Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What are we supposed to do? Feel?

Just look at the faces of the people on this committee while they listen to this New Orleans crawfisherman put the current situation in New Orleans and in the rest of the Gulf in very succinct musical terms. I imagine that many of the people who see this will have one or two kinds of of "programmed" reactions (either "gee, this guy's good--he has a nice voice, and is an engaging performer," or "he's just trying to get people to listen to him sing"). I hope that a larger number of people will shut off their armchair critical voices as well as their partisan parts (I don't know if this guy is a Democrat or a Republican, and I actually don't care), and listen to the song.

I see here the value of song itself, and the value of allowing real emotions to flow in a "safe" environment, in order to get a point across to people who need to hear it. I hope that the people on this commission will listen to the tape, and listen to the real concerns that this man is raising, and respond by taking action to implement the very reasonable suggestions he is making.


David Wolfson said...

Actually, I think that was a pretty gutsy thing to do—I wouldn't call that a safe environment for the acting of making music at all.

Elaine Fine said...

But sometimes it does feel safer to say what you want to in song than to try to say what you want to in words. I do agree with you that a hearing like that is actually a rather hostile place for music-making, which is what makes it all the more interesting to watch (particularly the looks on the faces of the panel who really don't know what they are supposed to feel or think).