The ship is sinking. You have to decide who will be in your lifeboat. It is your lifeboat because you had the power to take it and that is exactly what you did, for better or worse. You saw the panic and anarchy among the crew and passengers. You decided to make your move and now you have 20 seats available for people whose future is in your hands. Who will you allow in and why? I am sure you will agree this is a situation you hope you will never face in reality. No pressure then. It’s only a game.
Make a list of ten friends and family that you would share your lifeboat with. Then add ten people who you don’t know personally but who fit your criteria for having a place in your lifeboat. You might favour the young or the old depending on your own bias or you might base your judgement mainly on people’s abilities to make a useful contribution for the good of the group. You might decide that a mix of people’s values and skills would be the deciding factors in your decision-making.
I have used this little exercise on many occasions, within the setting of small group work with young people. It is a useful tool for exploring why we value some folk and not others and how our behaviour, as perceived by others, can have a huge impact on what is on offer to us. It is one way for a group or a couple to find out some fairly important things about each other in a relatively short time.
So, there we are, your good self, your twenty chosen ones and me. Oh yes! I forgot to mention I was here first. It was my island until you lot came along. But don’t worry I will go with the flow, for now. After all, I'm looking forward to all of it. Still, I don't suppose any one is going to let me get by just singing for my supper. I think I will have to pull my weight in other ways and get my hands dirty along with every one else. If I catch lots of fish and do lots of night watches please may I sleep in late?
No big Marshall stacks or even 80 watt Peaveys to reinforce my music. No big sound behind me to make it right and to obliterate any nagging self doubt. Just me and my voice and ….please let my guitar have survived the landing.
Last night I was playing with my new phone which has an application for helping a person get to sleep. It is basically a set of sampled sounds including the gentle lapping of waves on a tropical shore, rain fall, air conditioning fan, a stream and a ticking clock. Aaaaargh! A clock ticking is guaranteed to keep me awake. I hear a rhythm and then a bass line and it just gets worse and worse but, the ticking clock sends most babies to sleep.
The ticking clock evoked thoughts about a very crazy in your face song from the EBB album Superchip. The song is called Not so funny farm. It bashes along at quite a pace so that the words spew out as though there was only just about enough time to fit them in and that is how I remember it.
I began singing and speaking those words to the ticking phone in my hand. The phone clock ticks away at 60 ticks/beats per minute ( you knew that). This is at least half the speed of the Superchip track so that was a big change. Though slow and radically different from the original I could see how it might work. I realised that if I ever performed the song like this it would probably be the first time any one heard all of the words. It got me thinking about other new ways of doing things differently as part of my new show. I think I might be onto some thing.
Pass me a piece of roasted yam. Put some wood on the fire while I clean the fish. By the way, has any one got a charger for my blackberry?
Ah! ………………….That won’t work, will it?
p.s. I recently bought some fishing tackle from a Japanese supplier. He sent me an email with information regarding the shipping status of my purchase and added the quite poignant URL below at the end of his email to me. He is based in PLAT and is very anxious to assure me that my purchase will not be radio-active and that his part of the island is safe.