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Posts Tagged ‘too happy’

I have been doing a lot of reading on ecology and indigenous peoples recently. It is very, very fascinating. How sad to think of all the time wasted in schools when we could have been learning how to grow things, study soil, how to fix and mend our goods, where our goods come from, how all things are connected. Instead we got a lot of computer classes, math quizzes, pep-talks about the new and intense global economy, and read lots of books by white men. What a bummer. Anytime we talked about indigenous peoples it went something like: “How sad they are all gone now. We should try to save the rainforest or something. Now let’s have a bake sale for the newspaper, drive over to the game twenty miles away tonight, and waste lots of resources!!”

Digression aside, I’ve come across all sorts of inspiring actions and movements I knew nothing about, such as the incredible International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. They are wonderful.

Their lives and work are so phenomenal. All the bad news, the repetitive mantras of “economy, free market, deficits, Afghanistan, terrorism, security, unemployment, tea parties, filibusters…” it goes on and on and it doesn’t seem to stop. When I came across these women I felt a breath of relief for a moment. Here is something good happening. Here is something older than all of our fleeting concerns, here is something sustainable, here is something totally inspiring.

Here is the briefest of sketches: these women come from indigenous tribes, and they are the preservers of a wisdom which conflicts with much of our modern culture’s narratives. They apparently are the fulfillment of ancient prophecies among their respective peoples which speaks of the coming together of 13 grandmothers from all over the world. They speak profoundly about the loss of memory, the loss of much wisdom, about serving as guardians of the Earth, about the importance of prayer and connection to the land and our communities.

Here is their Statement of Alliance taken from their website:

WE ARE THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS who came together for the first time from October 11 through October 17, 2004, in Phoenicia, New York. We gathered from the four directions in the land of the people of the Iroquois Confederacy. We come here from the Amazon rainforest, the Alaskan Tundra of North America, the great forest of the American northwest, the vast plains of North America, the highlands of central America, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the mountains of Oaxaca, the desert of the American southwest, the mountains of Tibet and from the rainforest of Central Africa.

Affirming our relations with traditional medicine peoples and communities throughout the world, we have been brought together by a common vision to form a new global alliance.

We are the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. We have united as one. Ours is an alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children and for the next seven generations to come.

We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth, the contamination of our air, waters and soil, the atrocities of war, the global scourge of poverty, the threat of nuclear weapons and waste, the prevailing culture of materialism, the epidemics which threaten the health of the Earth’s peoples, the exploitation of indigenous medicines, and with the destruction of indigenous ways of life.

We, the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, believe that our ancestral ways of prayer, peacemaking and healing are vitally needed today. We come together to nurture, educate and train our children. We come together to uphold the practice of our ceremonies and affirm the right to use our plant medicines free of legal restriction. We come together to protect the lands where our peoples live and upon which our cultures depend, to safeguard the collective heritage of traditional medicines, and to defend the earth Herself. We believe that the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future.

We join with all those who honor the Creator, and to all who work and pray for our children, for world peace, and for the healing of our Mother Earth.

For all our relations.

Margaret Behan-Cheyenne-Arapahoe Rita Pitkta Blumenstein–Yup’ik  Aama Bombo–Tamang,,Nepal Julieta Casimiro-Mazatec  Flordemayo-Mayan  Maria Alice Campos Freire-Brazil Tsering Dolma Gyaltong-Tibetan  Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance-Oglala Lakota  Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance-Oglala Lakota Agnes Pilgrim– Takelma Siletz Mona Polacca-Hopi/ Havasupai  Clara Shinobu Iura-Brazil  Bernadette Rebienot- Omyene”

I just can’t more highly recommend reading up more about what these women are doing, where they are coming from, and what they stand for.

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Oh man, I love you, Jezebel.

I totally printed this bracket out last night and made Boyfriend fill it out with me. There were some heart-wrenching choices though. Spice vs. Ice Cream?? Are we talking a cream cheese frosted spice cake, on a beautiful November evening? Is this some cheap ice cream cake, or are we talking the real fucking deal here?

More questions. My bracket ended up pitting blueberry against cheesecake. Now, I think cheesecake is gonna take it all down. And don’t get me wrong, cheesecake is fantastic (and it is most DEFINITELY a pie, despite the cake). But again – cheesecake in general, a win. But blueberry pie on a June evening? Or at 3 o’clock in the morning in August?? This tournament, it’s too much!

I like to make my own birthday cakes Funfetti style, so I can’t really split them up. As it is, I have Funfetti going to the finals and facing down Pumpkin, and letting Pumpkin taste (I mean take… or do I?) the day. But I hope all the other cakes and pies know this doesn’t mean I love Pumpkin best (though I might). It means there were too many tough choices, too many unanswered questions.

