Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oil and Butter

I'm listening to Delorean right now. It's a grinning, glistening, beat-heavy whirl of airy echoed vocals and it bubbles up to my mind like some pretty pink lemonade dance effervescence. I'm also listening to Janelle Monáe. And that's just a plum tidal wave of styles, ideas and inspirations - fast, slow, quiet - symphonic, dance/house, rap, hip/hop, soul - whoa... you gotta cover some of it with foil and save it as leftovers...come back to it at midnight for a post club refreshment.

But then, you know...I'm listening to all this great music - and I'm watching video like this:

and I can't get the water off my mind....

And then I think, (as we are all constantly thinking) of the Gulf.

And... - The Oil. Our lifeblood. The sword we live by and all too obviously, fall upon. The golden shackles that yank our society along on some deluded perception of progress as represented by metal smoke spewing cages locked into rolling parking lots on cement highways leading to clustered buildings with punch-in/time-clocks affixed at their entrances.

We're now just as exhausted by similar enviro-soap-box haranguing as we once were by the dastardly corporate destructo-sprees that steadily inspired them to amplify through the 2000's -and yet we continue to guzzle, to drill, to fuel up, to refuel up and to putter and spew our way back to our day jobs.

As while Delorean is propelling some pretty and pleasing dream-pop hurrahs and Janelle is spinning my head into a tangle of my headphone cord with her dense palette, I can't help but continually return to my spirit sulking, from the parasitic drain, the open wound, the acidic blood that envelopes sea-set fish and cripplingly stains the shore-set birds; jellyfish get filled like waterballoon (er, oil-balloons) only to be eaten by sea turtles....and then...

What do we want from the people, the others around the country up in their northeastern/midwestern/west-coastal suburban havens who only have the guilted and infuriating bruise of hearing the steadily worsening news reports from their evening broadcast relays restruck and re-purpled each day. Eight weeks now, this bumbling corporation has tried, time and again, to repair something they'd claimed all along for which to be more than prepared, the plan was in hand, they were on it.

I'm sitting here feeling some kind of inexplicable guilt at trying to digest yet another string of albums and then splatter out some words on this ethereal page and this fleeting site - am I trying to justify it - to say, yes, I am writing about what can bluntly, or vulgarly, be pared down to a distraction. But maybe not.

At this point, more so, music and art should become, not escapism, not some sort of tuning-out of the world, but a therapeutic element. Get on those damned search engines of yours and find ways you can help. Donate. Or buy carpool in a hybrid or an electric car with six of your friends and take the 31 hour road trip down there to help out. Instead of giving up, yes, continue to get mad, get angry - yes, that whole "mad as hell, and we're not gonna take it anymore" mantra, but use the music as a therapy, a salve, a refilling, refreshing thermos full of inspiration.

To keep you going.

1 comment:

Jesus Christine said...

That was beautifully written, Jeff. It's so difficult to think about the pettiness of our usual concerns as what they are; when it happens, it scares us back into nuzzling that nice, warm world even more. As satisfying and experiential as music and art can be, yes, they also serve as huge distractions from the disasters that only flutter through our minds (Haiti, the Gulf spill, etc.) But the whole purpose of culture is to bring people together. So maybe there's hope in the idea that we might use these amazing tools at our disposal to help bind a worldwide community. Or even to just connect two people who do great things together. I see that happen all that time.