Worry no more struggling musicians because a solution has been presented. If October’s 19th events are anything to go by we can relax in the knowledge that at some point our local universities will award us with degrees galore for doing absolutely fucking nothing.
That’s right kids, 24 year old ginger bread man heart throb Ed Sheeran has been awarded an honorary Doctorate for dropping out of school, playing guitar and catching a lucky break.
Respectfully Ed Sheeran has done very well for himself and I think that’s totally fair enough. He seems like a down to earth guy, quite amusing, he can play guitar, he would be welcome around my house for a brew. I’d give him a little tour of the place and he’d glance over the various photos in the living room, his eyes would lock on my framed qualification and he’d say “Oh wow man, you studied English in a university that doesn’t exist anymore, how was that?”
How was it Ed? I’ll tell you how it was, it was thousands of pounds of debt paid in order to live in mediocre conditions, live day to day and more often than not head to university to find that a lecture had been cancelled. It was working in the days and evenings around every hour that you were on campus. For a lot of people it was an emotional roller coaster on a ride of academic hell. My law text books were almost £100 each and I had to buy six of them for fucks sake, I had to eat coasters for a month after buying them.
Do I think Ed Sheeran deserves this? No. Not at all. There is nothing special about being a struggling musician who makes it, so you’ve played with famous people, so you came from nowhere? So fucking what. So did Jack White, so did Tom Jones so did Tom Waits and countless other musicians. In fact, it’s not even limited to musicians, there are plenty of people from all walks of life who have struggled on before catching a break. And he’s 24 for crying out loud, he got on the band wagon pretty early compared to some people (Guy Garvey, James Murphy etc).
You don’t hear of people just getting to be a doctor ‘just ‘cos’ because it’s fucking stupid. It undermines everybody who goes through further education and it’s an insult to people who have succeeded in life on their own. The ‘I’m rich and famous now’ equivalent of a doctorate is a Knighthood. It’s gets their egos going and isn’t actually worth anything in the real world. A degree, a masters, a doctorate is something that people work for, relentlessly for years. You don’t get one for existing. Sorry Ed, I don’t think you should have accepted it and- not that it means anything – but you’ve lost some of my respect.
Sure enough people will consider this article part of my bitter deep seated envy for Ed, but I don’t have any. I’m not an active listener of his music (it’s not bad it’s just not my cup of tea) but I’ve always respected how he is a self-made musician / man or whatever you want to call him but seriously, setting a precedent of handing out doctorates is a dick move and that makes him a dick in my opinion.