Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy the world! Joyfully!

The movement that started out as "Occupy Wall Street" has now spread right around the world as people everywhere who are angry at what financial institutions are doing to society have begun to believe that perhaps they can fight back.  In most (although not all) places, the Occupiers have been peaceful even when provoked.  To see thousands of ordinary people gathered together in a peaceful protest against the depredations of the super-rich super-powerful Masters of the Universe on Wall Street and other such financial centers is a powerful thing.

But the most powerfully moving and utterly joyful demonstration that I have seen took place in Madrid last week, where tens of thousands of demonstrators sang Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony.  I've often thought of Beethoven's Ninth as the most perfect music ever written.  Surely, the "Ode to Joy" is the most perfect expression of joy in music.  The demonstrators expressed their joy with that music and then topped it off with a chant of "These are our weapons!"

Music is our weapon.  Ideas are our weapons.  This demonstration gives me goosebumps.

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