||[Dec. 14th, 2006|12:26 am]
Benjamin M S/W a.k.a. <BalsaaTheMagicalGuruGuy>
It is my theory that *part* of the reason why really cryptic shows like Lost and Neon Genesis Evangelion (is that the correct way to cite video? I forget) are so popular is that they make use of our underutilized capacities for wonder.|
Sylvia Louise Engdahl's books "Enchantress From The Stars" and "The Far Side of Evil" contain a good bit of social criticism towards modern society, although (in the context of the stories, anyway) viewing them as things to be worked through rather than condemned. One of these bits is the idea that a sense that everything has been discovered and explained is a characteristic of societies at our level of development - that there isn't anything left to wonder about. We don't look upon the world with wonder, we study it.
In her books, more grown-up societies rediscover this sense of wonder, perhaps as a result of learning how wild the world really is, how many questions there are left to answer (and propagating this sense throughout all of society).
It's kind of a sense of know-it-allhood. We don't bother paying attention to the tree because we've already classified and written it off as a Tree, Deciduous, Pinemaplebirchstockingwood. We think there's nothing left undiscovered about it. Not that people only relate to the world in this way, but often people miss the richness of experience because they're too busy - as Alexander Technique would have it, endgaining, focusing on what's coming next rather than living in the moment. And I suppose it might also have to do with our media, too - digital media such as television and the internet lack such richness of experience. They contain lots of information, but sensorily it's not the same. They don't invite us to use all of our senses, or even use sight and hearing to their fullest extent, I think. And our society - or, I don't know, maybe it's just me - is saturated in media. I mean, what do advertisers do to get something out there? They saturate.
It's been said many times before, I believe, but I think silence and full-body listening are threatened by this culture. That's one reason why I don't view pop culture as my native soil. It can't compete with silence, with experience. Entertainment and information are different, and not that there isn't meaning in that too, but sometimes it gets lost.
Strict entertainment, or perhaps even closer to home for me, absurdism are good in limited quantities. But I believe I repeat myself by saying that I don't think they're enough. They work better as media (or mediums, if you don't know Latin^^) for finding meaning. Silly songs that have an important message, for instance - that's among my goals for songwriting (although I also like sincerity a bunch, but silliness fits into the bigger picture as well).
But back to my theory, it also applies to conspiracy theories, although they seem to also be tempting because of their ability to shift the blame for large quantities of wrongdoing onto a few unseen individuals (or many, depending on how sweeping a conspiracy it is). And they're kinda cool.
If you're among the people who's thinking of going to see Endless Mike and the Beagle Club (http://www.myspace.com/beagleclub) instead of us (For Greater Consciousness) on Saturday, I'd say that's a decent plan but they are playing at other places around Pennsylvania (not necessarily nearby, mind you) on their tour. This is the only time we're playing in the immediate future, as far as I know.
They sound good however and from what I hear you might like to check them out (haha, preferably not on that night, but *shrug* I guess I can't expect and perhaps don't really want people just coming to our show because they're friends or acquaintances of mine).
If you are going to see them when I'm not playing, you should let me know about it.