TUNES // Cat Power – Maybe Not

Post by Misha

“moths and other nocturnal insects navigate by the moon and stars. those heavenly bodies are useful for them to find their way, even though they never get very far from the surface of the earth. but lightbulbs and candles send them astray; they fly into the heat or the flame and die. for these creatures, to arrive is a calamity. when activists mistake heaven for some goal at which they must arrive, rather than an idea to navigate earth by, they burn themselves out, or they set up a totalitarian utopia in which others are burned in the flames. don’t mistake a lightbulb for the moon. and don’t believe that the moon is useless unless we land on it.”

– rebecca solnit, hope in the dark

This is one of my favorite Cat Power songs. When I was a senior in high school I made a very (very) dramatic video about my anxieties about leaving my small town and moving to LA for the first time. It was terrible and sweet and this song was the soundtrack of the final scene. Then I moved to Los Angeles and it was hard and then easy and then hard and easy at the same time and then the other day I found myself reading Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark and listening to this song and thinking, “I need to do something that scares me again.” 


You can buy Cat Power’s 2003 classic, You Are Free here. Buy Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit’s beautifully poetic case for hope in activism, here.

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