Bite sized human

I want to talk about two things today. Consumerism and the quality of art & the multifaceted nature of people.

Last week Wednesday I was on the phone with someone. We had been talking about Asake. We were talking about Asake because there had been a little buzz on Twitter about how we hadn’t heard from him in a while. It might have been a joke but it’s a thing the person on the other end and I had noticed. First we based it on Nigerian musicians and the demand for more music by “fans”. I put fans in quotes because that day we even discussed the decline in pure music fandom, the shift from fans loving music and artists to them just being obsessed with the next best thing. It was riveting. I then pointed out that the near extinction of groupies is detrimental to the quality of fan dedication. The only act I think that still has groupies is BTS.

This conversation moved on to how artists across all genres are plagued by consumerism. The need to put out new work that will grip the fans attention has ruined the quality of art. The habit of making and circulating short videos on social media makes it worse. They are catchy but they are shrinking and contributing to erasure. Artists doing trends with their art or music shrinks their creativity to what people will like.

These days streaming services are full of albums that have maybe 1 great song, 3 good songs, 2 okay songs and fillers. Fillers is a term used to describe songs that are made to complete an album. To make an album lengthier or pad the popular singles from said album. This problem shares roots with the decline in raw talent and consumerism.

Artists are forced to continuously churn out work that the audience eats up almost immediately and critiques in the most tone deaf and dishonest manner I have ever seen. Artists are also made to endure all this with remixes and rearrangements or misuse of their art without really revolting because all PR is good PR. All this to break into the limelight or stay relevant. Granted this isn’t a new phenomenon, but with the increase in consumerism, it has worsened. I have tried to not subject myself to this with my writing with a vow to only ever write what I have to say, what story I want to read so I write it, to keep my words pure and honest but I will concede that sometimes I have fallen to consumerism. (The filler pieces are hard to spot because they’re not necessarily bad but when I read them I know and I just cringe)

Consumerism stretches to personal presence on social media. It starts off as “finding a niche”. It then makes it way to “do something in that niche” then the last stage is “you must stay in that niche” That is where the yawa usually do burst.

As a person my bane for the longest time was finding where I belonged. I always stretch and yearn. It is so gnawing that my best word is ineffable. There’s always ambiguity, a certain unsure feeling and ultimately fear and withdrawal concerning identifying as something. I like a lot of things, I engage a lot of things so putting whichever one at the forefront gives me a tummy ache.

Consumerism makes people package themselves in versions that they believe people should conveniently swallow. A cute short name say Joe. A way you make money say plumber and one thing you should like. Let’s say car. So you’re Joe the plumber who likes cars. Everything is easy to swallow. Short syllables that don’t require any work to absorb. Consumerism has made us turn to bite sized human beings because if we make a fuss or take up too much space no one will swallow us. No one will absorb us and ultimately, no one will include us.

This phenomena irks me. The 1D plane of viewing human beings is devoid of everything human connection is supposed to be. You know only one thing about someone and you wear and tear the material.

Again, I will cite another conversation with someone in the past week. We were talking about his twitter image. He’s known for a certain fashion choice and no matter what, no matter where that’s what some people will always remember about him. I don’t know what to make of that. It’s a sharp decline in the meeting people spectrum that social media has aided.

Everyone is supposed to have their niche and aesthetic. Choose one,stay there so it’s easy for people to consume you.

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