The past driving the future

I’m currently reading Matt Mason’sThe Pirate’s Dilemma‘. The book, briefly, is ‘How hackers, punk capitalists and graffiti millionaires are remixing our culture and changing the world’.

In The Pirate’s Dilemma, Matt discusses numerous topics including the birth of punk and pirate radio. There is a passage which I think is something that the social media space should have emblazoned across its preface, and should pass quietly into the hand of anyone doubting the power of people to change the way we interact and communicate:

DJ Fezzy is getting ready for his set. It’s a cold, dark Christmas Eve in his studio, and the time is coming up to 9:00 P.M. Fezzy has come prepared for a crazy-hot show, packing an arsenal of scripted material, instruments, and records, set to deliver a sonic blast of talk radio and live music. Then he’ll throw down on the wheels of steel.

At nine o’clock, it’s on. Fezzy grabs the mike, introduces himself, and explains the evening’s program. He thyen hits the ones and twos, dropping straight into an extra fly new phonograph recording of Handel’s “Largo”, sung by fresh-to-death vocalist of the moment, Dame Clara Butt. Once the record has done its thing, DJ Fezzy draws for his Bible, reading from the Christmas story in the Book of Luke, before picking up his violin and hitting off the audience with a killer solo from Gounouds’s “O Holy Night.” And just to prove how versatile he is, Fezzy even sings over it himself.

It was 1906…

1906 – bet you weren’t expecting that were you?

The way that Matt has crafted the paragraphs leads you to believe this is a DJ from the late seventies, but in fact is from the turn of the century – great writing.

What it shows us, now in 2009, is that the power to innovate is within all of us if we want to let it surface – we can put ideas ‘out there’ that might lead to a cultural explosion.

This is what we are doing, right now, by writing blogs and taking part in conversations on Twitter, we just don’t realise it at the time.

Let’s challenge the assumed, the already, and the monochrome.


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