Email from Jonathan Rudin:
I was going to write about procrastination for this month’s blurb but then I put it off (I realize this should be the end of this whole thing but I’m going to carry on nevertheless).
As a society we are pretty unforgiving about procrastination. How often have you heard that “The early bird gets the worm.” It was pointed out to me recently that the significance of that statement depends on whether you see yourself as a bird or a worm. Clearly for the bird, procrastination is bad thing because presumably, if he’s late, there will be no worms to eat. On the other hand, getting up and at it early in the day if you are a worm seems to be recipe to be eaten by early rising birds, so maybe worms are best advised to stay in bed (and because they are hermaphrodites they could spend that time in bed having sex with themselves) and living for another day.
There is also the story of the ant and grasshopper. You might recall that in this story the ant is the virtuous one and the grasshopper is the procrastinator (I thought I’d remind you about this because it is not intuitively obvious who the good guy and bad guy is in the story). In order to remind myself about the story I went to Wikipedia (because I’m lazy and it comes up first when you Google ‘ant and grasshopper’ and – if you’re even lazier than me you can just click the link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ant_and_the_Grasshopper – and if you’re really lazy don’t even bother doing that I’ll fill you in .
So the story goes that the ant worked really hard all spring, summer and fall gathering food for the winter but the grasshopper just put things off. The reason the grasshopper put things off, according to the version of story on Wikipedia, was because he was singing. Now since when did singing suggest laziness or procrastination – it’s hard work. And then I read that artists who wished to portray this little saga often showed the grasshopper playing the mandolin. The mandolin!!! God’s perfect musical instrument!!! What is going on with this story?
I’d tell you how it all ended but I stopped when I read the slanders about singing and the mandolin – who could trust such a story- and anyway a contemporary grasshopper would be in good shape this winter because there hasn’t been one – take that you busy-body ant!!!!!
In order to dispel any suggestion that musicians are lazy and procrastinating folks I give you as Exhibit A, those hard-working folks in Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room who will be performing two shows this month at the Free Times Cafe on College, just west of Spadina. The first show is our regular third Sunday of the month gig (January 15 if you’re not sure) and will feature all manner of music and instruments (including the mandolin). The fun starts at 8 p.m. and there is no cover.
The second show will be on Wednesday, January 25. January 25 as many of you know is Robbie Burns Day and this will be our annual Robbie Burns show and it will start at 9 p.m. Like our regular shows there is no cover and there will be all manner of music. Unlike our regular shows there will be bagpipes pretty much all the time and haggis too. Despite these two facts it will likely be a crowded room so if you can get there a bit early it’s advisable.
Hope to see you at one or both shows – bring your grasshopper.