Friday, May 11, 2007

older men

on tuesday, I took up tish's offer of going to see a death metal show. she's not a metalhead (per se), but loves music and a good spectacle. the first two bands, devil driver and unearth, didn't do much for me. hair whipping, insane drumming, testosterone fuelling; trash metal is what I would call it. there was no drama, no sport, no tension with the audience. that all changed when dimmu descended upon us. I didn't expect the members of dimmu to be so old, and I wonder if that was his real voice after 20 years as a norwegian metal god, but they had more stage presence than any one of the raging young men from their opening acts.

on wednesday, I took up ted's offer of free dinner and drinks and a lecture by cbc's daily planet host & producer, jay ingram. starting the evening off was a live 3D animation that put ted to sleep--and he's enthusiastic about everything. the tour through the galaxy was great, but was rushed because of dinner.
the dinner and lecture itself wasn't much to talk about, being lectured to about how we as a society don't have the vocabulary for science, about how teenagers aren't developed in the frontal lobe yet, and how adult-to-adult conversations rank just higher than a farmer talking to his cow. ingram told us young folks (referring to the city of edmonton's nextgen group that co-presented the lecture with which I sat with) should start thinking critically. a nice sentiment, but no breakdown of the complexity of this idea came through.
it was a strange mix of business men and politicians, scientists from around the world, and a mishmash of Edmontonians who may also have stopped by for the freebie chicken. the one interesting point ingram made was that there was a large and growing disassociation between the general public and the knowledge and language of science. we can't critically think about anything if we do not understand what is being discussed, but I guess that's what happens when we sepearte the Science world from the Art world. Eg. the young man who tried asking about buckyballs is just one immediate reminder of how a modern mind, probably fluent, cannot put together enough words to ask a coherent question to a man he probably quite admires, and who in turn, could not sympathize with his audience in that awkward moment, and feel (critical or otherwise) for that poor and shamed young man.

and on thursday, I went to see paul-andré fortier dance a new solo work. one of the pioneers of modern dance (quebecois), he moved with power, grace, and a coldness that kept the group talking well into our pints. fortier, at 59(!), held an all-knowing power over his objects, moving through a landscape as he called it, and not a set. the lighting design was pristine, exact, very much like his movements, genius in all its greatness and alienation. boiling it down to the human body versus (and why does it have to be versus) light, fortier arguing that the human body is the strongest force, where as afterwards argument goes that light is always the strongest force. a beam of light eventually ends, much like any other energy, man or otherwise, and I suppose in common, neither force can feel or see itself fade as it stretches on in continuity.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007