Natalie Merchant: "We're watching what's happened in other states with the contamination of aquifers and the devastation of previously rural areas that are now highly industrialized. There's also quite a bit of contamination of the air that occurs with hydraulic fracturing."
My grandson and I recently went to a baseball game. He is learning about the sport his grandfather loves. While we were there, he completely reprogrammed my cell phone. He fixed a problem in thirty seconds that Apple's tech people couldn't fix in three hours.
Before the occupation movement began, country club conservatives had confined political discussion and concern to government deficits. No one acknowledged the unemployed, the impoverished or the foreclosed on -- except to condemn them. The occupations changed this.
As I write this post, I'm sitting in The Wishing Chair. That's the name of a 10,000 Maniacs album from 1985, and also reflects my wish that the band be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It would be a much-deserved honor.
"Among other things I do," says the British musician, "I'm the music director of an organization called TED or Technology, Education and Design. That's an annual get together of people sort of figuring out how to save the planet."
The '80s were when I was in high school and college, when, like every raw and angsty adolescent, I felt on some level that Simon LeBon and Natalie Merchant and even Ozzy Osbourne were living inside my head.
In defying convention, great artists like Natalie Merchant have reopened our culture's creative archive and firmly asserted their strong commitment to maintaining the cultural legacy that we have inherited.
Natalie Merchant quietly walked onto the stage of the sold-out house at the L'Alhambra in Paris wearing a simple black shift and jacket, hair loosely across her shoulders, and face plain without a facade of make-up.
If there's one clear thing I take away from TED every year, it's that the world is on the precipice of some monumental shifts, and technology has created an acceleration of these changes at a rate mankind has never seen before.