Here Thar Be Monsters!

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Where The Hell Art Thou?

OK, OK, everyone just calm down.  Sheesh!  We stop posting for six months and you'd think the world was coming to an end...which it just might if NATO and ISIS get their ways.

Anyway, yes we haven't lashed our faithful readers with our trademark wry viewpoints since August last year, but we have damn good excuses!  To start with, right about the time we last gurbled on this site, we managed to contract typhus, amoebic dysentery and dengue fever, all in the space of six weeks.  We laid prone in a krankenhaus for 20 days having all sorts of witches' brews pumped directly into our veins, though the nurses were rather cute, so we didn't complain too much.

We managed to survive, though barely.  There were days when we were sure we would never assault our readers again, but much to your chagrin, dear reader, we muddled through.

Laundry lists of tropical diseases notwithstanding, we've also been hard at work completing and commissioning Jakarta's premier arts and entertainment complex - a $22 million exhibition hall, museum and live theater - called The Ciputra Artpreneur.  Projects of this size have a way of sucking up all of one's energy and free time, so we haven't had much left for our usual rants and raves in our little digital safe room here.

Yes, it's easy to sit around slinging bits and bytes telling everyone that they should do this and must do that to change the world, but it's a much bigger proposition to be an actual, real live positive force in the actual, real live world.

Just so the gentle reader knows, we put our actions where our mouth is.  We would never tell someone to do something we weren't willing to do ourselves.

What it all comes down to is this: what can you do to make the world a better place in your little part of the world.  We have explored the fact that the PTB are trying desperately to destroy culture, beauty and individual creativity.  It offends them that us sugar ants on their tables of privilege dare to improve the world, rather than destroy it, as they do oh-so-well.

Art is dangerous to the controlling class.  It is why they try so hard to destroy music, trash the fine arts and turn performace into celebrations of filth and baseness.  They can't stand that we seek to elevate ourselves and celebrate beauty and harmony.  They cringe that we seek rhythm and balance.  They shiek in horror when one of us dares to stand out as a force for good and joy.

Which is why we must do all in our power to achieve these things.

Their moda operandae are gore, hate, destruction, and filth.  They wallow in death and destruction like diseased swine, and must lower everyone else to their level so as not to feel the pain of their lack of humanity.  They dine on our pain and bathe in our suffereing.  Every soul they corrupt is another grotesque trophy on their mantle.  Can you imagine the profound emptiness they feel when just one of us rises above and creates something of beauty?

And so the responsibility falls on us, dear reader.  We do not need weapons.  We do not need harshness or force.  We do not need to fight fire with fire, for then we descend to their pit of Ultimate Evil.

Instead, we counter them with beauty.  We create and celebrate the creations.  We take the rubble of their hate and build new works of great Humanity.  We halt their onslaught with magnificent splashes of color and glorious strokes of sound.  We refuse to buy into their degradation, and instead support and encourage those who dare to greatness.

It is a shame that so many great artists have died in abject poverty, while others make vast fortunes trading on their work.  This is a symptom of greed and hate. 

Instead, we should buy a painting, commission a song, help publish a book.  Imagine if you took all the money and time used for lousy TV programs and crap movies and trash novels, and put it into supporting a local artist, writer or performer.  Suppose you helped send a child to music school, or helped a group of youngsters stage a great play, or offered to pay to publish another's first book?  What kind of ripples would that send through the world?  What great things would happen years from now because of that simple act?

The other day, I was in a meeting with a group of children, aged 11 to 17, who had formed their own quintet.  I listened to one lovely girl, 17, play Mozart on the violin.  I listened to another girl, 13, play Mendelsohn also on the violin.  I listened to a boy, 14, play Beethoven on the viola.  Their fingering and bowing was impeccable.  Their phrasing was interpretive and emotional.  Each told a short story about the composer and the background of their chosen pieces.  And they did it in flawless English, a second language for them.  The youngest member is a boy, aged 11, who plays the cello.  It is bigger than he is.

I'm going to hire them to play at the Ciputra Artpreneur Grand Opening Gala Event on 26 May, when the first Broadway musical ever (Disney's Beauty and the Beast) will open in Jakarta.

They deserve all the encouragement I can give them.