Paul Simon deserves more.

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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.

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One thought on “Paul Simon deserves more.

  1. I’m so glad that you wrote a piece about Paul Simon! First off, I totally agree with the fact that Paul is one of the most influential musicians of all time and I can remember my mom playing “Graceland” in the car going to my swimming lessons.
    I really like your idea of Talent vs. Appearance. I had never thought about how a physical attribute, such as only being 5’3”, could distort and effect how talented artist are being viewed. I feel that society has a habit of expecting artist to look or act a certain way and when they don’t, the artist’s talents are over looked. The talent of our favorite artist are being downgraded because they are not tall, dark and handsome like society thinks they should be. Although I believe that a ground moving artist such as Paul Simon shouldn’t have to be judged on his appearance and that his music is enough, I also know that appearance plays a big part in his fame.
    This topic relates somewhat to the discussion we were having in class about the conflict that Disney and Pixar were having with their new princess Merida. The ever constant reminder that the good guys are supposed to look a certain way follow us all the way from our child years into our adult. This is also closely connected to the documentary that we briefly viewed in class called “Miss Representation”. The body image that we have been taught to have from society has profound impacts on us especially when introduced at a young age. These expectations are risen and put at a higher value under the lime light I’m sure.
    So, yes. I agree. I think that Paul Simon deserves more. I love that you wrote this ;3

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