Speechless

The political situation in the US, the war, the hijacking of democracy, global warming, and the apathy of the American public towards these issues have me frothing at the mouth. My usual technique to modestly weigh in and to express my outrage is to write a song (see Flag Etiquette, Dark Indigo, Dinosaur, The Playground of the Baby Giants, Ingenuity for example).

But when truth becomes so much stranger than fiction, when things spiral so far out of control, when powerful people so adamantly and proudly display their obscurantism, and when nobody (by and large) gives a fuck (in the US), there’s really no way of doing this reality justice through some kind of artistic expression. And if your potential public doesn’t give a fuck, then why waste creative juices on them? People on this side of the Atlantic do give a fuck, but preaching to the choir is much less satisfying. After all, what a lot of frogs do for fun is to argue about politics, religion, social and philosophical issues, by trying to poke holes in each others arguments, and playing devil’s advocate if necessary. But on these issues, there is such a wide and overwhelming consensus here that there is no argument to be had or convincing or destabilizing to be done.

I’ve started working on several song ideas and then given up, because every metaphor I came up with, no matter how rich and/or outrageous, failed to convey the level of insanity and the corresponding level of criminal apathy of the people who could theoretically still make a difference, assuming it isn’t too late.

It doesn’t matter that my songs are heard by a ridiculously tiny audience. Even if I didn’t post them on the Net, and even though I write for myself first and foremost, it is important, even crucial, to have a hypothetical audience in mind when creating something. This hypothetical audience must furthermore hypothetically exist. This is not as restrictive a condition as it might seem. For instance, I sometimes wonder what J.S. Bach would think of Thelonius Monk or Coltrane or The Beatles. Or I might wonder what my long dead father might think of this or that lyric. Or think of all the pimply teenage rock star wannabees who are in it to get laid. It doesn’t matter that these hypothetical situations are impossible in reality. It suffices that they be fathomable.

The situation in the US (and in some other western countries) is simply beyond imaginable. It is inconceivable.

You might object that it was imagined and predicted by Orwell and countless others. Well I don’t know about you, but these frightening imaginary futures and cautionary tales have always been reassuring to me. Like fairy tales. They give you a good scare and you’re grateful to go back to a less hostile reality when you put your book down. More importantly, they’re reassuring because surely, if we can foresee potential dangers, we can steer around them, right?

And yet here we are.

And tomorrow’s election results won’t change a damn thing, because so many democrats are just as backward and as far from civilized as can possibly be as their republican counterparts, because so many moderates and liberals are so tolerant of intolerable stupidity (especially if it is expressed in the name of some form of religion), and so uncomfortable with the complexities of reality (“hey, let’s rewrite history to make it more equal-opportunity, etc. Let’s say Napoleon was an asian woman and that Jesus was a leprechaun”). Obscurantism is the norm across the entire political spectrum.

FYI, I vote in NYC. My choice was some republican vs. Hillary Clinton. As we say in French, a choice between the plague and cholera. So I voted for the green candidate who doesn’t stand a chance, but whose positions are not criminally insane. At least, as an absentee voter, my paper vote can’t be easily hacked.

I don’t want this blog to turn too political. SuperFrenchie and frogblog express my views well enough. It is mostly about making music and other light but arguably worthy artistic pursuits. I just wish Americans looked beyond their selfish interests and would reign-in their dangerously out of control leaders so I can go back to writing silly songs about their silly behavior. But I’m not holding my breath.

Most of all, I would really hate to have to resort to writing more love songs to satisfy my creative urges.

06. November 2006 by sknob
Destination: Blowin' off steam, Making Music | Leave a comment

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