jc.tryps

– feeds your head

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Rules are meant to be reasonable.

For the past two weeks I have been participating, involuntarily, in a course about how to apply for jobs. I already know how to apply for a job, so that part of the course is a complete waste of time, but I am getting loads of insights to the wonder that is the human psyche. Just now I had following conversation down in the lobby by the elevators:

“Hi I’m the janitor. Where are you going?”

“To the 4th floor.”

“Are you a participant in the course?”

“Yeah.”

“Then you have to take the stairs.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s the way it is. It’s the rule. Says so on the sign there.”

I looked at him in disbelief and then I looked at the completely deserted lobby. There was really no one else around. The course is taking place in a high-rise building with a multitude of activities happening on the various floors. Office space, a kindergarten, various school type activities etc, so there are times when the elevators are very busy. At those times it does of course make sense to have a rule that says that the people higher up in the building, or the parents with their kids, have right of way to the elevator. But at this particular time the lobby was deserted. No one in sight. But the janitor was still sticking to his point – I should take the stairs. He even went as far as to say that he wanted to see me do that. I contemplated telling him that wouldn’t really be possible since he was actually standing in the elevator as we were having this conversation and the stairs are located in a separate entrance, but then I decided against it seeing as the likelihood of it being a very fruitful discussion was virtually zero. I waited him out and then took the elevator. Read more of this post

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When good music goes bad.

Why do some musicians get worse instead of better? I have stated this as one of the great mysteries in life, and in a way it actually is. At least it’s something that I have spent quite a lot of time thinking about and discussing with my friends. It really puzzles me. How can you have a downward curve in your development as a musician? It just seems bizarre. I mean skills should improve with practice – practice makes perfect, right? Well in some cases, wrong. And why is that?

In a lot of those discussions we have come to the conclusion that it has to do with guts, bravery, staying true to yourself. And I think we’re actually on to something here. If you have a certain amount of success with an album you naturally want to repeat that success with the next album and in some cases musicians then decide to play it safe and just deliver more of the same. But art isn’t really about producing more of the same. Art is about exploration. And when you opt for the same approach the likelihood of creating something interesting drastically diminishes. Art has an evolutionary aspect in that sense, it has to keep developing in order to not grow stale and superfluous. Sticking with the known is rarely a good idea when it comes to art. Read more of this post

The mating game. Or: Please don’t make me despise you.

“Oh, please don’t make me despise you.” I find myself thinking that more often than I would like. About men I thought I liked. Men I though were cool. Men where I saw friendship potential.

“Oh, please don’t make me despise you.” But he does. They almost always do. Why is that? You see an advance coming, you decline in a nice and polite way. A respectful way, a way that let’s them save face. You give them a really nice,hassle free exit, but they don’t take it. Why is that? I just don’t get it. Why do nice, sensible, intelligent, socially capable, intellectual men turn into irrational, despicable troglodytes? How does that happen? I really don’t get it. Men who are able to make intelligent and rational decisions and who are capable of highly sophisticated argumentation and analysis all of a sudden lose all capability of critical thinking and reason. How is that even possible? Or rather: how can you be so nice and still be an asshole? Read more of this post

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