Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Silver Lining

"It's the economy" is to contemporary conversation as the Stanley Do-All is to the homeowner's toolbox.

What's to learn every day is how we're all affected, worldwide, and in that way connected more than we were aware even just yesterday.

Yet there are those who thrive. My neighbor to the Barker Musical Instruments brick and mortar sells supplies to auto body shops. That industry seems plenty busy, what with folks hanging onto the older car, maybe fixing it up a bit, rather than signing off on some 30k rolling stock with payments that ramble into the future like a restless cosmic cowboy.

It is not a truism that entertainment is doomed in a down economy. Extreme example: during the depression, the movie business thrived. It was the escape value, of course, but isn't that what entertainment is?

I have stumbled across an entertainment, mostly local to France, which offers us musicians hope.

It's called Les Joutes. Roughly translated, "The Jousts." But not ahorseback, no, this is on boats. Sometimes rowed, sometimes outboardmotored, these graceful craft have a platform high astern where the jouster--in status and limited skillset, think Sumo Wrestler--stands adored. And, as you can easily imagine, the boats approach each other and the jousters, armed with blunted lance and a shield patterned after a cafeteria tray with dividers to keep the green beans out of the meatloaf, attempt to encourage the opponent's imminent interface with the water below. Great fun.

And pageantry. And color. And music! Live music!

And, according to the article I read (Sebastian Rotella, LA Times), "...It is a point of pride that no one, except the musicians, makes money off jousting."

Hey! There it is!

Having provided this cheerful piece of news, I'm signing off for a week. Look for the next post downstream...

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