Cheer the Hell Up
The Theopoetics of David Byrne
"It may seem like there isn’t a whole lot to be positive about in 2018, but amidst all the chaos there’s hope. David Byrne believes there are actually a lot of encouraging things going on around the world—they’ve given him hope and inspired a new record, and he’d like to share them with you. He’ll be presenting them live, by way of a talk and visual presentation.
David Byrne on Reasons to be Cheerful
"I imagine, like a lot of you who look back over the past year, it often seems as if the world is going straight to Hell. I wake up in the morning, I look at the paper, and I say to myself, "Oh no!" Often I’m depressed for half the day. It doesn’t matter how you voted—on Brexit, the French elections or the U.S. election more than a year ago—many of us of all persuasions and party affiliations feel remarkably similar. This feeling is not confined to one side of the political spectrum. As a kind of remedy to this, and possibly as a kind of therapy, I started collecting news that reminded me, "Hey, there's actually some positive stuff going on!" I will share thoughts, images and audio relating to this initiative and I’ll welcome contributions from others. "
David Byrne and Theopoetics
theopoetics "is an interdisciplinary field of study that combines elements of poetic analysis, process theology, narrative theology, and postmodern philosophy." (Wikipedia)
theopoetic exploration: imagining the world as it is and can be, without the merest hint of dogmatic certainty,
performed in a spirit of playfulness, by means of the arts, aimed at introducing novel ideas, which often look a little crazy at first, and some of which, if acted upon, can help bring about "a just world where spirituality and creativity work together." (Jay McDaniel)
theopoetic faith: living with a sense of radical contingency, receptive to the possibility that the universe is enfolded in an ongoing life, in whose consciousness we participate through wonder, questioning, a sense of justice, compassion, and humor. This ongoing life likewise lives with a sense of radical contingency, because all living beings have creativity, and the future cannot be known in advance. The ongoing life, while not all powerful, is a perpetual source of fresh possibilities. (Process Theology)
theopoetic tourism: having the epistemic humility to acknowledge that, even as you might desire to be fully immersed in life, you are also, in some respects, a spectator, looking around you with an awareness that, after all, you, too, are temporary and contingent, and that you will never return to your mother's womb, as comfortable as it was. (An idea developed by David Byrne in "Everybody's Coming to My House.")
theopoetic spirituality: becoming as fully alive in this life as you can, relative to the circumstances of your life, as animated by touches of transcendence, which often occur spontaneously while listening to music and engaging in theopoetic explorations. May or may not include theopoetic faith. May or may not be associated with one or another of the many world religions. Available to believers, un-believers, and the vast majority in between. (Jay McDaniel)
David Byrne: theopoetic explorer who may or may not have theopoetic faith, but who is indeed a theopoetic tourist, who invites countless forms of theopoetic spirituality, some of which are cheerful.
American Utopia: The Album
"This album is indirectly about those aspirational impulses. Sometimes to describe is to reveal, to see other possibilities. To ask a question is to begin the process of looking for an answer. To be descriptive is also to be prescriptive, in a way. The act of asking is a big step.
A Song from American Utopia
What the Songs in American Utopia are About
One Reason American Utopia is Important
I wish I was a camera
Those Who Guard the Colors
Another Reason the Cheer the Hell Up
"If you're not familiar with color guard, you're not alone: Byrne told the New York Times he estimated it was "completely unknown to 98 percent of New Yorkers." For the uninitiated, color guard is a form of beautifully melodramatic flag-waving, saber-tossing choreography. (Virginia's McLean High School has a helpful introduction in the form of its color-guard recruitment video.)"
-- Bob Boilen, NPR