Violently Non-Violent

I am very glad I am not in Toronto this weekend. With the core of city shut down, half from protesters, the other half from security, there would not be much to do. From the photos I see of the protests, I start to get very angry at these yahoos who come from miles around to turn the city I grew up in into their own personal playground.

Unfortunately, one of the big problems I've seen with regards to large scale protests is that the people at the top have no power(or desire?) to stamp out the douchebags in the group. There is little denouncing of the violence, and at times it's almost encouraged.

In some of the protests I've bene involved in, much tamer affairs with more specific goals and interests, some of the speakers that had been organised tried to point the crowd's anger at other, larger things(GWB was a popular target). The crowd promptly shut them down with chants reminding the speakers and the organisers of what the protest was actually about. The speakers then shut up and moved on.

That is the sort of thing that seems to be lacking in the aimless G20 protests. Lack of unified interest and lack of crowd control.

In fact, this gives me an idea:

If anything this big comes through Toronto again, I think I might organise something of my own. Not a counter protest, really, more of a volunteer security force. Violently maintain the non-violence of the protest. If any "Black Bloc" or other asshats start throwing rocks at the cops or breaking windows or otherwise cause excessive nuissances of themselves, I'd have myself and a few organised individuals photograph their acts, tackle them, unmask and photograph their faces, and then escort them out of the protest. Second offense is being handed to the police.

Again, this would not be a counter protest. This would be to ensure that it stays non-violent. Part of the obscene billion dollar price tag for the security is to deal with the violent fringe that always seems to show up. The less the cops have to deal with such shit themselves the less stressed they are, and calm cops are not a bad goal to have with regards to large, multi-national protests.



So, d'Archangel had a pretty awesome gig last night. We were very tight musically, there was good energy among the fans, the other bands were good, and there was that good feeling among the band you only get after something goes well.

Naturally, this has me worried. No good deed goes unpunished, after all, and I fear for what critics will say once we actually get big and exposed(I know it will happen: I am occasionally allowed to be optimistic).

Don't get me wrong, criticism and feedback are an important part of any kind of creative process. You want to make things that people will want to consume, and you also want to make things that fellow creators will appreciate. But the modern system of delivering that information tends to lead to alot of bad blood. All you need to do is spend some time on the forums of particular-popular-media of choice. Gaming forums are especially bad for this. There will always be people who are just never happy. Ever.

There is a SERIOUS sense of entitlement among fans. In fact, make that just about everybody with disposable income. I forget the exact source and verbatim, but I read a fantastic quote that sums up a lot of this entitlement sentiment: "Suburbs have no problems, so the residents have to create their own." You see this a lot with student politics, office politics, etc. The fights are so vicious because the stakes are so small.

d'Archangel is trying to avoid the interpersonal drama of this phenomenon by having it be band policy that we remain cool, but we have no control over fan reactions. That's why now I want our fans to enter this deal: d'Archangel will always strive to make awesome music and be fun, easy going guys; you fans need to like our music because you think its awesome and be cool to everybody. Just Be Excellent to Each Other and we will do the same thing.

One of my big concerns for the future generations of voters and government is that with more and more activity occuring over the internet, political discourse is starting become a lot like the unpleaseable fanbase. Let's not go there, please.


Value of Theatre

I think my being involved with theatre and hanging out with theatrically inclined people has done quite a lot to open me up. For the longest time I was(and still am a bit) very introverted and shy. It was always hard for me to break the ice and meet new people. All of that really started to change my first year of FASS.

People involved with theatre(whether cast or crew) have a tendency to be more out- and easy-going than your average dude. Through getting to know a lot of the people in FASS, and by extension KWLT, I have become much mroe adept at making new friends, being comfortable in a group, and all that jazz.

I have been involved with music for much longer than I was with theatre, but the dynamic is very different. With music, while you may associate with a lot of people on a regular basis, you only work with a few at a time. In theatre, you are likely working with a substantially larger group. Not to say that music does not have a valuable dynamic: You get to know those few people REALLY well, and that has its own challenges.