Sometimes I sit around and talk with men my age in their forties and we like to reminiscence on how things were back in the day. Eventually, we come to the conclusion that cinema, television, and music was magical, because it was inaccessible. Big studios put up large amounts of money to invest in artists that they thought could make a lot of money off of. Unless you could win over a talent scout, you could forget about publishing, of any kind, in any genre of art.
Times have changed and people are able to publish anything they want on demand. Books, television shows, movies, and albums, can all be produced using cheap technology available at WalMart or Target. You don’t even need a personal computer anymore; most smartphones are more than capable for anything and everything an artist would need to do these days.
Instead of wondering what kids in their twenties would need us for, since we are no longer the gatekeepers to the artistic universe, we can draw from our wisdom and life experience. If I were a rapper I wouldn’t talk about the same topics a young kid would. If I were to produce a television show or direct a movie, I probably would not want to direct some forgettable blockbuster movie. At my age I want to be entertained through something that is both thought provoking, conscientious, and provocative at the same time. I want something that will stick with me for years to come. I do not want anything to do with throwaway pop culture that it out of style in the next six months.
I am not against Fruity Loops, Auto-Tune, social networking, or any other technology. Computers are here to make our lives easier, and if they empower someone to create art for cheap they are even more useful than I had always thought they would be. Making millions of dollars off of free software and a few hours of hard work is the American dream.
I can sit around and complain about how the world has changed, and how art sucks, and go on and on about the decline of Western civilization but what good would that do? Western civilization has been in decline for several decades. The same thing I would have to say about a young adult people my age said about me twenty years ago. How can I compete in this new environment; I can’t compete with young people on their terms I have to be myself. I should embrace and relish these years; I’m not young, and I’m not old. These chapters of my life will be over before I realize where I’m going, as always. But I don’t want to rush through anything anymore, I’ve got plenty of time, even if the reality of my existence is that I don’t have any more time to waste …