Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.
How does that make you feel?
How disappointing! Must I resort to sounding selfish in this post?
The greatest band I have ever seen was Motorhead. I was at a festival, although I do not remember which one, and I spent the whole set just staring up at Lemmy. In those moments, I understood everything. I understood why people are in awe of him. I understood why women flock to him, despite his less than handsome (sorry!) appearance. I wanted the music to go on forever. I had no concept of time. There was only Lemmy.
The best party I have ever attended was a ‘surprise’ party. It was about a week before I left for Vietnam and the surprise was actually on the guests – only my mum, my dad, my brother and myself knew what it was really for. We invited my aunts and uncles, my grandparents and my cousins and pretended to be throwing a surprise birthday party for my dad, who conveniently went out for the day. When my dad came home, everyone jumped out and shouted surprise – at which point I announced to the bemused party guests that, actually, my dad had known about the party all along and I was going to leave for Vietnam. My favourite part about the whole thing was that my grandma, who has selective hearing, paid no attention to my announcement. As she knows nothing about Vietnam besides the Vietnam War, when I repeated myself she went white as a sheet and asked me if I was joking. Nobody will ever trust us to throw a surprise party again.
There were celebrations in Vietnam, too. For Tet Festival (Lunar New Year), the company I worked for held a fancy dinner, mostly to impress the shareholders. There was traditional food and a dance involving two dragons and a guy dressed as Buddha that went on for entirely too long for me to concentrate. It was a nice way for the company to show that they appreciated us, although I would have been fine without the long speeches.
The problem I have with this prompt is that these things are very much a part of my past. I don’t attend gigs or festivals these days and it doesn’t bother me at all. Motorhead will not continue to produce music forever and with Lemmy’s recent health issues there’s not a great deal more to say on the issue. My life would not be over if my family had a massive fall out and we never met up again, because family is not the be all and end all. I made the choice to leave Vietnam because it was my time to go and I won’t be going back in a professional role. If I never get to go back again, I will not despair.
To put it simply: if music festivals were cancelled forever, nothing within my life would change. My life would change more if my family fell apart, but I have always prided myself on my independence. If we never held another family party again, then nothing about that would bother me. As for the company I worked for in Vietnam? I’d like to see you try to find a more evil corporate force.