Thursday, May 01, 2008

Coachella Musings - Section B

Last Friday, I spent an amazing day in the desert, at the Coachella music festival, with my daughter and friends. I am so glad I went, I start smiling whenever I think about it.

The day we went, there were about 40,000 people in attendance, and as I commented, a whole lot of people far younger than myself. I will not shut myself off from the future - I want to embrace it.

Several days ago, the Gallop organization released a poll about the happiness of Americans. The results are mixed; it seems 49% of Americans are "thriving", while 47% are "struggling". As a point of comparison to more than 130 countries around the world, the percentage of citizens thriving ranges from 2% in Cambodia to 83% in Denmark. While the percentage of citizens suffering ranges from less than 1% in Denmark to 47% in Zimbabwe.

So, based on my observations, the Coachella crowd was not necessarily similar to the American public as a whole. Younger, more energetic, more idealistic. They actually believe we can change the world, cool the planet, and bring about world peace. Good for them, maybe we can!

In any case, perhaps it actually is fair to say that on any given day half of us are "thriving" and the other half are "struggling". And there we all were, sitting on the lawn in the bright, hot sun, standing to hear bands we loved, dancing under the misters to ward off the heat, relaxing in shade tents to good sounds. And one half of us are doing ok in life, and the other half are having a tough go of things.

What does it all mean? Where are we going, and who are we following on the way there? What is the point of it all?

Another Coachella moment of transcendence - the music of Swell Season, who we listened to under the stars. It was a magical experience. Their song, "Falling Slowly" won an Academy Award:

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time

Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice

You've made it now

Falling slowly sing your melody

I'll sing along
All those people gathered in the desert. Some thriving, some struggling. We've all still got time, and great hope.

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