Acceptance with The Well-Tempered Clavier’s Greatest Hits

Self-actualisation is a poisonous concept. And you can see how truly insidious the worded notion of addressing one’s true potential is by how many American self-help books and cults and combinations of the two use it often in their weird passive-aggressive parlance.

It may seem like a good idea in this extended period of isolation and resultant purposelessness to try to improve upon one’s abilities and address aspects of oneself that may have gone by the wayside in the whirl of adult responsibilities.

But it’s a terrible idea.

Your notions of potential are formed in childhood by mentors who just want to you believe in yourself to the extent that you stop putting crayons up your arse.

You are who you are and that is complex, occasionally insightful and mostly just barely adequate. And there are people who, long before COVID-19, took the crayons out of their arses themselves and began to hone their skills in a way you could never and will never match over the space of a three month quarantine.

Remind yourself of that with The Well-Tempered Clavier’s Greatest Hits.

Yes, watch the live video stream as pianist Jeremy Denk curates and performs a series of events exploring Bach’s life and his most iconic work as artist-in-residence at The Greene Space at WQXR.

A winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, Denk will draw audiences into the technical, musicological, cultural and philosophical elements involved in his own approach to this deeply personal work, and through this series look at how these timeless themes and shared aspects of the human experience can help to unite us in these divided times.

Childhood is magical because you have the potential to be anything. Adulthood is bearable because sex, taxes, alcohol, social norms and general delusion prevent you from reckoning with the fact that you never possessed the ability to be anything other than satisfactory at a few things.

So crank up the Bach.

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