I have now woken up, and am extremely hungry. I want cake. And pie. In light of these tough choices, I think I’ll have both today. And more tomorrow. It’ll be a baking, pie-consuming weekend, in which I fully intend to end up with several pieces of clothing coated in a light layer of blueberry pie and spice cake, a kitchen that smells of funfetti cake, and sleep deprivation, since I will have woken up multiple times every night to devour the rest of every piece of pie and cake before anyone else can get their grubby mitts on it.

I love spring.

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My favorite Canadian supergroup has a new album entitled “Forgiveness Rocks Record” coming out May 4th, and since my favorite Canadian supergroup is also my favorite musical act on the planet, here, there, anywhere, anytime, I am delirious.

This is, for me, the greatest news on the planet. It makes my year. There are years where no BSS records come out; those are eh. Then there are years when they do: and they are super. They are years when you invite friends over to listen to those albums all night and pass out on your floor at 5 am. They are years when you take off work to go drive to get the album and listen to it all over creation. It’s a year that is perfect. I’ve already listened to “World Sick”, which you can get from their website, and maybe I’m biased, but yeah, I’m in love all over again (I missed them so). So May 4th is kinda like a big deal for me. To celebrate, here are some pictures with no rhyme or reason to them. Bless ’em all.

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puddle raging

puddle raging

This is not a pleasant world for most people. I just finished watching Capitalism: A Love Story. I walked out into the mildly chilly Maryland evening feeling lots of anger. I will talk about that soon. But, as I can’t find Newsies to calm me down, I chose to have a cold beer and watch “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Rós.

Everything they do is glorious (yeah, especially that). Everything they do makes a person a little less inclined to create a secret identity based entirely on Robin Hood, bows and arrows being especially essential.

see, everything.

see, everything.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I intend to let lovely Icelandic bands and their whimsical videos showcasing old people and children doing enchanting things pacify me completely. I’ll just allow it to abate my headache at the present time.

these assholes don't do a fucking thing which doesn't make you wanna spin in a circle or take a nap.

these assholes don't do a fucking thing which doesn't make you wanna spin in a circle or take a nap.

So I guess in a world run by miserable jerks living off the backs of decent, hardworking people, there’s still some lovely stuff which doesn’t make one want to go tie one’s self to a streetlight in front of Morgan Stanley while on a hunger fast. Or at least, there’s something calm to think about while getting a sturdy metal chain.

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It makes me very happy when I think how the three best albums (in my opinion) of 2009 (so far) are all intensely joyful and dance-y.

Passion Pit; or, Glowing Things!!!

Passion Pit; or, Glowing Things!!!

This is so not always the case. Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago could be the best album of either 2008 or 2007, depending on which year you wanna count it. I prefer 2008, because 2007’s spots are taken for me. No one else has a chance in a year which sees work released from my favorite Broken Social Scene members, the core KC Accidental (Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin). A Tender History in Rust from Do Make Say Think: perfect. Spirit If… could also be called “Kevin Drew Doesn’t Even Need to Try to Woo Me I Love His Music So.”

But none of that was really stuff to put on when you wanted to bounce off the walls. Sure, each album had a few songs like that (excepting for the gorgeously despairing For Emma, which could not make one less likely to imbibe sugar, except in alcohol format), but nothing like this year’s shit. I could bring up the best albums from earlier years as well, but I’m lazy and they might disprove my point, which I’m not into.

My point is that this year’s best albums seem to be, across the board, “Holy shit, we have not been celebrating dance parties nearly enough, quick quick, get something that glows please!!!” I’m talking, of course, about Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s It’s Blitz! and Passion Pit’s Manners.

Random Junk in the Air is Always Delightful!!

Random Junk in the Air is Always Delightful!!

The music is much like the pictures. Bright. Swingy. Bouncy. It’s Blitz! has some slower songs without the leaping-around back beat of nearly all Passion Pit’s album. But even when it’s less hyper, it’s still totally fucking gorgeous. “Skeleton” and “Hysteric” have the electric-dance sound, but mellowed out and given these emotional peaks which are extra sweet precisely because of that ecstatic spacey feel. “Heads Will Roll” and “Zero” do the dance part more: super.

I’m pretty fucking nuts about Phoenix’s Wolfgang. I love whatever Phoenix does anyway, though; shan’t ever forget the first time I heard “If I Ever Feel Better.” Alphabetical: swoony. It’s Never Been Like That: that was fun. Wolfgang: Thomas Mars, it is not fair to do that swoony voice all over the place.

C'est trop charmant.

C'est trop charmant.

