Sunday, October 2, 2011

Money Talks

I watched an interview of the notorious Sushi King, Kenny Kunene, on Noeleen the other day. He’s such a colourful character, and I don’t judge him one bit about the lifestyle he leads. He quite nicely justified his lifestyle with these words: “Money is there to be spent. One cannot die with money.” I love that statement not because I agree with it, but because I feel it’s completely open for interpretation.
I have a very big issue with the way capitalism has promoted the worship of money. I hate how success is measured by the amount of money you have. I could be successful simply by winning the lottery. I hate how greedy people become when it comes to financial wealth. I hate how heartless people can be with their pursuit of riches. I understand that wealth often is hard-earned and well-deserved, and I respect those who’ve worked hard for their success, but I can’t stand it when people take it too far. But what I hate most of all about money is how absolutely necessary it is to have in the society we live in.
I think it’s clear that I’m not the biggest fan of money. You can say I have a love-hate relationship with it. I hate how it can dictate the course of someone’s life, and I hate that I literally cannot survive without it. And the fact that I want to be able to afford the luxuries that Kenny Kunene is famous for makes matters worse. I love and loathe watching Top Billing, with the abundance of over-the-top, decadent, unnecessary, extra STUFF that I want to have. The problem is I like things. And things cost money. But I also know that things cannot give me happiness.
Someone very dear to me always says, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure as hell can buy things that make me happy.” The example that’s always used is going for a shopping trip to Dubai. How the HELL do you return from that depro? It’s a fair statement and example, but how long does that happiness last? A day? A week? A month or two? What happens after that? You hear all the time of the rich and famous, people we idolise, being in rocky relationships, divorcing and remarrying, simply being miserable.
Getting a brand new car would make me happy, but its only brand new for a while, and eventually it goes out of fashion. That trip to Dubai would really work me up, but I’d be home again eventually, living my measly existence. Often times, people with money use their wealth to try and find what makes them happy. Luckily for me, I know what makes me happy. Sitting in front of a piano building melodies and stringing words together makes me happy. Sharing those melodies and words makes me happy. Listening to my sister relate the events of her day to me in her two-year-old’s gibberish makes me happy. Watching her dance on top of the coffee table makes me happy. Having a brother with wit as quick as lightning makes me happy. Two-for-one burger specials on Monday at Spur with my friends makes me happy. Listening to them insult each other makes me happy. Having some whom I know will always listen to what I have to say makes me happy. Close relationships and doing what I love makes me happy. In all honesty, I’d be a musician even if it did not make me a cent in this life. Not that I want it to, though. I refuse to work for money. That is, to do whatever I’m doing because it pays well, even if it makes me miserable. I’m perfectly content with doing what I love for the rest of my days. Money is really a perk that comes with my job of speaking to people through music and lyrics.
With all that being said, I am still unemployed and broke so I guess talk is cheap ;)
Andrei Damane