Hi, everyone! (I'm hoping this post is in the right place. If not, could someone please move it for me? Thank you!)
I'm afraid that in this time of pandemic, without being able to gather together in person and share music, rhythm, words, song, touch, and love, we will lose our humanity. Then, just as we most need it, when we come out of this and we need to build a new world, one with a healthier environment and an economy that really works for people rather than just the wealthy few, one where those who need care get it and those who need food can eat and those who need work can work with dignity, we won't be able to come together and do it because we'll have forgotten how to be human together.
An idea came to me this morning, and I'm kind of hoping we can make it "go viral":
At a pre-arranged time on this May Day -- May 1 -- 2020, at least all over the U.S. but better yet all over the world, we need to broadcast/stream a new piece (or series of pieces) of music: long (about half an hour -- this needs to be substantial), with a driving rhythm or rhythms and plenty of funk and groove, helplessly boogie-tastic, so we can't help moving to the beat. I say new because I think it would be helpful in order to skirt preconceptions, judgments, and exclusions. Ideally George Clinton (from Parliament Funkadelic) is involved. Beyonce can join us if she likes. Malawian musician Gasper Nali, please. Rhiannon Giddens (from the Carolina Chocolate Drops). Other suggestions? Those that really get us grooving, who whoop and call and soar, and inspire us.
It's got to be the same music everywhere, with the same rhythm, because research is starting to show what we've instinctively known, that when we as humans share a rhythm, moving to it together, it changes our behavior towards each other, inspiring us to share with and care for each other.
For this half-hour ritual of rhythmic music, we all need to dance and move and boogie as we can, where we are, with our loved ones who are sheltered with us, but preferably in a place where we can see other people: in our backyards in sight of the neighbors in their backyards, in our front yards in sight of everyone, in a public park with 50 ft. between us if need be.
While we move to the groove, we all need to envision the world we want to see when we've kicked COVID-19 to the curb: one with true humanity, one with an economy that is people-centered and regenerative rather than profit-centered and extractive, one with an increasingly health environment, one where we can all live well with dignity without taking wellness or dignity from anyone else, a world of true beauty and joy.
This half-hour isn't the time for conversation. It's the time for visioning through music and the movement.
But after this half-hour of groove and world-generation, yes, we should all share these visions and desires with each other.
Spark the flow of words and wills and begin to build the sprouting movement until it swells into a green and growing thing that cracks the pavement and bursts the pipes, knocks over established institutions of control, greed, and depravity, and brings into being a new organism of humanity consciously and attentively interconnected with our world and each other.
We don't really have the ability to set up a stream on multiple platforms with multiple inputs from different musicians so they can play together, etc. from where we are, off-grid, with slow internet, but we would like to help however we can. My partner, for example, is accumulating bravery in order to try calling George Clinton. I'm reaching out to anyone and anyplace I can think of to vet the idea and see how folks might want to do this and get involved. What I'm hoping and trying to manifest is that we can get together enough people with enough abilities and resources that we can share the load and make something like this happen together.
What do you all think? Does something about this idea appeal to you? Do you have tweaks, alternative suggestions, additions, questions, concerns, offerings, or anything else? If you think it's a good idea, and you want to be involved, please let me know. Let's be this change. Thank you!
"Do the best you can in the place where you are, and be kind." - Scott Nearing