The world is gross. Society is gross. People are disgusting, and there is very little that can be done about it.Humans have been reduced to the state of consumers. That is what we are, that is what we do. Live to make money, spend it, and make more money to keep spending it.
What is consoling here, maybe, for we must still try and see light in darkness, is that we can still choose what we do with our money. More or less. Choose from the selection of whatever is presented to you for purchase.
Everyone is broke these days. Money means absolutely nothing anymore, and also it means everything. So, when you do have money to spare, where, and to whom do you give it to? I, for one, am all about communities. It begins with the people around me, the people close to me; the people who I know are creating goods and running businesses from the bottom of their hearts, because they believe in the Good behind what they are doing. They are passionate about doing something that brings them gratification beyond making money.
And yes, we all want/need to make money, we’ve all got bills to pay, and in order to keep creating, or holding shop, we need money to buy the necessary supplies, gear, and/or pay the shop’s rent, etc. We do need to get paid to keep doing what we’re doing.
So, where do you put your money? A very friendly salesman at my favorite local clothing store once said to me: “You can buy a 20$ pair of pants at H&M, but, well, if the pair of pants, taxes included, comes up to 20$ , then someone is getting royally screwed down the line. Consider this: of those 20$, the store gets a cut, the distributor gets another cut, the designers get a cut, the shipping company gets a cut, the wharehouses in the States get a cut, and somewhere in Asia, a manufacture gets a cut. Whatever is left goes to the person, or people, who cut and sewed the denim pieces together, and added the buttons and zippers. And maybe that’s a dollar. Maybe 3. So yes, in our store, you won’t find a pair of pants for 20$, but whatever you buy will be made by someone in Canada, probably from Montreal, and the money you spend will mostly go straight to him or her, and whoever it is will be getting their labour’s worth.”
That speech, at that time, got me thinking hard about what communities mean to me. Also it got me to completely change the way I spend my money (when I have any to spend!). It is most definitely worth spending that extra 20$ on a pair of pants, or a piece of jewelry, or a handmade something, when you know exactly to whom the money is going. Instead of buying from elsewhere, we can buy from right here, thus keeping our city/province/country’s economy flourishing. And as a proud Montreal artist myself, I can say that it always makes my heart bounce for joy when I’m buying something from another Montreal artist, or artisan -a genuine feeling of happiness at supporting someone who, just like me, chose to make a career out of their passion.
I believe in that, and support that, and only wish that such a spirit of community would be more widespread, in our society.
It means everything to me to be performing as part of the Etsy: Made in Canada event happening on Sunday, September 28th, at Locoshop Angus. I am looking forwards to meeting, and sharing my music with all the artisans, designers and artists who will be presenting their heart’s work over there. I am encouraging my Montreal fans to show they’re the Very Best, not only by coming to see the show, but also to take the time to walk around the place, visit all the kiosks, chat with the hard working people who’ll be greeting you, and if you can, buy a little something or two, if you need it, want it, and can afford it. The event is free -all the more cash for you!
Robshaw will be performing between 2 and 3pm. As mentionned in my previous blog post, it’s the last full-band show for a while. Montreal, do come out for some Sunday afternoon fun on September 28th, and support your local community -and This local musician too, because I’m gonna be giving it my all.
From the bottom of my heart.