Friday, August 19, 2011

Its a Sad, Sad World.



Nirvana 20 years on


The World is sadly a real mixed up place.

This past 2 weeks there has been Global Meltdown in the financial markets , Europe and the United States are facing  huge economic disasters, Japan and the nuclear issues remain unresolved ,  Famine in the Sudan and Somalia ,  London riots and New Zealand is snowed in . ...It almost makes me feel like curling up in a ball and just staying in bed. It is a miserable , wet and sad landscape of affairs.

The Press reports more negativity and our politics is the politics of picking the holes in the policies. Be it carbon tax , refugee policy or the mining tax.It is one big whine .My ears hurt from the constant noise from the press and the politicians . It is sadly a popularity poll driven political landscape that does no good for the people or the country.

No one has the best interest of the country or the people because it is just not popular. No one can do the right thing anymore because it just isn't popular or we are all blinded by the 'glitter or trickery of packaging we see in the news presentation we can't tell what is right and what is wrong anymore.

It used to be simple. Teachers and coaches tell us to keep it simple. Somehow the whole world just can't.

Its is a complex and crazy place . Sanity comes from staying focused and putting one foot in front of the other.

Each Tuesday as I complete my cycle training , park my car and  walk to Tiger lil's along Hay Street , I pass a guy in his fifties who sells The Big Issue , a magazine with general interest articles costing $5 .It is usually sold by homeless people who get half the proceeds. I have generally bought a magazine most weeks and chatted with the man .I don't know his name but I am considered a regular. He did disappear for a few months but he is back . He ask how I have been and where I have been. I said I haven't been cycling till recently and so haven't been going down to the cafe on Tuesdays.

I wonder often what sort of life he has had and how it has taken a wrong turn somewhere to lead him where he is . Or can I really ever know and really can I even judge . He may be happier than me.

The Big Issue has lots of great articles. One I enjoyed was a piece by Simon Castles, former editor of the Big Issue, about Nirvana , the Band , 20 years on .In particular the song written by Kurt Cobain titled ...you guessed it , Smells Like Teen Spirit.

What I did not know was a girl Tobi Vail was going out with Kurt Cobain at the time and her friend wanted to taunt Kurt by suggesting she was marked with Vail's scent so she spray-painted the words "Kurt Smells like Teen Spirit" on Cobain's bedroom wall. He didn't get it and Teen Spirit was then a popular cheap deodorant for American girls .Cobain later used the words as a title to his song and the rest is history. The song writes Castle was in the Triple J's hottest 100 of All Time songs.

It is an article worth reading .Castle says in his piece this song is a Gen Xers anthem and marks Nirvana's place in rock history even without Cobain grasping the significance of the song.

Castle writes :

" By being a song of protest and rebellion , but also resignation and defeat , "Teen Sprit' expressed a sense of being stuck that most generation-Xers felt instinctively : a generation that had grown up with the Utopian dreaming of baby boomers , all the hopes of rock'n'roll revolution , had come of age as neoliberalism swept the west and ideals were traded for stock options .Gen-Xers had the desire for change , but also a cynicism about the likelihood of its success"
It seems that the Utopian dreams of my generation are fast dissolving into this sad , sad mess of a world. Just remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other and try to walk straight.