Today I was listening to some song. It was a love ballad from the 1990’s that achieved significant success. I like the song. It was a simple, guitar driven piece that rose and fell in in its proper time, and still remains a good solid song.
I started thinking about this song, and how it must have started. It likely began as scrawled lyrics penciled into an ordinary notebook. Then, the artist sat around his house, messing around with a few guitar chords, stop and start not even sure if this one was worth pursuing. Finally, after a number of tries, he realized he had something.
Then, one day, when he decided it was time, he unveiled this song to his bandmates and inner social circle. The song would have hit them as pure magic. And everyone talked about “the new one.”
Then “the new one,” got played in a few small shows–an as of yet unrecorded and unrealized hit. The song gained a cult following, –something only the super cool and initiated knew about. Until one day, the time came to record an album. The “new one,” along about a dozen old “new ones,” was doctored, and tweaked, until it was finally produced, recorded, and mastered into a slickly marketed CD.
The song exploded onto radio, and then the whole world was singing “the new one,” (with the original cult followers having had their taste soured, were over it, and onto another “new one.”)
The artist made millions off that song, and now it is a veritable classic, relegated to grocery store ambiance, and easy listening Pandora playlists.
I think about that. Here is this song, ever at my disposal, that turned an ordinary man into a god. And the song wasn’t that complex. It was some heartfelt lines of love and devotion, ultimately against some simple guitar chords (with the complement of a full band). Really, anyone with some decent talent and training could have created that song. Yet, it turned him into a god, an immortal, with an entry, albeit small, in the annals of rock history.
I think about that, and how hard I work to make my mark upon the world. Yet, here I am, here we all are, surrounded on every side by geniuses, and the gods of our time, all at our constant disposal. With the click of a trackpad, or the push of television remote, here are some of the most creative and innovative ideas the human race has concocted.
And we live amongst them day after day. We mindlessly consume them. We discuss them. We critique them. We admire them. We put them in YouTube montages, and splash them across our desktop wallpaper. And yet, we continue to live our ordinary lives. We continue to wish, and hope for something extraordinary to happen to us, while the gods live at our fingertips.
How is it that we can live, surrounded by gods, and yet still remain mortals?