Friday, February 24, 2012

Playing for change - a beautiful initiative

Okay I admit - I am being very lazy with this week's post - too many things to do. However, this initiative called "Playing for change" is such a wonderful one that it deserves some awareness. Its musicians all over the world coming together to play songs...for change. Wonderful stuff and I am sure it will inspire you...if not your money back guaranteed!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In honour of the change maker Bob Marley

Bob Marley the legend. You know it was his birthday on Monday, the 6th February? I actually went to a gig honouring his birthday here in Windhoek, Namibia over the weekend. I wonder how many other places in the world had a similar party in his honour. So with this thought in mind I decided to write a piece marking my appreciation of this remarkable person. The person who made music that, on some level, reaches every person in the world.I do not think I have ever met a person who does not like Bob Marley's music. His music transcends gender, race, age.

I read on his wiki page a statement that I have lazily copied and pasted:

"Bob Marley ranks among both the most popular and the most misunderstood figures in modern culture ... That the machine has utterly emasculated Marley is beyond doubt. Gone from the public record is the ghetto kid who dreamed of Che Guevara and the Black Panthers, and pinned their posters up in the Wailers Soul Shack record store; who believed in freedom; and the fighting which it necessitated, and dressed the part on an early album sleeve; whose heroes were James Brown and Muhammad Ali; whose God was Ras Tafari and whose sacrament was marijuana. Instead, the Bob Marley who surveys his kingdom today is smiling benevolence, a shining sun, a waving palm tree, and a string of hits which tumble out of polite radio like candy from a gumball machine. Of course it has assured his immortality. But it has also demeaned him beyond recognition. Bob Marley was worth far more."

And yes, its true. Yes, his music does tumble out of radio like candy with people listening often not actually listening to the words echoed. But. So what!?

Bob Marley's music has touched people's hearts. His character induced change in mindsets and behaviour all over the world. His music is the closest we have ever gotten to feel truly connected to the world and nature and simple happiness. One love. One world. One heart. This message induces more change in the world than a war ever will. Lets give a personal, from the heart perspective: Even in the lowest moments in my life, Bob Marley manages to say to me, "Justine, get some perspective and stop your bullshit, life is amazing, look around, and spread the message". And even if his words in his songs say otherwise he seems to have this out-of-our-realms-of-understanding effect on us.

He has been part of so much liberation in the world. He sang at the Independence of Zimbabwe celebrations. I wish he would have been around during our Independence in Namibia, but Ziggy Marley did an equally good job. He has instilled so much hope in communities which have in the past been left hopeless. He voiced loudly the religion of Ras Tafari, honoured Haille Salassie and lifted the people of Jamaica, and in doing so breathed pride into Africa. The Aboriginal people of Australia continue to burn a sacred flame to honor his memory in Sidney's Victoria Park, members of the Native American Hopi and Havasupai tribe also honour him. There are also many tributes to Bob Marley throughout India, throughout many countries in Africa and South America, and indeed, the world. Nevermind those who worship him.

So it doesn't matter if the machine has poured hot pink plastic over the memory of him to the plastic world. We all will have our own memory of what he was and is to us. And we all love him. And with this I leave him to finish off with his magic words

Why's this fussing and a-fighting?
I wanna know, Lord, I wanna know
Why's this bumping and a-boring?
I wanna know, Lord, I wanna know now

We should really love each other (love each other)
In peace and harmony (peace and harmony), ooh
Instead, we're fussing and fighting (fussing and fighting)
And them workin' iniquity (... iniquity)

Why's this fussing and a-fighting?
I wanna know, Lord, I wanna know (... know), I wanna know now
Why's this cheating and backbiting?
(I wanna know ...) I wanna know, oh, Lord, I wanna know now

We should really love each other (love each other)
In peace and harmony (peace and harmony)
Instead, instead, we're fussing and fighting (fussing and fighting)
Like we ain't supposed to be (... supposed to be), tell me why.