Byline: Chelle LaFleur — Following


Now, you all just follow along with old Chelle here and no one’s gonna get hurt. Hear me on this?

‘Cause, in case you’re livin’ under a rock or some such, followin’s the big trend these days. Follow me here, there, everywhere. You be a good person and you follow along. You’re even better a person if you got lots of followers.

Follow, follow, follow.

Where are the freaky-cool trend-setters? What happened to the people who’re worthy of being followed because there’s something there that pulled you to them? Why do we gotta follow someone simply ’cause it’s cool to do so? Is this now a world where we’re all valuable just ’cause we get people followin’ us? Where we’re better people ’cause we got lots of followers?

Mr. Rogers would be so proud of us.

You gotta stop and think, boys and girls, about what all this followin’ means. Does it mean steppin’ away from your precious computer for a few hours and goin’ to see that band who’s in town special, just to play for all their local followers, the people declarin’ eternal love and devotion in a sentence or less? Does it mean downloadin’ that new song, buyin’ that new t-shirt, and braggin’ about your love for those music-makers on your chest?

It sure used to.

And because of that, bands, they did well. They made a buck or two, could afford their practice spaces and gas for tourin’ and maybe if they’d made it to a major record label, there’d be videos and other goodies like that.

But now, an indie band plays their music for free over a website or two that ain’t even theirs; it belongs to some big corporation that takes all the money while the band gets squat. Fans follow what the dudes and chicks who make the music gotta say, but they ain’t ponying up for tickets so fast. Not unless that band we be talkin’ about is a big band. Been around for years band. One-a them bands that’ll do okay just ’cause of who they are. Heck, even Deadly Metal Hatchet t-shirts are still sellin’ like hotcakes. Chelle knows. She bought two last week, all by her lonesome.

It’s the new guys, bands like Temple of the Book (read more about them here), who need yourself, in person, in front of their stage. Buy their EP. Wear their shirts. Talk about ’em to your followers. Spread the gospel; I know the readers of this here Trumpet newspaper are smart enough to know what to do.

You heard it first, and you heard it here: If you gonna follow, do it right. Do it so it makes a difference. ‘Cause if we don’t change, all we gonna get to hear is Golden Oldies. And it scares Chelle to think of ShapeShifter as a Golden Oldie. Not in this lifetime.

A Sunday Scribblings for you, more directly related to the prompt than usual for me.



  1. devil mood

    April 26, 2009 12:40 pm

    It is a challenging time for artists or anyone trying to survive the internet, with all its democraticness. The truth is, more and more, people want something for nothing. And that’s sad.

    devil mood’s last blog – follow

  2. danni

    April 26, 2009 6:46 pm

    “What happened to the people who’re worthy of being followed because there’s something there that pulled you to them?” — like, really – where have all the flowers gone? – gone to graveyards every one along with so many folks with dynamite potential who are literally deployed to a graveyard every damn day of the week!!! — but isn’t it just too true that there are so few “greats” in the now than there was in the then? — what a great piece – i so enjoyed it!!!

  3. Julia Smith

    April 26, 2009 8:57 pm

    Really wonderful, Chelle. The world of music is definitely changing. If young people are willing to spend $$ on electronics but not on the content they carry in them, where will the new artists come from? Thin air?

    Julia Smith’s last blog post..Poetry Train Monday – 98 – The Legacy

  4. Zorlone

    April 27, 2009 1:26 am

    You said it! Following in itself is useless if not put into the proper perspective.


    Zorlone’s last blog post..Blog to the world; Blog for you and me

  5. Wylie

    April 27, 2009 7:39 am

    Timely post there, Chelle. And thought provoking. Following is like the new black 😉

  6. Bobkat

    April 27, 2009 12:59 pm

    As ever, Chelle tells it as it is and gets to the heart of the matter. Ain’t it funny how the big corporations aren’t the ones suffering?

    Interestingly, this makes me think of Pirate Bay. Of course aren’t they the bad people ripping off artists etc? Or perhaps it’s just the big boys that are worried about they bottom line? Seems many people use something like that to sample things they wouldn’t normally listen to or watch and then go out and buy it. I’m not saying downloading is right, but it does offer access to things people wouldn’t experience if they had to pay. I’m all for the artist getting their fair share!

    Bobkat’s last blog post..The cat came back

  7. Thomma Lyn

    April 28, 2009 2:50 am

    Love Chelle’s voice, and I love her take. She’s a wise gal. It shouldn’t be about the gadgets, it should be about the artists. It shouldn’t be about appearances, it should be about the music / the art.

    I blog and I Twitter, yeah, but I’m not crazy about the word “follow.” And I bet Trevor isn’t, either — heh, I’d like to hear his take on that word. 😉

    Thomma Lyn’s last blog post..A Visit With the Tadpoles

  8. Sandy

    April 29, 2009 3:47 pm

    Get up from our computers and…surely you jest! Now I’m way past the age when I would go to watch/listen to a band. Actually didn’t like that even when I was younger. Too LOUD for me.

    Now I do pull away from the computer to work outside when the weathers nice, to go for a walk, to sit on the deck and have wine with hubby, and oh yea…that work thing sure gets in the way of me and my computer time too.

    Fun post.

    Sandy’s last blog post..Pigeon Point Light House, California

  9. Alice Audrey

    May 1, 2009 11:03 am

    Followers following nothing? Not here in the Meet and Greet. Great stuff, Susan.

    Alice Audrey’s last blog post..Suzie’s House 114: Dropping by to Pick Something Up

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