View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Distributism in Practice - with the Dadys

I got a chance to put a little Distributism into practice last weekend - and to have a good time doing so.
Our fair city, Rochester, was welcoming two folk icons - Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie. I have attended concerts by both in the past. I own a number of their albums. As an amateur musician myself, when I have occasionally performed in public I have often played songs written by Dylan or performed by either Dylan or Guthrie.
The wife and I had to decide: Which concert to attend? (We were leaning Guthrie, by the way.)
Ah, but just as with Distributism, there was a third way.
For those not familiar with Distributism, it's an economic idea advanced by G. K. Chesterton and others as an alternative to Capitalism and Socialism. Put simply, it involves local ownership of the means of production, as opposed to centralized control by the state or large corporations.
In other words, go small and local.
Well, that same weekend, a local parish was celebrating its feast day. The celebration included a performance by two local folk/Irish music icons, the Dady Brothers.
They may not be as well known to the general public as Dylan or Guthrie, but in folk/Irish circles the Dadys are well-known and respected.
John and Joe Dady are local lads who grew up in Rochester, still live in the area, and make their living as musicians. They produce and sell their own records. They also help produce the albums of other local musicians. They regularly perform concerts - including many benefits - for local churches, schools and organizations.
Plus, their tickets for the church concert were only $5 each - as opposed to the $45 for Guthrie and the $47 for Dylan. And the money went to the church or the Dadys, as opposed to the pockets of the record labels and management companies.
Nothing against Dylan or Guthrie, but we had a toe-tapping time listening to the Dadys.


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