58 days and counting… (to Coachella)
From a cultural standpoint, getting drunk with a few thousand people in the name of music and booze is nothing new. People have been engaging in these types of social rituals for tens of thousands of years.
In Ancient Sumer for e.g., music and inebriation were part and parcel of ritual worship. Their big yearly festival included a public act of coitus between the King of Uruk and the High Priestess Ishtar. While local musicians strummed diatonic scales on lyres, drunken revelers watched the literal reenactment of the mythical union that resulted in the birth of Ninkasi, the goddess of beer! Over in Ancient Greece, the Oracle of Delphi and her flute wielding female minions spent their off months worshipping Dionysus. In between all night JethroTull-like jam sessions, they’d drink themselves silly and have orgies with animal bones (aka ‘divine dildos’).
Okay, so Coachella lacks the religious punch but it’s still essentially the same idea. The music serves as an acoustic communication of emotions while the tribe – whose distinctive traits in this case include braided beards, tattoos and over-usage of the word ‘dude’ – communes over drink and drugs in an effort to reach a higher consciousness.
So where does a forty-one-year old, divorced mother of two, attending the event with her twenty-four-year old boyfriend fit into this mix? Am I The High Priestess? The Tribal Elder? The Medicine Woman? Or am I a female Prufrock clutching my purse (If I leave it in the car all the credit cards could be stolen) wondering why the mermaids won’t sing to me?
Next Up: How I plan to get the mermaids to sing to me.