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Watch this music video. It’s lovely. You may know the song.

If you don’t find that beautiful and moving, then either you’re dead inside, or I’m way more of a hippy than I give myself credit for.

(Or possibly your tastes in music and art just diverge substantially from mine. I suppose it needn’t be anything dramatic.)

What still strikes me about this video is how little happens in it, and what a disproportionate effect it has.

The music itself is rather lovely, and although I’m paying as little attention to the lyrics as I generally do, no doubt they’re also very sweet. But the video is wonderful, charming, delightful, inspiring, adorable, heartening. If you were ever inclined to doubt that world is capable of beauty and kindness, seeing this will put any such fears to rest in just a couple of minutes.

Which is odd, because all you’re seeing is some people you don’t know, sitting on a sofa, listening to a song on some headphones. Sometimes they smile at each other, enjoying a shared joke, or chuckling at the artificial nature of the situation. There’s the odd glance of recognition between them, perhaps after a particular lyric connects in some way. One person just sits and holds a framed photograph.

That’s all there is. It’s barely anything at all. It’s a simple, unremarkable series of snapshots of perfectly ordinary people doing something perfectly ordinary for a brief moment in their lives. And it’s one of the most moving things I can think of.

Which I think means that, somewhere, a small bunch of musicians and filmmakers have tapped into a staggeringly important and borderline magical power of the human mind.

Seriously. I mean, how can it not be? The world is fucking horrible, you guys. Terrible things that should make any sane person want to abandon this whole spinning space-rock and go live on an ice moon somewhere are happening every day, all over the place. Citation utterly superfluous. Pick any half-dozen comments at random from basically anywhere on the internet. Watch an American news channel for as long as you can stand. Learn a single fact about the international arms trade. Everything is so far from optimal it’s terrifying.

But then you can look at some people being people for a couple of minutes while a man plays guitar and sings a nice song, and it all seems okay.

Even a shared experience as small and easily attainable as this, is enough to make us feel connected. It lets us feel like those people we’re watching are happy and splendid and that everything’s alright because the world is full of happy splendid people just like them. (You have to assume that they’re listening to the same song that we are, anyway. It probably loses its impact a little if you turn the sound off and imagine they’re spacing out to some dubstep.)

My threshold for having my perspective shifted to allow me to see the world as a place of beauty and love and joy and potential and hope is phenomenally low. The littlest, simplest thing can remind me of so much good, and make me feel like it’s all so valuable and important and wonderful.

That sounds like a fucking superpower to me. And it’s made all the more powerful if, as I strongly suspect, billions of other people share it.

There’s a lot that goes on in the world which is horrible and frightening and sad. But it can’t truly be without hope, or beyond redemption, while it can so easily seem wonderful again.

Classroom discussion questions

1. Ugh. Just how much of a drip am I?

2. Yeah, but go watch that video again. I’m going to.

3. Life’s not so bad, eh?

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And now, a musical interlude

I guess I don’t take that many breaks from atheism or social justice or whatever’s interesting me this month and just blog about cool stuff I’ve been enjoying. Except for grand occasions like getting a cat. Have you seen my cat lately? She’s awesome.

But, speaking of awesome, have some songs. Two tracks spring to mind lately, which give me some hope for the young people of today, with their hippity-hop rap battling and their refusal to get off my lawn despite my numerous protestations to that effect. I’m sufficiently old and out of touch that I don’t know who any of the people I’m about to link to are – I have no idea whether “Avicii” is a person, or a bunch of people, or some other construction entirely – but not so old that I can’t enjoy a thing they did.

This is Avicii, apparently:

Not really troubled about the song, but the video is joyous. I need a to-do list like that.

And here are some other people, one or many of whom may be called Macklemore:

I don’t know why any of this appeals to me. Musically, it shouldn’t do. As much as I don’t tend to focus on lyrics, I think if the subject matter here were just more of the usual rap fare I wouldn’t be remotely interested. But something about the celebration of anti-bling makes it fantastically catchy.

Also, an accidental common theme to both these videos: curvy girls who don’t give a fuck are totally hot.

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When the planes hit the twin towers on…

Actually, you know what? I don’t have anything to say about 9/11 which hasn’t already been said a billion times all over the internet, and which isn’t being repeated another trillion times today in blogs and newspapers and angst-milking TV news shows.

So let’s just listen to theme tunes from NES games with a bunch of lyrics added to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because fuck terrorism, that’s why.

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Eventful

It’s time for bed, but very quickly before I go, a brief run-down of what happened to me today.

I went to work as usual, and decided to post another quick plug to this blog post, which I wrote yesterday, to my followers on Twitter.

A few minutes later, I noticed that it had been re-tweeted by the fantastically talented comedian Marcus Brigstocke, of whom I’ve been a fan for years, and who used the phrase “Best thing I’ve read in a while” to publicise my post to his followers. He also sent a reply message to me personally, describing it as a “blinding bit of writing”.

It was then also re-tweeted by a few hundred more people.

I seemed to have struck something of a chord.

I spent a good few minutes fanning myself, saying things like “lawks-a-mercy”, and being otherwise moved to strange behaviour by such deeply moving flattery.

I acquired about fifty new followers in short order, and did my best to be sociable and interact with some of the people chatting about me and what I’d written. (I’ll reply to the comments on the blog post itself tomorrow.)

I made a comment about being internet famous now, but worried that this kind of famous lasts nearer 15 seconds than 15 minutes, and speculated how I should best capitalise on this fleeting moment of attention. I then embarked on a surreal series of tweets describing my time in the Platinum Members’ Zone for internet celebrities, rubbing shoulders with various other fads. It went like this:


Woohoo, I’m in the Platinum Members’ Zone for internet famous people. My pass expires literally any minute now. Better get mingling!

There’s so many cool people back here. You guys are missing a great party. @chrismeredith, Numa Numa guy says “hallo”.

Keyboard cat?? I’d heard you were dead!

Ack, Star Wars Kid just spilled my drink. Stop waving that damn thing around! Ooh, I found the Pringles. Back in a few, everyone.

Okay, I’m back. And I can see why they drugged that kid at the dentist. He is not a great party guest. Really loud and quite rude.

Look man, whatever your name was, just *chill*. Britney’s not even here. Nobody’s bothering her. She’s fine. Have another daiquiri.

Okay, you do it, then I’ll say the thing…………… YA RLY!! Ha, that was classic. Thanks, I bet you get asked to do that all the time.

Wait, who invited *Hitler* to this thing? And what’s he so angry about? This is really killing the buzz. Maybe it’s time to go.

But I haven’t even met Rick Astley yet! Or danced on treadmills! (Seriously, *Hitler*? What were they thinking?)

Oh no, Keyboard Cat’s coming back over here. Don’t you dare play me off, don’t you- aw, dammit! You vicious, adorable bastard.

Guess the party’s over for me. Thanks for getting me in, though. Wouldn’t have happened without all you guys.


Then I actually got some work done for a bit.

And then I ventured off into London to see Nerina Pallot perform live, who was and is utterly fabulous. I should start going to more live music, because it was a fantastic set, including a surprise and surprisingly charming turn from Diana Vickers.

Then I came back here, and checked out the visitor stats for my blog for today, which looked like this:

And then I went to bed.

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It’s the weekend, so I’m being expectedly lazy. Suffice it to say for now that The Ditty Bops are incomparably creepyawesome.

That’s it.

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