the lost art of appreciation

by Josh

Pink Skies

Here are a few questions for you:
How many music files are there on your current computer?
How many movies do you have on your hard drive?
How many comedians make you laugh, from digital sources?
How many books have you read this year on your e-reader?

For how much of it have you been paying?

Seriously, I am not trying to play holy man here, I have my fair share of downloaded music and movies. And I stream series from time to time.
Correct me if I am wrong.
It is so convenient and so easy to access these things that we do not even consider this simple fact anymore:
We are stealing.
We are stealing other people’s work.
Most likely they are people like you and me, working their asses off to create something original, something that evokes emotions, educates you or lifts you up on a bad day.
And then we just steal it without even the hint of a second thought.
You just click, download and Bob’s your uncle.
Fair enough, this is great for those who otherwise couldnt afford these things.
But you can, right?
You can and maybe you should.
But why?

We live in times of incredible cultural overflow.
We listen to music, day and night, disconnecting from the real world whenever possible.
We watch series, days on end, all available for free, just a mouseclick away.
We degrade books into pdfs.
We fill ourselves up on this cultural abundance and overflow, we bathe in it and maybe we are even drowning.
But we just dont notice how our appreciation whithers.
Just like fast food, we consume merely to consume.
We are like the fat man in Monty Pythons ‘Meaning of Life’.
We dont whistle while we pee, we watch “game of thrones” while we take a shit.
We dont even pay  attention to it anymore.
I noticed this when I spent an hour or so, listening to music with my friend Ben.
What a delight to just sit there and share our appreciation for the music.
But what a rare thing to do these days…
Gluttony has taken the place of appreciation and wonder.
Gluttony has us caught in collective cultural theft.
And somewhere, deep down, I am sure you can feel it gnawing on your sense of integrity. 
If you like something, pay for it (maybe you can donate to the artist directly).