My symptoms have been narrowed down to the plague…

I tried rest. I tried well-wishes, ’cause I got a lot of those. I tried wine, which was a remarkably good choice for a while. I have tried juice, tea, so many showers, and maybe even a few drugs not actually prescribed by a doctor.

Because there are questions about my bowels (not kidding), I shall inform you that they have returned to normal. I appear to have just a head cold and a cough, complicated with ague and general malaise.

After reading between the lines at Wikipedia and WebMD, I’ve diagnosed myself with the plague.

The good news is that, assuming I survive, I’ll become immune to this particular plague strain. If not, I hope it leaves gnarly bone scars and archeologists dig up my bones and vindicate my theory 1000 years from now!

So, you’re not getting anything special today. Nope… Ain’t happening.

I’ll ramble for a little while. I won’t actually be submitting this one, either. You can submit ’em anywhere you want, or not at all. I give no shits. I will not be obligating myself to respond today. Ain’t happening. I’ve got the plague!

I haven’t touched a guitar, not even to bring them in the house, since Friday. Strangely, my fingers don’t itch and I’m not pissy about it. I’ve played guitar while I was sick or injured. So, it’s a wee bit odd to not feel those itchy fingers yet.

I think I’m just going to offer you a dire warning – but it’s not a warning about the plague. It’s topical…

I’ve had a few comments and questions lately that have led to me trying to explain to them that I have, in fact, lost some of the joy that I used to get when I listen to music.

Much of my music listening consists of critical evaluation of the piece. Much of my listening is with a purpose, such as to gain increased familiarity with the piece. Some of it is evaluation as a piece for replication. It’s not really fun. It’s the cost of entering the field.

It’s also kinda amazing to how many people link me to videos I already know. Yesterday, or the day before, someone linked me to a popular 50s song, as though it was a song I was unfamiliar with. It was one of the rare times I followed someone’s link! I berated them. The name would have been adequate.

So, I don’t always get the joy I used to get. I find that listening to music, most frequently if it’s new, is a chore. I often get people who ask what I think of a certain piece – which turns it into work.

I don’t mind, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not the joy that it used to be. It hasn’t been, for years.

Once upon a time, one of my favorite things to do was to get a brand new album and listen to it, end to end – and over and over. That’s pretty much torture today.

It gets worse, too! The people who live in my house ALL seem to get constant ear-worms. The missus will play a song – 100 times! She’s not doing it to learn it, she’s doing it to satisfy her ear-worm. I assume it can’t be helped and the worm must be sated, ’cause it just sorta happens to some people.

Let’s see… This is pretty short and I’ve finally gotten a call back and will be able to see a physician today. If you remember my Lessons for Performing Musicians, you’ll remember that it’s important to keep yourself healthy. The public is disease ridden – and they want to get close to you. You will get sick.

So, as this is far too short…

I bet not one person even offers to drive me to the doctor’s office. Instead, I bet they all want to come with me – and have me make a half-dozen stops along the way. They’re probably plague carriers.

Meh… I’m gonna stop at the chainsaw store. That’s right… Where I live, we have stores dedicated to stuff like chainsaws! That’s pretty much the best day ever, right there.

I can’t believe you’re still reading… Sheesh… You have no taste. None! You should actually be ashamed of yourself!

Anyhow, the next bit I was thinking about putting into words was a bit that comes from a conversation with a wonderful contributor.

No… You’re not normal…

Normal people don’t think that life would be fucking awesome if it were just like a musical.

Normal people do not, in  fact, randomly break out into song – as the moment strikes them, and often at inappropriate times.

Normal people don’t dedicate large portions of their lives to actually understanding music. They’re passive listeners – not active listeners.

Normal people only see music as a small part of their lives – even if they listen to music all the time.

Normal people don’t spend countless hours looking into the specifications of music-related gear.

Normal people don’t dedicate giant chunks of their time to learning to play an instrument with any degree of proficiency – if they do, they stop by the time they’re 20, as usually about the second year of college or life kills that for them.

Normal people don’t give up fun activities to get tones they’re not satisfied with from a musical instrument. They don’t put that work in – they’re sane!

You’re not fucking normal! None of you are.

No, there is no ‘everybody else’ that thinks like you do. You’re a tiny subset of a very large population. The numbers dwindle even faster when you decide to try to make a living from your musicianship. That’s probably ’cause it’s insane to do so.

You’re not normal. Get that nonsense right out of your head.

“I have lots of musical friends!” You might exclaim.

“I have a little something called data and your first major flaw is called selection bias!” I’d almost certainly retort, possibly with a punctuation about the sexual prowess of your mother.

You’re not even remotely normal. You’re not much more than a statistical term known as a ‘margin of error.’ There are probably more people with herpes than there are serious musicians. There are probably more full-limb amputees than there are serious musicians.

You are free to decide if that makes you special or if it makes you insane – or possibly both. Either way, it’s not normal. No. Beside, I know some of you. I’ve known lots of musicians. You’re not fucking normal. You should also probably see a damned therapist, the whole lot of you!


I’m pretty sure that’s all your getting today. I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for stepping up and offering to write an article so that TheBuddha could die in peace. Oh, wait… That’s none of you! Ungrateful heathens. You’re gonna miss me when I’m dead, you’ll see.

Listen carefully – it’s got an organ in it! (It’s probably a Hammond! Until next time…

Don’t even think about playing me a song. No, not even quietly.

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