Window Seat: Groupthink

Ever since I got up this morning, I’ve had a song stuck in my head but I couldn’t quite tell which one it was. There was just this meandering voice and hypnotic beat waltzing from ear to ear. Then I realized which song it was: Window Seat by Erykah Badu. Until I looked up the song on Youtube, I didn’t even know it was Eryka Badu who sang it. Lately I’ve been listening to a CD my dad burned and stuck in the car with various artists on it.. Needless to say, “Track 17” (or, what I now know is “Window Seat”) has been the popular track in my tape/CD deck.

I first stumbled onto Badu’s Window Seat from this post by Jay Smooth. I know the video and post have been out for a year already, but I don’t think the message of either really got to me until today: “look how far we’ve come, look how far we’ve got to go.” The world we live in (patriarchal, racist, ableist, classist…) survives by a machine that squashes differences and the drive to connect with one another. When we’re old enough to want to ‘fit in’ then we learn fast that we already fit nicely into the categories of “straight” or “brown” or “woman” or “other,” and there’s no easy way out… These mechanisms of oppression prevent us (because both privileged and oppressed ‘us’ are held back) from entering a world without hate. Groupthink and oppressive cultures posit us against each other.

So with this social consciousness in mind, I commend the bravery, passion, apprehension, fear, courage, and dedication that Ms. Badu employed to make her music video for “Window Seat.” Imagine: you’re a completely nude black woman walking downtown in Dallas, TX. If we are post-racist, then why is that such a scary thing to do?

Take a look at the video then check out Jay’s post. I’d like to hear what you think.

Erykah Badu – Window Seat

Jay Smooth’s post:

After the Gold Rush

Been feeling a dose of the melancholy lately. Don’t really know why. I suppose what goes up must come down, but I just didn’t see it coming so soon and so fast. Maybe it was just the toxins of a drunken night leaving my body: and let me tell you, it was a drunken night. It’s like following a few bad decisions is one lasting negative thought pattern that persists. A session of Parkour ailed that. And an episode of Strange Sex on TLC. I saw a 73 year old grandma go on a date with a 33 year old dad. Watching that has to set someone right. But I digress.

There was this one song in the back of my mind that kinda lingered there: After the Gold Rush by Neil Young. This is one of my all-time favourite songs. I don’t think any song has been able to make me cry like this one. Whether it’s Young’s breaking voice or the sentimental piano, this song really cuts to the core. From the beginning the piano keys ring and hang in the atmosphere opening my chest like a surgeon. When you get to the middle of the song, I’m simultaenously out cold on Young’s magic carpet riding his dream and having my heart held. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that’s exactly what it feels like. So without further ado, Mr. Young: