where are the voices?
I’ll make this quick…
Across the world from my little town there’s this country called Egypt. You may have heard about it this week on the news in between more important stories like Charlie Sheen’s rehab and the fate of his TV show, or the upcoming Super Bowl halftime show. Anyway, from what I’ve heard, there seems to be a revolution of sorts occurring. People rising up against an oppressive government and in the last couple of days it turned violent as said government sent in the goon squads. Yesterday they went after the reporters and took down the video feeds, and today (it’s Friday) those of us who are interested in the events are following them through tweets and Facebook and streams from Al Jazeera.
As a child of the sixties, or actually the fifties to be more accurate, I’ve been very interested in what’s been going on as it resonates with so many of my memories of resistance, revolution and change in both the US and all around the world through the decades. This morning on my FB page I wrote “One thing that really struck me these past two weeks, is how easily I’m able to identify with them (the anti-government protesters). They don’t seem so foreign or different from the people I know. Their faces are familiar and their voices and passion are not unlike those that I grew up with in the sixties. I believe that they are standing on the side of love.”
I also posted this on Facebook: “Here on FB amongst my friends are probably a hundred musicians…folk, Americana, whatever. It strikes me that hardly any of them are taking a break from promoting their latest gig or album to say anything about what’s happening in Egypt. I guess I’m feeling a little disappointed.”
There’s been several posts and conversations about “whatever happened to protest music?” here in this community in the past year. I guess that’s not my issue this morning, it’s more like where the hell are the voices? Why aren’t the folk musicians I listen to posting their thoughts or using the power of their Facebook ‘friends” to share feelings or news?
Is what’s happening over in Egypt not such a big deal as I think? Are the photos and videos of men, women and children being attacked by government-paid thugs just not all that compelling enough to take a break from promoting your next coffeehouse gig this weekend? Is the roundup of reporters, raids on news offices and the attacks on human rights workers just not as important as posting a review for your latest album?
The musicians I listen to, or many of them I should say, sing lyrics of inspiration and change, freedom and love. You might think that they’d have something to say about what’s been going on. And perhaps a few have…I’m really just commenting on the hundred or so ones I’ve befriended on FB…most of which are often mentioned and written up here at No Depression. I see no blogs, no tweets. I feel disappointment.
Anyway…sorry for the rant. So who do you think will win on Sunday? Packers or Steelers?