It’s been a week. Meaning what a week it’s been. So much hope, so little hope, all balled up with hope and no hope.
The world witnessed a passionate 16-year-old girl emotionally admonish the people who should have helped but haven’t rectified the climate crisis this planet and all us assholes on it are facing. Dire, life-changing, life-ENDING shit and those of us who actually fear the future and have been changing our ways for the planet have to hear a bunch of greedy or fundamentally, willfully ignorant morons diminish and ignore what Greta Thunberg has been saying for the last year. They’ve been ignoring climate scientists for DECADES, relieved and empowered by the fact that they won’t have to live through the inhuman hellscape that MY children will face in their lifetimes. That it takes children to yell and scream about what the avaricious men pulling the strings are laughing and shrugging at unmasks the adult human race as pathetic and greedy entitled little weaklings too scared to utter a murmur and upset the illusionary and wasted wealth we think we all command and possess in perpetuity.
So, while this paragraph normally tells you to support artists, not through streaming but by actually purchasing tickets to shows and merch at their shows, go ahead and ignore that. Go to Walmart and grab whatever you can and walk out. Buy something expensive off Amazon, take it out of the box, fill the box with rocks and return the item for a full refund. Steal anything not bolted to the floor. Max out your credit cards on vacations and nice shoes and fancy dinners. Kiss your crush. Write your novel. Drive fast on open roads. Eat all the cookies in the bag. Try out that daring new haircut. Live out your dreams and fantasies. Strike experiences off your bucket list, ’cause baby, we’re already dead and nothing actually matters anymore.*
* Don’t actually do any of those things I said.
Do good instead of bad, do for instead of against. That’s how we can all come together to at least hold hands and smile before the great fireball immolates us all. It’s hard to inject positivity into this post without feeling like you’re burying your head in the sand. The time to act is a vanishing point in the distance. However, not making an immediate effort, not caring, not acting like it’s too late and instead filling yourself with apathy is not only emotional death, it’ll lead to literal death.
Hey, here’s some protest music that I hope can change some closed minds about these issues.
I may be making a stretch on this one, but Natalie Mering performing under the name Weyes Blood has stated that her brilliant latest album, Titanic Rising is based in anxieties of a number of things, including our climate crisis. There’s lots of beautiful and dark lyrical imagery on this album, but Wild Time, to me, feels like it alludes to it most with lines like
Taking hold of our eyes
Beauty, a machine that’s broken
Running on a million people trying
Don’t cry, it’s a wild time to be alive
Guelph, Ontario sister folk duo, The Lifers have a new single with a strong climate-related theme. On their song, Tip, released today on the final day of Global Climate Strike Week, Anita and Liv Cazzola take what feels like a well-earned shot at our Grinning Haircut PM with the words:
I’m making myself dizzy untangling what’s passed to our hands
while you’re busy making oil hungry foes our friends
Yep. That’s a good summation. Check out more on The Lifers in the links below. When you purchase their music, proceeds are going to Extinction Rebellion:
Paula Cole may be best known for her song I Don’t Want to Wait, the theme song from Dawson’s Creek, but last week, she released her new album, Revolution. The album contains a cover of Marvin Gaye’s prophetic The Ecology (Mercy Mercy Me) last month. I could put in my own description, but she wrote something far more poignant than I ever could to speak of it.
With the specter of climate change, the weakening of the Endangered Species Act and our planet’s biodiversity in the balance, I felt it vital to be a voice for truth and change while honoring a singer-songwriter, producer and artist who fundamentally inspired me on my “Amen” and “Revolution” albums, the great Marvin Gaye. Marvin Gaye was ahead of his time. Forty-eight years ago, in 1971 he created his masterpiece album “What’s Going On”, as he longed to be a voice for more than just himself. He self-produced, wrote, and performed this work as a social-political, spiritual, and ecological statement. Marvin Gaye has been hugely inspirational to me in my career and specifically on my “Amen” and “Revolution” albums. I too wish to speak out now, using my voice for more than myself.
As Picasso said, “Artists are the politicians of the future”. We need to stop this horrific nonsense, help each other and remember the other beings on the planet. But I would rather sing about it than talk about it!
Mississauga, ON native Alysha Brilla is a Juno nominated musician and producer. Her song (and fan art-created video), Water, reminds us of what not only connects each continent to one another but also what sustains us. And what truly separates the wealthy from the endangered and what most of us take most for granted.
She’s playing tonight at the Boathouse in Kitchener, ON.
Header image of Greta Thunberg by Anders Hellberg under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.