Art arises from loss. I wish this weren't the case. I wish that every time I met a new woman and she rocked my world, I was inspired to write my ass off. But that is not what happens. What happens is we lie around in bed eating chocolate and screwing. Art is what happens when things don't work out, when you're licking your wounds. Art is, to a larger extent than people would like to think, a productive licking of the wounds.
It's like this when you fall hard for a musician. It's a crush with religious overtones. You listen to the songs and you memorize the words and the notes and this is a form of prayer. You attend the shows and this is the liturgy. You're interested in relics -- guitar picks, set lists, the sweaty napkin applied to His brow. You set up shrines in your room. It's not just about the music. It's about who you are when you listen to the music and who you wish to be and the way a particular song can bridge that gap, can make you feel the abrupt thrill of absolute faith.
Music has become more pervasive and portable than ever. But it feels less previous in the bargain. I don't want to confuse artistic and commercial value, but it's just a fact that some kid who rips an album for free isn't going to give it the same attention he would if it cost him ten bucks. At what point does convenience become spiritual indolence? I realize this makes me sound like an old fart, but sometimes I get nostalgic for the days when the universe of recorded sound wasn't at our fingertips, when we had to hunt and wait and - horror of horrors - do without, when our longing for a particular record or song made it feel sacred.
Every now and then, I'll run into someone who claims not to like chocolate, and while we live in a country where everyone has the right to eat what they want, I want to say for the record that I don't trust these people, that I think something is wrong with them, and that they're probably - and this must be said - total duds in bed.