Friday, December 31, 2010

ArtTraveler celebrates the new year with his own light show

We're supposed to blow things up, start fires in the sky, sing patriotic songs, applaud the fireworks that marks fiestas and transitions like hailing in 2011, as if eleven's a lucky number, with fireballs of joy and hope and some intoxication of one kind or another.

It's a fine tradition and traditions should not be easily discarded.

I've created a couple abstract light shows taken from a sailing ship in the harbour at Palma, Majorca last year, really just designed movements seeking creative accidents.

Palma, Majorca from aboard a saling craft

It's well known in Europe that the Spaniards are the loudest people this side of a Friday night in Istanbul.

Noise often defines Spaniards.

Your choices are limited: you accept and tolerate (after all, it's their country, not yours) and gradually lose your hearing, which in our senior years is usually fading anyway.

Could be a blessing in disguise.

You can complain to your expat buddies, which no one really likes. Who likes a whinger as the Brits would say.

You can wear ear plugs. Not usually practical.

And of course, you can return to your country of origin, which is probably freezing cold and obliterated by snow or engulfed in some major weather disaster.....or, put up with the noise and an average of 300 days of sunshine, which more and more, seems a myth, as it's been pouring down rain here in the mountains above Torre del Mar for 10 days.

But then, we don't have snow or black ice to cope with.

So after a few months of enduring teenage macho types of all ages competing to see whose exhaust on his moto (motorbike/motorcycle) is loudest, you start to have outer-body experiences.

I call these cultural adaptations, tolerance and acceptance, the beginning of osmosis.

And then you find yourself yelling at someone in a bar or cafe only 5 metres from you, emulating your indigenous neighbors. And then you laugh and accept and tolerate, or by then, you are deaf or dissapeared.

So fiesta noise: gotta love it, especially during religious fiestas like the nearly 24-hour celebration of Saint Anthony (San Anton), patron Catholic saint who protects all animals.

This year's noise morphed into something closer to the 4th of July in the United States during the annual San Anton fiesta.

The alcalde (mayor) Don Antonio (now appealing a criminal corruption conviction) must have enjoyed a sudden budget surplus for fireworks.

The sky lit up for about 10 minutes as though the ball had dropped at Times Square, New York.

Usually, it's the single bangers, the kind of rockets used by red shirts against yellow shirts in Bangkok, that are the order of the day.

Any day and almost any time. Like grenades bursting in the sky. These are no mere cherry bombs as we deployed to destroy toilets as malignant and nasty teenagers. No, these rockets are made for wars and war games and fiestas.

If you feel good, had a few friends over for a party, whatever, go to your local grocery store and buy a few rockets and drive all the village dogs into a mad frenzy.  Let your neighbors and the rest of the village(s) within 10 kilometers know you are home.

Rock on, practice peace and love and have a safe celebration and let's work towards making 2011 more than another tipping point.

All images by S. van Drake.And check out my funky videos on YouTube:

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)

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