Scared For 40 Years

Just got done doing a show in Moscow, Russia. You may have seen some hype for the new Transformers 3 movie. Pictures here. Video Here. Linkin Park has a long standing relationship with the franchise, and we were there to perform for the big movie premiere. All of the stars were out and even our production manager (Jim Digby) got some national TV time as he was interviewed about the event for entertainment tonight. It was really fascinating to do a show in a place with so much history. (Click here for a quick wiki history lesson).

But the thing that struck me most about it was the fact that the people that we worked with in Russia (not just this time, but EVERY time) made me TRULY question why we, as the American people, were deathly afraid of the Soviet Union for 40 or more years. The people we worked with couldn’t even make an internet connection work at the gig, much less send a man in space before America in the 60’s. If the gig were any indication of how Russian ingenuity works, I think they probably had a 95% failure rate of shooting off Nuclear inter-continental ballistic missiles. So starting a nuclear war with Russia during the cold war would have been a disaster for only the Soviet’s in my opinion.

I can’t shake the memories of 4th grade as the teacher fired up the old film projector (dating myself here), and we watched films of Russian propaganda. Miles of troops, missiles and tanks marching thru red square as a show of support by the people of mother Russia. After the films we practiced “duck and cover” drills for the ever imminent nuclear attack. (side bar – I always found this funny even as a kid. I studied the effects of Hiroshima at a pretty young age, and knew – even at age 8 – that getting underneath my desk and covering my head was NOT going to save me in the event of a nuclear holocaust.)

Yesterday I was drinking a Starbucks double half cappuccino, and laughing with all of my tattooed roadie friends, dressed in shorts, and my Big Lebowski team dude T-Shirt., on the very same spot that I was taught to loathe and fear as a child.

I think, in reality, behind the scenes of those propaganda films were a LOT of broken down tanks, and shit that only worked half the time, and hell, maybe even the missiles were fake, because I seriously doubt that any of the stage hands that I have worked with could have been instructed in even the EASIEST of tasks of building nuclear weapons.

Why all the hating? I am not REALLY directing my hate at the Russian people specifically (although SOME is deserved). I mostly am fascinated that we as a people get so caught up in learned behavior. My mother and father taught me to fear the Russians, so I did. But really these people are just like the rest of us. I’m sure their parents taught them to mistrust and hate us. As I watch children at play, I notice that (besides a communication problem) a Russian child and an American child would be just as happy to play together, as they would playing with their own comrades. (had to get one more dig in there).

I was adopted at an early age. But I notice SO many characteristics of my adopted parents in me, and very few (if any) traits of my birth parents. Most of what shapes the who and how I am today was learned behavior from my adopted parents. My love for weird types, and combinations, of foods, I was NOT born with. My weirdo father bestowed this trait unto me, and I have carried it with me thru my life. (Thanks Dad – love ya 🙂

Learning is fun, but learning hate, bigotry, and fear is why this world has so many problems at the moment. We are teaching our younger generation to fear Muslims and Islamic arabs. Why? Because our government says we should? Listen – I AM an American patriot. We have every right to be angry with EXTREMISTS. But the majority of people that are of Arab descent are good, hard working, honest people.

Muslim extremist is to the Muslim religion, as the KKK is to Christianity. And I think that we all understand that the KKK is a horrible example of true practice of Christian beliefs, yet the KKK call themselves DEVOUT Christians. See what I am saying?

I think that we as Americans lose perspective of this. In the infamous words of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – “Teach your children well…..”

What does this all have to do with audio? Nothing. But, because I am so blessed to travel this earth, and see all I get to see, I decided to share this with you. but I digress……

Maybe I’ll write about audio next time……. OR NOT.

POOCH OUT

PS – I couldn’t stand it….. The system at Red Square was a K1 system (don’t get me started about K1 – I will probably write about that in my next post – I will probably label the post “The biggest hyped PA in the world, and why I don’t drink the cool-aid). We were using our B board group that travels with two identical back lines, and leap frogs around the world. All right – there – I included some audio information in my post…… you happy now?

 

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About the author

Pooch

Ken "Pooch" Van Druten is a three time Grammy nominated recording engineer, multiple Tourlink "Top Dog", and FOH Magazine Parnelli FOH sound award winner. He has worked in this industry as a FOH engineer, monitor engineer, production manager, and tour manager for over twenty years. His clients include Linkin Park, KISS, Guns N Roses, Kid Rock, LImp Bizkit, Mötley Crüe, Pantera, Whitney Houston, Rob Zombie, Jane's Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, System of a Down, and Ted Nugent.

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