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Monday, February 04, 2008

Yell Fire!

I've been a devoted fan of Michael Franti & Spearhead for over five years now. Yes, I'm a technocratic hippie, and yes, I still listen to Phish. Whatever, people. The music that moves you is the music that moves you.

Michael Franti has the gift of gab. And by that, I mean that he has the rare ability to capture you attention in the middle of a concert by his words, and not just by the excellent music. It certainly helps that he's super cute. If you're even just a little cranky with the way the world is headed, download Everyone Deserves Music, and you'll begin to tap into the positive movement for change.

Something today caught my interest. There's a video posted on youtube of a two-year-old toddler rocking out to Michael Franti. Now some of his music is perfect for kids. He even turned one of his songs into a children's book which we own. However. Franti calls it like he sees it, and this particular song is a protest song, created after Franti's trip to Bagdhad a few years ago. (He made a movie called I Know I'm Not Alone. Go watch it.)

The song in this particular video, however, has a message. An adult message (read: Fire! Fire! The world's going to hell!). As I started watching it, I felt a little queasy. I don't agree with using babies as a vehicle for activism. Liam doesn't even own clothing that sports sentiments such as "I hate peas" or "Grandma's little angel" Blecch.

Anywhoo. As I watch the video, I get eerie flashbacks to the Santaland Diaries (you haven't heard of them?? Then I don't know you) where David Sedaris recounts the little boy who arrives at the North Pole with a special message for Santa. David writes:

You know? That is so wrong. And so is using your infant to further your own political agenda, whether the music is good or not. But then about a minute into the film, I changed my mind. I began to realize that this child was not being manipulated, he was rocking out! He knew the words! He was having a blast, and I decided that not everything had to have an agenda. Sometimes, it can just be about the music and having fun.


At 8:42 PM, Blogger monkeysparkets said...

Whoops! I have never heard of the Santaland Diaries. Guess it's time to wander out of the Science Fiction/Fantasy section of the library, eh? I'll definitely check it out.


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