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As humans make progress at the speed of sound...


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While surfing the web recently, I've learned that many people find Chris and his lyrics to be a little ridiculous, and his line "birds go flying at the speed of sound to you where it all began" in "Speed of Sound" is the latest lyric that seems responsible. One person huffed condescendingly, "To show us exactly what, Chris?"


Neither Chris or his lyrics are ridiculous. In fact, most successful artists are saying something intelligent or meaningful whether we know it or not.


I don't care to analyze every line in the song, but "Speed of Sound" is about alienation--in large part as an issue that we face with modernity--and how communication and the tendency for humans to get together in groups and families (biological and otherwise) is diminshing. If I may be so bold, Chris, and I, would argue that the "progress" humans make in the modern world is largely to blame for this alienation.


Just look around: Instead of having the time to converse with each in the park over coffee, we're usually in the car on the cell phone telling the voice on the other end that we "have to go" or will "talk to you later." Etc.


History has shown us that it's natural for organisms (i.e. Chris's "birds flying at the speed of sound) to get together in groups. Humans are losing that natural tendency, and Chris's birds are showing us what we've lost and reminding us how beautiful it is to be together rather than alone, no matter how much enjoyment Six Flags and cell phones and headphones that can only blast Coldplay in one set of ears can bring. Besides, whose to say that we wouldn't happy if we still had to hunt for food and make our clothes? In think we would, but there's no stopping this modern mountain now. And I know I'm not giving up my mp3 player. But we can still get back what we've lost. And we have people like Chris urging us to do so.


Those times in concerts when the artists get the audience to participate in unison--like what Chris did with "The Scientist" for this tour--are very emotional for me. I hope that each of you feels what I feel when I take part in or listen to an experience like that, such as "The Scientist" from Coldplay's concert at the Glastonbury Festival earlier this year. Either way, those experiences are really beautiful, aren't they?

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