How do people not *get* him?

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mnkyface
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How do people not *get* him?

Post by mnkyface » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:23 am

I mean, really. They don't care for music do they? I guess that's the simple explanation but truly, there are some people whose tastes (musical and otherwise) I greatly respect and they just do not like LC. It's mind boggling. And frustrating. And the casual fans are just as mysterious to me...they like his music but they are not obsessed with his every move/utterance? :lol: Actually I may be a little jealous of them- they probably get a lot more done (not hanging out on YouTube all day) and save a lot of money on concert tickets/travel. :roll:
"In this world of shallow, he is the abyss."~ YouTube commenter greg450318
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lightasabreeze
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by lightasabreeze » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:42 am

I know, I know I know.. I feel I want to MAKE them sit and LISTEN to him.
Especially when I know what sort of 'music' they listen to.
I don't say they should like him as much as I do, but it seems to be a love or hate thing, no in between.
Having said that, I have actually managed to convert two friends this year with his music and even got one reading his poetry !!
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London 02 x 3..... Radio city New York... Wet Weybridge..... Wembley Arena... Brighton..
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TheSpice-BoxOfEarth
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by TheSpice-BoxOfEarth » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:52 pm

I wonder same: why people don`t realize how special person, poet and musician Leonard is? :? Are they shallow or ignorant? Leonard is the greatest person of our time, he is perfect role model for eveone. Cohenism should be taught at school!

Madonna played last week here in Helsinki. I thought that I would go to the border of concert area with a sign: "Forget Madonna, we have Leonard Cohen", but my friends weren`t crazy enough to go with me and I didn`t have courage to go alone. :razz:
A cross on every hill
A star, a minaret
So many graves to fill
O love, aren’t you tired yet?


- The Faith, Leonard Cohen
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mutti
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by mutti » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:33 pm

I have been thinking this over..its so true..I am Canadian so all my friends and family from Canada are totally familiar with Leonard and his music and poetry. I am presently living in the US and so few people are familiar with his work and music. I was actually shocked.
I find people are either black or white on liking his music and some are in the middle. So many people who love music and who I thought would 'hear' me when I said
"This was the best concert I have ever been to in my life" or "listen to this and enjoy" or "I want to share this with you"
or "this is what I am doing now in my life..I have become a travelling groupie at age 57 believe it or not"..(though my friends know that 'crazy' and wild side of me so they just smile and shake their heads...) I am so surprised when they outright say... I do not like Leonard Cohen's music or as one person told me..He is old school...(??? what!)
I know to each his/her own but really...whats happening here...
Especially when we are so passionate and so touched by this man and his music and his being and his humbleness...and his words...
All I know is that what matters is I am so totally touched and want to be in his prescence at his concerts as much as possible or that I can afford
while I have the chance...and the chance is there..a total yes can be exhilirating and has such power...
Over the years I have quoted things I have read that Leonard has said...that were appropriate for something I was going through and those words resonated with me...
so I agree it was hard for me to understand people were not 'getting' this phenomena.
but now I don't really care...
Its all personal and all I have time for is what is real for me...
I am so grateful for this forum!!!!!!!!!! ;-)
Mutti
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
John Etherington
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by John Etherington » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:43 pm

I think for people to "get" Leonard musically, they have to hear one of his songs at a moment when it touches them deeply on a personal level. Although Leonard means so much to everyone here, I think it's important not to become born-again Cohenites, by trying to enforce Leonard's work on them. I would say it's best to only drop a hint occasionally that you feel it might be a good idea for them to check- out his work, especially if you feel that it might be relevant to them at a particular time.

Now, if I may play devil's advocate, I would suggest that someone doesn't really "get" Leonard until they emulate or aspire to some of his best qualities. Then, they may listen to the songs with a personal perception of what Leonard is really conveying. I suspect that Leonard is highly amused when he comes across someone who is a total obsessive. Does it mean that someone really "gets" him if they obsessively collect every single picture sleeve from every country, if they are obsessed with every tiny thing he does, if they watch every bit of eargrating wobbly youtube garbage that gets put on the internet? In a word, no!

Let's focus on some of Leonard's best qualities (and I hasten to add that I barely aspire to some of these myself)...

One thing that really impressed me was when, in the Seventies, Leonard was asked if he listened to a lot of music. He said that he had a few cassettes that he listened to, and that he used to have more but had left them lying around at hotels. I really liked that. Leonard's obvious priority was living a full life, and he clearly puts quality before quantity. He also likes to live simply.

Another great quality of Leonard's is his attentiveness. When I met him a couple of years ago, I noticed that when he was speaking to the group he made equal eye contact with everyone in the room (there were six people present, at the time). When he spoke to an individual he gave them his total undivided attention.

Now think of when Leonard went into the monastery for six years at around the age of sixty. How many people in his position would do that at such an age? (i.e. to focus on self- development, discipline, and serve another individual - in Leonard's case -Roshi).

Finally, how many people, especially in their Seventies, who became insolvent would do what was absolutely necessary to ensure their future financial security? Not many!

On a lighter note, one of Leonard's greatest qualities has always been to do everything in his power to get the woman he wants. I felt that my truest "Leonard Cohen" moment was when in 1995 I somehow found myself staying at the Marriott Hotel in Monterey with a Brigitte Bardot lookalike. Inwardly, I thanked Leonard's influence for having achieved this - even though I came back with only £60 in my bank account, and nothing much has happened since!

All good things, John E

P.S. it may not be such a good idea to emulate everything Leonard has done. After all, when asked how he would describe himself, he gave a simple one word answer...sinner!
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tinderella
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by tinderella » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm

Very well written John and you are really perceptive. You definitely 'got' him.
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mutti
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by mutti » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:45 pm

Love your post John!

Mutti
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
John Etherington
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by John Etherington » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:51 pm

Thank you friends...I try!

John E x
MaryB
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by MaryB » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:34 am

Am I obsessive if I read every post (great insight John!) on this forum re: LC :roll: ?
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
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hydriot
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by hydriot » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:49 pm

It is really very simple. A huge proportion of this planet's population sleep-walks through their lives, like characters in Brave New World, feeling neither joy nor pain. Those who appreciate Leonard's work are simply those discerning few who are willling to accept the intense pain that life sometimes brings, recognising that that is the price we pay to also experience life's intense joys.

One attribute is a common factor in the nature of all Cohenites: passion.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
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mutti
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by mutti » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:02 am

Wow! Hydriot very well said..I like that..
this is a good thread for me.
Thank you!
Mutti (Leslie) ;-)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
osmachar
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by osmachar » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:48 pm

[quote/]How do people not *get* him?[quote/]

Well, easy - tastes are very different and some people son't understand whay oterhs like something. Some people also can't understand why I 'don't get' gangster rap or whatever.
seadove
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by seadove » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:53 pm

Which people don't *get* him?
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mutti
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by mutti » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:37 am

Bill Maher for one..
For me when I said "people don't get him"...I want to explain...to each his/her own
and I am totally fine that some people aren't interested in his music..that has nothing to do with me...
What I am wondering is why some friends of mine have reacted when I say how much I am enjoying the music or poems
or concerts...they are black or white...nothing in between...not all but some are amazing...
that is what this thread is about for me..
What is going on here? Are they from another planet..no just joking..
Mutti
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
Parsifal
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by Parsifal » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:37 am

I think a lot of people don't get him for the reasons articulated by hydriot a few posts earlier.

Additionally, though, the reputation that he's acquired, through no fault of his own, can often be a barrier.

If I hadn't been 'told' that LC's music was 'depressing', it would never have occurred to me that anyone would find it so; cathartic, yes....depressing, no.
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