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Monday, March 07, 2005

Willpower Is a Useful Obsession

I'm pretty obsessive. Not sure there is an on-line Obsess-O-Meter test so I'm not sure how I measure up to somebody who, say, needs to use a special tool to trim their table grape stems after each guest eats a grape. That's a person I know who laughs when I tease her about her analness. Good to have a sense of humor about your obsessions. That's the problem with politicians, I think. Just can't laugh at themselves for pushing irrational legislation or backing hopelessly idiotic causes. Steve Martin used to have a stand up bit where he played a banjo. He said that if presidents and world leaders would only appear with banjos while they addressed the nation, they could never declare war or cut needed social programs. I'm not a big banjo fan but I know Steve's got it right. My classroom for many years was next to a practice room for 9-year-old violin students. I found that oddly more pleasing than any virtuoso performance of Lady Of Spain or Dueling Banjos I've ever heard.

But I don't knock the obsessions of others unless they are directed at annoying me. I guess that's why preachers get under my skin.

I always found will power to be a useful obsession. That may be a clever way of justifying any obsession. Willpower to keep fit and to do music are the most useful to me. Though I'm only obsessed with one person, it's very useful for a songwriter to observe other people's obsessions. Knowing that we are all obsessive in one way or another and being able to use lyrics that tap into that, makes for a memorable song.

Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits said in an interview recently, "I used to fall asleep while playing. Chet Atkins used to do the same. Just repeat the nonsense till you get tired." That's what I'm talking about. Keep playing, keep writing, keep blogging, keep on...well you get the idea.

posted by Bud @ 10:33 AM

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