Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Jimi Hendrix Documentary (1989)

This is an interesting documentary (1989) of Jimi Hendrix [born Johnny Allen Hendrix; 1942–1970], arguably the greatest rock guitarist of his generation. That he died at such a young age, 27, only makes his death more tragic, and it matters little if this follows the arc of Greek tragedy or our modern understanding of it.

We talk about a candle burning brightly, of the light that a person gives in his lifetime. The curse and loneliness of genius, it is called. His life, however, was not tragic; he seemed to enjoy it, especially when performing. Sure, he was a flawed individual, but all real people, especially artists, are (think of Mozart, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Dante).

The real tragedy today is that not many people can and do enjoy life in a sincere way—that is, to be themselves. Even the sincerity and authenticity is manufactured, and very badly done in such a obviously disingenuous fashion. We like our entertainers managed, safe and neutered, fearing real emotion and thoughts; spontaneity is considered bad, unless it is planned. Changing one’s mind or views is considered morally bad and counter-productive, notably if this goes against the grain. Such shows free thinking, always dangerous. Does mainstream society truly accept originality?

Think about this. Original thoughts are acceptable and lauded as long as they are mainstream and laundered (whitened or bleached) for commercialization; unadulterated originality is marginalized and ridiculed. Under such a policy of self-censorship and self-denial, the ideal is achieved when all persons hold the same views, that is, the only ones deemed right and moral by society’s gatekeepers. Conformity and consistency is more easily understood and managed when people follow everyone else.

Even birds do not belong in bird-cages.  (Do humans need to be managed?) Then we wonder, shaking our heads in judgement & contempt, why “they” act so badly in their private lives.