March 15th @ Free Times Café

Maybe it’s just me – wait – why are you nodding already, how can you know that it’s just me if you don’t know what it is I’m talking about – maybe you’ll even agree with me – I mean it’s possible isn’t it. OK, I’m going to start again.

Maybe it’s just me but I think we’ve lost the meaning of ‘sharing.’ Sharing is something that you do with popcorn or peanuts or pizza or potato chips (admittedly you might also share things that aren’t food and start with the letter ‘p’ but that’s what’s top of mind for me when I think of sharing). We share things with people that are of some value and that they might want.

You do not share, at least with me, the details of the surgery you had to correct your irritable bowel syndrome. It’s not that I’m unsympathetic, but I’m squeamish about medical things and so I don’t really want to know the details. Similarly, if you send me an unsolicited email about a topic that I have no interest in or in fact disagree with, that’s not sharing with me either, because I don’t want it. Spam is qualitatively different than popcorn, peanuts, pizza and potato chips.

It gets even worse when businesses say that in return for paying them they will ‘share’ things with you. If I’m paying to get a fabulously ripped body in 90 days (and why is it that I want a torn body at all, is that a good thing, I think I’m missing something here) or stock trading tips, or whatever the business is selling, they’re not sharing this with me – I’ve paid for it – they owe that to me – that’s the whole point of the thing. It’s not like we’re best friends. Your best friend doesn’t say “Can I share something with you – it’ll just cost five easy payments of $29.99.” And if your best friend starts offering to share things with you for five easy payments of $29.99 then you’re going need a new best friend.

The reason people who send you unsolicited emails and businesses tell you that they’re ‘sharing’ with you is because sharing is a good thing – like popcorn, peanuts, pizza and potato chips are good things – and they want to make it look like they’re doing a good thing. But if I don’t want it you can’t share it with me. The recognition that there is mutuality to sharing seems to have gone missing. But not totally.

Take, for example, I don’t know let’s choose something at random – how about Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room. The relationship we have with those who attend our shows – the next one being Sunday, March 15 at the Free Times Cafe on College just west of Spadina – is a good example of sharing. We share our music (there is no cover), the audience shares their enthusiasm for the songs – and we all have a lovely evening that starts at 8 pm and ends around 11. On the other hand, the Free Times Café itself does not share its tasty food and beverages, you buy them and consume them and that’s good too – but it’s not sharing – unless of course you order a pita platter (again with ‘p’s) and offer them to the other folks at your table in which case of course, you are sharing. And never forget, it’s always OK to share with the band.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. There remains the thorny question about whether you can share music if that music involves bagpipes. In my opinion if sharing the pain is really a form of sharing, then I think the answer to this question has to be yes.

March 15th Set List
Set #1 Set #2
Lonely Loch nan Eun
Silver Wings
The Water Is Wide
Down Where The Drunkards Roll
New Horizons
Black Orpheus
John O’Ryan’s Polka
Patriot Games
Midnight On The Water
The Things We Said Today
Reason I Left Mullingar
What She’s Got
Glenora Ferry
Dirty Old Town
Roddy McCorley
Whiskey Lullabye
He’ll Have To Go
Chemical Worker’s Song
I’m The One Who Lives Here
Tell Me Ma
Wild About My Loving
The Parting Glass
Invitation To The Blues
White Trash
Kicker Of Elves
Orange Blossom Special