The times have changed

By Hans Ebert

There must be a way outta here and where people take responsibility for their actions. And non-actions. It’s become much too easy to jump in and out of being part of passing fancies that in time will go…

Some, of course, have turned fads into big business. They watch what’s “trending” and jump onto whatever of these bandwagons are rolling.

Anyone else hear the theme from “Rawhide” playing in your head?

When these bandwagons run out of steam, they jump off and wait for the next trending hashtag- hashtags about diversity, #MeToo, #TimeIsUp”, whatever Life matters, wellness, gun laws, Mr Potato Head, the rainbow connection, BidenGait, #HarryAndMeghan, shootings, more shootings etc.

It all quickly dissipates into showbiz. And when something that matters becomes showbiz, it signals the end of anything once worth something. It’s reduced to social media fodder and click bait. The Big Story is replaced by another and newer Big Story. And on and on we go in the circle game.

Though there is plenty of gold to be mined on platforms like YouTube, social media is often not a nice place. It’s become increasingly manipulative and driven by algorithms to attract more and more content without any filter. It’s allowed in a helluva lot of Spamalot and irrelevance.

More and more, one thinks twice about pressing that “like” button, being selective and not becoming part of some creepy nostalgia show caught up in a past that’s no longer relevant.

It’s scary thinking you might be in this place and has become that crazy old uncle you knew as a kid who talked all over everybody and was never wrong.

There are plenty of cranky, crazy old uncles on certain online platforms along with sad Eleanor Rigbys picking up rice from a church where a wedding had been.

All these lonely people, where do they all come from? From the world we have created. The others are so busy playing the instant fame game they don’t see possible very real opportunities passing them by. Yet they wonder why they’re broke and don’t see how the wheel fell off the wagon over a decade ago and that all their pretensions are visible. As Dylan once said, “You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal”.

What, if anything, are they doing to at least right some wrongs? Usually, like a moth to a flame, they’re busy flying straight into the eye of the hurricane and being part of the problem. They’re happy to go with the flow though, these days, this “flow” has turned into a giant gnat.

It’s now about breaking through to the other side, and realising that the wants and needs of the consumer have changed. The challenge is to understand and adapt to these changes- how and where we do business- and why- and looking at how whatever we’re doing might just help the world to heal and get back onto its feet.

It’s not going to be easy, but just chanting about being “agile” is pointless. That’s for the birds, mainly parrots.

Have those in the music industry, for example, been “agile” enough during these lockdown times? Or have they been waiting for others to get the ball rolling and then enjoy a free ride? Another one.

What is this ball, anyway? Are there any plans to change the tune and add another layer where music is seen as being more than what it is?

What if there’s something more that music can offer the world other than being what it is- a priceless emotional attachment?

The music business today is divided into the big global players on one side with all the various corporate games.

On the other side are the musicians- those whose work is at the core of all the buying and selling going on. And in this latter group, there are the big names who have crossed over and are power brokers in their own right.

But where’s the “middle class”? What’s going to fill this chasm?

Frankly, these same questions can be asked of almost every industry.

One wonders who has the vision to see this and feels strongly enough to do something about it? You know, creating this new middle class.

After all, let’s get real here: The times aren’t going to change for anyone. It’s about being adaptable enough to change with the times.

#changingtimes #socialmedia #music #newmiddleclass #life #fads #trends

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