Sunday, June 5, 2011

Music of a Nation as a Weapon of Peace


IN June 6, 1949...

George Orwell's hellish novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is published.

This oft quoted work describes a world in which a totalitarian government controls the behavior of all, including the way one thinks:

War as Peace, Freedom as Slavery, Ignorance as Strength.

Interesting that since America's Bush administrations, several mirror images of some of Orwell's pages have been tried. One example was the "Office of Total Information"...and there have been several such tries since then...

Of course, there have been - still are - many and various ideologies, national governments and economies which have practiced - still seek to practice occupation and bullying if not gestures toward near-total control.

Human kind and kingdoms of all sorts still divide and try to conquer others considered lesser, weaker and desirable for certain resources such as oil, regional positions. (How often lately - all over the globe - this is happening and more often than ever with unexpected results.)

In some of these places the "powerful" still exaggerate, instigate and/or provoke chaos and fear in order to gain support from their own nations and from hoped for allies. (All the while, blind is the eye of those seeking to remove the motes from other eyes.)

Is there any non-violent antidote in our time?

Perhaps, if so, the form will be as unexpected and as near-miraculous as what happened barely over two decades ago in Estonia - a tiny country occupied by what seemed to Estonians and other Baltic nations the grip of endless death by a monster.

There seemed no way out...until the miracle of music, faith in a common and beautiful humanity took over...

Let me recommend an exceptional film which documents many simple yet profound acts of such selfless, limitless love.

If this is what patriotism could become, then I could grow to see such flag-waving in new light. If this is what can happen to ACTUAL Peace/Freedom/Knowledge - then bring it on full force. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, as noble as their methods, did not and do not have a market on non-violence and peaceful means.

Take a look at Estonia's utterly successful ousting of the Soviet totalitarian occupation of Estonia. If this were merely a utopian film, it would still stir up the soul with longing...

I can't find the words and emotions to express the exhilaration I had watching "The Singing Revolution" a few nights ago. If what is shown really happened - then perhaps this will happen again and again. Imagine that an entire nation could come together in one unprecedented wave of Unity minus hatred, Courage without bloody battles and (of all crazy happenings) BY POETRY in SONG - with noone as celebrity if not everyone a participant. Beauty, Freedom, Innocence and Traditions are all restored - a legacy of joy to young and old and land.

Here is the brief history: In 1989, during the "Singing Revolution", in a landmark demonstration for more independence, called The Baltic Way, a human chain of more than two million people was formed, stretching through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. All three nations had similar experiences of occupation and similar aspirations for regaining independence. The Estonian Sovereignty Declaration was issued on 16 November 1988[69] and formal independence declared on 20 August 1991, reconstituting the pre-1940 state, during the Soviet military coup attempt in Moscow. The Soviet Union recognised the independence of Estonia on 6 September 1991. The first country to diplomatically recognize Estonia's reclaimed independence was Iceland. The last Russian troops left on 31 August 1994.

Here are several ways to see a trailer and purchase the film:

Amazon with reviews - CLICK here

Intros on Singing Revolution website See News here and GO here

A must see - or let me know if you can't find access.

Let me know if you see this - how you feel, what happens to your vision of possibilities...

Disclaimer: I don't pretend to know if this film's documentation is fair and accurate or if Estonia will remain as noble as the film portrays...yet if even a few moments of the film's record is true - ie - that such beauty and unity can actually happen for an entire nation - this film has indeed begun a revolution of love for the planet entire not unlike other poets have begun in other times and places.

DO let the readers of this blogsite know what you feel/know/experience if you watch/watched this film or trailer and have heard the ecstacy of such unity and courage in this music.

Looks like older versions may be cheaply available indeed while newer makes aren't badly-priced.

Latvian Song Festival:


* I found the map on a site I understand as internet cache. If not, do let me know.


Connie L. Nash said...

Another "weapon of peace" might be journey-writing and memoir intertwined - at it's best that is - as in Sarai Shah's overall work so far. See the newest on the blogsite: No More Crusades....

Connie L. Nash said...

Aleksandor Solzhenitsyn stares at me from the abridged red white and black paperback "The Gulag
Archipelago". What a cynic not only of the East and of the tyranny of the "four decades of soviet terror and oppression" he wrote of and knew well from personal experience...yet also of the West's many parallel evils. I remember as a child how he criticized the hedonism in your face day after day when he lived briefly in the US.

He was also a cynic about the United Nations about which he said:

"It is a United Governments organization where..Governments stand equal...(those) freely elected, those imposed forcibly, and those who have seized power with weapons...the groans, screams and beseechings of humble, individual plain people (are) not large enough a catch for such a great organization. The UN made no effort to make the Declaration of Human Rights, its best document in twenty-five years, into an obligatory condition of membership confronting the governments. Thus is betrayed those humble people into the will of the governments which they had not chosen."


YET, what would we do without the UN, I wonder?

Connie L. Nash said...

While one of the most dedicated, smartest media person I know said to me that "today socialism has no template" we need to keep sorting out as we go that which tends toward the totalitarian, brutal, violent sort and that which merely seeks the age-old values of the common humanity and the need to protect not only the survival, good work and freedom of us all yet also the nurture of the sort of life and governments which allows for each to find personal and community meaning and calling and to sustain the same.