Okay, I know this is a bit of a departure from what I normally post, but WHAT IS THIS AND WHY DOES IT EXIST?!?!?
I find it hilarious that the BottleRock Napa Music Festival chose to appropriate the “Keep Calm and Carry On” motto used by the British Government during World War II in an attempt to boost morale after they had been bombed the FUCK out, into their own “Keep Calm and Bottle Rock On” bullshit… A slogan they slapped on t-shirts, posters, and spread online. A slogan that encourages the masses to turn a blind eye to their reality, and suggests a bright and prosperous future.
The saying is a historical joke, and saw a strange resurgence in popular culture about ten years ago. A sad piece of nostalgia was brought into the modern zeitgeist by a bookseller with good intent, who saw it become popular, and of course soon thereafter, misinterpreted and perceived as an encouraging and inspirational message.
The original campaign was a failure and a lie. It sought to blind the British public and create some kind of false strength, built out of the ashes and rubble that so much of the country was witnessing and living in. It offered a sense of ignorant hope, but for those that had lost their homes, their towns, and their loved ones, the catchphrase was a slap to the face. It was an effort by the British Government (The Ministry of Information specifically; a dubious sounding group if there ever was one) suggesting that everything is fine. And it so obviously wasn’t. The slogan was abandoned with haste, and only existed as a sad anecdote for those who lived through it until recently.
So. BottleRock, the organizers, and their PR/Marketing/Social Media Team…
They rode an old and tired meme to its grave for the sake of advertising, and in a turn of beautiful (and EXTREMELY unfortunate for the unpaid vendors) irony, they are finding themselves unable to pay their bills, and are probably using revenue from FAR IN ADVANCE tickets for next year’s festival (which MAY not occur) to cover their debts from this past May’s inaugural event. Ponzi-Madoff comes to the West Coast.
There are some that might think it’s just a “thing,” and it doesn’t matter that much, and who cares where it comes from, and it’s kind of clever, and it’s catchy, BIG DEAL. I do. I care. And you are wrong.
In John Waters’ book “Role Models,” he says:
"If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ‘em!"
I wholeheartedly agree. But on a more current, and soon to be outdated level…
"If you go home with somebody, and they have anything related to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ hanging on their walls on printed on a mug or t-shirt… Don’t fuck ‘em."
It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.
Kanye’s response to the question:
“But has that instinct led you astray? Like the Taylor Swift interruption at the MTV Video Music Awards, things like that.”
from this NY Times interview.
HAAAAA. It’s been a while since I was a big fan of his music and work, but I may never stop enjoying his ego and oblivion and… hubris.
There is a much larger conversation to be had about creative celebrities and their ability to speak (or lack there of), and how many of them are actually excellent at only one very specific thing and are incredibly inept at everything else that it is to be a human, but I won’t touch that now.
Just felt like I needed to enjoy and share Kanye’s love of awesomeness.