I decided to write this little piece on Paul Simon. First and foremost because I am still jazzed from his concert, but most importantly, because I caught myself on a comment (s) I made.
If you’re unfamiliar with Paul Simon, let me break him down for you. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, solo now but was with Art Garfunkel, which created the duo Simon and Garfunkel that became popular in the sixties. Their folk rock music was considered one of the most influential and successful, with their melodies, harmony’s and ringing acoustics. (I recommend that you try a listening if you haven’t before!)
Paul Simon, being no larger than 5’3” receives a lot of attention for his stature. Especially as we begin to watch old Saturday Night Skits, one where Simon wears a 0.1 jersey in a basketball game not nearly a whole player. Me myself just barely making 5’1” I began to adore him for it, creating this adorable small teddy bear language to talk about him. I started to call him, “Paul-y pocket,” I wasn’t sure why- maybe because it was a little punny? Although I’m sure and almost positive I am not the only person who has talked of Paul Simon in such a way. In our culture we have an idea of what small is, and in a lot of ways small equals cute. But aren’t small people more than cute? As another example in our society we see in women positions in the office, men don’t look at a women CEO and think, “Wow, she’s smart,” it usually jumps straight to, “She’s hot.” Don’t these people deserve their talents to be recognized rather than what we see?
Talent Vs. Appearance. What do you think is more commonly talked about in American stars, musicians, etc.? How many comments did Miley Cyrus receive after her VMA performance solely based on her tongue and mouse leotard? I can tell you that from owning a twitter account it was an enormous response. Although pop culture is different from folk music, and we will never see Paul Simon dressed in a mouse leotard- there are similarities here. We are letting their image get in the way of their talent. And I can guarantee that any artist who gets in the music industry has one goal and that is to spread their love of music, and I believe we’ve done them a disservice.
Paul Simon is an extremely talented artist whom creates these embraceful lyrics with rhythms that move your body and throws in melodic horns and piccolo sounds that make his music an even more diverse genre. Every song he ever wrote was a hit, and no one could ever pick a favorite, only favorites. I have realized how much more the man deserves, and little I was giving him. Not that I didn’t believe he was talented because I knew that for sure- but I wasn’t giving him enough of the credit that a talented man like him self deserves.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what we see because it’s easiest to believe; we see it, its right in front of us. And for many artists, actresses, actors, bosses, CEOs, teachers, friends, parents, and siblings this is what we critique each other with. We are all more than our appearance. If we just took the time of day to really understand what a person, of any height, color, age, gender, etc. is capable of doing- we would have so much more respect for the others around us.