Saturday, November 14, 2015


I was getting so depressed with twitter & the Paris news so I started to listen to music instead. Walking the dogs I just put on some Beatles. Their early stuff actually came up on random. Twist & Shout, then some great songs from Rubber Soul. No matter what mood I'm in or what I'm going through the sounds those four people made during that one decade never ceases to amaze me. Those recordings are the closest this atheist will come to considering something sacred.
Like everything I love I then tried to decipher what it was that always got to me about them. The best I could come up with was that the only true magic in the world was when people shared something creative with another person. These four men shared their creative core with each other, their love actually, every time they played. I truly believe you can hear that in each performance. I think it's the key to their long lasting success.
What does this have to do with Paris & the horrible attack by those broken theocrats? Nothing really. But think about what they attacked. Restaurants, a sporting event, and most horribly a music hall. A place where performers share that creative core, that love, with other people almost every night. Here in the west we sometimes take that magic for granted.
Much of the world is under brutal theocratic & dictatorial rule where that creative sharing impulse is simply crushed by everything from economic short comings to the truly evil fundamentalist lies that they're taught from birth. But the actual people unfortunate enough to be born in those places are the same as you & me. Everyone is born with a creative core. For all the west's ills, and there are many, one of our crowning achievements as a society is that freedom we have to share creatively with each other through books, movies, plays, paintings & songs.
We're all going to die. It all gets taken away. Whatever the cause, Isis & groups like that are simply diseases. The 129 people they killed may have died of something else soon after. I'm not trying to be callous, I'm just pointing out that Isis didn't really do anything but shorten their lives a bit. The victims still have what Isis doesn't. They got to see live music, or root for their team or order a coffee at least one last time. Isis has nothing but hate. A useless emotion.
One of the attackers was 15. I'm not unhappy he's dead, but I do pity him. I pity people who don't get to experience the joy we all know so deeply when we're moved by a piece of art. It's truly the best thing we have to offer to this mortal world. It's really the only thing I know of that actually feels eternal & universal.
I got back from walking the dogs and gave in to my news & twitter addiction almost immediately I'm afraid. But luckily someone tweeted a song instead of just more bad news. This truly broke me down. In a good way. It isn't the Beatles, but it's a song that's almost as overplayed as Yesterday. It's Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley, although I'd never heard this version.
Recorded live at the ill fated Bataclan in Paris no less. He's a solo artist but the history of this song is fascinating. (There's a book about it that I recommend). The song was written by Leonard Cohen, later covered by someone else that Buckley then heard, not knowing who wrote it, Buckley put his own spin on it and the rest is history. So like the Beatles it's a creative piece of work that comes from sharing. Passing creativity from one person to another. Now from me to you. It won't save your life. But it might make it worth living while we're all still here. And Isis is powerless over that. Completely powerless.

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