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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Songs in F major

My very good friend F promised me a musical compilation to be distilled from his thousand-CD collection. These words were uttered so many years ago that I grew tired of waiting and forgot about the promise altogether. Lo and behold, last Monday, a messenger delivered a package from him promptly before lunch. Since I still had students to give a lecture to, I delayed listening to the three-CD set. But, boy, were the CDs worth the wait.

The entire day F kept on bugging me- apologizing for the CDs poor quality (the tracks did skip not a few times) and the weird arrangement/ presentation of songs. I repeatedly assured him that I’m truly grateful and not the least bit pissed. After all- I have no idea who the artists were in 99% of the songs. I just happily swam through the songs, lapping everything up- quirky beats, lyrics and all.

--==+==--

In this consumerist world, brand names are king. If you’re a new kid on the supermarket aisle, in the political arena, in school or in the office, you’d hardly get noticed. Untested, unknown, probably a fluke or defective. But by virtue of a product or a person’s lineage and track record, we’re willing to accept them hook, line and sinker at a moment’s notice.

In so doing, we miss out on the joy of discovering something new again for the first time. The inability to move away from our comfort zones, the obstinacy to reject old scions of political clans whom we know are already in a steady state of deterioration, the rejection of new products and services when the ones we have gotten used to are robbing us shamelessly- these breed stagnation whose cost is incalculable.

It may seem costly to risk our hard-earned money or well fought for rights when we opt for greenhorns and newbies. But imagine how life on earth would be if the cavemen did not approach the tree set aflame by lightning or Scholastic Publishing rejected the manuscript of a divorcee mother named J.K. Rowling or corporations scoffed at the ideals of Gawad Kalinga…

--==+==--

Ships in the harbor are safe. But that’s not where ships are meant to be.

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