Are You A Reflector or Connector?


I was listening to Arcade Fire’s new song Reflektor the other day.

There were two words in the lyrics that jumped at me in opposing harmony.  Are you a Reflector or Connector?

A couple days later I heard Arcade Fire being interviewed on Q on CBC while I was working out in Laguna Niguel where I live.  I like listening to Q.  I am Canadian and it connects me with my roots.  The moderator of Q is Jian Ghomeshi.   He has an electric sensibility. He has Persian routes.  There are 750,000 Persians in Southern CA.  I should tweet him that.

Arcade Fire is based in Montreal and has a diverse group of band members.  The band leader is from Truckee CA.  His wife is from Montreal with Haitian roots.  Some of the lyrics of the song are in French.  I have been in Truckee and studied French Immersion in Quebec in Trois Pistoles. Probably about the same size as Truckee. I can connect places and feelings. There were many connection points during the interview.

David Bowie sang backup on the song but is not is the liner notes.  You don’t need to reflect it just connect it was the thought. If you like Bowie you will hear his voice.

I have seen David Bowie in Concert in OC at the Verizon Amphitheatre a decade ago.  They will pave it soon. It was just after the Laguna fire.   Moby was there as well.  It was on a Tuesday. The concert started at 2.

The Q interview was on Friday. On Monday morning I was listening to one of my favorite local stations KCRW.  Jason Bentley was telling folks that Arcade Fire was going to do a special live broadcast of their new album from the Capital Records building that night at 7.  It was going to be simulcast on a number of NPR stations and the CBC in Canada.  The next night Arcade Fire did  a surprise live and free concert on Vine Street in Hollywood that most people knew about.

So the Arcade Fire knows how to connect the dots.

I was driving up to Fresno the other day and stopped to have lunch in Bakersfield at Wool Growers.  It is a Basque restaurant.  There are a lot of Basque people in Bakersfield and Boise.  My next door neighbor Joe is Basque and Cuban.

I was going through the bread basket of America.  The Joachim Delta. Thirteen percent of California’s trade is with Canada.  We send them food they can’t grow in snow when there was snow.

A story came on the local Bakersfield station about the recent cuts to the food stamp program.  The announcer mentionsed that Bakersfield and Fresno were in the top 5 cities with Food Stamp users in the Country. That struck me.  The people that grow and harvest the food need food stamps.

The sound bite from a politician was that they wanted to make sure that food stamps were going to people who were trying to find work, or improving their skills.  As if all the poor people were lazy.  A stereotype from a Refleckor. Another Teflon news comment. The irony would escape him.

Few Reflectktors touch life. They just reflect what they think others want to hear.

It is easy for all of us who are connectors to sit back in detached irony.

Neither is right.

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