[please just scroll down a bit further for all the latest EZLN translations]
Well, for a simple thing like me, who couldn't afford even a tenth of the price of a ticket for any of the acts, it was all about the music.
Linkin Park was so very very good.
And Michael Stipes in his stunning metallic blue face paint mask. GreenDay, risking looking the fool and not giving a bloody damn, in their homage to Queen and 1985.
Snoop Dog still gets it, Pete Townsend still looks like someone you'd like to spend the weekend with [as long as you had plenty of cash for bail money] and Stevie Wonder still writes the words like an angel.
And if the very smart boys of Pink Floyd could set aside their not inconsiderable differences to once again grace us with their wall of sound...
As for the Debate and the naysayers [nattering nabobs of negativity, though I imagine I'm the only one who remembers that well-scripted phrase]...I can picture them all over the world. Muttering into their coffee, sneering with their compas. What matters if several millions of people learned a little something about the real world. Something they would never have otherwise learned in any another venue. After all, they don't read Rebelión or La Jornada or The Nation or the Guardian.
George Monbiot, whom I do read, has a few issues to take, of course. And some excellent points to make. But, dear George and most dear smug naysayers... Sir Bob and Bono are not fools, and I rather think they read the Guardian. And Chomsky and Sontag. They are also both Irish.
Sometimes I think it's a gender thing. And there is much in the Irish sensibility that plays the fool, the femme. The willingness to bleed in public, to take unseemly risks, whether in words or music or revolution.
As, perhaps, a mother might react if she saw her children wounded, in jeopardy, dying. She would rush to save them. Ignoring the stern, well-referenced [always] arguments of the gentleman standing above her. Insisting that she was in error. The cause of the carnage still walked the streets, and she was wrong to stop to save the ones she could. It was merely a bandaid, it would give the Powers more permission [as if they needed it], she did not see the Big Picture.
The neo-colonial wars, the plundering of the continent(s) for oil, water and human cannon fodder. They love to insist that one can't see both. Both the Big and the little picture.
After all, Big Men and Big Problems require Big Solutions. Absolutely, and god knows there are a plethora of Big Solutions about. In the meantime, cancel the fucking debt and make the bastards throw billions at malaria and AIDS. I somehow don't think the mothers of Africa give much of a bloody damn about the ethics of finely nuanced [but very smart] argument. Nor, I warrant, are they much in the mood for waiting for the Big Solution.
Music is marvelous for so many things. Perhaps the naysayers might put away their old Dylan tapes for a bit and just try a little Social D. Then they could move on to Rage and even, eventually, to Dr. Dre. And, in the interest of fairness, we who love our Coldplay, Linkin Park and Sublime might move back to the Clash and even, who knows, to Dylan.
All in the interest of starting to learn what inclusiveness really truly means.