Down on the human condition? Les Bloch says the cure can be found in Bay Area arts.
With all the negative stuff going on in the world, we’ve forgotten one thing. Humans are incredible. Take your hand, reach up over your head and pat yourself on the back. If you hear this and you don’t have four paws, you’re in the club. Sorry Haters, but we’re not all bad.
Forget that we’re all walking around with computers in our pockets, with satellites and astronauts circling overhead. Forget that your refrigerator is filled with more food than our forefathers could collect in a month, or that you’re in your driving machine and I’m talking to you right now.
Maybe you are one of those human beings who has mastered an art. If not, there are plenty of humans who have. The proof of our excellence is not everywhere but it’s not hard to find. Go to Yoshi’s in Oakland or the SF Jazz Center to see people speak through the virtuosity of their instruments. See actors at Berkeley Rep’s Rhoda or Thrust theaters, or catch a musical at SF’s Geary or the Curran. Watch the purest of the arts—dance—at the Yerba Buena Center. Wendy Whelan dancing on stage will make you question the limits of the human body. Or go see the Chinese Circus next time it comes to the Zellerbach and try not to marvel.
Movies, video games and Netflix are great escapes, but flat cold digital escapes. To be truly inspired is to see one or a dozen humans, right before you, living and breathing, sweating and struggling against the forces and pressure of immediate performance. Without a safety net and armed with nothing but their own determination, these humans will change your attitude and light you up. They will move you from your seat. They will make you cry, or sing or laugh out loud, or hold your breath in suspense.