Publisher of International Need to Know–your weekly source of essential, under the radar international information and data
Latest International Need to Know Article:
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Context is everything. On Sunday we attended the Trombone Shorty Voodoo Threauxdown, a concert on the grounds of the zoo in Seattle. Five New Orleans bands played throughout the evening with a variety of Crescent City legends sitting in, including Kermit Ruffins, who once recognized us in the New Orleans Airport (we've attended many of his shows), which is perhaps the fifth-proudest moment of our lifetime. Any one who knows New Orleans, and its music, understands it is not a chamber concerto where one sits quietly and nods their heads in slight motion to the cello. This, however, did not stop the woman sitting behind us from complaining about our standing and dancing, which is perhaps the most stereotypical Seattle concert goer thing to do. Meanwhile the woman in front of us, decked out in a Clay Matthews Green Bay Packer replica jersey and hair dyed green and gold, was watching the Green Bay Packer football game on her smart phone, so engrossed in the contest that she merely flung a coat to her husband when their young son got cold, her eyes firmly on the glowing screen. Ordinarily one might have concerns about someone watching their cell phone during a concert but a) this was a bustling outdoor show and just about anything goes in New Orleans (even when in Seattle), b) the woman's devotion to her team was very endearing and c) we too are a Green Bay Packer fan. When the sainted Aaron Rodgers threw the game winning touchdown to cap off a stunning comeback, the woman dropped to the muddy ground (it was raining through much of the concert) and raised her hands like Andy Dufrense emerging from the tunnel in the Shawshank Redemption. It was a beautiful moment as Trombone Shorty--the headliner--blew his horn and the whole crowd was on its feet swaying and dancing--save for the woman in front of us and the woman in back. So this week we give context to China's Africa activities, Japan's space elevator and yet another thing the world is worried about. It's this week's International Need to Know, neither assessing penalty points nor abusing our racket though occasionally calling "let" on the world.
China Meets Joseph Conrad, Going Up, and Here, Worry about This