Monday, January 31, 2011

Discovery #8

Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto (2010)

Ah, yes, once again Portugal The Man breaks through into the top ten. I don't know what to say except that they seem to make an album every year (heard they're ready to drop another this year) and the older they get, the more polished and amazing their music becomes. It's fluid and lovely and it rocks when necessary. They really are becoming an American icon and since they all seem to be living the dream without any notion of losing touch with their roots (they are from Alaska, just not Sarah Palin's Alaska), it appears that the future holds an extreme amount of promise for the boy wonders. I've really adopted them as my house band. It's almost as if they knew who I would become all these years later after my teenage drama faded into the soft sky but the hint of that boy still has some relevance, some residue that holds the remembrance of youth. It's a delicate straddle, holding the line between maturity and hope, never losing touch with all of the exciting energy that propelled you into tomorrow but allowing some time to wallow in all that you've become. No one likes a grumpy old person who thinks they know everything and won't listen to anyone who may have been born a decade or two after them and no one likes a young punk who thinks they know it all, like they've been there ten times over when all they've ever seen is the inside walls of their safe cocoon that was provided by others. I'd rather live somewhere in-between the two, a person who knows a few things that helps them become better people but still eager to live life with a fullness that tastes so sweet. That's where I am when I listen to American Ghetto.

Exit Through The Gift Shop - Banksy (2010)

Whatever this movie is--a documentary that shows the relevance of street art as it storms into the 21st century or a cool prank by an artist who truly understands the nature of our crass consumeristic culture--it has trapped the world with its spellbound agenda, the deer in the headlights as the monster truck of hypocrisy bludgeons us all, the possum playing dead in the middle of the road because the sound of fear is so overwhelming we accept our death in spite of the adrenaline running through our brains. Aren't we all just frozen in that moment? So unsure of where our lives are meant to go that we live in constant fear of being total and absolute nothings, while the greedy machine wrenches at the gears, chewing us apart with its schizophrenic scheme. We all want to be there, in that amazing moment when something important is happening, when the creative instinct of nature is propagating its warm sinewy web into an intricate design. Hurry up and be a witness before you find that you've missed everything important, everything that was meant for your eyes, everything that can provide inspiration. But don't we always miss it? We might see one brief cashling that catches the tail end of a bright shooting star. It blinds us just enough to drain the dream out. Because that's the disenchantment of commercialism. It pushes until it bursts and robs us of the one ingredient that gives our lives meaning. It distracts us from our own creative spirit, which is the most dynamic force in all of this life. There is a Banksy in all of us. It's not looking at us in the mirror at night, hoping to be recognized. It's hidden underneath a dark hood and it has the power to transform the world, if we would only let it out.

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