|Longshan Temple, Taipei|
The trip to Taipei was a business trip as well as a colossal culture shock for me. Everything was so different and yet so similar. On the connecting flight over there I saw the movie "Her" for the first time. Eerily, I had a feeling I actually landed into it, this vast city of the future. Though, admittedly, I had some issues with the local cuisine, I adjusted. The 2 weeks I spent there will not be forgotten anytime soon and I still miss the place and its people.
A week after I've returned, I moved to a new flat, a change long overdue. While some things in the new place can be better, even more can be worse. I do not quite feel at home here, but I've adjusted. More or less.
About three weeks ago the latest round in the seemingly endless regional conflict here has erupted again and we have been at war ever since. I write 'we' because although I'm just a regular civilian, this war seems to be focused on us, the regular civilians from both sides. It is us who are running for shelter when the missiles and rockets come, it is us who find ourselves homeless, it is us who suffer needlessly. And yet, we adjust. Some laugh about it, others grieve; the weak succumb to hate and despair (the net is full of vile and baseless hate; that and cats) and the dreamers... Sometimes I think it is only the dreamers who are truly awake and see reality; not this dismal reality, but reality as it can and should be. These dreamers are mocked, called traitors or cowards, a few are silenced forever.
We need more dreamers and men and women who can translate the dream into reality. On both sides. We need to understand each other and ourselves. We need to adjust to the present and build for the future, not the past.
I don't know how all of this will end. I used to think that the future was going to be better than this. This, this endless cycle we know already. It's time for something new.
It's a hell of a segue, but this blog is supposed to be focused (at least loosely) on music, so this post is dedicated to Henry Pope, among many things of Lemonwilde renown (covered here and here).
Pope has released a new EP last month ("Waiting") that has so far resisted being labeled as any particular genre or style, and yet it manages to weave together electronica, funk and hip hop and something else that perhaps can be termed "L.A.". The EP was created with Keaton Simons (Gnarls Barkley, Snoop Dog, Josh Kelley), Fernanda Karolys (Kinky, Nortec Collective), Sophie Holt (Govinda, Kraddy) and Parker Ainsworth.
Henry Pope is on Facebook and the EP can be downloaded here (Recommended).