"I was dreaming when I wrote this, so forgive me if it goes astray..." -Prince
2006 saw many crucial changes taking place: some dictators passing (Milosevic, Saparmurat, Pinochet, Saddam -- good riddance to all of them, though the nationalist fans of those in their respective home countries probably might disagree); more sadly, many musical & lyrical legends were gone too (Barrett, Lee, Brown, Leskinen, Laine). And not to forget the shameful murders of Anna Politkovskaya and Alexander Litvinenko, either. Global warming gave even more alarm signs with the increasingly worrying reports of polar glaciers melting and generally unsteady weather conditions all over the world (for example, here in Tampere we "enjoyed" a snowless Christmas and earlier in August a bitter stench of smoke lingering insistently in the air, caused by some Russian forest fires behind the Finnish border). As usual, trouble continued brewing in the Middle East and the big boys of global power politics kept threatening each other with nuclear missiles. Finland finally won the Eurovision Song Contest with the heavy metal monster Lordi, but very soon everyone except the most jaded media freaks and Markku got bored with the Lordi phenomenon. All in all, these twelve months felt like a much longer period of time, and it is more than probable 2007 will bring many more changes.
As we announce a new era of integrated e(c)lectronics, here’s pHinnWeb’s little survival kit/"manipHesto" for two-double-oh-seven; with a licence to kill, thrill or make ill.
We don't need music purists and wanky little fanboys furious over the relative merits of their favourite brands of organized noise (often called also "music(k)") and ignoring the rich world of sounds beyond their style ghettoes.
We don't need sad gothic robots wallowing in their misery: suicide is not a solution and the exaggerated cosmetics-enhanced misery is the best way only to secure some great laughs (a tip for all families, though: goths make great pets, are easy to take care of and maintain since they don't eat much, only need some cheap cider every now and then, and are totally content in their misery as long as you keep them warm and safe in their cage, appropriately covered with a black blanket, goths' eyes being very sensitive to light, let them listen to their Bauhaus CDs and remember to change their black leather pants or miniskirts often enough. The most important thing in a proper goth pet maintenance, though, is to keep any sharp objects away from them, to prevent children from witnessing their favourite cheery pastime, self-mutilation).
We don't need middleclass white B-boys fantasizing of guns and drive-by shootings, but we need to celebrate the fact that we don't live in ghettoes (yet), we still have a (relative) freedom to choose and the (potential) power to change things (our hero, a fifteen-year old Caucasian pimply-faced pimp gangsta lying passed out on the freshly laid minefield of street pizzas, his puffy jacket, mobile phone, wallet and brand new Timbaland shoes stolen, his XXXL-size pants down on his knees and a pool of urine slowly forming under him while he snores the night away blissfully ignorant, as always).
Also forest folkers are freely advised to search a hiding place deeper in their murky woods where they can strum away their acoustic guitars and toy instruments, and improvise to their art school student hearts' content.
Politically & culturally speaking...
We don't need bigoted power-hungry demagogues who tell the ignorant mobs that racial prejudice and chauvinist nationalism are an answer to society's ills, but we don't need to pretend we would be any better, either, but face our own prejudices and fears, and struggle them the best we can.
We don't need politicians choking on their official party line, in the end of the day only meant to secure their own hard-earned turfs. We don't need any wooden-tongued bureaucrats stumbling on red tape and drowning their sacrosanct stiff bodies under their mountains of forms, files and applications.
We may not even need traditional party politics, long ago alienated from ordinary people's lives, but we need to initiate the changes ourselves: in our immediate surroundings where we live and through our "unofficial", non-political networks around the ever-shrinking globe. For this we don't need any leaders who tell us how to get things done: no Presidents, no kings or queens, no "charismatic" reverends or "gurus", no war marshals or generals, no "trendsetters", no pop stars or Idols, no CEOs, bank managers or economy experts, no Führers.
We don't need market researches or trend barometers to tell us how to bring joy to our shallow lives by our "choices" as consumers. We don't need any dogmatist fanatics to think for us.
Yes, this list of "need nots" is so much defining ourselves through negation, so on a more positive note, also some things what we might actually need then for the pursuit of that ever-elusive happiness. We need to transcend the isolation and solitude of our provincial towns and the pecking orders of their petty-minded people with their little cliques. We need to break out of the tunnelvision. We need to stop whining (this very text probably included under this advice, too) and weeping to our pints, and start to seek for improvements and solutions instead.
We need ice cream castles with gossamer wings, more moustachioed Mona Lisas and ardent eclectronauts plunging fearlessly into the Drexciyan depths. We need more Zen, Dada and Gaga and less Britney Spearses without underpants. Tiny DJ-worshipping beatmatching-anal twerps of Platinum flee in horror as Kommandomix Eclectro crushes their otaku masturbatoriums like an amok-running 500 metres tall horny Decepticon juggernaut robot on a combination of Ayahuasca, mescaline and kerosine. Idols judges escaping the town smeared in tar and feathers, running for their lives. Godzilla's farts ignited by a flamethrower and roasting a certain well-known slimeball promoter from the Fenno-Scandic Arschloch. Did the little kid already suspect the real state of Emperor's new streetwear?
There's a God-shaped hole in your scientific rationalist-atheist worldview through which ufos and angels with their meditation crystals fly in, not to talk about poltergeists oozing stinky ectoplasm, Santa Claus in his sleigh and some other unnamed spirit entities only Danish cartoonists in their foolhardy bravery dare to give a form to. You try to arm yourself against the archaic onslaught of superstition with the collected works of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and Stephen Hawking, but it's too late for all your free-thinking positivism to save you, and your precise, exact clockwork-like universe crumbles like a dry cup-cake and the shadows on the walls of your Platonist cave start to close in on you as The Ontological Juggler plays around with the very foundations of your world -- where you once thought everything was in its place. Yes, rationalist boy: this is the new era. Accept chaos.
OK, kiddoes: writing these very words, the present writer is well aware that this way he makes himself susceptible to derision from certain individuals laughing and snickering behind his back, but knowing these people's penchance to lazy, self-centred and self-absorbed passivity, he feels he's got nothing to be ashamed of in comparison.
For the Earth is burning, the time may be running out for this planet, and even though we might be in the middle of some elaborate cosmic joke, that is on all of us -- the gist of what we may never get -- we've got no other choice than to make the best of this desperate situation. E(c)lectricity runs through our veins in the blessed but not at all holy Western night; we are not saints or supermen, but we are not doomed yet, either.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2007... THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN.
(With a little help from Reverend Harri Teikka.)
And an optional soundtrack for this entry...
Sia: 'Breathe Me' (the finale from Six Feet Under, 2005)
(Warning for those who intend to watch the series in the future: this one contains spoilers.)
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