In the latest edition of Now! Magazine, there was this seemingly small blurb – right alongside the main page being a “Learn to draw Drake” feature. Like I’d want to draw Drake.
In a small section on this page was a small bit titled “Godspeed you! party poopers”. I’d never heard of the band ‘Godspeed You! Black Emperor’ before. A person can only follow so much music, so it’s inevitable that some is going to escape me. Turns out they had won the Polaris prize this year for Canada, which is a pretty big deal. A $30,000.00 prize, and quite a lot of publicity at a swank party.
They decided not to show up for the following reasons:
“Organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn’t serve the cause of righteous music at all.”
And “asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS FUCKING INSANE and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.”
To me, this is a seriously impressive statement! I could not possibly agree more with all of their points. It sums up in a nutshell exactly how our current society puts the blinders on about the most important things going on right in front of our eyes daily. Huge kudos to them for giving away their prize money and ignoring the party and publicity to make a really, truly important statement. The fact that Now! Magazine clearly didn’t get it, despite the fact that they claim to be a big left wing, social change sort of organization speaks volumes about their priorities. If I had been editor, this would have been much bigger news, putting them in a very good light. But then again, that’s exactly the reason I’d never be in charge of such a thing in the first place.
I believe this world is going insane. But I’m glad to know there are people out there who make public statements in this fashion when given the opportunity. Thanks guys for saying what you did. It absolutely made my day to read this.
In case the link goes down, here’s a snapshot of the article: