Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The problem with Geneva

I may have put my finger on the problem with Geneva. It’s a matter of mass and creativity. The place is not massively creative (unless you’re particular gig is, say, theoretical physics. Then it is Valhalla).

Now, don’t get me wrong. Geneva is fantastic in many ways. Good nearby mountains, good Italian restaurants, a good transport system. It also is pretty, and good looks can cover a multitude of sins. But there is a “critical mass ” lack in the creativity department. Let me expand.

This weekend a local music venue is going to be hosting a tribute night to Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Dolly Parton. Now this is a wonderful idea! These are all excellent artists who did much to contribute to good country music in America (what little of it there is). Beyond that they all have distinctive attributes that would make them fun to imitate or “tribute”. Cash’s deep bass, for example, Williams’s hat, and as for Parton’s talents and endowments, they are, well, just too grand to mention.

However I sent out an invitation to the usual suspects, trying to drum up some enthusiasm for going. For at least seeing if it was interesting and what did I hear in reply? Not. A. Peep. Save for the odd, “Uh, thanks but I’ll pass.”

This is not a problem with my friend base, I believe, as much as it is a problem with my current city. My friends are quite nice and generally up for good times. However if I were living in San Francisco (closer to home), or near Chicago, New York or Boston I’m willing to bet the response from my friend base would louder and more enthusiastic. This is probably because a Cash-Williams-Parton tribute night would be really excellent in those cities, whereas in Geneva? I’m dubious. (I guess we’ll have to wait till Saturday to see.)

This sets us up, however, for a self-fulfilling prophecy. A city who does not believe it can have an amazing Legends of Country tribute night will never have said LoC tribute night. And that, my friends, is a shame for all of us.

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