Paul Simon and Privacy

In Nicholas Dawidoff’s Rolling Stone story on Paul Simon (RS 1130; 5/12/11), he writes:

It hasn’t escaped Simon’s notice that the more he kept his personal life to himself, the better life got. ‘At a certain point,’ he [Simon] says, ‘you begin to realize about your life and your private affairs that it’s inappropriate that it should be entertainment for somebody else. There’s no requirement that I tell how I hurt and how I feel. It’s a mistake you make early on. I see Eminem out there talking about his family, his kids, and I think 10 or 15 years from now he’ll regret it.’

I do believe most art (songs, paintings, books, films, etc.) comes from a very personal place, a personal experience, personal emotion – something one feels. Consider some of the greatest works of art – someone experienced whatever came out in that song or movie, but that doesn’t mean the writer let all interested parties into their deepest, most personal of places.

Be it in interviews, public behavior, or creative output – be self-aware. Some information is wholly unnecessary to divulge. Some things really are better left unsaid.

Consider how what you say may affect others. That’s really the point here.


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