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Old 28-06-2007, 16:38   #1
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This is why........

I'm going sailing...putting to sea with no intention of rejoining "regular" society until I absolutely have to.

This is a sad and somewhat revealing and insightful indictment on our crazy relentless daily "pursuit of hapiness"......

Pearls Before Breakfast - washingtonpost.com

"
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
-- from "Leisure," by W.H. Davies

"If we can't take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that -- then what else are we missing?"
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Old 28-06-2007, 17:43   #2
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I guess there is a difference between an education and four years of technical training.
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Old 28-06-2007, 18:54   #3
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I am not sure what's so sad about it. A guy pitches up in a train station and makes $1,700 a week playing a viloin. I bet there are some buskers here that would be happy to make that kind of scratch.

The fact that only one or two people recognized him can be explained by context. His target audience (concert goers) is very small and specialized. And the fact that the one or two recognized him and enjoyed a free concert is testament to their oservation skills.

Finally, standing in a subway at rush hour would would expect that people can't hang around. Try it on a Saturday when people are not on the way to work.
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Old 28-06-2007, 18:58   #4
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Thank you for posting this, Rangiroo. I read the Washington Post almost every day, but this had escaped my notice entirely.

It's a fascinating study on so many levels, and is certainly a wonderful illustration of the importance of context. Thank God for John Picarello and, perhaps, a couple of others.

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Old 28-06-2007, 19:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
I am not sure what's so sad about it. A guy pitches up in a train station and makes $1,700 a week playing a viloin. I bet there are some buskers here that would be happy to make that kind of scratch.

The fact that only one or two people recognized him can be explained by context. His target audience (concert goers) is very small and specialized. And the fact that the one or two recognized him and enjoyed a free concert is testament to their oservation skills.

Finally, standing in a subway at rush hour would would expect that people can't hang around. Try it on a Saturday when people are not on the way to work.
I think the point is not about the player per se....he is the BEST and as such doesn't just play a tune but makes the music a thing of exquisite beauty....and people were just too busy to notice or care...the two quotes I put in my post sum it up...to me...sitting on the deck of a sailboat in the Sth Pacific somewhere watching the sunset...is a thing of exquisite beauty....the point being made is that we have made our lives...our endless stress-filled pursuit of money to pay for cars/house/boat/a good time etc etc and end in itself...and it is a self-fulfilling and ultimately destructive end that divorces us from ourselves and our connection to the beauty around us...our connection to earth and spirit....this is why that article touched me...it wasn't about the player...it was about the insight it gave into one of the casualties of western society..the way we have become too busy to notice beauty when it is right in front of us.......I'm going sailing in search of beauty....I suspect I won't have to look too hard......
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Old 28-06-2007, 19:28   #6
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Ranjiroo - I am entirely sympathetic with your feelings. I too am a sailor and would love to drop everything, jump on a boat and sail away. In fact probably everyone here would. I think as sailors we are attuned more to nature than the average person.

Having said all that, the older I get the more tolerant of other people I get. The real beauty of the United States, and I have lived in a few other places is that there is room for everyone to follow their own dreams.

Big business is a neccesary "evil" if you want to call it an evil. It allows places like West Marine and Mercury motors and Perkins and Hunter to exist in the first place. Without the infrastructure that we have, we don't have the society that we have.

There are places in the world - Lot's of them in Asia - where life is slower and you would think sitting around and watching the sunset is a pretty common pastime. My experience is that the late afternoon is when it is cooling so that's when you haul in the rice crop. Oh, and you work 8-12 hours a day on the rice crop because without mechanical farming - just carribous - that's how long it takes to fill the rice bowl.

I know of no-one in the villages of asia with their own boat unless it is a fishing boat and then they are working 12 hours a day fishing because that's what it takes.

I am not criticizing or anything. Just trying to offer an insight into that "peaceful" lifestyle we all think is out there. Many people on this site are in the rat race trying to figure out how to get out. Unfortunately in most cases the rats are winning - LOL

A westerner showing up in an Asian mooring with a 40+ foot yacht is akin to martians landing. They can't understand the wealth that allows one to do that. Their impression of the west is streets paved with gold.