It’s always weird to use the word sultry, but Phoenix is kinda sultry. Thomas Mars’ voice tears me up: do I want to do a little dance, or am I in love and need to swoon? Case in point: “Fences”. In this song, Thomas Mars is being a real jerk, because he’s with Sofia Coppola, so if he wants to sing like that he’d better be single. I’ll forgive him though, since this entire album is a gem. What I especially like about it is though I like to dance around in my car, sometimes I need to breathe a little bit. I can be popping all over the place with Janet Jackson Passion Pit, and listen to anything off Wolfgang without losing my “I just had 3 cups of tea and 2 spoonfuls of sugar for giggles” feeling.

Then, oh my, then there’s Passion Pit’s Manners.

passionpitmanners

Passion Pit does not have the back catalogue of Phoenix or Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Their first EP, Chunk of Change, came out in September 2008. I mean, I can’t even say with 100% certainty Michael Angelakos even graduated from college. I got use to being older than all the tween pop stars ages ago, but to be older than people I really, really adore? Whoa.

But man, let’s listen to me rave about Manners. Manners is simply fucking fantastic. I don’t know what the future holds for these kids (I can say that because I mean, they may not even be able to drink. I jest, I jest) but who cares. This is a great album. Genius? Don’t know, don’t care. It is just absolutely euphoric. “Moth’s Wings” is one of the most thrilling things I’ve heard in years. When Angelakos gets to “You come beating like moth’s wings/spastic and violently” I freak out. Then there’s all sorts of lush spiralling sounds, and lots of just nice old lyrics like “Put down your sword and crown / come lay with me on the ground” which just sound fucking happy.

I’m all for real interesting music. I’m into happy music. When you take a slightly off-beat (well, if at least one-third of all the music you listen to is Broken Social Scene) sound and make it enchantingly joyful, then you get something like Manners. Then you (or, me) end up playing “Seaweed Song”, “Little Secrets”, and “Let Your Love Grow Tall” and watch “The Reeling” repeatedly. I didn’t know quite why, except then I remembered I love shit which makes me wanna clap my hands, and then I get happy and distracted and start waving my head all over the place. I was walking out of the house the other night listening to it and decided I felt too colorful, and grabbed some bright pink earrings. That’s what this music makes you do. All of a sudden you want to resemble Rainbow Brite and run next to a boring brick wall and strip it off to reveal shiny gold things (this really does make sense if you’ve seen “The Reeling” video).

So these are, to me, the best albums so far this year. This could change though, since Broken Social Scene is recording a new album, and Maxwell just released something in the first time in eight years which I haven’t heard yet. God, I love Maxwell.

To be continued.

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Dude, they are almost, almost, too happy for me.

mattandkimagain

Matt and Kim are delightful.

I am not able to opine on them as artists or relative geniuses.

I am able to talk about how the expression on Kim’s face is kinda what I think it would be like to shove two huge handfuls of pop rocks into your face while finding out they are making a She-Ra movie, and then someone offers to drive you to the beach and buys you a bushel of crabs and tells you you can eat them and they’ll never let anyone know since you’re a vegetarian and don’t like eating animals (all kinds). Then maybe someone else picks up a case of cheap beer which delights you because you are already in a good mood and then someone puts on a top hat (always, a top hat) and plays Matt and Kim and then you are all, Hey! Now I feel like Kim! Cos she always has a delightful smile, and I feel I have achieved such happiness now!

you know they just ate a bunch of laffy taffy and pop rocks

you know they just ate a bunch of laffy taffy and pop rocks

Matt and Kim are kinda sickeningly joyous. I remember the first time someone made me watch the “Daylight” video. I was all, oh, aren’t they shoving candy in their mouths and too adorably happy for words. Then months later some other person played it and I perked up and was all, Matt and Kim! They are happy, as am I! I think I love them! Besides, Kim is fucking awesome! And Matt is, well, super hot! Cos being so fucking cheerful is kinda adorable!

The only other thing I have to say about these two peaches is if you ever imagine what I look like, you should just think of the many expressions of radiant joy on Matt’s face while he’s jamming in the taxi in the previously mentioned video. When I’m typing away I like to think I look pretty close to Matt’s carefree, super-energetic can’t-be-fazed popping-up-and-down-like-a-real-trixsie dumpster bouncing. Not when I am walking around, because then I am either stumbling over trees or looking at the moon or reading a book while walking, or grinning at everyone I see. But when I am sitting down and composed: my expressions and personality are, unintentionally, exactly like that. Nonsensical giddy head shaking and all. I’m pretty easy to spot in a car. I can’t tell you how many times people have pointed at me at stop-lights and laughed, but when I grin back they always start dancing too. I know you fools were listening to some shitty depressing shit (Bethesda: 97.1 After Hours, Rockville: the new and depressing 94.7. Goodbye, Rolling Stones, hello Sting), but I’m glad you jumped around too. I’m glad.

I do not know how to embed videos yet, and that does not bother me at all cos there need be no rush to learn these things. Here is the link to their giddy video.

joy in a dumpster

joy in a dumpster

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