Hearts and minds and poetry

Do you known what it feels like to have poetry whispered to you through long pipes by random actors in black? Me neither, but a lucky few folks at the Brooklyn Library do. If that isn’t a selling point for curiosity then I don’t know what is. I witnessed this activity from the mezzanine during the recent ‘A Night of Philosophy and Ideas’ at Brooklyn Library. Seeing as I live nearby, I figured an event like this would be an easy way to expand my mind a little.

The night was a variety of talks, performances, and videos, which ran all through the night (clearly for folk younger and crazier than me). I attended a few talks about tribalism, Buddhism, US hegemony, and #MeToo. The whole thing was an absolute breath of fresh air compared to the current landscape, which seems to be gradually radicalising everyone. Every speaker was respectful, intelligent and rational in their balanced desire to look for important core values, rather than simply defend a viewpoint. It was the exact opposite of Facebook or the internet in general, where every comment is met by an immediate stream of polarised, emotional garbage. Maybe it only seems this way to me because my circle is too small or because the internet is too loud. Either way, this night of calm, personal communication gave me hope in America because there’s still rational people speaking and people willing to listen to them. Zuckerberg may be winning our hearts and minds but Brooklyn won some ground on this night.

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