Monday, January 04, 2010

Reflection Pond #27

Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band (2009)

This is the type of band that has been with me my entire life. When I hear these melodies and soft rock lilting over the airwaves, I'm immediately pulled down into a reverie of unknown proportions, of dusty floors and good food and laughter, of my father's family during the seventies. I have an affinity for what I like to call casual rock or what Xtimu commonly refers to as whiny-white-boy music. It's a pleasant sound, one that floats through your brain and makes the blood in your veins feel warm and intoxicating. It brings that sleepy smile and turns your head with the sound of the sun as it sets. The Fruit Bats' album The Ruminant Band embodies the sound perfectly and if you leaf through my music library you'll find more than enough of this type of music to cover your ears like a blanket. From Luna to Margot and the Nuclear So and So's to Calexico to Alexi Murdoch to Bright Eyes and Grandaddy, but the roots run even deeper. To a life of skinny-armed squawking and trips to the desert with knobby knees churning dirt with sprayed aftershocks that continue to resonate. It resides in the warm summer of Steely Dan and J.J. Cale and Neil Young and Van Morrison and Love and Traffic, even Bob Dylan somewhere around the time I was born. See, it was meant for me and I came into the world consuming it.

Office Tigers - Liz Mermin (2006)

I originally had a difficult time with this movie. The first hour is interesting and revealing regarding the nature of outsourcing and globalized dreams of fortune 500 wannabes, but after awhile I began to despise the heavy essence in the demands of success as they are so prevalently displayed here. I got tired of being immersed in the corporate environment so intimately and perceiving the dehumanizing effects that it has on people. To strive so hard, to give so much of your time to an endless consumption of energy and resources so that a few people may benefit. Ugh. It made me very cynical, very quickly, but then Xtimu and I had a spirited discussion about the nature of the film. Was it portraying those who owned the company as heroes, capitalistic adventure made true, the dream of America spreading wealth around the globe or was it showing how exploitative they were, capitalizing on the cheap labor that can be found so easily outside our borders? Was it simply a cautionary tale for those in the first world to see the degradation of our society by these white-flight businessmen? Are we going to devolve into the type of country where very little of our common-space is taken care of in order to advance the false ideals of the free market at all cost? To see the streets of India and the separation of rich and poor after all of the supposed "advancements" that have been made over the last two decades is a bit demoralizing. It's become very apparent that many of the leaders of industry in Amerika don't give a shit about those who live and work here. If that hasn't been obviously displayed by the greed of the financial institutions over the past two years and their "demands" for assistance, then you can see it clearly within this movie. Sometimes it's important to watch documentaries that you might not like about the insidious nature of humanity in order to change the way that you think regarding the status quo, because nothing will change unless we decide to change it. That begins by becoming aware of how wicked our strictures can be. Movies like this that also should be watched: The Corporation, Who Killed the Electric Car, Life and Debt, An Inconvenient Truth, When the Levees Broke.

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