Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Chances are good you're not my muse... or Sting's

Last night, I happened to be looking at Sting's Facebook page.  He just released a new album with some guy named Shaggy.  I downloaded it last night, because I always download Sting's shit.  I don't always like everything he does, but I like enough of it that whatever he does, I'll listen to it at least once.

When I was younger, I was less interested in Sting's politics.  I tended to like his songs about political matters less than I did his songs about love and/or obsession.  The one notable exception was the song "Russians", which was on his 1985 debut solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles.  That song, which has special meaning to those of us who grew up during the Cold War era, is especially poignant to me.  A few of his other political songs have grown on me over the years, but in general, I care less about them than I do about some of his other stuff.

"Russians" by Sting...  this has always been such a haunting song.

Still, even though I don't always like Sting's political songs, it would never occur to me to tell him to stop writing them.  The man has been at his craft for decades.  Who am I to tell him what to do?  Ah... but some people have no problem telling Sting what he should be writing.  Check out these comments from his Facebook page.

Hi Sting,

In 1985 you did a great songcalled "Russians". Consider doing one of the same political influence on America - Persia now.

There is much to say. The world would need a hit song to be heard by many millions on this by you.

Think about it. It would be a pleasure to see you as mediator in this world of turbulence.


Sting, PLEASE get back to writing in the vein of “Nothing Like The Sun”, “The Soul Cages”, and “Ten Summoner’s Tales”.

While I admit that the stuff with Shaggy is fun, I agree, I think Sting needs to give us at least one more "Blue Turtles" type album.

What are you doing sting come back to the jazz please!

When U want surprise us fans really then do that last final The Police Album ....we are waiting for so long sting....its a good album with shaggy but The Police would work a little better i think....just guessing.....

I want this so much too .When I first listened The Police 80's I loved it but them they broke up .Why they just can't get together and have a last cd ?I would be so happy me and millions of fans.I guess.These songs sound so much with The Police .

Some people don't like his clothes...

Nothing Like The Sun. Even. Btw, Sting, please take off these HORRIBLE jeans. Now.

Or they're not satisfied with the pictures on his Facebook page.

need some sexy Sting pics please... they don't have to be "Sexy" any sting pic at all is Sexy to me. really miss seeing the face..... just saying.

I think he needs more sex and lust in his life.

And some just outright think his latest album is shitty.

Longtime fan of Sting. This is extremely hard to listen to. One of the best songwriters in history has become a joke. Soon he will be singing " it wasn't me" This is trash!!!

In fairness, the vast majority of people have posted nice things on Sting's page and seem to recognize that he's a person, rather than a product.  I doubt he reads the comments anyway, given that he has millions of fans following him.  I guess that's the main reason why I wonder why people bother to leave comments directing Sting on his musical direction.  It kind of makes me wonder if the people who post these suggestions have any idea about the creative process, or a concept about inspiration.  Sting is an artist.  He's very likely going to create something when he's been inspired.  I don't know what inspires Sting, but I do think he's a very observant person who probably doesn't need help from the masses.

Although I am nowhere near the level of artist Sting is, I too sometimes get comments from people when I make music or write things.  Sometimes I don't mind when people offer suggestions.  There have been a few times when suggestions have turned into things I'm proud of.  Other times, I get an annoying comment and turn it into a blog post.  I have a feeling some people don't like it when I do this.  I probably wouldn't like it, either.  But I tend to follow whatever muse inspires me, for better or worse.  Sometimes people like the end product and sometimes they don't.

These days, most of my musical pursuits are on SingSnap.  I usually try to keep a low profile there, mainly because I use music as a mental health treatment.  I will record a bunch of songs and, if people like them, they like them.  It's nice when people comment.  It's less nice when they give me song assignments, especially since it's just karaoke.  Most people don't take karaoke seriously.  I do, if only because I don't have access to a band and I find music to be healing.  If people are entertained by what I do, so much the better.  But I don't usually need help-- although I will admit that there have been a few times when I've discovered new songs after people have suggested them.  

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that being an artist is not necessarily like working in a factory.  The reason people like Sting are so popular and famous is because, besides being good looking and lucky, they also have a rare talent.  Sting writes songs, plays instruments, and sings.  He's a creative person who is inspired by different aspects of life.  He's not producing products in a factory that are necessarily based on supply and demand.  I suppose there are artists out there who work that way, but I don't think Sting is one of them.  

I guess people like me might be more receptive to suggestions than someone like Sting is.  I wonder why people bother to post critical comments or "wishes", though.  Maybe someone on his team is reading the comments, but even if they are, is Sting really going to make another album like The Dream of the Blue Turtles just because someone on a fan page asked for it?  Honestly, I think one of the things I like most about Sting is that he's a very versatile performer who isn't afraid to try new styles and sounds.  He's often successful when he branches out.  Besides, we already have a "Blue Turtles" album.  

I, too, make music in a variety of different genres.  I seem to do best when I sing jazz or bluegrass, but I've been known to cover rock songs.  I started out singing classical music.  Sometimes, I'll even sing gospel, even though I'm not particularly religious.  It's all in what's inspiring at the moment.  I suspect it's the same for Sting and others like him.  

Likewise, when I write blog posts, sometimes they are inspired by suggestions, but more often than not, they are inspired by observations.  I'm probably more likely to take a blog subject suggestion more seriously than a music suggestion.  When I write fiction, it never comes from someone else's suggestions.  It almost always comes from observations and imagination... or sometimes fantasy.  I haven't been writing much fiction lately, though.  Maybe it's time I got back on a fiction kick.  

TL:DR--  Inspiration is important.  So is motivation.  Sting is probably motivated to follow his muse... and chances are, you and I are not his muse.  He doesn't need help.  Most of the time, neither do I.  I will admit that for this particular post, Sting was MY muse.

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