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Leather quality thread...

On satuday Jan. 4th Bonsuela wrote (replying to Peter):

>This is one way of looking at it; certainly many of the professional
>classical musicians I've worked with for eight+ years see the popularity
>and financial success of, say, R.E.M. or the Smashing Pumpkins in the same
>way, and are frustrated and saddened by it, often even angered by it --
>they see rock and pop groups as amateurs who are too lazy or insolent to
>learn to make "real" music, whereas the rest of us easily accept rock,
>rap, etc. as completely different styles of music (rather than seeing them
>at the low end of the same scale as classical).
>So I ask the same question here that I have so often asked of my
>musician friends:
>Isn't "quality" ever defined by the (pardon my computer-speak) end-user?
>Isn't the best-quality thing for _anyone_ that thing which best meets
>his/her assembled needs (cost, function, everything), or that which best
>feeds that person's soul? Can't we trust the individual to know his own
>needs, establish her own criteria for evaluating things? Some will
>*always* demand the highest standards, there's no doubt about that -- do
>we have to look upon the rest as people in need of being "educated"?

People (including ourselves) are continually being 'educated' with or
without their consent. If all people are exposed to is 100% bonded leather-
gold-embossed trash, then that is what they will believe is the top of the
line... (Just as when a child is continually exposed a less-than-desireable
family environment.) Kindness is when friends, associates and tutors open
for us the possibilities of increased knowledge and understanding. Not to
rant at length, but the super-mall mentality where our 'choices' are
carefully pre-selected and monitored by corporate America is more than a
little annoying. The single underlying goal? Commercial gain. If our
education of produced objects is primarily originating from these bright and
motivated people, then the sun is truly setting. However, there is that
'quality' thing that Peter was talking about. A direction that might lead
one to contemplate such unprofitable things as authenticity, functionality,
endurance, beauty, integrity, purpose, minimally processed natural
materials, etc. Should the "end-user" (sad title) be educated in these
things then he or she may have something to work with in feeding their soul
or even selecting a well-bound book. It's not a matter of 'trusting' the
"end-users" but whether we care enough about them to share something we have
been given.


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