Last night, I was watching Iron & Wine at the Orpheum with the girlfriend and I was getting pretty annoyed because he kept using the band for his songs which would overshadow his angelic voice. For anyone who doesn’t know—Iron & Wine (a moniker for one dude named Sam Beam) is mostly known for slow acoustic songs lead by Beam’s whispery voice. I’m not a music expert so I could be wrong about the origin of this guy’s fame but this is not the topic of discussion.
Anyhow, after hearing the circus band complete with trombone play for 20 minutes and barely hearing any of his voice or guitar I began to ask why doesn’t he just scrap the band and get on stage with just him and his guitar? That’s what I really want to see (which is selfish, I know.) And then I thought couldn’t he do two separate tours, one with the band and one without? This isn’t completely ridiculous as the only thing in common between the two versions of the songs is the lyrics, which may seem like a lot but it’s not. The beat, tempo, and overall atmosphere of the song are completely different which results in a different impact on the audience. So given the two versions are far enough apart artistically to merit two separate tours, what otherwise ridiculous facet of this idea is holding it back? The answer is capitalism. Not enough people would pay for two separate tours to justify it. That’s kinda mind blowing if you think about. This guy exists in an artistic pocket of society far away from anything corporate or money-centric; a pocket one would think would be independent of the forces of capitalism but actually capitalism controls him just as it controls the rest of us.
Then I started to think what if we were in a communist or socialist structure? Or hunter-gatherer structure? What if the capitalistic incentives were removed? Sam Beam’s incentives would totally be different. Money would not be a problem if there were no monetary influences on his incentives. He could go on tours where he would only play one song the entire time (oh, and if it were up to me that one song would be Trapeze Swinger.)
I realized the depth of how much our government structures control us. Sam Beam had a million different ways of structuring this tour but only a handful would be appeasable if capitalism was in play. There are a million different realities that can happen at any given second, but capitalism has already reduced that number by several thousand every second. And so capitalism limits our actions by shaping our incentives. Then we live in not a “free society” but more of a “freer society.”
As a disclaimer, I love capitalism and check facebook too much to live in any other government.
A boy is pure because he has yet to be taken a hold of the inexorable nature of what it is to be a man. For man is nothing more than an animal; tragically ruled by the same carnal compulsions of all animals that came before him.
“The path of least resistance for most unwary souls is to be caught up in the obligations pertaining to cycles of birth, family, children, and the roles we are taught or forced to assume. In this mode the freedom of disconnection alludes us. But it is through the gradual disconnection to our worldly attachments that allows us to realize how trivial jealousy, deceit, anger and acquisition are in relation to the big picture of existence which extends well beyond our occluded perceptions. True freedom comes when one is free of these distracting imperfections and can find forgiveness towards those who have wittingly or not caused us harm or pain.”—Henry Ramsey