Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Few Things To Mull Over

1. The other day I was reading (in Pilot magazine; it's fairly shit but I feel like I should credit it) some things Stephen Hawking has said about the earth and the future of humans which was fascinating and extremely exciting. We all know (even those who like to pretend otherwise, like Lord Fish-man on The Nation this morning - pompous old fool) that the way we have treated earth and the number of us living here now means we can't rely on it to remain inhabitable for too much longer. The solution (or stalling tactic) most of us have chosen is to try to wind back the damage by treating the earth better and hoping for the best. Stephen Hawking has other ideas. He describes our efforts as putting all our eggs in one basket, saying

If we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space.

Wicked! Hawking goes on to say that what has limited us in the past (technology, life expectancy) can and must be overcome if we want to continue. This gives me so much hope. It makes me think of Nietzsche's ubermensch, and even though I know poor people are, as always, going to get the short end of the stick, maybe if we don't die out in the next hundred years we can become the best of what we can be, and the world (wherever it is) will reach its potential. Also I just love being able to say we're going to live in space and having Stephen Hawking to pull out if people think I'm being silly.

2. Something Jim Jarmusch said:

Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination... 
Select only things to steal that speak directly to your soul. [Sorry.] 
If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.
Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. 
And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it.

Vincent disagrees with the part about originality being non-existent; I'm not sure. I think my openness to the idea is tied up with my belief that we could have been anyone else, and because the earth was formed after everything that didn't make earth had happened... Anyway, I agree that people should take inspiration where they can find it (although I'd be more likely to call it borrowing), and I think having a problem with it is nonsensical; everything is influenced by something. Jack White knows this. If people celebrate stealing/borrowing, more people might do it, and we could see exponential growth in ideas, and, with everyone experiencing things a little differently, maybe the ideas can be original.

3. Yesterday I listened to this song about ten times in a row, starting off emotional and ending up galvanised. Vincent and I sang it together at karaoke last week and it was one of those moments of performance perfection, he as Freddie and I as Bowie... I would go so far to say it was on a level with the incredibly unnerving expressive dance my friend Paul and I did to Tiny Dancer a few years ago. Anyway, I've been really listening to the lyrics and thinking about what it meant for Queen and Bowie to put this kind of thing out there. I do believe music is important just as it is, but when used to convey a message, even if the message isn't picked up by everyone, is when it goes to another level. Our duet also made me think about why my favourite person in the band has nearly always be the frontperson; I'm still thinking about it, but I'm pretty sure its because we get to know them better than anyone else. I've never really gone for "the guitarist with mystique" (please someone get the reference!) thing, just as in life I'm a bit impatient with people who make it hard to get to know them. Of course the frontperson is projecting a persona, but so does everyone, and the more that is out there, the more you have to work with to figure out what is real. Putting yourself out there is exposing yourself to criticism and rejection; it's brave. I like brave people. It won't surprise anyone to know Vincent was in a band and was their frontperson.

I've posted this video before but it was one of several songs, when it really needs to stand alone. Also I'm going all out on the earnestness and putting the lyrics underneath (although I've omitted the be ba oo bits). These guys had something to say. I don't know about you, but when Bowie speaks, I listen, and when Bowie and Queen speak, I put down what I'm doing and don't pick it up again until I'm sure they're done.

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure - that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow - gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets
Chippin' around - kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow - gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
but it's so slashed and torn
Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance
Why can't we give love that one more chance
Why can't we give love
'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure

And with that, I take my leave. Our excellent little niece is coming to sleep the night and I have to get the house and myself ready while Vincent is at the supermarket preparing the cupboards. Hope you're having a happy weekend!

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