Archives for posts with tag: music

came across a quote the other day about ego traps, that if you think yerself ‘better’ than others because you think the music they listen to isn’t as ‘spiritual’ or “good” as what you listen to, that’s an ego trap… i feel shame to say that i have fallen into that some times in my life.

it sucks when people try to make someone feel bad or somehow inferior for liking a certain song or style of music. people with their sweeping generalizations and their judgements of ” i don’t like rap/country/rock/jazz/pop/classical music”. or people who declare that one genre of music is better than another, adamantly. critics with their expert opinions on what album/song/musician is best… acting like they’re being objective. like, this one guy had zero poker face and gave me an incredible look of confusion, disgust and disdain while asking why i was talking about Tupac… … it was funny to me tho, cuz, uh… music is one of the most subjective things. ever. and each genre has its own forms, its own instruments, its own rhythms and beats, its own language and its own message, that all reflect the realities from which they come.

music brings people together, it makes ‘em feel good and smile and talk and dance and sing and feel inspired by it all… as Kendrick Lamar said two years ago at Osheaga – “it’s pure energy and nothin’ else”. and it’s good energy. it incites good times and good vibes. it doesn’t necessarily incite illicit behaviour, music issa conduit to help release all the pent up energy like sadness and anger and joy and love over the honest truths and brutal realities and sense of community and collaboration and hope and inspiration and beauty that the artists share… and then all the energies combine to create what can only be described as looking and feeling like peace and love.

music is ultimately about community, where the skilled artists can get us up in the air to see and feel all the beauty in the crazy patterns of this world. it’s not a distraction so that we forget about what can feel at times like a “bug’s eye view”*, but rather helps find the beauty in it, or at least make some sense of it. sometimes it can only be found in music and the movie screen in your head and the way it makes you feel. sometimes it’s the soundtrack to what’s going on in real life, but feels like a movie… or a sit com…

in what more pithily sums up the many words i wrote about music and truth in my Religion honours thesis, (… 30-40pages dissecting how so-called “sacred” or “absolute” truths about the world can be understood as being determined through value systèmes that are created by our own individual understandings and feelings of the words and images that are used to describe these truths and therefore ‘truths’ are not simply found in so called sacred texts, they can be found in every kind of text and every kind of music and every kind of art) … if music don’t contain some sort of truth and it don’t create some sort of sacred place of congregation, then i dunno what does. and it’s not just one type of music. truth can be found in all genres of music. from polka to post-rap… just like truth can be found in all religions. and all texts… even a cookbook.

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*Bug’s Eye View reference from the spoken word sample in the song Harmonic by Hex, off the album Cold Krush Cuts, Ninja Tunes, 1997, is originally from the album Four Dreams of Man by Dr John Furbay, Columbia, 195?.

“Now those people who fly have a different point of view of the world from those who spend their whole lives on the ground. Don Blanding wrote a poem once, when he was flying, and he called his poem “The God’s Eye View” and he said it was so different from the view he always had on the ground, which he called the Bug’s Eye View…

Now I thought about that bug’s eye view when I over in Teheran in Persia. They told me an old Persian legend about a bug, who spent his entire life in the worlds’ most beautifully designed Persian Rug… All the bug ever saw in his lifetime were his problems; they stood up all around him, he couldn’t see over the top of the them, and he had to fight his way through these tufts of wool in the rug to find some crumbs that somebody had spilled on the rug… And the tragedy, of the story, of the bug in the rug, was this: that he lived and he died in the worlds’ most beautifully designed rug, but he never once knew that he spent his life in something which had a pattern.

That’s why I want to get you up in the air tonight… to see something the old bug couldn’t see in the rug. Because even he, this bug… if he had once got above the rug so that he could have seen all of it, he would have discovered something, that the very things he called his ‘problems’ were a part of the pattern.

Have you ever felt like that bug? That you are so surrounded by your problems that you can’t see any pattern to the world in which you live? Have you heard anybody lately say that the world is a total mess? ….. That’s the bugs’ eye view… …. seeing only a little of it, we might think that….”

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Next Week: music – part deux…

The Buddha asked that none of his belongings be made into relics, yet there are stupa’s all over Asia with bits and pieces of him in them. He also asked that no images or statues be made of him, yet people are rubbing his belly for good luck the world over. Buddhism has an interesting take on that I suppose.

