I am a pretentious person in some ways.
Not only am I a classically trained musician (with a sensitive ear, I think), I enjoy expensive wine, home grind my own (typically fair-trade) coffee beans, read the ‘classics’ (think Shakespeare, Plato, and Homer) for fun, and enjoy politics and philosophy of education to help my career path.
I also have a blog (thank for for viewing this statement, gentle reader).
Not that all people who have blogs are pretentious. I either know of or have read the blogs of many people who have lots of followers and discuss tons of interesting stuff. But for me, it’s not like I started this blog at the urgings of friends who said ‘You know what, this really needs to be shown to others’. I had no idea whether or not I’d actually have anybody read this. In that way, it’s sort of like someone randomly deciding to get up on a pedestal and start talking about whatever’s important to them in the hopes that someone will agree with them.
I like having discussions; I love the chance to have interplay of ideas. But I need to be really careful, I’ve learned, with expecting someone to share my viewpoints, or even be interested in them. Just because I think something is important doesn’t mean it actually is in the large scheme of things, or to anyone else who comes across my blog. In a way, it’s a lot like negotiating a curriculum for a class. The government and teachers who developed the curriculum thinks that subject X and topics A, B, and C are important, but you know that not all the students think so. At what point does the tone shift from gentle attempt to convince to authoritarian dictation that doesn’t interest anybody?
Trying to put your ideas out there for someone to read and agree with is inherently tinged with arrogance. I don’t mean the arrogance of superiority that we see commonly in Hollywood villains or the stuck up class bullies from high school, but a more mild version. This version of arrogance is more closely aligned to self-confidence and a sense of righteousness than anything else: “You know what? What I have to say IS important.” You are so convinced that you have something to contribute that it must be displayed on the most public of forums: the Internet.
I started this blog because I think this is where our society is going in terms of networking and interplay of ideas. What I believe may not be what my neighbour believes, but I’ll probably share that viewpoint with many others across the face of the planet. I’ll also only partially share viewpoints with others. By exposing myself online in this way, I do a couple of things: I force myself to codify what I believe as well as ask someone to challenge my beliefs. In essence, I’m asking anyone who reads this to contribute to my development as a person, a musician, and a teacher.
So. Here I am, a pretentious, well-meaning musician and educator, who would very much like to be taken down a few pegs occasionally. Oh, and some compliments might not be bad, either.
Also, this has been a very serious blog up until this point. Anything that I should keep discussing, not discuss, or even add to my list of potential topics?