Sorry to break it to you, kiddo; but you’re a fucking fish. Well, not exactly – but you are either a shark or an aquatic mammal for the sake of this following analogy. Warm up those flippers, you lovely little fishies; it’s time to get wet!
Ahhh, the dolphins! The beautiful and majestic creatures of the sea… In spite of the numerous cases of murder and rape accounted to the bottle-nosed bastards, we all love them, don’t we? (I’m not shitting you with that last line, dolphins are fucking evil in real life).
Who are the dolphins, you might ask? Well the artists, of course! Maybe the PR agents as well, come to think if it…
That’s right – we watch and celebrate as they exuberantly splash through their every day, singing beautiful cackles and notes to each other and actively supporting each other in their day-to-day lives. You see, a dolphin knows that it’s within his best interest to ingratiate itself with others and, though there are often cases of rivalry and unrest amongst their communities, they usually respect this mutual understanding and strive to work together against the larger threats of the ocean.
The dolphin itself, though a strong and capable creature, does have his admirers and predators. Usually the well-being of the dolphin lies within his strength, resolve and cunning. He knows the seals generally aren’t a threat and, in some cases, they even grow to respect and value the species as more than simple cohabiters of the sea! As we all imagine, the largest adversary the dolphin might face in the sea is a shark of a similar size to him; with exception of the orca, but we’ll get to that later.
These sharks sound like wankers! Who are they?
In this analogy, I consider the sharks to represent the many threats to the stability and longevity of the band. Whether it be an exploitative record executive or harsh critic, a shark ensures her livelihood from the efforts and life blood of a band or artist.
It sounds pretty fucking harsh, but that’s just the way the world works! I could elaborate on the importance of this cycle, highlighting the all to familiar “natural selection” argument, but I’ve covered similar thoughts in earlier pieces and am more than likely to mention it again in the future. In the meantime, consider that the shark has the same right to exist in this world as the dolphin does, abiding by a strict position in the natural food chain and achieving her living as she must.
In providing such adversity, the shark keeps the dolphin on edge and further necessitates the need for communication amongst the other wildlife of the sea. Some sharks are bigger than others, some are more aggressive and brutal than others and some are actuallytotally harmless – but the one consistency is with their contribution to the natural cycle of their environment.
Fucking seals, man.
Perhaps the more troublesome to envision in this analogy, but the seals would represent the more outspoken audience and the shameless flatterers who, despite their appreciation of the dolphin, actually contribute very little to the wellbeing of the creature.
With no reason to engage in hostility with the seal, the dolphin flows through with grace, totally accommodating the presence of the creature and they exist together in a fairly consistent harmony within their shared space.
Though the seal may hold admiration for the dolphin, it doesn’t actually provide the dolphin anything required for the growth and development. It instead exists to serve itself and show no more than minor support on the rare occasion it’s made to do so. The dolphin feeds off small fish and sustains himself in a moderately self-sustaining environment. When a shark enters the equation, the dolphin usually has the sense to evade the attack completely and might even consider holding his own in a fight if it has sufficient support from his pack; of course, the seal isn’t actually part of this pack and offers no significant contribution.
Don’t let that point swim past you; “the dolphin has his own pack and does NOT rely on the seal”.
Though the seal certainly deserves his place in the world, a prolonged involvement in such varying societies is often counter-intuitive to his own survival and just muddies the water when he makes attempts to ingratiate himself amongst the surrounding communities.
What does the dolphin want?
The dolphin wants what the dolphin actually needs. It needs food, air and general sustenance. He needs room for development and growth in a plentiful environment where everything around him supports his longevity and success. Were a dolphin to naturally evolve in any other way, he might be just as willing to devour his fellow dolphin – he would almost certainly devour the seal too! You see, at the end of the day, the dolphin forages for his own survival; not for you.
You can slap your flippers together until you they’re black and blue, but the best way to help a dolphin is to provide him with mackerel and food deposits. Shameless adoration doesn’t help the dolphin, and if you encourage a self-congratulatory clapping within the behaviour of the dolphin he might easily fall prey to a shark under the distraction of such pointless flipper-tomfoolery.
The shark may lash out at the dolphin, but the dolphin will almost always escape with total grace and evasiveness – this constant testing proving invaluable when faced with an even bigger shark or a killer whale.
Oh yes – there’s more!
As the saying goes, there are plenty more fish in the sea; and more than a few aquatic mammals!
Did you know that an orca, or killer whale, is actually a dolphin? Oh yes, they sure are – and they’re often worse than the sharks themselves! Considered an “apex predator”, there is almost nothing to compete with her might, size, cunning and ferocity. She is free to feed from sharks, dolphins, seals and even whales and might often suffer no consequences from such a brazen attack.
Remember that for the purposes of this analogy, that artists are dolphins – and that any artist has the potential to be as destructive, reckless and careless than even the worst sharks? Don’t believe me? Take a look at the arrogant and dramatic natures of some of the more vulgar and problematic artists such as Axl Rose, Anthony Kiedis and Jay Kay in the classic 2002 clip where he meets the full resistance of the mighty forehead one absolute fucking shark of a photographer.
Let’s get deep, guys…
The world isn’t as black and white as the sea is blue and there’s a spectrum and a natural order to everything. Sometimes the shark looks like the nastiest fucking fish in the sea, but it’s just within her nature to serve the role she does. Does she deserved to be reviled? Sometimes she does but, to reference the mighty Pink Floyd; she’s just another brick in the wall.
Same goes for the dolphins, you fishy fuckers! Sometimes they can be a beautiful marvel of nature, but even the smaller ones are sometimes capable of acts of cruelty and abuse. The level of destruction isn’t limited to any species, to any particular person or any profession and all contributions, positive or negative, serve a necessary place in the musical world.
I’d recommend that all of you slap-happy seals out there ingest these following words. Broaden your scope of vision and impartially accommodate the areas of the musical world you would usually dismiss and disregard. Try to approach the industry with the intent of learning and progressing your knowledge. Take the good and the bad and learn to truly appreciate the beautiful variety of artistic ability there actually exists and the way we all form one greater musical ecosystem.