My wife and I went to see “Dirtsong” last night at UC Davis. Here are some of my unconnected thoughts.
Thankfully, the music was beautiful, because it took me half the concert to ignore the fact that I was surrounded by Progressive Liberals who recently celebrated the violent suppression of free speech at UC Davis and UC Berkeley. I kept having visions of taking over the stage and berating the audience, “This is what it feels like to be lectured by an asshole protester. Maybe you should remember this the next time a campus event you dislike is shut down by an asshole you happen to agree with.” Naturally, I didn’t do that because I’m not an asshole Leftist protester.
Most of the songs were sung in some aboriginal dialect, and thus there was no context to the silent movies of staring faces that confronted us throughout the performance. The audience was left with only our emotional devices to process the information, which was probably the intent of the entire program.
The silent movies were occasionally accompanied by slogans about “old law” and the land. One slogan that spoke to me was “I will never be like you. I am not your way.” I found that refreshing, but I couldn’t help wondering how “old” and “natural” a law has to be before Liberals will embrace it.
The band was all white men playing western instruments. It felt like reverse cultural appropriation (yes, I know that’s a “racist” thought), but I suppose it was meant as a symbol of the white man’s appropriation of aboriginal land.
One of the two songs sung in English was about “you will never take my land.” So that cleared things up a bit, although some reviews say the performance is all about “black and white solidarity.”
Leaving the concert, I wondered if the despair over losing “old cultures” will ever end, and why “Progressives” who love this sort of despair are always talking about “unity” and “forward.” It should be possible to celebrate history and culture without trying to destroy your own. But maybe I’m just a white oppressor.
Again, the music was beautiful. The women’s voices were powerful and uplifting. The silent movies were fascinating. The faces were unforgettable. But it was impossible for me to ignore that the performance took place in a milieu that Leftists have created on university campuses – which is explicitly designed to exclude people who have the “wrong” opinions about music, art, culture, and the world at large.
At least I got to enjoy 25% of the concert. And that was enough, because the tickets were free.