Saturday, July 02, 2005

On music, naysayers and the little picture

[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.

12 comments:

Comandante Gringo said...

What can be said, Irlandesa?
It is to turn the heads of people exactly like yourself that this Civil Society of the Spectacle was concocted.

You're being reeled-in, hook, line & sinker.
In spite of what you wrote, this is still very much about keeping the eye fixed on the Big Picture -- and not being side-tracked by the first suffering soul you see. You complain that we're above helping them -- but it's about the hundreds of millions who came before and the hundreds of millions who will follow if we don't rid ourselves of the capitalists.

la voz de los sin voz said...

well... personally for me... music is life just about... and Rage and Social Distortion are my two favoright bands.. so I feel ya.

hey, would you be interested in doing a little interview for my blog. I would love to ask you a few questions, like how you got into the cause of the Zapatista and how you started translating... just general stuff... lemme know.. Just email me if you're interested. :)

zapatista[at]gmail.com

Tom Condit said...

America On Line (AOL), the largest commercial ISP in the U.S., has an online "Live 8" petition on its welcome page today (July 4). On the one hand, it's a sign of the mushiness of what a friend of mine calls "Jive 8". On the other, a sign that the issues raised are seen as important enough to begin co-opting them now.

I think it's good that the "Live 8" concerts are publicizing the real situation in the world. I think it's bad if we fool ourselves into thinking that "the truth will make us free" in any automatic way. Only the old wobbly trilogy of "education, agitation and solidarity" accompanied by a lot more organization than most people are ready for yet will do that.

commandante gringo's remarks are very much to the point if a little too condemnatory.

irlandesa said...

Estimado comandante,

Ah, had I but world enough and time...and inclination...there might be volumes. But I shan't waste yours.

But this particular contretemps so brings to mind an incident a number of years ago...it was just prior to the release of Rage Against the Machine's last CD, and Zach [who had been a compa since, well, since the first of 1994, spending much time down there; also, by the way, taking the time and intent to go to Geneva to deliver a statement to the UN Human Rights Council] exerted his not inconsiderable influence with - Sony was it not? To have an exceptionally lucid, thorough and serious documentary of the Ezeta aired on MTV. Yes, seriously and god forbid. Much to the chagrin of delicate souls in the land where I presume you abide. Very similar cries were heard, about capitalism and corporate thugs and the like.

It did wonders, though, for the communities. Many more dollars flowed, many more hands and feet lent themselves to the work of building, brick by brick, schools, clinics, playing fields...I can think of hundreds, thousands, of people who were brought to the work by him and by people like him. Some took the time to learn the history; some/many took the time to organize autonomías in their own communities; some spend time every summer in the caracoles; some organize very smart direct actions in Switzerland, Milan, Wall Street, Barcelona, Dublin, ad inf; some post comments.

Yes, the horrors of it.

And the communities thanked him, and the comandancia thanked him, by the way, publicly, as well.

But, then again, I suppose that is why Subcomandantes exist...to be corrected by Comandantes...who are in a much better position, of course, to see the Big Picture.

PD: I would always be more than delighted to direct anyone who might be interested to those who are, in fact, doing the real work, whether it be in autonomías in Europe, the States or Mexico; in a variety of alternate media; in the caracoles...

comradewill said...

Well i was given this site tonight and stopped by to see whats up with it.....very nice article on the the concert......a little upset that you suggested we put away our dylan, cds.....when us old folks listen to the music that keeps our cause alive...you have yours we have ours.....let it be....Anyway back to the real question...when will the 4th Decoration happen.....Be well and enjoy the music......comrade Will

Comrada B said...

Irlendesa.....have you heard word from the territories? I have been waiting for the rest of the 6th declaration and any new's at all would be great....I won't be able to get down there before fall as I planned...

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