Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Even Better Reasons To Be Cheerful

I'm not exactly sure when I first heard the brilliant Talking Heads. I've got a feeling it was before the release of Remain In Light, which I think was their best album, but I do know that seeing the video for Once In A Lifetime, the single released from that album in the UK was one of those rare moments when a kind of new paradigm for how you might 'do' music lodged in my grey cortex. David Byrne's kooky, manic, preacher-man delivery made me rethink how I'd conceived of the role of the front-man of a rock band (if a rock band is what Talking Heads were, or was.) (Another such moment was Bowie's Top of the Pops performance of Starman, which shocked and delighted and made me reconsider some of my most basic prejudices, all in 3 minutes, but that's another story.)

David Byrne has been a bit of hero of mine since rewiring a few of my synapses on that occasion, and has grown in my estimation over time, despite no longer enjoying, perhaps, the bit of celebrity he cornered way back when. Today he went up another notch or two when, via the inestimable Open Culture I got to know of his latest online venture, a site cheerfully entitled Reasons To Be Cheerful. This was a bit of a coincidence considering yesterday's post, but I'm always up for a bit of spooky serendipity.

Anyway, I managed to explore some of the items Mr Byrne has posted and found myself feeling a whole lot better about the world and what goes on in it as a result. There's a part of me that still harbours a certain scepticism about the notion of positive thinking, and I think it's a healthy, necessary scepticism. But Reasons To Be Cheerful embodies the kind of intelligent positivity that I'm coming to believe can change, if not the world, then at least a little bit of it. And that's good enough for me.

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