Sunday, June 16, 2013


The BOSTON BRUINS have just won GAME # 2 against the CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS.  (The score was 2 to 1 in overtime.  The CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS won Game # 1 in overtime and so the series for winning LORD STANLEY’S CUP is tied.)  The BRUINS LOVED this win – The BLACKHAWKS HATED this loss.  Winning and losing – this is what the NHL is all about.  And that’s what the NHL fans love and hate, too … winning and losing.

Winning and losing is the Yin & Yang of sports, the metaphors for life!  Neither can exist without the other.  

Without Yin there is no Yang, and without Yang there is no Yin. 

Some examples:
Sun & moon; fore & aft; right & left; true & false; black & white; north & south; private & public; shiny & dull; yea & nay; Heav’n & Hell; birth & death; sweet & sour; work & play; profit & loss; victory & defeat. 

The Yin & Yang goes on: 
Rich & poor; up & down; in & out; loud & soft; pleasure & painwinning & losing.

In my world, winning is a positive term; whereas, losing is a pejorative term.  Here are some bloviate and campy phrases of proof:   
Win some, lose a bunch (Larry Hopfner); Winners make it happen, losers let it happen (cliché pep talk); Winning isn’t everything – it’s the only thing (Vince Lombardi); Winners never quit and quitters never win (Vince Lombardi); You learn a lot more from LOSING than you do from winning (my continued sarcastic trash talk after a win).

Winning means to gain.  Losing means to be deprived.  Truly, winning is just a gold brick.  Learning how to lose is essential to learning how to win.  Even so, people laugh when they win; people cry when they lose.    

Here’s how you can win and laugh on a busk:

  • PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE.  Be good at what you do.  To get good at what you do means to practice and practice until your doppelganger self is willing to take a street corner, then stand and deliver.

  • SHOW UP.  Showing up is hard to do.  It takes jam to be a busker. Showing up is 99% of the busk. 

  • PLAY TO WIN.  Play your best no matter.  You are, of course, playing for potential consumers but, foremost, you are really playing for yourself.

  • NO EXCUSES.  It’s ALWAYS easier not to (fill in the blank).  Never take heed to any excuses your rational self will be most willing and frequent to offer.

The simple win of busking can be measured through the margins of profit & loss.  This, of course, depends on what it is you want to win.  If it be consumer coin, then the answer is yes.  If it be fame or notoriety, the answer could be yes and likely no.  If it be self-actualization, the answer is no.  If it be adventure, the answer is yes.

Once the prize has been determined, then you can prioritize your busking habits accordingly.  This means exploring possible techniques in every regard, including the location of buskspots, determining the cap-a-pie costumes, or deciding whether you want to be the big show, the semi-pro, or the faux. Once you’ve decided, it is time to stand and deliver.   

The reality is that busking is just a piece of a bigger game, and … the game is the thing.  The wins and losses are not the thing (L. Ron Hubbard).

Anybody can cabbage win … (unless there happens to be a second entry) (George Ade).

Second place is better than nothing – just ask a busker.

Muche sundry folc marchen in mine CHAUCERIAN PARADE this weke:

  • There were the dancers, both long braided and wearing sunglasses, who did the maxixe as I strummed in front of SHOPPERS on Broad.

  • There was the humble fellow who kept asking me for quarters to use the pay phone, the same of whom I eventually stated, No, then caved later and gave him a fistful of quarters.

  • There was that wifty old man who slowed his car as he drove by and grimaced at me, while shaking his head.  (Groucho was my consumer counter-pattern for the entire week.)


  • There was the nuclear family of four who insisted that I sing, and they did graciously round out the chorus for Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

  • There was Brenda, the girl in a wheel-chair, who wanted me to put some chords to the lyrics of several songs she had written about being a paraplegic.

  • There was Daniel, the artist from Pike Lake, who so generously allowed me to busk beside her painting wares.

If SPORT truly be the CAKE OF LIFE, winning then, is indeed, the ICING.  (Bruins, add a little sweetner to my life!)

Hey folks out there in radio land, we have a WINNER! … a WINNER !… a WINNER! … a winner...

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