Jacob Lawrence, "The Studio," 1977
Jacob Lawrence, The Studio (1977)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

July 21, 2003:

Young German couple, cassette tapes in hand. Seated with you in swivel chairs grouped around the recording console, all knobs and meters and computers.

German boy turns to you, saying, "My songs are veiry goot. I hef von a talent contest. You vill play for me now something which you hef recorded hier in your schtudio."

Thinking about this for a moment, you slip a master tape into the DAT player. Hip-hop. Catchy, bouncy, with a singer who is undeniably, unavoidably, African-American.

Young couple wrinkle their noses. No, no, that won't do. "Do you hef something vit a different sing-ger?" Young woman trying to be helpful.

You think about it for a moment, trying to appear concerned. "Nope. No, not really. That's really about it." You shrug.

They leave. You sigh. A year earlier you needed the money so badly that you would have accepted them, as you accepted anybody with a checkbook. Nowadays you feel that, having failed, you'd may as well enjoy the people you agree to work with.