4 Degrees

by

I miss blogging. I realized that one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging much lately is that I’ve built it up as some sort of big time investment — posts need to be essay-like, and most of the longer pieces I want to write are tough.

The world is difficult right now. There’s a fresh upheaval every week — Brexit, Istanbul — and mostly I want to step back and watch or listen and not add my voice to the cacophany. There’s enough discord and not enough constructive action.

I realized that I frequently update Twitter and Facebook with images, links, and anecdotes, so I’m trying an experiment — I’m going to treat this more like microblogging and see how that goes instead and just write about whatever is immediately on my mind.

July is concert season in Switzerland, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Prince was a longtime Montreux Jazz performer, and I’d always sort of assumed he’d be a surprise guest for the anniversary. Obviously not.

We’re going to two shows this year. Tomorrow night’s is the first: a performance by Anohni, formerly known as Antony of Antony and the Johnsons, who recently came out as trans.

Her new (spectacular) album is called Hopelessness, which is unfortunately appropriate for our times, and she sings about climate change and drone bombs and other contemporary crises. Anohni has an incredible voice, and the album is completely disconcerting because she sings about the apocalypse as catchy pop, so you find yourself in this weirdly complicit act of singing and dancing along to songs like this:

It’s only 4 degrees, it’s only 4 degrees
It’s only 4 degrees, it’s only 4 degrees
It’s only 4 degrees, it’s only 4 degrees
It’s only 4 degrees, it’s only 4 degrees

I wanna see this world, I wanna see it boil
I wanna see this world, I wanna see it boil
It’s only 4 degrees, it’s only 4 degrees
It’s only 4 degrees, it’s only 4 degrees

I wanna hear the dogs crying for water
I wanna see the fish go belly-up in the sea
And all those lemurs and all those tiny creatures
I wanna see them burn, it’s only 4 degrees

Yesterday Gizmodo summarized a recent report published in Nature about climate change:

Barring some incredible new carbon capture technology, the window for limiting global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius appears to have closed. That’s the stark conclusion of a report out in Nature today, which finds that the carbon reductions pledges penned into the Paris Agreement are ridiculously inadequate for keeping our climate within a safe and stable boundary.

I wanna see them burn, it’s only 4 degrees
I wanna see them burn, it’s only 4 degrees
I wanna see them burn, it’s only 4 degrees
I wanna see them burn, it’s only 4 degrees

I wanna burn them, I wanna burn them
I wanna burn them, I wanna burn them

I wanna burn the sky, I wanna burn the breeze
I wanna see the animals die in the trees
Ooh let’s go, let’s go it’s only 4 degrees
Ooh let’s go, let’s go it’s only 4 degrees
Ooh let’s go, let’s go it’s only 4 degrees
Ooh let’s go, let’s go it’s only 4 degrees

 

I’m looking forward to the show.

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