Saturday, November 19, 2011

keeping up the fight

Frank and I have been at a pulp-the-mill celebration fundraiser this afternoon. It was a lovely, relaxed affair with local wine, pizzas, home made sweet treats and music.

To be honest, I'm rather tired of the whole thing. Not the afternoon - I just wish the pulp mill would go away. But it keeps rumbling along. Gunns just won't die, although how on earth they can continue to keep going when they have sold off so many of their income streams, I don't know. Obviously I'm no business expert, but it's hard not to suspect back room deals and hand shakes between governments and corporations. People with power and money work together to get thier way so they can keep ripping the guts out of the environment and make greater and greater profits.

However, this afternoon was not an afternoon for cynicism. It was a time for enjoying the beautiful Tamar, mingling with like minded people and relaxing before the next assault against the mill.

When you mingle with people, you discover things you never knew about them. I've protested with some of these people, but I had no idea of their musical talent. Tucked away all over Tasmania (and the world I imagine) are gifts and talents and bands and singers.

It reminds me of 'How to be free' by Tom Hodgkinson. His book is one of anarchy. Not the wild, lawless state we often associate with the word. Rather subverting the system, beating the corporations, living free from those institutions and powers that seek to control and manipulate us. In one chapter Hodgkinson suggests we should all learn to play the ukulele. His point is that the music industry has stripped many of us of the ability to make music. Where once we would have sat around playing instruments and singing together, now we put a song on the iPod and hit play. We've lost the desire and skill required to play instruments and create our own melodies. Take back the music, learn the ukulele and connect with music making in a new-old way.

This afternoon was a bit like that. No commercial music in sight, just a bunch of people having a good time, using their gifts to craft a sound that was good. It was very good. I like that. It might even give me the invigoration I need to keep up the fight. And I love how people can inspire and encourage each other. We need one another, hey!


At 4:18 pm, November 20, 2011, Anonymous Veronika said...

How very true! I too cannot believe how Gunns manages to keep this all happening.
Will get hold of 'How to be free' - it sounds great and I certainly have experienced the 'ukele effect'with children I work with unwilling to sing as it just doesn't match commercial music.You can join a choir if you are so inclined but rarely do people sing just for the sheer enjoyment of it - instead you plug in and let someone else do it for you


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