Should we stop and listen to beautiful violin music for 40 minutes? Maybe but in theory that's 40 minutes added to the time I can cut the dock line and take off - LOL.
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Old 29-06-2007, 01:51   #7
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Just read the article, firstly let me say that........don't they half waffle on!........nearly as bad as me!

Anyway, I am not sure what they expected, folk going to and from work or otherwise having a reason to be going somewhere with a time constraint.......is it really any great surprise that more folk did not stop and listen? even leaving aside that not everyones tastes include Classical Music..........most people are often very (too?) busy making a living / having demands on their time. It is the world we live in and have created for ourselves in the west.....whether this is a good thing or not is besides the point.

Loved the comment that in Europe the result would have been different! - more likely someone would have nicked his fiddle

But then again if they had tried the experiment with Vanessa Mae in a Bikini it may have had a different result
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Old 29-06-2007, 03:01   #8
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Fascinating ...
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Old 29-06-2007, 03:15   #9
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Isn't it though...
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Old 29-06-2007, 08:21   #10
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I'm tempted to start a philosophical and economical argument, but it would all be for naught. In the end, you do what you choose and have to accept the consequences and benefits both.

I do think it was kinda sad though, that every kid that passed by wanted to listen but was shooed away by busy parents.
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Old 29-06-2007, 09:42   #11
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I believe a better experiment would be at a park on a weekend when people aren't pressed to make a living. When given the choice of experiencing brief beauty and feeding your family, 99.9% will feed their family. Unless of course, nudity is involved.
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Old 29-06-2007, 10:52   #12
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Who's got time to listen to buskers in the subway? If you dawdle you'll get trampled to death! Keep walking... and fast, I don't care if that's really Elvis over in the corner strumming and singing.
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Old 29-06-2007, 11:13   #13
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I may be over simplifying this or possibly not really getting the full meaning of this thread. But I see this as stopping or not stopping to smell the roses. I work in a very demanding business and I must sometimes stop myself to really behold something beautiful, as I am sure this was....
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Old 29-06-2007, 12:46   #14
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OTOH, I work hard and long during the week. After work, I head home. I shed work as I go. I get home (my boat), fix a cocktail, sit on deck ... and marvel at what a great life I have and how lucky I am to be where I am and enjoying: the calm, boats going by, other liveaboards going by with a cheery wave or a few words of shared enjoyment, the gentle rocking, the sunset, the birds, the other life aquatic ... ... ... ... ... and then there are the weekends!! woohoo!

So .. I DO stop and "smell the roses" - I just don't do it on the way/back or while at work. So I agree with some of the above statements that the 'study' is flawed. And, while I think that classical music can be great, I have mother nature - so, a rose by any other name...
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Old 29-06-2007, 13:11   #15
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I'm not sure what the article suggests. Firstly, the acoustics of one's typical subway station--to say nothing of that one--are not all that terrific to say nothing of the background noise, dirt and hussle'n bussle going on at morning rush hour. Secondly, how many people coming and going have the time or inclination to stop and listen to someone--no matter how skilled--play the "fiddle". Thirdly, when I go to a violin concerto--I go specifically to listen to the music. When I pass through a sub-way. I do so because I've got somewhere to go and I usually have little time to waste.

Frankly, having had some friends in the music business, I can tell you that the sound of what they play at home on a accoustic instrument while sitting with friends and a glass of wine is remarkably different than the sound of their music processed in a recoding studio or at a concert. Good perhaps, but...

In a similar vein, many years ago I had a friend that was a fairly famous artist--painter--at least in some circles. At one point he and I and some other friends were sitting around arguing about what is art with another friend--gallery owner--that insisted that at some point an artist's name and not his work really accounted for the sale of his paintings. With that, our miffed artist friend threw a wadded up studio hand-rag at the protagonist saying "then sell this". "If you'll sign it I will!". The rag was promptly stapled to a strecher frame--signed with a burbon flourish--and less than a week later was sold in protagonist's gallery for a not inconsequential sum--which he rightfully refused to share!

Cheers
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