So last night I kind of jumped all over Amy’s neck for saying that Bruce Springsteen was, “Selling out” for playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl, not because I am a fan of “The Boss”, (truthfully can’t stand his music, find his voice annoying and have never found anything relatable in his musings about small town USA, too hard for me to be nostalgic about a life I know nothing about…don’t hate him or anything, just not my style) it wasn’t to his defense that I jumped but to the over use of the term, “sellout”. Seems like people toss that slur around a lot without really thinking about what it means, there is a very big difference between being successful and “selling out”.
I remember sitting in the living room of some old friends of my husbands, he knew them from college and I will admit that while I did try, I never quite “got” them so this little story is just one in a long line of things that ended with us not really spending time with them anymore. Anyway, they were all sitting around talking about the good old days, (sigh…all they EVER talked about, that and video games) and they started talking about being able to see Nirvana at some tiny venue in Santa Barbara where they paid like $10 a ticket, harmless enough but from there they went on a rant about how years later they couldn’t get tickets to some much larger show and how un-cool it was that their music could be heard on whatever Top 20 radio station. I sat there listening to them go on and on and that was when it came, “They sold out”…huh? Did they change their look, style of music or do a soundtrack for some Disney movie? Nope, they just became successful, I mean did you really think they just wanted to play to ultra-cool UCSB crowd forever, you think when they decided to become musicians that they dreamed of a playing for a crowd of like 100 people, driving themselves to the venue and schlepping their own equipment….please.
These people were just whining and feeling self important in that, “I knew them before they were cool” way, seemed so weird to me, if you liked them wouldn’t you want them to become successful? The whole thing just smacked of jealousy to me, “Oh boo hoo everyone likes them now”…get over yourself. Now with Amy, she wasn’t bemoaning the success of Springsteen, that is without question but she was more upset at the commercial aspect of playing the halftime show, and while I get what she meant….is he really selling out? I mean when you think about it, with the Steelers in the Super Bowl it makes perfect sense, he isn’t changing anything about his music or his personality he is kind of like the perfect pairing non?
If she had used the term “cheesy” she would not have heard a peep from me, but that “sellout” thing just gets under my skin, I mean if say, the game were Dallas and he got up there in a cowboy hat and sang, All My Ex’s Live In Texas, then yes, that is a sellout. I wasn’t mad at her or anything (she is one of my very best friends) and I do feel a bit of remorse for getting all ruffled and challenging her over the dinner table but I think calling someone a sellout is pretty serious, you are accusing them of changing for profit so I just think before you make such an accusation you should first really see if a change has been made and in this case, and the case of Carl’s old friends….there wasn’t. Everyone needs to make a living and in the case of celebrities the product they are selling is themselves….but it is still a product, so if you see the quality slip of that product then by all means, call them a sellout. Come to think of it, celebrity is the one place where more of something does not always result in a less fine product….the same cannot be said about the food and wine business, (coughing…Mondavi….coughing).
I just wonder….if all those people that read the newsletter and or this blog that encourage me to write a book about being in the wine business or my travels to France, if I were to do that and millions of people bought that book….would I be selling out or successful? Now, if I wrote a book about top soil or how much I love California Chardonnay, well…that would be clearly selling out! And this concludes my tiny rant about nothing….or maybe I’m just purging as punishment for jumping on my friends neck