little rock and roll wouldn’t you?
Are you a sell out? Would you know if you were?
What is a sell out anyway?