Friday, October 21, 2022

Lifting the Shroud

Katla Vigdís, 2018, Iceland Airwaves
“In the future—not the distant future, but ten years, five—people will remember the internet as a brief dumb enthusiasm, like phrenology or the dirigible.” ~ Sam Kriss, The Internet is Already Over
I've read in the past that blogs are over; my site meter confirms that statement.

This situation begs the question: “Why continue persisting in this vainglorious enterprise?”

Answer: It’s a way of forcing myself to look at the meaning of reality in my existence.

I can (and do) consume plenty of internet content (and some of its discontent as well), but this blog is the stuff dreams are made of, a record of those dreams, three times a week. Whether it is worth looking at is another question. In ten days I’ll be in Iceland, the main reason is to catch The Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, a place where a bunch of other dreamers will show me their dreams. I was first made aware of the IAW in 2005, on the A woman without a man blog. I was intrigued by the idea that an international multi-day music festival, with well over one hundred acts, could be successfully held in a city of 200,000+ inhabitants in Reykjavík, the Northernmost capitol in the world. I went the following year and was enthralled. I’ve been to a couple more Airwaves since and have enjoyed them immensely. This year’s trip is a bit of an anomaly: I had an unused ticket to Iceland (due to a Covid cancellation) so I thought I would use it to revisit this three-day event, which has been on a two-year hiatus. It is back now, albeit diminished from five days in 2006.

So what keeps me doing it? Writing a blog and going back to Iceland to see and hear obscure musicians perform, often in unintelligible languages? My last visit (2018) had many memorable acts but also saw a disconcerting trend away from the quirky Icelandic music to more mainstream pop. There are fewer acts this year and, from the look of their videos, not many of them are promising. Still, a video is only a simulacrum of reality;  hope remains for a those few moments when the shroud of mundane existence is lifted and the miracle is made manifest.

By Professor Batty


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