Risk, the classic board game of world conquest. The secret to winning is to occupy Australia first as players begin to place their armies. The less experienced invariably chose more colorful locations like England and Egypt but those mythical lands are vulnerable to foreign attack whereas Australia is the only isolated territory on the board. Launch your invasions from the land down under and victory will be yours. As it is true in history, it is true in Risk, Ukraine is a terrible place to find yourself defending. Like wind off the steppe, alien hordes periodically sweep across Ukraine’s fertile plains, stopping long enough to gorge themselves on her ample wheat before steamrolling West to plunder the Gold. If you are lucky enough to be hundreds of miles away from the current upheaval, my advice is to stock up on staples: dried beans, rice, coffee, bottled water and wine before the prices get too high or there is simply nothing on the shelves. Hunker down in your own private Australia for a while and work on that project that has been collecting dust because you have been too busy binge watching reality shows. That novel isn’t going to finish itself. Who is going to pluck the right phrases out of the air and assemble them into poems if not you? Tàpies did not have a staff of brush monkeys to do the work for him. Ravel did not own a synthesizer. When the fighting stops and the world returns to whatever we accept as normalcy you will be ready to strike from your isolation and be triumphant.
Imagine if Bartok had given up on symphonies, quartets and concertos and focused on composing Please-Hold music for corporations to be performed while their customers waited for the next available Service Technician or loops to set the mood of a podcast, a DIY video on YouTube, a TikTok nothing. Had the maestro owned a copy of Ableton Live or Bitwig, what influence would he have had on producers of dance and trance scores? Ponder a dance in 5/4. Art is a difficult subject and yet it is not avoided at parties like religion or politics. I have never known of fisticuffs and dissolved friendships brought about by a disagreement over Bob Ross versus Picasso or Led Zepplin versus Tupac. If you have a soft spot for 80’s New Wave, no one really minds too much. People usually indulge your passion and nod and smile politely while you go on and on about the sound of an analog Moog synth. Bartok would have enjoyed Moog’s laboratory. He might even have been added to the product development team. That is a lucrative iron in fire for a song-slinger between gigs. Bela was never too flush. Art is a difficult path.
On the subject of music, please be sure and visit my music page. After all, you are already here: https://johntruelove.com/music-sweet-music/
I have always enjoyed “Dynamism of a Soccer Player” by Umberto Boccioni. I have visited it many times at the MoMA here in New York.
In the painting Boccioni breaks down the form of a soccer player into pure energy that moves out into the surrounding atmosphere.
I have never been very good with a paint brush, as many an art teacher and the dingy walls of my apartment can attest. I did, however, attempt to deconstruct a soccer game I saw recently. Here’s to all you strikers out there who like to keep your game simple.
9 Word Football
Kick, Kick, Kick
Kick, Kick, Kick…
Kick, Kick, Kick