I guess we’re all full of our little contradictions, whether we realise it or just don’t like to admit it. Some of them make a difference to the way you see yourself and the way others see you whilst some are completely insignificant and will go unnoticed.
I recently realised a couple of my own in relation to my drumming. Sometimes I think I’m better than I am but on any given day I am burdened with the thought that I am nowhere near as good as I should be or as other people are. My other realisation that came this week was that although I am completely confident with my playing, I am also pretty terrified of what my contemporaries think of me, purely as a musician. As a person I couldn’t care less really, I am who I am take me or leave me but as a musician it means a lot to me that I am thought well of. The highest complement I’ve been paid was ‘It’ll be alright, Liam’s a pro’ I honestly can’t tell you how good that made me feel.
Another blaring contradiction has come to light this week with Nike and their choice of Colin Kaepernick as their spokesperson (or posterboy - to use an Americanism). For those that don’t know, Colin was the Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers American Football Team. He was the driving force of a movement for some players to ‘Take a knee’ during the American National Anthem at the start of each game in protest of the treatment received by Black people at the hands of the police in the U.S.A. also raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter campaign. Now isn’t the time to air my views on this complex situation, but if you like, you can message me and we can share a debate or just get along with what each other is saying. But the crux of it is, he (and other athletes that joined the movement) are seen to have ‘disrespected the flag’.
Now, here’s where the contradiction comes in. Many (predominantly) White Americans have decided that not only will they boycott the brand but they will actively destroy their stuff. Now I don’t mean Nike’s stuff, they’re not running down to the Nike Store with their pitchforks, they are destroying their own personal stuff, that they have bought with their own, presumably hard earned, money. Are you seeing the stupidity yet? On top of this, these people don’t seem to care about the well documented sweatshop conditions that their clothes were made in (don’t get me wrong, I don’t really think about that stuff either) but if you’re going to be outraged about something then surely it should be about people’s horrendous working conditions and people being shot by those that are supposed to ‘Serve and Protect’.
Obviously, I could go on about many of what I see as injustices in the world but it wasn’t my intention to even go as far as I did above. I sometimes find when I sit down to write, my mind gets carried away and It brings around greater self-realisation. The other amazing contradiction here is that apart from writing this blog and having the odd conversation and generally being up in arms about it, I’m not going to do much else about the situation either.