So the 2016 United States presidential election is now behind us. It was loud, angry, over the top and divisive. Regardless of which side you were on or even if the choices available caused you to choose no side at all, the passion, energy and moment to moment drama kept just about everyone engaged more than any of us could've imagined. It was a wild and draining ride. With all of the fervor and zeal now spent, what do we do now? How do we take that experience and learn from it? What's next? I don't mean that in a political way, a partisan way, and certainly not in a negative way but in a personal way. We've been wrapped up in all of this 100 MPH frenzy for so long it's tough to suddenly idle in park. So what now? What can we do?
Some of the greatest art comes from raw emotion. Anger, fear, happiness and hope. It really doesn't matter which emotion you're feeling or left with. What matters is you harness it and do something with it. Start a band, write a song, paint something, write a poem, start a business, put something that's buried deep inside of you out into the world. If you don't feel alive after this election cycle you're not really getting it. Use your anger or your joy or your fear or your hope and do something positive. Life is nothing if not interesting and energetic. If you do nothing but gloat or complain, you're doing zero for society. You're darkening your soul.
Since this is a music blog, music is what I instinctively turn to. It's easy for me to look back to the origins of punk rock and become inspired by why many in that movement did what they did. When you listen to "1977" (here) from The Clash for example, you hear the anger and desperation charging through the band, bursting through your speakers. Or consider Public Enemy shoving "Rebel Without A Pause" (here) down your throat and demanding your attention. Pick whichever genre you like, country, jazz, heavy metal or punk and hip hop mentioned above...it doesn't matter. Filter your passion, for whichever reason it was created, through some form of artistic expression and don't allow the buzz we're all still living on to die. Emote anything you feel like you need to but then act on that emotion like you've never acted on anything before!! Create now and live in the world you want to live in! The great thing about the United States is that there isn't a politician alive who has the right to allow you or can stop you from putting your mark on the world so get out and do it. Elect yourself to govern your life!!