|JULE, OWNER OF CUPP'T SPECIALTY FINE TEAS (MY FREQUENT MARKET NEIGHBOR)|
CAPITALISM is an economic system and mode of production that is based upon private enterprise. And in practicing such a system, we acquire a certain amount of capital investments, ranging from ECONOMIC to SOCIAL to CULTURAL to SYMBOLIC to BODY. Busking, indeed an enriching enterprise, gathers together all these five capital investments.
- ECONOMIC CAPITAL refers to wealth and material. In our society any hoarding behavior, the stockpiling of anything, save for money, is considered eccentric. For example, if I were to report to you, dear reader, that I’ve a closet full of sports jackets, say a hundred or so; or, if I were to report to you that I’ve dozens of pairs of shoes in my closet, you would consider me to be eccentric. However, if I mentioned, dear reader, that in my money portfolio I’ve stockpiled close to a million dollars over the years, that would probably be okay, save for the jealousy. My point is that in Canada and the United States, greed for the greenback (a dated metaphor I know) is not considered to be gluttonous. In fact it is quite the opposite. Accumulating dollar wealth and materialistic richness is considered to be shrewd.
Busking is a mercenary enterprise in collecting wealth. At the end of each busking day I quite enjoy gathering all the coins and bills (mostly toonies and fives) that have been tossed into my guitar case.
- SOCIAL CAPITAL refers to friendships and acquaintances. When busking the passers-by sometimes include a few personal and professional friends. Considering that in my other jobs as a full-time high school counselor, part-time university professor, and part-time hypnotherapist, a few confidants and compeers bumping into me on the street is to be expected. But most times busking, I’m strumming for strangers perfect (pun intended) and strangers familiar (from a psychological perspective, these would be my regular consumers).
Busking is all about meeting people. In order to be a good busker one needs to be a social butterfly, metaphorically speaking of course. Literally, a good busker need not have wings. However, a good busker is gregarious (but featherless).
- CULTURAL CAPITAL refers to education and skills. The concocted and improvised aleatory melodies of my busking forces my musical skills to be ever approving and always on the mend. Always I am practicing frails and finger rolls. And as of late, I’ve even been practicing percussion guitar hits whilst I strum.
Though busking does not add to any encyclopedic scholarship, the eclectic street edification gained from sidewalk performing is limitless. Buskers, indeed, strum and become familiar with both sides of the street, the sunny side and the shady side. A good busker needs to be a politician because … a good busker becomes accustom to dealing with the hoi polloi, the dilettantes, the dregs, and the wheelers and dealers on a daily basis.
- SYMBOLIC CAPITAL refers to prestige and recognition. In a city of 230,000 residents, I’ve the privilege of being recognized as a downtown busker. There are maybe a dozen buskers in the city, most of which, I’m sorry to report, are really pan-handlers or beggars having a guitar as a prop. (This is certainly not meant as a slam to those real buskers who are highly skilled or faux buskers as I.)
Factoid: Regina, the city where I reside, is a government town – Regina is not the purportedly tourist destination as presented in the literature.) Tourist destinations include accommodations for buskers. True tourist destinations have busker regulations, have designated buskspots, encourage and revere buskers. Regina has none of this. The CITY OF REGINA does not regulate busking in any regard. There is no brotherhood (nor sisterhood) amongst the buskerhood in Regina. No rules means bad busking. It’s as simple as that.
- BODY CAPITAL refers to health and well-being. Busking is an endurance test. It is tough, tough, tough to stand on a sidewalk and strum guitar and hum a harp for 90 minute intervals, continually throughout the day. To prepare for this I’ve a long-established regimen of fitness: a daily three mile run, a daily one-hour bicycle ride, three times a week lifting weights. There is no way I could stand and strum for as long as I do if I were not busker fit.
Factoid: Anyone Western European visiting Canada or America recognizes that we, in general as a society, are overweight. Anyone traveling to Western Europe recognizes that Europeans, in general, seem slim. It could be the diets (though I doubt it), the personal fitness regimens (I doubt this too), or the modes of transportation (which I believe to be the best argument).
Whenever I’ve been to Europe, it seems most the people residing there are true pedestrians. They walk or bike everywhere, including to the train or the subway stations. In Canada and the U.S.A. we drive our gas guzzling vehicles everywhere, including even to the corner store. This is not a bias slam – this is a statistic. In Canada a self-reported 41.3% of men and 26.9% of women, in 2012, recorded heights and weights that classified them as overweight. 18.4% reported heights and weights that classified them as being obese. Right now in the United States, more than one-third, 34.9% (78.6 million) of the adults is reportedly obese.
In Europe the stats are similar, but do not seem so in the flesh. Visuals of people on the streets in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Dublin, are qualitative bits of evidence that the citizens there are skinnier than here. And this, I believe, is because of their transportation modes. Like I stated, most people in major cities are pedestrians, not drivers.
These comparisons, however, do not directly relate to the art of busking. In most situations most humans, as they age, suffer a reduction in their competencies of capital. Suffice to say that we buskers are the vampires of the music industry, because we can actually lead an almost amaranthine existence in our careers, provided we consciously keep fit.
BUSKING IS TRULY THE MOST CAPITALISTIC OF ENTERPRISES,
AND BUSKERS, AS THEY AGE, EVER INCREASE THE CAPITAL COMPETENCE!
Marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week:
|JAKE AND THE CADILLAC KID (STANDING BESIDE BUSKER BARON AND HIS CAJON)|
|KARLI AND BRI OF REBELLION BREWING CO. (MY PERFECT FARMERS MARKET NEIGHBORS!)|