Sing me your Story

… One day the Emperor received a large package labeled “The Nightingale.”

“This must be another book about my celebrated bird,” he said. But it was not a book. In the box was a work of art, an artificial nightingale most like the real one except that it was encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. When it was wound, the artificial bird could sing one of the nightingale’s songs while it wagged its glittering gold and silver tail. Round its neck hung a ribbon inscribed: “The Emperor of Japan’s nightingale is a poor thing compared with that of the Emperor of China.”…

“Now let’s have them sing together. What a duet that will be,” said the courtiers.

So they had to sing together, but it didn’t turn out so well, for the real nightingale sang whatever came into his head while the imitation bird sang by rote.

“That’s not the newcomer’s fault,” said the music master. “He keeps perfect time, just as I have taught him.”

Then they had the imitation bird sing by itself. It met with the same success as the real nightingale, and besides it was much prettier to see, all sparkling like bracelets and breastpins. Three and thirty times it sang the selfsame song without tiring. The courtiers would gladly have heard it again, but the Emperor said the real nightingale should now have his turn. Where was he? No one had noticed him flying out the open window, back to his home in the green forest.

“But what made him do that?” said the Emperor.

All the courtiers slandered the nightingale, whom they called a most ungrateful wretch…

“You see, ladies and gentlemen, and above all Your Imperial Majesty, with a real nightingale one never knows what to expect, but with this artificial bird everything goes according to plan.
The real nightingale had been banished from the land…
(from “The Nightingale”)

Can a bird sing only the song it knows? Or can it learn a new song? Many people sing the same old shit over and over again, usually the same old shit they were programmed with. Sometimes, they call it education. Education, as they mean it, is stuffing your mind with other people’s ideas. So they leave their schools and mindlessly repeat the stuff they were taught.

Such minds rarely change even if they change the label. So you have former Christians replacing their God with a new god, be it science, experts or whatever. The same old song, the same old shit, the same old habits and the same mind bowing to the authority in the utmost display of conformity.

If you’re not the author of the music and lyrics, then whose song are you singing? Sure as hell, it’s not yours. Many would wish you to conform to their so-called standards, to sing what they want you to sing. A mechanical bird is more predictable and easier to control. It doesn’t have moods. Would you sacrifice your freedom of thought for someone’s approval?

The Chicken Yard

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There is this saying “Sticking feathers up your butt doesn’t make you a chicken.” I would choose a less mediocre bird here, like a peacock or an eagle. A chicken can pretend to be an eagle or a peacock but the mask falls off when you ask the motherfucker to fly. It’s a sad spectacle to watch.

Is a label important? What does changing a label mean without a change in your life, without getting rid of the stuff you were programmed with? There is a price to pay for living your life the way you want and for trying to think for yourself. That price is most often the disapproval of others and rejection. Sometimes, it can mean losing your friends, your job, even family and in some shitty circumstances even your life. However, if you swim with with the current, you’ll never be a good swimmer.

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