Sunday, 9 November 2014

An evening at The Orpheum with Suzuki, Young, and the Tiger of Tyne street

The Tiger of Tyne street on the SkyTrain
I'm not willing to take my car downtown for this evening's event, so I head over to Chantal's place from where we take the SkyTrain (This is one of those Save the Planet events after all).

We have tickets for the David Suzuki Foundation Bluedot Tour. Even though I agree with the event's message that it is time to start worrying about the environment if we don't want our grandchildren to play in toxic waste heaps (or if we object to First Nations people dying of cancer in Oil-sands territory), this is not the reason I am here. My friend Yiman had e-mailed me back in July (I was in Holland at the time) to tell me that Neil Young would be lending his voice to this cause and I had purchased the ticket 5 minutes later.
Guy in a scarf and pretentious woman singing mediocre songs

To sum it all up: For me personally the evening was a disappointment. It felt like there was a lot of preaching to the already converted (what else to expect with a $100 ticket price) and these already converted were an easy audience, providing standing ovations to acts that did not deserve them, and getting on their feet at the slightest motivation from the speaker.
A probably heartfelt song in Mandarin 

Acts that were not into simple-minded crowd manipulation and that I enjoyed included poet Shane Koyczan (fab), Margaret Atwood via Skype from Washington, Feist, Neil Young of course, and in particular the 13 year old First Nations girl in the pics below, whose name I have trouble finding in the event program at the time and the internet now.  Her huge voice more than made up for her diminutive statue and it was a true joy listening to her.

Feist's voice with Weld-style guitar sound
A band with one famous song to their name, who copied a lot of famous songs from other, talented, artists, was a big hit with the audience.  It left me cringing.
Dr. David Suzuki is a great man who has accomplished great things.  He has his fingers on the pulse of everything that is diseased in Vancouver and can put it into words.  Kudoos to him who expresses hope that the malaise can be cured. 

But he himself (like Margaret Atwood) points out the advantage of being an elder. We have no job to loose, don't have to obtain approval from anyone anymore, and consequently are free to speak the truth.  

But what percentage of people are in that fortunate position and what percentage of that percentage has the guts, the moral fibre, and the brains to do it? 

This guy certainly has the guts, the moral fibre, and the brains: 

Are they burning his books or records in Fort McMurray yet?

The show ends with Young's new song "Who's going to stand up (to save the world?)".  And yes, you guessed it, tonight's audience is on their feet faster than you can say Lemming.  I am also willing to bet that way more than half the audience will get their cars out of the surrounding parkades after the event and won't even be aware of their hypocrisy.

And this points out the problem of this very necessary but unlikely revolution to save the planet as a livable space for future generations. All revolutions so far only needed a small core of active elements as long as they had the support or at least no opposition from the 'silent majority'.  Lenin and friends were few but they carried promises of freedom to the masses.

But this time that will NOT work.  It's not enough for those masses to be supportive.  This time, every single member of those masses has to reduce his/her consumption and STOP driving their car.  
Be honest, how many people do you know that will stay away from the Christmas sales, take the bus shopping, or watch their environmental footprint, if you tell them that is the only way to have a livable planet for their grandchildren?

And when you think the urgency of the time frame is exaggerated, consider this:  When my Grandmother was young, there were maybe 5 to 10 cars in the CITY that she grew up in.  People walked and obesity was not a general problem.  

The environmental disaster that has already started took only 2 generations to develop.  I don't want to imagine what this world will be like in another 2 generations.

Revolution?  You mean the burgers are done?

Fortunately there are plenty of diversions available for those who don't want to think about this. 

 Sweet Dreams!

All will be well once all the smokers (communists/homosexuals/Jews/Muslims/Your favourite hated group) are rounded up!

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