Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Conform or be cast out..."

On a dreary humid July evening, Pam and I headed in to town for a midnight movie at the historic State Theater. The Traverse City Film Festival was founded by film maker (and local resident) Michael Moore and offers a really great selection of independent, foreign and documentary films. It's definitely a staple on the list of things to do in northern Michigan in the summertime. After five summers of living in Traverse City, this was the first time we've had the chance to participate in the film festival.

After holding up in the "stand by" line for about twenty minutes, we were treated to free tickets to "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage." Pam is not a huge Rush fan but graciously agreed to go with me to the late night screening. We settled in to our plushy seats and feasted on soda and popcorn. The really bad one-man guitar act before the movie did little to deter us and was quickly forgotten when the directors of the movie took the stage for an intro. The movie was an awesome chronicle of the bands beginnings, development and maturity within their own brand of rock music. It had a great tempo, was filled with cool footage of the band (except for some really awful "artistic" video from the eighties), and, of course, was packed with great music. At the end, the directors again took the stage for a question and answer period and the whole presentation was fabulous. And, despite some trepidation, I think Pam really enjoyed it as well.

Still, as has been the case with most of my activities this summer, this movie caused me to reflect of some of the events of the past few months. Rush really was a different kind of band who did things their own way. I can't seem to get the lyrics of "Subdivisions" out of my head. "Conform or be cast out" the song goes, and this just keeps ringing in my head. In the movie, band members comment that this represented them as artists standing up against the machine of the establishment. In times like I've been experiencing lately, it has been hard to accept my role as a misfit but am reassured that "marching to my own drummer" has allowed me to be true to myself and my passions and beliefs. I think standing up for myself and what I believe in to be a wonderful trait and not a character flaw as the powers that be would imagine. So I get cast out from time to time...but I always seem to find a way to pick myself up and come back stronger than before. Sometimes I don't know how I can take so much. Perhaps it's knowing I have an outlet for my feelings - whether it's making my own art, listening to music, or relating to stories of perseverance. In any case, it is the struggle that keeps me going and the belief I have in myself.

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone
Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone

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