Monday, November 21, 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

"Life without caring was a shadow; the great moments of exhilaration came amidst the battles that only a crusader could know. Yet so few people accepted the risks, and those who did not care came closest to caring only when telling the rare crusaders that they were fools." --Marc Stiegler, David's Sling
That passage (if you find David's Sling, by the way, read it, as well as Stiegler's Earthweb) makes me think of griefers. To quote myself (a bit vain, but I don't want to pretend it's new here): "[Trolls] just, for some reason, can’t stand the notion that there are other people out there who care about something, and are willing to cause those who have the audacity to care injury or bother so they don’t have to think about it." (In the context of the post my comment appeared with, "trolls" was being used to encompass griefers as well.)

A lot of the time I worry that the world has sunken into that sort of blasé attitude, the kind that vermin like David Letterman cater to: join me in feeling smugly superior to the day's target.
"And they call for the three great stimulants 
Of the exhausted ones:
Artifice, brutality and innocence 
Artifice and innocence..." --Joni Mitchell, "The Three Great Stimulants"
So I was delighted today to come across a Russian band, "Gogol Bordello", that defies that attitude. Here's some of their "mission statement" (sorry, I had to use the term; it's headed with "Artist's Statement", but the web page title is "Mission", so I compromised :)).
"Gogol Bordello's task is to provoke audiences out of post-modern aesthetic swamp onto a neo-optimistic communal movement towards new sources of authentic energy....
"We chose to work with gypsy, cabaret and punk traditions. It's what we know and feel. And many more are possible that can make the beloved statement of post-modernism 'everything has been done' sound as an intellectual error."
I'm glad there are people like these. They will win the future while the jaded sink into overwhelmingly-deserved oblivion, and I hope there are still some of them here in the US.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

UPDATE: Oops! Gogol Bordello is from the Lower East Side of Manhattan (though Eugene Hütz, the group's lead singer, was born in the Ukraine). My mistake! (OTOH, I got my wish...)

1 comment:

Kaseido said...

Hear, hear!

And just what I needed to hear. Thanks, and a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!