Last night I spent about two hours having dinner in the Hotel Ukraine restaurant, enjoying the Lvivske beer and the view of the Maidan. During that time it seemed that nearly the only artist diners heard was Sade. Now, I like Sade. I have two of her albums, which I bought 30 years ago. I remember being captivated by one of her music videos, 30 years ago.
This morning I came down to the restaurant breakfast buffet (which is excellent, by the way – I will definitely be staying here when next in Kyiv) to find playing on the restaurant audio: Sade. It’s 7:45 in the morning. American tourists are literally waddling about the long tables, heaping their already too-full plates with food. There is not a sultry Nigerian in sight. The other thing on this audio, also played last night, is an instrumental arrangement which incorporates the opening riff of America’s Ventura Highway. This always takes me back to the early 1970s.
Tourists have some cocky, somewhat aggressive slogans on their t-shirts: “Stick to your guns”, “Heck yeah”. People affect rebellious uniqueness via their purchase of corporate merchandise produced in sweatshops. What would the world be like if we demonstrated rebelliousness via authentic acts of coordinated resistance to oppression?