21 June 2012

watched: Under African Skies

We took the little man to an outdoor film at Red Butte Garden last night. I was a little nervous that he'd start screaming and there would be no quick escape, and I hate being in public when he is screaming. Unwanted attention to the max. Last week he was doing just that, screaming, and I took him for a walk outside because that seems to help him fall asleep sometimes. A woman from India who lives in a neighboring building stopped me to ask about him. Her curiosity was friendly and intended to be helpful, but I suppose it seemed ill-timed. Trying to hear her over the wailing and respond to her queries about what was wrong with my child (I think he's tired! Maybe gassy! I don't know!) proved somewhat frustrating. She said she heard him screaming at several points throughout that day (?). I thanked her for her concern, which I both did and didn't appreciate, and kept walking. He kept crying and then we were both crying because I wondered what was wrong with him, too, and what was wrong with me as a mother. Then I met Tim on my way back as he was taking out the trash and cried some more to him.

I digress. The point of that story was really just to say that sometimes I find it stressful to be around other people when my baby is distressed. Also, to point out how on display I've made myself recently. (Guess I've never had a problem in the oversharing department.) So an outdoor movie seemed like a risky move. But the baby did wonderfully well. He was contentedly awake near the beginning, then slept through the remainder. What a pleasant surprise.

When I wasn't worrying about whether the baby would start crying at any moment (smart), I was paying attention to the documentary. Overall it was interesting, focusing on Paul Simon's collaboration with black South Africans under Apartheid at a time when there was a U.N. Cultural Boycott. I love the Graceland album. Apparently so does Oprah Winfrey (she and Whoopi Goldberg appeared in the film to talk it up, which seemed kind of irrelevant--black celebrities talking about black people making music?). And apparently everyone loves Paul Simon and it was okay for him to ignore the cultural boycott in order to work his mad artistic genius and thereby provide some amazing opportunities to a few black South African musicians. I am not sure I agree with the slant of the film, but it was an interesting watch because I was completely unaware of the controversy involved with the creation of this music.

Here's a YouTube video of a concert performance of "Homeless" by Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mumbazo:

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