1. Shout out in the Mild Brightness
Over the last decade, American Water has taken on a life of its own, yet I never really felt part of the virtual community that has formed around it, probably for the same reason that I played on it, and a bit part at that. But it followed me in strange ways. I get sent Facebook links to “Random Rules” where I get to see a cute blonde flapper woman miming my trumpet part. I avoid playing this song in my covers set, and save it for reunion shows with David. But, one night, I broke my own rule.
I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic to those who were clearly hurt by the video, since the song is often heard as a renunciation of the merely sensual, but the belly dancers I’ve spoken to tell me that the trance they get into does that too. The woman’s hidden face may not look like power to some, but this begs the question: why are we even looking at a Youtube video in the first place?[i] When “The Wild Kindness” was recorded, the audience was much more the solitary person in bed with eyes closed. One has to fight a little more for that kind of connection with a recorded song these days, but why go after the girl (while on the other ‘hand’ praising the beautiful sad image of “Russian prima-donna danc[ing] slow on valium”)? Even if David himself were offended by this video, I’d still feel compelled to defend it. I usually try to spurn giving in to the debates on such comment boxes, but this time I had to write: