Saturday, June 4, 2011

I don't want to die in a nuclear war*

Love Is Eternal Sacred Light Paul Simon
Keep It Simple Martin Sexton
Second Song TV On the Radio
Ready to Start Arcade Fire
Radioactive Kings of Leon
Second Chance Peter Bjorn and John
Black & Blue Miike Snow
Going Mobile The Who
Under Cover of Darkness The Strokes
Rich Girls The Virgins
Stylo Gorillaz (feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack)
This Too Shall Pass OK Go
Breakin' Up Rilo Kiley
Stadium Love Metric
Funky Squaredance Phoenix
Shot-Gun Boogie Tennessee Ernie Ford

*"But with the overpopulation and inflation and starvation and the crazy politicians..." from Apeman by the Kinks (1970), a cover version kicked off last year's summer mix. Influential to this blog's address.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

You can't control the world

but you can control your own life.

The singular message of Root Simple, a back-to-basics blog spotlighted in yesterday's New York Times.

Last night I watched a documentary titled Inside Job. Other than a few speciously dramatic flourishes, the film registered as a a thorough and thoughtful (if not slightly biased) depiction of the players and events that led to the recent and ongoing financial systems meltdown. What a bummer, man. The portrayal of staggeringly pervasive institutional corruption sent my head spinning.

It also got me thinking, remembering. A few years ago I received an email distributed by a panicked friend. Her somewhat scattered concerns reduced to: They're trying to rob us of a free and prosperous future, we need to organize and act now! (She provided links to YouTube videos all guilty of extravagantly specious dramatic flourishes.)

The quote in the title of this post essentializes, as I recall, my reply. We can't control the expansive military-industrial complex that conspires against our well-being. Political action cannot override the kind of malicious avarice manifest in the likes of Goldman Sachs. One can't reprogram the faulty logic of a broken world from the top down to the bottom. It must be the reverse: an upward "avalanche" of hearts and minds - individual agents who embody and enact truth, beauty, and goodness (characteristics desperately absent from the global-corporatist machine).

Peace via heirloom tomatoes!

This is the optimistic spirit of my crunchy libertarian pipe-dream, anyway. Meanwhile, there is real satisfaction to be found in escaping, wherever possible, the losing parameters of a rigged game. The six inches between your ears is a good place to start. Another quote purveyed by the editors of Root Simple:
We have to create culture. Don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered. You're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y.

This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. This is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told no, we're unimportant, we're peripheral. Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.

And then you're a player, and you don't even want to play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. ~ Terence McKenna