|Goddess Saraswati exoticindia.com|
I should mention that the above named politician followed his comment about 'empathy' with the statement that "that's what separates us from animals", blah blah. So, that's the best there is out of the mouths of 'leaders' as well as a clear reminder about self-reliance and not looking for help from self-styled 'important' spokespersons from any of the domains of 'civilized contemporary culture'. Any twit with a search engine can find copious evidence to the contrary to that speciesist statement. But, yeah, what-ever.
There's just no getting away from "the topic of topics" - ever. But we can move to the periphery of the whirlpool by engaging in our chosen forms of serious art-making, alone or in company of others, if we're lucky. I guess that's what we were doing last weekend with our 24 hours of continuous kirtan-chanting and drumming dedicated to Sri Hanumanji. I hadn't participated in that particular festival for last 10 years, because of personal abhorrence to the 'institution' and it's psychopathic hypocrisy and elitism toward the greater community. But that is the nature of 'religious' institutions in the Kaliyug in general. This time I felt 'called' however, and it was worth the setting aside of my distaste for a moment to hopefully energize the process for the good of the community of suffering, long-under-seige devotees. Besides, there was a good solid unified posse to hold down the excellent quality of musical medicinal vibration. That's about the best one can hope for in these degenerate times. [Besides, at 65 I can play harder and have more endurance than a lot of the younger drummers for these types of marathons (grin).]
My musical life, on one level - of being in the 'West' - has been a long pain in the ass: submitting myself at the feet of the master musicians of the Indian subcontinent for decades - to learn all the forms and styles - only to return to my 'homeland' for rejection and marginalization because I couldn't shut up about the co-option, commercialization, fake-posing, glamorization, vanity, star-worship, etc. Yer not supposed to do that. Plus, I am most definitely not glamorous, shmoozy, and full of all the qualities required by the New Age scene for 'professional' and material success. Can't keep my mouth shut about my extreme distaste for cultural cannibalism/colonialism. I have my own 'litmus tests', you see. On the other hand, curiously, it has ultimately saved me a lot of grief and disillusionment. If you're not familiar with the 'Eastern music' scene, it's about the many vain egoists who buy an exotic instrument (harmonium, for example), take a few lessons (or none at all) and "create" their own brand of "fusion" (horrible misnomer), or 'westernized'/'accessible' sounds to scam the insanely ignorant masses of culturally starved denizens of the Empire into thinking they are participating in something sacred and holy. It's simply 'how we roll' here in the end times. None of this is meant to imply any particular importance to my musical endeavors. I was involved many lifetimes ago, but just returned to it in this incarnation. I still require many more lifetimes to get 'up to speed', but I manage as best as I can. Ok, that's my personal rant for the week, sorry.
It seems to be getting pretty uninhibited in general in the public sphere as far as wetiko/psychopathy is concerned, does it not? Is anyone else experiencing this? I had a couple of wacked encounters in the past week in places of business in town. Individuals obviously enjoying, laughing, taunting others being subjected to their obstructions, cheating, self-imagined superiority and harm-causing. When others questioned or called them on their shit, they launched into extraordinary expressions of their lack of empathy or concern for anyone else, laughing and gesturing wildly, with no holding back or self-censorship. I found it interesting and asked them straight out if they were big-shot mafia dons or planning on departing soon to their own planet being prepared for them by their Lord. They were stunned and got quiet. Then they stormed off giving me the one-finger salute.
Back to the 'topic' again. What the hell to do in this interim time? Encourage space-ship migration to Mars? Sometimes these interactions/encounters can't be avoided. Human abuse and animal abuse and Earth abuse is everywhere. Most of the time, in the temporal dimension, I like to focus on the work being done by the many many true human beings involved in either directly or indirectly alleviating the suffering, because it simply counteracts my tendency toward despair at our species. This is how what I'm talking about looks like:
Here is a short clip of yours truly supporting some authentic Rajasthani gypsy dance and music last spring - dancer Annya-Ishtara and sitarist Amie Maciszewski -
Annya at Metta 1 from Richard on Vimeo.
|cool empathy on a hot day in India|