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Updated on the 1st and 15 th of every month

by Dr. Smooth

At times, when the wine is thick in my veins and the guitar is being caressed by my calloused fingertips, I see myself as an artist, a modern day bohemian that will create lyrics and harmonies that liken to those of the great composers. However, the definition of artist has taken quite a bit of an "evolutionary" change. The artist that I dream to be is not of today, but of yesterday, that of Marley, Lenin, Hendrix, and Withers. Those men shaped music; they molded it into a language that communicated feelings, ideologies, human rights, and politics to the world.

But today, as I patiently sip my flask of Amaretto outside the Bell Center wondering, just wondering, how the hell did the police officer detect my surreptitiously placed flask hidden in my scarf during the mandatory pat-down that was performed on all patrons who wanted to get to their seats to see the 1,000 pound Gorilla (50 Cent). Maybe it was the alcohol, or the site of seeing the Bell Center surrounded by hundreds of police officers that got me thinking about what it is to be an artist. What is an artist? I think this might take some more drink to truly define its nature.

So as I make my way to the body and bag search, again, I realize that I'm walking into the Bell Center. The Bell Center? What happened to real names, like the Olympic Stadium or the Forum? Once I get my balls and ankles padded down, I got this inexplicable craving for more alcohol. Anyways, I make my way to the Molson Beer stand as oppose to the "Beer" stand that only sells Molson. And I order, to everyone's surprise and most certainly my disdain, a shitty 8.45$ cup of crappy-zealously-marketed-domestic beer. Fuck I hate calling this beer my own, but according to the commercials, this beer is Canada.

Once I got to my 58$ seat, I had the pleasure of hearing the first opening act, Cardinal…okay this could be cool, I could get into this. So I pan the room to see my fellow patrons, who like me, had to witness the copious amount of cops, body and bag searches, and pathetic/aggressive marketing campaigns from the likes of Bell and Molson. After taking a long look at my comrades, I noticed that they weren't bothered by this new modern day concert protocol of mass marketing. They were actually, IT. All I saw was FUBU gear, Reebox, Nike, G-Unit clothes, and other brand names associated with contemporary "artists". I didn't get it.

But it didn't take much time after "I didn't get it" to "holy shit, I paid 58$ to see a fucking 3 hour commercial and/or a George Bush campaign". Every act featured shameless self promotion, corporate advertising, and lyrics glorifying homophobia, degradation of women, violence, drugs, and Bling Bling.

It all made sense to me, and this is when my world of Waters, Morrison, and Cohen collided with an asteroid, leaving it destroyed and in irreparable pieces. Artists are corporate spokesmen, and the bigger or more willing the spokesman, the more record deals he'll get, which unfortunately turns into more nationwide shows or shall I call them, shameless advertising spectacles.

What happened to artists who have the ability to reach out to the masses and change the world? Are they all dead, or are the record companies not signing them?

Before I left the concert, I was told to pray to Cadillac, buy more G-Unit clothing, and last but not least, we witnessed 50 Cent take off his Reebox shoes and throw them in the crowd. After he's done with his tour, I say he'll be worth just about as much as his name states, but then again, I could be very wrong!!!





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