Friday, May 18, 2007

The Future is Unwritten: Joe STrummer

Opened last week in the UK. Coming soon elsewhere.
"I'd like to say that people... people can change anything they want to;
and that means everything in the world. Show me any country and
there'll be people in it. And it's the people that make the country.
People have got to stop pretending they're not in the world.
People are running about following their own tracks. I am one of them.
But we've all gotta stop... just stop following our own little mouse trails.
People can do anything; this is something that I'm beginning to learn.
People are out there doing bad things to each other; it's because
they've been dehumanized. It's time to take humanity back into
the center of the ring and follow that for a time.
Greed... it ain't going anywhere; the richest person
in the world is the most unhappy one. They should have that
on a big billboard in Times Square. Think on that. Without people you're nothing."

-Joe Strummer
Okay, so he sounds a little bit cheesy-utopian at times in this quote. Yet, his explanation of oppression and violence coming from dehumanized people strikes home with me. So does his call to pull our heads out and get involved in change. Often, politics and music suck together. Joe Strummer and the Clash proved that it can be done with class (no pun).
p.s. If you click on the poster and go to the official site for the movie/or myspace, you'll hear his eerie voice uttering the quote above. If you ever liked the Clash, it will give you goose bumps.


Steve said...

Hi Jayson. I don't think he sounds cheesy at all. In fact, I find his words a compelling call to action.

Recently I've been reading about college students turned activists for all kinds of issue - the HRC kids at the U of Minnesota, green activists, and those agitating for freedom of speech in their high schools and other forae. It gives me hope. But it also makes me realize how little I've done in that regard. Worse, I look at myself at age 46, and feel there's a great distance between myself and these younger activists, not in purpose, rather in understanding of the issue - they know so much more, and have a better developed vision of what's right and what's wrong. It's almost as though I've sold out long enough that I only see shades of gray, where they are more certain of their goal.

It makes me kind of sad. I don't know if I could join them even if I could lay aside my career to do so. But I support them, and perhaps my activism will have to be in the form of being the bureaucrat who opens doors for them rather than to barricade them.

Jennifer said...

funny how the more radical anti-capitist/the system parts of that quote didn't get used on the mtv friendly music video

Jayson said...

yes, completely predictable, re:mtv video