By Father John Misty; photo by Emma Garr on April 11, 2013
Historically, festivals have been a way for a culture to collectively throw off the shackles of their mores, taboos and any other number of social institutions that contribute to a functional and safe civilization. In this vacuum of order, sexual hedonism; chemical experimentation; gluttony; drunkenness; and excess become commonplace and sanctioned expressions of participation.
Modern music festivals are perhaps the most dubious example of this type of Dionysian collective celebration, with their Gestapo-style security, rigid scheduling, mandatory proof of identification, insurance concerns and adherence to the profit model. Our consumer masters have deemed fit, however, to unload “free swag” onto us to demonstrate their willingness, as corporate “citizens,” to join in on the fun and throw proverbial caution to the wind.
All in all, a pretty bleak state of affairs, but your mind is still a magical motherfucker, even if you’ve fried it with a steady diet of reality television and social networking news feeds about the Mayan calendar.
My antidote to being lulled into the semi-narcoleptic and docile state, ideal for consuming, that your masters wish to induce in the fully immersive commercial (FIC) that is the modern music festival is to retreat into the mind. This is the same exercise that served as the impetus for almost all of the existential music and philosophy we use as a cornerstone for modern “individuality.”
Here I have outlined some steps.
We all know that water is important; heck, some people (Communists) believe that our bodies are made up of as much as 75 percent water! How does it all fit in there? Anyway, what people tend to forget is that Brexers (the scientific name of the tiny maladaptive phantoms that live in our bloodstream and are responsible for depressive thoughts, occasional increases in foot motor skills, etc.) can only be drowned. Bear this in mind out there in the hot sun. Some branches of Brexer theology propose that the Sun is something of an interventionist deity, who, if appeased through ritual and understanding, steals water from our bodies on their behalf.
Ladies, be sure to wear fringed Indian boots, huge sunglasses, a big floppy hat and plenty of bohemian bric-a-brac while you tell as many strangers as you can about the very real threat of Brexers and their animistic, fringe Solar-cult sensibilities. If people seem resistant to your advice, bear in mind they are probably on ecstasy and that simply by screaming, “Drown your Brexers!” repeatedly, there is an excellent likelihood of saving their lives.
Rock bands in America are sleeper hegemony agents for a brand of Satanism that was thought to have been eradicated nearly a millennia ago. Many of the messages most common in current American indie and “Skrillex” music are engineered to prepare the malleable mind of the listener for what is referred to in modern times as “Branding.” Some of the lyrical phrases most often-used for this purpose include:
- “You make it so easy”
- “But now you’ve changed”
- “Help me to make it”
- “I told you I would stay”
- “Look into my eyes”
- “I don’t understand”
Repeatedly listening to messages of this nature eventually leads to a state of mind that is frail, sentimental, prone to victimization and ripe for the possession of demonic forces from antiquity. Be sure to include ear plugs in your knapsack, or borrow a robotic helmet from any number of the performers on-site. Be mindful, however, not to interrupt them while they are checking their email onstage.
No one understands you, your capital for friendship is mostly concerned with things outside of your control, the oil is running out, technology is isolating us all, America is a super-power in name only, money will always taint your values, no one really listens outside of their vested interest in being perceived as someone who listens and the speakers of truth will always die too early, so it’s important to remember to set aside time each day, even at a music festival, for a little “me-time.”
Here are some suggestions:
- Try going to the margarita booth by yourself at 4 p.m. and seeing how much you can drink.
- Ask five (5) of your friends to tell a story about an embarrassing episode from your past, but make them tell it as if you weren’t standing there. Then go stare at a car.
- Listen to some music you enjoy.