viernes, 26 de marzo de 2010

To ban or not to ban, that's not the question

It's been a habit all over the world throughout the history of mankind to ban intellectuals and artists. It had happened to me too several times (and needless to say, in my own country ; there is no point in banning immigrants' works of art, right?) although not in a grand way like the case of Stalin and Shostakovich. I remember there is a private music school who prohibits its students even only mentioning my name, let alone playing a note of my music there. And another "artistic" company have done (and are doing) that too in similarly pathetic ways, so if once in a while accidentally my name (and even my music) popped up there ... well ... if you are not as powerful as Hitler or Stalin it would be difficult to ban someone, my friend. If my music, due to mysterious forces happen to sound in their community then the easiest thing is try to hide the composer's name. "Oh, it's just some sounds coming from ...the sky?". Exactly, my friend. The name's Skywalker. Andy Skywalker.

Artists write books, make paintings or write music, so even if you cut off our heads, somehow our names (and products) still hang around. Uff, difficult business, eh? And now with our big brothers such as facebook, websites etc the banning business gets even more complicated. I just get on with the old way of doing business : write my music and let the audience decide what they like. And if they wanna judge who's music or who plays the piano better, well it's their problem, not mine. I am what I am, my music sounds like what it is. And I am too busy to ban my friends. And too lazy.
Another composer in Indonesia having been banned (at that time by a political party) was Amir Pasaribu. Now THAT was quite ugly was extensive and intensive up to a point that he had to leave the country, otherwise he'd have faced prison sentence.
Usually the banning of my name or existence has nothing to do politically ; it's more of artistic views. You don't understand that? Well, I'll tell you in a simpler language in four letters : envy. So, usually I was banned by my fellow artists, or "artists", usually in the world of music (a painter or writer would make no point in banning me, right?).
But to be honest, being banned does give me a tiny boost of pride. And as Herodotus said, it is better envied than pitied. I mean, if someone envies you, that means they consider you "better" than him/her, right ? Whether it is true or not, he thinks that way. And if someone thinks you are better, there are two obvious responses : either he/she admires you or hates you. Admiration (and love) and hatred are just two sides of a coin as we always say. In fact, I'd like to be banned in a grand way. Therefore I feel grand. No, no, don't send me to a concentration camp or shoot me. Just ban me, write in the newspaper headlines "The music of Ananda Sukarlan is complete trash, and he plays the piano like an idiot, therefore he should be banned." And write a loooong article about my mus.. I mean trash. I'd love it ! In fact, the easiest way to ban a composer is to program his music. If it's really trashy, then the audience will automatically ban it by not wanting to come to the concerts or listen to his music anymore. But this advice wouldn't make my banner friend happy, eh ..? I don't think it's quite effective ....
"Such men as he be never at heart's ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous."
(W. Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar")

And therefore Caesar was murdered, my friend.