Enough with new art

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

I wish art would stop.

Not stop altogether, but for a little while; maybe just for the next 20 years or so.

I say this because just out this Friday from Netflix is a new show called “Narco” about the rise of the Columbian drug cartels and Pablo Escobar.

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Now, I enjoy a good crime show, and I try–really I do–to stay au currant on pop culture. But here’s the thing: I don’t have the time. Sitting at home right this minute is a DVD for “The Godfather.” It fills me with shame that I’ve still never watched “The Godfather,” but there you are. For that matter, I’ve still never seen “The Wire,” and while yes, it did air on HBO while I was overseas so I had an excuse years ago, these days it’s offered free through Amazon Prime. I have no excuse. Well, except for the fact that crime writers just won’t stop creating quality content and so by their fecundity I am left adrift in a chaotic sea of pop cultural confusion.

It’s the worst. And it’s not just writers, either. It’s all artists. Several months ago, early in the summer when everyone was talking about him, someone asked me if I’d heard anything by Father John Misty, the supposedly new best thing in Americana roots music. I replied that I had not listened to anything by him and I probably never will.

Why? My friend asked.

Well, to start with, he’s born after me and so that’s a strike against him. Second, I still don’t have significantly important albums by the Kinks, Frank Zappa, the Stones or the Grateful Dead (I don’t have, for instance, “Europe ‘72.” I know, right?). Keeping within the Americana genre, I’ve only got a couple of Townes Van Zandt albums. I live in shame.

This is just to illustrate just the smallest portion of my musical lacuna. There’s more. Much more (including albums I need to buy again, because the ones I have are damaged.)

So why on earth would I buy a new record when I’ve got so many more to collect? I wouldn’t.

So please, musicians, writers, film directors and all the rest: Just stop. Give me 20 years and I’ll be caught up. I promise.