Nick Triani brings a new playlist series to One Quart Magazine, Where Are We Now? A short essay accompanies each playlist - this month Triani ponders self interest in the face of insurmountable odds.
Where are we now # 1
Where are we now?
2022 eh? Bring back 2021, all is forgiven. That sounds trite, right? But in an ever increasing landscape of insecurity this year is winning the race to become a universal Annus horribilis. Wars, pandemic, mass poverty, inequality, right-wing ideology. An unchecked imminent environmental catastrophe that could be usurped by a nuclear one. It’s hard to find any faith in anything or anyone right now; faith that things will get fixed, that an equilibrium of peaceful co-existence where we can get on with that already challenging struggle called life gets any easier. Let’s not forget our own personal inadequacies, be they mental or medical or financial – all factors that can equally have a meaningful impact on our welfare.
It’s hard to find any faith in anything or anyone right now; faith that things will get fixed
I don’t have any answers, but have found solace in my family life, work, culture and football. In this respect I feel privileged that I can still indulge in my truest passions. Perhaps I’m not facing up to realities that could in a moment change for the worse, but that’s the way I find myself able to get by. In this ‘looking after oneself’ mindset that I’ve nurtured, I can retain a level of happiness. I won’t beat myself up about it, life is hard and it’s really OK to be nice to yourself. And what are societies and leaders all about but serving this era of self-interest? It’s partially the reason why we’re in this bloody mess.
I’m all for diplomacy and white flags
To Nato or not to Nato
Of course, the impending doom we are all feeling from Russia’s invasion in Ukraine always brings about the worst and a certain type of desperation in people. The abandoning of clear-eyed rationale, jettisoned instead for the life jacket approach – a sense of (false?) security. The rampant warmongering we are all facing and experiencing, the narrative that we’re all safer with more war (or at least being ready for war); this needs serious consideration. If I claim that we must stop all wars and disarm and abandon all nuclear weapons, apparently I’m colluding with the enemy. The enemy can be unreasonable in a “I don’t give a fuck about anything” way, but they stand for the exact opposite of my core beliefs and my very being. We should all take a deep breath before casting such dispersions of collusion against people who want none of this craziness. I’m all for diplomacy and white flags.
But still I can close my eyes
With my almost-white-privilege, I can make a choice to get lost in something else. This doesn’t mean I don’t empathise or feel a genuine sense of horror as to what’s unfolding in our part of the world. I feel it, I just can’t take it all the time. When I feel so out of sync with the prevailing mood, I’ll bury my head in the sand. I’ll listen to music. There has been a lot of it this year; new music and new discoveries, old friends found and a return to enduring sounds. The playlist is my May mood, something that brings me peace of mind amongst the near constant turmoil.
Nick Triani is an editor and contributor to One Quart Magazine.
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