En tout cas, for some reason that bit of religious study pops into my head when I think about sexism, feminism and gender. Or when I think about the general disrespect to and by women. Because no where does it state that women are not equal to men and should therefore be treated as ‘less than’, who have to earn or fight for the same equal rights as a man. I checked.

After wandering for days, musing on how to work with these concepts and constructs and come up with something that hasn’t been said before, I came across this and just thought, ­”yup”.

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It feels like it’s that simple. It doesn’t work this way, but wouldn’t it be great if upon being born, everyone was given the same respect and rights regardless of what was between their legs?

Interesting how the whole gender equality gap and such is only ever going to be ‘solved’ through the effort of all sides.  The whole “he for she” goes both ways. It’s all about respect. To help get in the mood, check out these songs. Because it is that simple.

Revolutionary Generation, Public Enemy – Fear of A Black Planet (1990)

This song from 1990 was way ahead of it’s time and is far as can be from the misogny associated with hip-hop.

Same Love, Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert – The Heist (2012)

Bold support of gay equality with pretty music and smart lyrics.

– I Believe, Stevie Wonder – Talking Book (1972)

Because. It’s Stevie. Wonder. … and cuz he never had to use the b-word to get his point across.

• PS •

– Behold A Lady, OutKast – The Love Below (2003)

Part of Andre3000’s Love Below, an ode to women and why they should be treated with respect.

enigma300ppiThe Enigma: There’s No Shine Like Mothers @wredfish

Knowing the danger of choosing words that could inadvertently cause disrespect, where does one start writing when one doesn’t know which words will cause pain, because when using descriptive words, many of those words used have become stereotypes, and often times these stereotypes create images that are not flattering or nice, and thus the word creates an image and the image does not reflect the actual person or thing.

Recently I’ve become hyper-aware of disparaging words being used synonymously with stereotypes, or meant as insults, and how prevalent these words are. Like all women are bi*ches: on tv and in songs, rather than refer to women or lady, all women are referred to as bi*ch or ho. Ya know, swearing is fine in context and even saying nig*er if yer black, or even bi*ch if yer a woman is owning it. Yet it’s gotten past the point where Kanye commented on it years ago, “Stevie Wonder never had to use the word bi*ch to get his point across”.

The origins of using the word as an insult comes from referring to women as female dogs, and comparing women to dogs and in the use of this word, stating that all women are dogs. Unless one is actually referring to a female dog it shouldnt be used. It’s disparaging and insulting, like the use of nig*er and redsk*n. The words were historical insults, when people they were referring to were thought of as the everyday farm animal because of the colour of their skin or where they came from or what they had between their legs.

In any case, it came to the point that I had to start deleting songs from my playlist, because every time I heard the word it felt like the people who were saying it were physically slapping me across the face. And while I don’t think they mean for it to feel that way, it hurt enough to have to delete it. I’ve had to delete 9 of my top 50 fav songs, I miss Death Around The Corner by Tupac the most. It was like saying goodbye to a friend. I feel like if I didn’t delete it though, would be like saying that it was ok for any man to ever refer to any woman as a bi*ch, and I don’t believe it is. If someone is being referred to specifically, that doesn’t need to be aired publicly.

One area where men and women are questioning and defying the stereotypes and, challenging them, is on Social Media. Gil Scott-Heron was right, the revolution isn’t being televised, it’s being social-media-eyezed. All over the world, people are posting what words and truth mean to them with their emojis, images, songs, books and people, and their words. The way they use words, it’s as if the word was  a sqaure peg that is now being made round by showing us a different perspective.  They’re changing the face of the world, creating a universal language, forcing us to look at the good, bad and ugly of ourselves, and i like to think we’re changing for the better because of it.

Words are powerful things and need to be handled with care and respect. Because like stones dropped in a lake, they create ripples that cause waves to hit beaches on the other side – who knows what damage will be done. Words are sounds that are ultimately felt and sensed with the whole body, not just the ears or the eyes. Thus, all this to say, that in choosing my words, I hope you dig le shit meme si tu get pas tous les lyrics. And I mean no disrespect and apologize in advance if I choose a word that inadvertently causes pain.

 

Future posts include racism and feminism.