Monday, July 11, 2011

Musings from the back line

In my never ending search for Pop Culture related noisettes, I constantly read The AV Club website. Oh, and the Pop Eye - hi BeckEye, if you're reading. And recently, whilst reading said AV Club, I came across an interview with Tim Minchin.

For anyone who doesn't know (and I'm guessing that's a fair few of you), Tim Minchin is an Australian comedian/musician, who is currently on tour in the US. His humour tends to concentrate on clever wordplay and, really, not much else. He's pretty popular, even though he doesn't really advertise and doesn't seem to play all that much. I'm not really into him, as I find he takes himself far too seriously.

On the AV Club, much like this site, you can comment on any of the articles they post. And the interview with Tim garnered pretty much universal condemnation. Most comments were of the 'most undeserved career' variety. In other words, Tim Minchin's success is down to luck and nothing else.

This got me to wondering whether that can really be true. There are plenty of people out there I can name, whose success is baffling to me. Kim Kardashian being a prime example. But I'm not sure that any sort of continued success can be due entirely to luck. Just thinking about Tim Minchin; it seems as though he's garnered his success from hard work. I said that he doesn't play all that much but when he does, he plays A LOT. I think he's doing 50 odd shows in the States at the moment and he's done this for the past ten years, at least. That doesn't appear to me to be pure luck. That's hard graft. If you think of all the people that have managed careers in the Arts (and I'm not talking the fleeting fame of a Big Brother or Australian/American Idol) and examine exactly what they've done to achieve that level of career, it would surprise me if any of them actually put it down to pure luck. Or even just the appearance of luck. Personally, I don't believe in luck.

It's very easy to look at someone's life and, through envy mostly, mark them down as untalented hacks who've somehow lucked into a career. I know I do it. Constantly. But I think if I actually sat down and went through all that person has done to get where they are now, I might need to bite my tongue a little harder each day.


Gorilla Bananas said...

I suspect he's found a niche market. There can't be many Aussie comedians who prefer wordplay to swear words.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Persistence is a far more important commodity than talent in ANY career. You can have the goods but if you're unwilling to apply yourself, they're useless. Nobody is around as long as Tim has been without deserving it, whether you like him or not.

The Vegetable Assassin said...


It's just so much more fun to hate on them, Tenny! :)

I hate on boring, mainstream pop chart singers all the time. Sure they might be able to hit those high notes with gusto but they all sound the same and sing the same boring, dross, so they might as well be untalented hacks as none of them stand out in any way. It's all so manufactured.

You're right though. Of course they work hard to get where they are, but if you're based more on image than substance, you still suck.

I have spoken.

tennysoneehemingway said...

GB: Definitely. In fact, Australian comedy seems to be exclusively swearing and yelling. A lot.

UB: I agree 100%.

Veg: True, true. But still, no matter how much I might dislike Beyonce (hint: a lot), I can't fault her work ethic.

Eric said...

An insightful post... And I begrudgingly give Dane Cook a thumbs up (but I'm still not going to a show).

BeckEye said...

I love being mentioned in the same breath as The AV Club.

Also, when I sit and wonder why there are terrible writers who are making a comfortable living and I'm not (and I don't think I'm terrible, but that's up for debate), it only takes me a few seconds to realize that it is indeed hard work that makes the difference. I'm always afraid that if I became a full-time writer, I would grow to hate it because then it would be a "job" isntead of something I enjoy doing. But this is probably just an excuse to make me feel better about being l-a-z-y. :)

The Kid In The Front Row said...

"It's very easy to look at someone's life and, through envy mostly, mark them down as untalented hacks who've somehow lucked into a career."

This is very very true.

Lola Lakely said...

So, what is this? I come out of hiatus and you submerge yourself into one? This makes me sad.

I like Tim Minchin. I know him from hosting Never Mind the Buzzcocks, which is one of my favorite brit shows, so I was absurdly happy to be able to relate with who you were talking about.

Although I still say it's ridiculously fun to irrationally hate someone. ;)

*uncorked said...

TENNY!!! ARE YOU A DADDY NOW? Can I call you Daddy? Is that weird?