For New Years eve, Laura, a few freinds and I all went to hear Band of Horses at The Tabernacle in Atlanta. On the whole it was a great night and great show!
What got me though was the closing song the band chose for NYE: We are the world. Why you might ask would this song, one which was on the radio during much of my childhood and which we were told was about us and which many decry as the hopeful mantra of all future world peace bother me? Well, because I actually think that this song is part of what is now wrong with the world.
Yes, I believe that this song, along with the technological advancements of the Internet, the creation and popularity of mass social networking sites are chief among the reasons for much of the unhealthy forms of narcissim so prevelant in culture. You know, the kind which having been told we are the world actually believed it only to now be faced with a world that is neither ours nor the way we want it to be.
In a sense, as the first generation of adults that studies now show will undergo two midlife crisis, we are in the words of John Mayer, still waiting on the world to change; that is, waiting on the world to change into the world that we are.
And this is why the song bugged me so much: because standing in a room full of people like you, wearing t-shirts like yours, and feeling good about being the world has proven to do very little to actually change the world. In a sense, when one believes that the world should be like them, their greatest efforts are put to letting it become that way. But what if the real truth is that the world isn’t supposed to be anything like us, or anything like what we believe with our greatest ideals it should reflect? What if harmony and conformity and unity (to being us) really are just part of an opiate that somehow keeps us from truly engaging to make the world something completely different than us, or that it has ever been.
Maybe for me, that’s why I think Please (by U2) would have been a more dangerous way to close the show. But then again, maybe that’s just wanting the world to be like me.