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osfameron (3135)

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Saturday August 03, 2002
10:53 AM

The Perl Busker

[ #6875 ]
Walking through Liverpool, "the Beatles city", I am always surprised that that busker is still at it.

This is a young black guy, with karaoke equipment, who can't sing. Ha can't sing quite loudly, thanks to the microphone and PA, and the songs he chooses not to sing are irritating lowest-common denominator pop hits. We get these in the shops (though usually more in tune), and now we have to suffer them outside too.

In fairness, he has improved over the course of the last year and a half. His timing and rhythm are now acceptable. He can now sing melodies in tune. But he still attempts songs that are out of his key and sings out of tune. This demonstrates an incredible lack of self-awareness, and also I think arrogance. If you have a limited range, play to your strengths. If you can't sing, then learn to sing before busking.

This, actually, annoys me more than I like to admit. It makes me feel very petty to be reduced to frothing rage just because some talentless but ambitious kid is practising how to become a rockstar and inflicting it on me and other shoppers. I want to heckle him

You suck!
Learn to sing, loser!

I want to write a letter to the local government asking them to revoke his buskers license. I want to stamp on his microphone and speakers until they are unrecognizable shards of plastic and metal.

I think that part of the reason I find this so annoying, is similar to the reason that some posts on, say, Perlmonks are given such a righteous beating:

I've developed this amazing new cryptographic technique in PERL which I'm going to patent.

Sure, the security point is important too, but I'm sure that there's an edge of impatience with the poster's lack of self awareness and sense of their own limitations. It's alright to use the training wheels, but you have to admit that you're in training, and sometimes clear the track for the serious racers.

I've written a k3wl PERL module which I want to upload to CPAN called ""

Know where you fit in in the community. Is it in a presitigious top-level namespace, or somewhere under Acme::Misc::? Are you singing in Liverpool's busiest shopping street, or are you taking classes, doing an open Mic's at Flanaghan's Irish Pub, and recording a demo tape to send to BBC talent?

On the other hand, I think that I am also furious about this because I haven't done either. I've not submitted a module even under Acme::Misc::Trivial::Unimportant::. I've almost completely given up playing guitar, and I haven't written anything, or done any ascii animation for 6 months. In a sublimation of spleen to inspiration, rant to meditation, I am going to try to draw something positive from this:

Talent is not the important thing, rather the will to learn, and to make a mark.

I promise I'll try not to deafen anyone on my way.

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  • I suggest doing things that give you a cheap sense of accomplishment. Go bake a cake! It's hard to be angry when you're stuffing your face with cake, especially when you made the cake!

    I like cake!

    Then suggest that the busker stop singing, and just focus on his "guitar licks".