Monday, December 6, 2010

December Blues

It's getting close to Christmas, not my favourite time of the year. Too many painful reminders of my wasted youth. Too dark. Cold. A time to endure until the days get longer again. At the same time, those gloomy reminders are a necessary spur to think things over yet again. I whole heartedly agree when somebody once said, that without music life would be a sad mistake.

Accordingly, I encourage anybody reading this to click here and watch the video. Often I feel pity for anyone who grew up during the age of rock and roll. They may never have heard real music. This is a true deprivation, a malnutrition of the soul, and perhaps worse than the more easily measured malnutrition of the body.

A 'flash mob' is a fairly recent invention, made possible by instant messaging and cell phones. A flash mob is a group of people who spontaneously arrange to gather someplace, say a subway station, a street corner, or any well-populated public space and put on a show of some kind. Naturally, considering the age we live in, the show is of an obscene or outrageous nature. Strange outfits, nudity, shocking antics are the usual fare. No strange outfits on display with this flash mob. Just an assortment of normal looking people. Young, old, in between, male and female, but refreshingly wholesome and smiling. It takes place in a public location, a food court in a mall. The camera surveys the scene, Arbys and other outfits in the background, parents and children having a bite to eat. Suddenly an attractive young woman stands up and starts to sing. She has a fine, clear voice, and the opening bars of the Halleluja chorus ring out. Soon she is joined by another singer in another part of the room, then another, and another, and at last a whole choir is giving voice. Oh, if only such a thing would happen in Victoria… although all those references to God and Jesus might lead to their arrest for disturbing the peace. Click here to see it.

What I like best about it, though, is not so much the singing as the astonished expressions on the faces of the young children who had the good fortune to be there. Rapturous would not be too strong a word to describe some of the faces. It may have been the first time in their lives that they heard real music. Hopefully, like an inoculation, it might give them some protection from the ravages of our pervasive pop culture, the which is a disease of the soul that has sucked away the lifeblood of our culture.

This is Victoria, so even in the winter not every day is gloomy, and when the clouds go away the air is brilliantly clear in a way that it never is in summer. When the warm weather is here there is always a haze, often only noticeable because it's hard to see the mountains. On a clear winter day they always seem closer and more vividly real.

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