August 22 2011

The Argument for Experience Straight Up

Anyway, today I was walking down the street and I saw these two people sitting there with this (questionable) sign:

I pulled over to the side to see what happens when someone stops– but after a couple dozen people walked by without a second glance I realized it was going to be me that was going to have to do the stopping. I walked up to them and said, ‘Ok, I stopped. Whatchoo got?’ The guy said, ‘I’d like to play a song for you.’ And he took out a guitar which he had in a case next to him.

My first thought was, ‘Uch! Why’d I stop!? A song?! Uch! I thought I was gonna get a secret tidbit of something!! Some performance art something something! Instead now I’m stuck here having to awkwardly stand through some guy playing me a cover of Eagle Eye Cherry or something!?

(btw I’ve never been comfortable with someone singing specifically for me. Mariachi Bands at the table… Crooner girls… whatever. Any one-on-one eye contact while singing and I go all inner squirm. It’s weird.)

Anyway, he starts gearing up to sing and I thought I should get out my iphone 4 and record what was about to happen. Good or bad what would be the harm in recording? I got my new fancy iPhone 4. I could throw it up on the youtubes for better or worse. They probably wouldn’t mind if I recorded it…

But I resisted. I beat back the thought of recording. Because lately, I’m finding it increasingly important to just experience some stuff straight-up without the fidget of a gadget. To not indulge the inner murmur of what can be done with it. Or feel the need attach purpose or permanence to it. Exploit. I’m thinking sometimes some things should just ‘be’.

I get the idea of a cat falling off a countertop into a trashcan NEEDS to be recorded to be appreciated and a devastating loss when unrecorded– but when I go to shows and stuff now the high level of recording makes me wonder about the increasing disconnect in simple personal experience appreciation. And perhaps, the value of sometimes keeping things for yourself sometimes is a worthwhile challenge.

Anyway, I stood there. They guy sang a song with his eyes closed the whole time (appreciated totally). His girl didn’t chime in (appreciated totally). The song and the musician were surprisingly good. A complete song he wrote himself with a little cover of something weaved into the bridge. Yadda yadda. They were both friendly and nice. Zack and Ashley I think– but I’m bad with names. Afterwards, I gave him $5 as thanks– and asked to take their picture.

Yeah, as I walked away I kicked myself a little for not recording– as this post would probably be alot more interesting if I went the other way and succumbed to my iphone– but sometimes (once in a while) I’m thinking in cases like that… resistance isn’t futile.

ok bye!


PS. Here‘s the Eagle Eye Cherry hit– in lieu of my non-record.


Amy says:


Slimy Politician says:

I have no comment at this time

None of That says:

Thats why I always secretly record my bitch in the bedroom. best of both worlds!! 😉

R$N says:

Good for you Todd for disconnecting from technology to feel the groove of those guitar tunes. Every now and then, everybody needs to do that.

tainted says:

i dunno.. i dont really get the sign. it sort of implies that by not stopping, im doing something wrong somehow or that i dont care. but why should i stop? they offered no reason as to what two people were doing there. he even had his guitar hidden away, so whats the deal? i feel like all the honest street music players just play. if you like em, then you drop some money in. i feel like they kind of guilt tripped you into giving that $5. i mean, could you really have walked away at that point? after making the whole show of taking out his guitar?

seems to me like an unusual twist on street music begging directed towards people who are curious (and have enough time) to stop and see what the dealio is.

mzspiffy says:

I appreciate what you are saying about experiencing something for what it is Todd. I too have found that I often pull out my camera to snap photos, etc., but then I miss just enjoying the beauty of what is around me. The more concerned I am with taking pics to remember the moment, the less I get to experience the actual moment. I say kudos to you!

earp says:

That was like, beautiful, Moonflower; wow…

Lorelei says:

Done absolutely the RIGHT thing. No recording necessary. Your storytelling does it all.

Mr. Dong says:


Nicol says:

So MORE THAN NINE OUT OF TEN means that no one will stop.

It’s like those threatening facebook status posts.
“I know you won’t post this”.
“If you don’t post this you are denying Christ”
“Cancer affects everyone. Post this as your status for one hour. I know which of my friends will/won’t post this”
“Amber Alert: If it was your child you would want someone to post it”

Maybe unbutton one of those top buttons and play a good song.

earp says:

The sign should say “Self-important assholes who spent way too much of our parent’s money being professional students at a liberal arts school while suffering utopic delusion due to academic lobotomization”

nerd says:

Well, I support your non-recording stance. I think it was the right choice. And anyway, I’d rather just read about it. I wouldn’t have clicked on the video if you’d made one.

Krankor says:

Probably two psychology students doing an experiment.

Prince Of Space says:

KRANKOR!! Stand where you are! The first man who walks down the ramp will be signing his own death warrant! I’ve boobytrapped the whole thing and your own thorian bombs will blast you into the next world!!!

Paul says:

Not sure why but the looks on their faces make me want to barf

Matt says:

More than 9 out of 10? That’s just… 10.

cb1 says:


Anonymous says:

lol. my brother did that same social experiment for a college course. garunteed thats what they are doing. funny part is. hes one of those coffee shop neo acoustic guitarists that wears tight pants and fashionable button ups. yee haw

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