Sunday, October 28, 2007

the future is unwritten

its a movie by julien temple, about joe strummer, his life and music in joe's own words and images, and from his friends and contemporaries
some things you watch, some bands you see, or books you read or places you visit, you just want to shout about - you know if you could you would tell everyone you know to go there, watch it, visit the place you just been, and hope that they would just experience what you did.
Life changing events, movies, places, songs.

Well, this movie is one of them, and what blogging was invented for is to shout about things that do this to you.
don't know joe strummers thoughts about blogging, but i think he would have approved about the ability to communicate your thoughts and passions and music to the world, to people you don't know, will never meet, or maybe you will, who knows.

i learned a lot about him in this movie, stuffed that had passed me by over the years.

I saw The Clash at Newcastle Mayfair Ballroom
(read the link about the clash gig at newcastle poly in '78 where they let all their true fans in through the bathroom window - its captured and shown in the film) in 1980.
I remember the gig for the skinheads trying to kick off bother big style, and mikey dread appearing and confusing everyone who had come to pogo :-o
First band i was ever in (who never gigged, just 3 mates playing clash songs) had a lad called mouse in who was a big clash fan, he always had their latest LP and was really good at learning the riffs....
So joe's music, particularly through The Clash has been there right through my grown up years, just there, every time I hear it it tunes me in to a different reality.
It wakes me up.

That's why I sit typing at 4AM in the morning having just watched the film, I am AWAKE!

If you watch the movie, I hope you stick with it through to the end, joe was a troubled man, and thank God in some ways he was - but it seems at the end of his life he found some peace, and the scene showing the last christmas cards he sent out to his friends and family (hand drawn by him), just days before he passed away - that scene is fucking amazing.
It has woke me up and made me want to do something.
And its gonna get me into some bother.

The scene he drew was many small islands in a lake or sea - lit up all over with campfires, I think it may be his daughter who is describing the scene as Joe's interpretation of heaven....
Days before he died he sends out this image to everyone he knows with his picture of heaven.
Like he knew something?
(He died of a congenital heart problem that know one even him I think, never knew about - suddenly, lying on his settee, reading the Observer...)

So, in his later years Joe became the advocate of the campfire, starting out one year back stage at Glastonbury - 'Strummerville'.
The campfire where was usually one of the last to leave as dawn broke.....

Here's where I get into trouble!

Wouldn't it be fantastic to bring strummerville to Greenbelt, campfires and all.

I have just lost you now if you are involved in any way with health and safety at the festival.

I hear the sound of the shutters going down, SLAM!

Well, here's my opinion - and please note, its only MY opinion, and not endorsed by the festival in any way.

Has Greenbelt has become too safe?
A lot of it has to do with the health and safety aspect in society in general.
the nanny state of mind way of thinking.
We are too obsessed with it and have allowed fear of what might happen, quench the fire of common sense.
This is not an attack on greenbelt, or any person involved in its' organisation.
Its just what the festival has become. Very safe.

In many many ways this is a good safe - safe for children and families etc etc.... - but in other ways i just don't get 'safe'
Over concern with the sound levels annoying the festival neighbours ( a delicate issue which the festival goes to great lengths to ensure doesn't happen)
Rules and regulations governing what is allowed and what is not due to the fact we are borrowing someone elses property and buildings for a weekend (Cheltenham Racecourse)
- and the fact that no open fires are allowed at the festival.
Why not?
There is big fire safety person presence at the festival - and of course to comply with the law, we are very grateful to have them there, in effect Greenbelt or any other festival that matter, just couldn't happen without the appropriate fire safety measures.
Note I say appropriate, and not overkill.

So, if you agree with me and want to lobby for the strummerville campfire, at greenbelt you know what to do!
follow the link to the festival to the right of this page, and let them know!

I will be working on it :-)

'The Future is Unwritten"

"People can change ANYTHING they want to - and that means EVERYTHING in the world...
people are running about, following their little tracks - I am one of them - but we've all gotta stop, just following our own little mouse trail....
People can do anything - this is something that I am beginning to learn..... people are out there doing BAD things to each other - its because they are being de-humanised - its time to take that humanity back into the centre of the ring, and follow that for a time.....

Greed.... it ain't going anywhere - they should have that on a big billboard across Times Square...

Without people, you're nothing........ that's my spiel........'

Joe Strummer 1952 - 2002

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