“We are ugly, but we have the music”*

The democracy of music is refreshing. I’m not talking about the punk DIY aesthetic of opening the making of music up to the untrained and even the untalented. No, I mean that the most wonderful music in the world is . . . available. You don’t have to earn it. Or deserve it. It is not kept from you because you are a bad person or a failure. There is no competition, no ranking, no judgment, no value, no obligation, no prerequisite, no credit check, no application, no interview, no investigation, no gatekeeper. You can lack every redeeming quality in nature, and be deservedly unloved, unwanted, dismissed, ignored, and shunned . . . and you can have music. No matter how degraded your life, how worthless you are as a human specimen, how little anyone else holds you in regard, music will be available to you if you want it. Exempt from the cost of being you, is music. And what’s more – the real fucking kicker – is that you can KNOW that you don’t deserve anything good, and also KNOW that you can have music. You can realize what a piece of trash you are and hate yourself with the intensity of two atomic nuclei fusing together in a hall of mirrors, and music is still available to you. It’s amazing that I get to appreciate the beauty and wonder and grace of music, just like everyone else. It may not be fair, but I’ll take it.

*Leonard Cohen

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