I was listening to the radio the other day and they were discussing how times have changed with music. You know how the ladies who do the school pick up shift aimed at 35-year-old mums like to harp on about ‘back in the day?’ Yeah.
They were talking about vinyls and how so and so’s teenage daughter has never even bought any music, like, ever because all she does is stream it.
I was listening with only half-baked interest until one of the ‘voices’ (sounded like Meshel Laurie) said, ‘you know, the only people who are actually buying music these days are old people and Christians.’
She went on to say that the only people in the music business who are really making any money anymore are the old school people (because their fans don’t know how to stream music) and people like Guy Sebastian. He’s making a killing (apparently) because he’s got a lot of Christian fans and ‘Christians won’t steal music… (bless them.)’
Sure there was a slightly patronising edge to her tone, but I did find it interesting that it was an acknowledgeable phenomena. I know that a lot of non-Christians don’t steal music, and sadly, a lot of Christians probably do, but I have to say, that in that moment, when a woman who makes her livelihood in the media industry acknowledged that the Christians were holding up the integrity of the music business… well I was pretty proud of my people.
I’ve been thinking about why it is that I used to shop so much, when I’m actually completely fine without it. It’s as though I had this consumer instinct inside me that just needed to possess. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much this permeates all of our lives.
We’re not content to just look… we want beauty for ourselves.
I think this covetous instinct dates back to the beginning of time, but it astounds me how it has exploded in recent decades. It’s not just about buying; it’s about capturing. Why is it that half of us travel the world, seeing it all through a camera lens? Why is it that we record concerts and speeches and sermons? Why is it that when I see something beautiful in the shops, I feel such a desperate need to possess it?
Is it fear? Are we afraid that if we don’t hold on to things, the beauty will be lost? Why can we not just stop, look, appreciate and move on? There’s enough beauty to go round.
P.S. I wonder if I could go a whole year without taking a photo? Just a thought…
Last night my church hosted our annual Carols by Candlelight. The event draws thousands of people and culminates with a large fireworks display.
This year the fireworks were spectacular, bursting into a clear sky in front of a full moon. I was standing at the back of the crowd, and wandered along the perimeter of the oval as the sky was lit by the dazzling colours. I must confess, my immediate instinct as they started was to get my camera out to take a photo, but as the thought registered, I looked out across the crowd and saw a sea of people with the glow of mobile phones reached out towards the sky.
Was it not enough just to see with their eyes?
I sometimes wonder how much we miss by being so consumed with capturing every moment. I once heard a story about a well-known musician who was giving a small concert. He announced at the beginning that there were to be no mobile phones, no recordings and no pictures taken; not only that, but this was going to be a one-off performance. The audience, knowing that they had this moment, and this moment only, to enjoy the performance, found themselves mesmerized by the music; engaged on a level that they otherwise never would have been.
How often do we view the world through the lens of a camera, and never really take the time to really see it with our own eyes?