During the 4th Informed Cities Forum in Rotterdam, we all…
So, as a music addict all my life – my life is music and music is life (Felix da Housecat) – it is time to join the club! Below a selection of songs that make me think in one way or another about things related to this weird era we are living in. An era where we gained the knowledge about our planetary boundaries, our persistent lock-ins in management of unsustainability, and the failing systems around us.
Queens of the Stone Age – If I had a tail
Makes me think of how we got to the place where it is all about systems (e.g. care, economy,…), not people.
If everything we do needs to comply with the system, if it’s all about efficiency, did we then turn ourselves into obsolete machines?
In the land of the free
Stromae – Alors on dance
Quote from the artist pins it down nicely: “Music is like a medicine. I prefer to talk about my problems because my problems are a little bit exaggerated. Actually they’re our problems, our human problems, and I prefer to show instead of hide it. Everybody thinks that the only way to forget your problems is having fun, and I don’t think that’s the only way to have fun. You can have fun talking about your problems. Yeah, dance about your problems.” © Time Out, New York 2014
“Who says study, says work
Who says work, says money
Who says money, says expenses
Who says credit, says debt
Who says debt, says bailiff
Yes, also says being in shit”
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Television, the drug of the nation
These lyrics rather speak for themselves, although I wonder how many people are aware of these side effects… Also makes me think of the role of the media, how they frame topics, seek controversy and how people in the media are in need of self-reflection of the role they play: are you part of the problem or the solution?
“T. V. Is the place where phrases are redefined
Like ‘recession’ to ‘necessary downturn’
‘crude oil’ on a beach to ‘mousse’
‘Civilian death’ to ‘collateral damages’
And being killed by your own Army
Is now called ‘friendly fire’
T. V. Is the place where the pursuit
Of happiness has become the pursuit of trivia
Where toothpaste and cars have become sex objects
Where imagination is sucked out of children
By a cathode ray nipple
T. V. Is the only wet nurse
That would create a cripple
Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation”
Tame Impala – Cause I’m a man
This is one of my favourite songs of 2015!
Makes me think of how we got to be in a culture where male values still govern the world: where it is still mainly about competition, not cooperation; data not empathy; personal status instead of collective good.
We urgently need more women in powerful positions, but we need to create a selection environment that allows the uptake of more feminine values instead of female ‘fit and conform’ strategies. And for that to happen we need more brave men that are bold enough not to let their feminine side to be overruled
“Cause I’m a man, woman
Don’t always think before I do
Cause I’m a man, woman
That’s the only answer I’ve got for you
Cause I’m a man, woman
Not often proud of what I choose
I’m a human, woman
A greater force I answer to
Once again, as it takes a hold
I am aware I’m not in control
You see, I have a conscience and it’s never fooled
But it’s prone to be overruled
You wanna know what I always think I’m bind by
You never accept defeat or let it slide
But I have no voice if I don’t speak my mind
My weakness is the source of all my pride, I’ll tell you why”
MGMT – Kids
While the papers are full of the small Syrian boy that drowned in pursuit of a life without war, I can’t seem to shake this song out of my my head.
Isn’t life about making the world a better place? Can you be happy in a failing world?
Trees make oxygen, bees pollinate, birds sing, flowers paint colour,… What do we humans do to make our home a better place?
“You were a child
Crawling on your knees toward it
Making momma so proud,
But your voice was too loud
We like to watch you laughing,
You pick the insects of plants
No time to think of consequences
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanted
To be haunted”
Netsky – We can only live today
Makes me think of the short-termism that still rules the world. And – at the same time – also the fact that today is the day that we need to implement solutions, not tomorrow… Also links up to the theme of our ARTS project: cities in transition. How come we have allowed our lives to be one big highway? How come cities are designed to fit cars not people (aren’t they just means that get us from A to B)? Great song to dance to though!
“Water runs in one direction
Colors change in the light of day
Our lives’ are one big high way
And we can only live today”
Hot Natured – Benediction
Here‘s another one with an irresistible groove! Even though I love urban life in many respects, the concrete gets to me… It is nature where my love has found its home. Time to bring nature back into our cities.
“I feel like my love has found a home
In this place I know that I belong
I feel like my love has found a home
Benediction in my mind benediction in my heart and soul”
Daft Punk – Lucky
Let’s finish on a more positive note!
“We come too far to give up who we are, so let’s raise the bar and our coups to the stars!”.
Need I say more? Did you know Pharrell is collaborating with Al Gore to promote more awareness about climate change? We need more mash-ups like this one! More Pharrell Williamses that cross-pollinate with transitioneurs! Also, great floor filler
“Like the legend of the Phoenix
All ends with beginning
What keeps the planet spinning
The force from the beginning.
We’ve come too far
To give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar
And our coups to the stars”