Recently during an intellectually stimulating discussion with a journalist while giving an Interview, the topic came up about bands selling out. The question of the hour was why does a band sell-out. Today, I want to address this general topic of selling out. But not why people sell-out. Instead WHAT exactly is selling out?
There have been numerous artists in the past that have been ‘accused’ of selling out. Either by changing their sound or incorporating unfamiliar elements into their existing sound or by signing with an ‘evil’ label or by having a stance against illegal download of music. In this process, die-hard fans get disappointed, new fans get created, names are made legendary and reputations are set in stone. And everyone generally seems to agree that this trend of selling-out revolves around the biggest evil of all. Money. I disagree. I actually have a very different take on selling out. And in my opinion everyone in the world sells out. Without exception.
Now one may raise the question. What about the Mandela’s of the world? What about Mother Teresa? What about Mahatma Gandhi? How dare one alleg humanity in its purest, selfless form? Thats where my definition of the term takes over. According to me selling out is not an act of monetary greed, not a phrase burdened by the negative. It is just the optimization of your methods to achieve a certain goal. Whether this goal be selling more cd’s, playing bigger concerts, seeing your child happy or to see your brothers free. Whatever we do in life that involves any other person is selling out. Getting happiness from a certain good deed is also a form of selling out. Even from eating food, we gain something (energy, satisfaction, happiness). It is also selling out. A perfect, non ‘sell-out’ person would be a person who does absolutely nothing. And since man is the most social of animals, we sell out every day. Multiple times.
So did Mandela, Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi sell out? According to this definition yes. But they did so to help millions of others. Does selling out then carry with a negative connotation? For many, it does. For me, it doesn’t. It is a part of being human. We all do it. Everyday. We just dont think about it.
On a completely different note: Sometimes all you need is a bucket..