US - New York - Full Moon 156 - 06/07/09
Does You Inspire You
Kanine Records/Sony Music
Only a week after first listening to Chairlifts debut album Does you inspire you, I heard them in concert at Blaa in Oslo, Norway. Young, talented and charming; Caroline Polachek, Patrick Wimberly and Aaron Pfenning seemed to really enjoy sharing their work. An inspiring experience that left me upbeat for days! Last night I had the opposite experience when I encountered a semi-young editor who wanted to share his high opinion of himself. If asked I think there's a good chance he would say that he inspires himself. When bustling for a position in the elite, there must be little room for self-doubt. The difference between these experiences can be described as the difference between receiving an unexpected gift and being pickpocketed.
But do I inspire me? A relevant question, I think. The obvious and safe answer is that I inspire me when I am with the right people, or listen to music, read books and watch films I like. Can we, however, inspire ourselves from within our Selves? Is it truthful to claim that I can inspire myself? And if so, could this come to equate to the arrogance and narcissism I was so disenchanted by last night? A more benign interpretation could be that inspiring oneself is to listen to oneself. Both ancient religions and more recent belief systems say (albeit in different ways) that there is an inner voice that is me and yet different from me. This voice is always described as well worth listening to. A guide and inspiring role model if you like.
Some time ago, a survey asked Norwegian youths about their role models. Some looked up to pop stars and parents and teachers and athletes, but a third actually said they looked up to themselves. What does this mean? Do Norwegian youths really listen to and believe in themselves or are they victims of popular culture pseudo-individualism where it is perceived as the thing to be said? Does it matter? I think it does. I think the difference between listening to oneself and promoting oneself is a very important one.
Not to say one cannot lead to another. I believe that Chairlift inspired themselves that May night I Oslo. But luckily they inspired the audience as well.
Copyright © 2009 Åste Herheim