Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, December 31, 2004

I like the idea of Ani DiFranco more than I enjoy her music, although, in fairness, her music is enjoyable enough. She has been a Squeaky Wheel supporter, and is a right-thinking person who puts her money where her heart is in general. She has always impressed me as a thoughtful, intelligent person, and it is interesting to see how clear-sighted she really is. This essay nicely illustrates how genuine she is-- I know a lot of people who think they are rock stars, but I don't know if there are any other rock stars who take what they do this seriously while maintaining a sense of humor about it.

"Try this one on for size: "How is your life different now that you are successful?" A simple question, right? I answered it straight a few times, before a light went off in my head that helped illuminate why it made me so uncomfortable.

"What do you mean by 'success'?" I replied on that day. "The fact that I am appearing in your magazine? Because I think I was successful when I was 19 years old and could sell twenty tapes in one night to an audience of fifty people. I was successful when I quit my last day job at age 21 and supported myself through music without starving. I felt successful when I would show up at some student-union cafeteria, stand under the fluorescent lights and give people songs that would make them cry and stomp their feet and laugh out loud. In fact, it was the very idea that neither fame nor fortune could make you a success in life, but something deeper, that gave me the patience to remain independent all those hard years and not reach for the corporate carrot." (Via wood s lot.)

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