I Can’t Stop is the latest release from the legendary BoDeans, who started making music together more than 30 years ago. The band will be touring throughout the rest of the year, but in the meantime, frontman Kurt Neumann, multi-instrumentalist Sam Hawksley and drummer Kenny Aronoff will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.
Neumann: There’s a quote from Socrates I love. I’ve hung onto it since the first time I heard it, because it’s one of those things I’ve felt my whole life but didn’t have the wherewithal or street cred to say. Here it is: “Those who say, don’t know. Those who know, don’t say.”
To me, it speaks to true knowledge. An understanding of what is really happening here. I’ve always noticed in my life that the smartest people listen instead of just blathering on about “their” big opinions and ideas.
Recently I saw Alan Dershowitz talking about Ted Cruz. Apparently Ted was in Mr. Dershowitz’s class at Harvard. And he proclaimed that even though he didn’t agree with Ted’s tactics in congress, he was a “very” smart man. SMH.
And a few years back I ran into an old friend who used to work at Warner Bros. Records while we were signed there. And while explaining about a situation where an ex-manager was trying to take some of my copyright away from me through costly protracted and unsuccessful litigation, he proclaimed, “Of course he did. He’s a smart man.” SMH.
There have been many times in my life where I’ve been in similar situations. And every time, I just shake my head and wonder if I just have a different definition of what “smart” is. Because to me these people are not “smart” at all, or at least have displayed no evidence of being what I would call smart. Maybe what I call conniving or egomaniacal is the new smart. People lie, cheat, or steal their way to their own agenda and they are considered smart. Trade your integrity for many dollars…brilliant.
But Einstein, Plank, Rumi, Emerson, Thoreau and so forth didn’t seem to be wealthy, self-agenda-ized people. Just people who shut their mouths and paid attention. I’m sure the guys who thought up the idea of shorting the housing market back in 2007 while pushing mortgages on millions of people who could not afford them were considered smart by their buddies or co-workers. But not me.
Maybe we need a different word for these situations where some selfish, corrupt person achieves some success in popular culture. But not smart.
Video after the jump.