Being and Nothingness

by Barry Drogin

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An existentialist philosopher wrote that the only true act of free will was suicide. Of course, the existentialists all had enormous egos and would never consider such an act.

There was some comic western that screened in my youth. It was about a writer in the Old West. The theme of the movie was that a writer could consider himself to be a writer when someone else called him a writer.

This issue of being a professional musician has haunted my career. I have been called a musician. I have been paid to be a musician. I have set up a business as a musician. The business is failing. If I close it down, am I not a musician? Am I a former professional musician? Am I an amateur musician? Have I always been?

I think I should have a right to choose the manner of my businessís death, and of my status. I am not becoming an amateur musician. I am not retiring as a professional musician.

I choose to become an unprofessional musician.

What that means, what that implies, that is for me to decide, and for others to interpret. But I like the way it sounds. I like the freedom it gives me. I can be at a party, be asked, and say I am an unprofessional musician. If someone asks what that means, I can tell them I do not know.

I am. I exist. I exercise free will. I choose the form of nothingness that I will become. This is my choice.

Deal with it.

Barry Drogin, unprofessional musician
No longer doing business as Not Nice Music
As of November 23, 2008

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Last Updated: January 17, 2009