So I was listening to This American Life, and a girl was talking aboiut her terrible breakup. Her breakup was so bad that she spent months doing little other than listening to sad breakup songs. She was wallowing, and wanted to wallow. At last she decided that she must purge the endless wallow by compsoing her own breakup song.
She managed to get the email of Phil Collins, the author of her favorite breakup song “Against all Odds“. He wrote her back and they had a phone call about the tragedy of breakups and how to write a good breakup song.
I guess this is why the story is interesting enough to be put on the radio. Oh my gosh! Phil COLLINS! Giving this pathetic girl advice on how to write a break up song.
Phil Collins is very talented.
Talent can be debilitating to those around you. Like, after a concert, the incredible talent of the guy on stage can leave you weak kneed and speechless because you were that close to such an incredible talent.
And even a lesser talent…How about a school play, when the teenagers gave a killer rendition of “Our Town” or “Cyrano”? The other kids fawn and stand back with wide eyes, full of hero-worship.
There are kinds of talent that make people love you…That roll the red carpet out in front of you and make you a god.
But there are different kinds of talent. Or maybe different kinds of reactions to talent.
I ran across an article celebrating the 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged.
I love Rand’s books. I was telling a friend about Atlas Shrugged, and how when I read it, the book had me by the throat. I like to read, but this book was above and beyond. I was so into it, I was reading it at stoplights while driving.
She talks about the other kinds of talent. How some people can respond to talent by denying it and persecuting those who have it.
The talent of speaking his vision got Dr. King killed.
And then Jesus…I suppose you could argue that he was different, because he was the Son of GOD, but then again, maybe he was exactly the best example of that sort of talent.
Dagny, the heroine of Atlas Shrugged, first felt how it was to be treated for her talent. Her father owned the railroad. She wanted to work there, and started at the bottom to do it.
I will never forget this part of the book:
She took positions of responsibility because there was no one else to take them. There were a few rare men of talent around her. but they were becoming rarer every year. Her superiors, who held the authority, seemed afriad to exercise it, they spent their time avoiding decisions, so she told peopel what to do and they did it. At every step of her rise, she did the work long before she was granted the title. It was like advancing through empty rooms. NObody opposed her, but nobody approved of her progress.
The thing was, she was young as she was advancing in her career. Later, she began to see more of the world and how this particular incidence she had experienced was much broadspread.
I am not sure exactly why some talents are lauded and some persecuted.
It does charge the air, though, when it shows up.