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Four Words of Advice…

September 5, 2011

Publisher’s Note: G.W. Miller III says you should start a fucking band. Now.

Look around, dude. Things are kind of bleak out there.

That War on Terror thing is still going on. London burned this summer, followed by several other UK cities. Our federal government almost closed for business in August. A few dozen teenagers ransacked downtown Philly so much that the mayor told all kids they were no longer welcome on Center City streets after 9 pm.

Of course, now that kids are back in school, everything will be good,
right? Because Philly schools are safe havens, yeah?

Here’s the deal: the government is full of self-interested shills for big business, on both sides of the aisle. The economy is not going to bounce back anytime soon. The unemployment rate is not going to decrease significantly, regardless of who gets elected (or re-elected) president next year.

And Philly schools? The public school system was a mess long before Queen Arlene arrived and it will continue to be a mess now that she’s gone.

Cheery stuff, eh?

What can you do, aside from moving to Jersey and watching copious amounts of Netflix in the perceived safety of your cookie-cutter home (which is steadily depreciating in value)?

How about this: start a band. Learn to play an instrument. Write lyrics. Sing. Become a DJ. Do it.

The best music was born out of difficult times. The folk revival of the late 50s and early 60s was spurred by anti-war sentiments and Civil Rights struggles. Punk was spawned during crappy economic times, as was hip hop, and, later, grunge.
When life gets tough, people get creative. They experiment and they pour their passion into their art.

Life will be pretty rough over the next few years. That massive debt the government keeps growing isn’t going away. The Chinese will one day ask for their loans to be repaid. We can only rely upon our good looks and brash attitude for so long. Our glory days may be over.

So, channel your energy. Find your passion. Find an audience. Fuck the workaday world and their consumer culture. Buying new stuff won’t give you a sense of purpose in life. But having a voice through the music you create? That is self-empowering.

Start a fucking band.

If nothing else, go appreciate the amazing creative talent that exists in this city that manufactures next to nothing anymore. Where we were once the “Workshop of The World,” Philadelphia is now a city that needs a reason to exist.

To me, music – and the arts in general – could be our raison d’etre. That’s what we should be known for.

Check out all the stories from the fall 2011 issue here.

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The winter issue of JUMP hits the streets on November 7. Stay tuned for updates (hint: Jill Scott is our cover artist).

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