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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pelosi to Musicians: Quit Your Day Jobs

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Dear Musicians,

Speaker Nancy has a word of advice: Shove that nine-to-five and strike out on the road. Hell, stage-dive -- you'll have health care now. She recently told a summit:

"We see it as an entrepreneurial bill -- a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations -- because you will have health care. You don't have to be job-locked."

Nancy's trying to be political here, but she raised an interesting issue about what it means to be a creative type. For the right-wing, as one might expect, had a blistering response to those 52 words: Let the guitar players deal with their own herpes. FOX News fretted that some youth of America might even leave work and "focus on their crappy folk-tronica ambient-core tech-step." (Note to FOX: It's called chillwave, alright?)

The network's Greg Gutfield had a few other fun ideas about what horrors health care reform might encourage:

"If you want to play your guitar in the subway, no worries! We've got your back. If you want to join a death metal barbershop quartet that plays everything on monkey skulls, that's cool too. If you want to freeze-dry your feces, jar it and call it an indictment on the Bush regime, relax, you daring artist, we'll pay for your pink eye."

It's funny, because all of the above is actually way less dangerous and unhealthy than what musicians have been doing for a long while, health care reform or no. And will someone please start a death metal barbershop quartet that plays everything on monkey skulls?

The strange part, though, is this argument:

"It used to be that those who embarked on careers in the arts did so because that lifestyle rejected the idea of a safety net. All those other boring farts can become accountants and lawyers, but not the creative soul! He's leaving town with nothing but a guitar, the wind at his back and herpes in his future. But when he snubs his nose at the safe and the boring, he also snubs the benefits that come with it. That boring company he mocked happens to provide steady income and benefits. Life on the road doesn't."

So, work a boring job and you deserve health care. But try making a living on your art and you don't?

Oh, and Nancy: While you're aiming to help out musicians and creative types, could you look into this:

[Via Digital Music News and CNS.com, a right-leaning news site.]

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Ian S. Port

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