I was writing a letter to a friend today and thought one section of it I’d like to share more widely:
One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the creeping domination of irony in the way we express ourselves in our culture. Irony isn’t itself a bad thing and used judiciously can be a great comedic and rhetorical tool, but I think without necessarily being aware of it, we’ve arrived at a place where the ironically raised eyebrow is the default response to any act of emotional honesty. I think as a result, most people are excruciatingly uncomfortable when they are confronted by real and raw emotions, what things really mean and how they affect us. We deflect anything serious with a joke, or change the subject or roll our eyes – and we pretend that everything is going to be alright when sometimes its not.
As a person as well as a songwriter, this is something I struggle with all the time. Trying to have the balls to be honest where it might be exposing or embarrassing or painful and putting it out there to essentially be judged, when such a big part of why I’m a performer, consciously or unconsciously, is to get some external validation that perhaps things will be alright – in essence, to be loved. And while this isn’t a wholly healthy state of affairs, when it does come, its only from a moment of real sharing – when however roughly hewn my attempt at saying something which means a lot to me, connects with someone else long enough to meet somewhere in the middle. In that way, the whole performance is an exchange and one from which, at its best, we both leave better for it.
This I guess is a long way ‘round to say that however much my songs may mean/have meant to you – knowing they’ve meant something to you in your life, on your own terms, means as much to me.