BONFIRE FESTIVAL: A STAR WARS STORY
In the 70's a songwriter called Geoffrey wrote a lot of really great songs. He organized a nice get-away festival to the forest, to let everyone enjoy them. There was a big bonfire and a wide variety of bands were playing incredible acoustic jazz and rock. The female jazz singer had one of the best voices anyone had ever heard. Three years later he did it again. This time some of the songs featured a famous rapper, whom everyone loved. Another three years later, he gathered everyone again.
But after that, he took a long break, almost 20 years. This time he arranged for electronic music, to appeal more to the new generation and make it completely new. A lot of young people came with their parents, but the older ones complained that they came for blues, jazz and rock and roll. The music was mostly good, and the festival was such an amazing time that even the people who complained about the music stayed and enjoyed themselves anyway. So he organized another two festivals with three years between them, and while everyone liked the first three festivals the most, most of the people enjoyed themselves.
Then Jeff decided he wasn't gonna organize more festivals, because many people had complained so much about his songs. Everyone was disappointed that he wouldn't do more, so he got a friend to do them, and instead of once every three years, Kaylee would do it every year with different songwriters. Everyone got excited for the next sequence of festivals.
Kaylee wanted to get more women to the festivals, so some of the posters said "The bonfire is female!" People thought that was a bit silly, but didn't mind it that much if it meant more women would show up because they also felt that it had always been a bit of a sausage fest and would like it if more women would come. And then she had her first festival.
She got three of the original bands to come back, among a lot of new bands. They threw wet wood on the fire, which made a lot of smoke and didn't burn well, so they compensated with a little gasoline to get it going, which was exciting enough for everyone to like it. The artists played electronic jazz and rock and roll, but the songwriter Jason had mostly written covers of songs that were played on the first festival. Some of the new songs were good, some were bad, but the he changed the lyrics and melodies for the covers and some of these were just bad. (Edit: and also some were great) Everyone had really looked forward to see the original bands, but they only played a few songs. Yet all the artists had a lot of showmanship, so most people still liked the festival. A lot of women came, but they only stayed for a day and never bought any drinks or food. Next year another songwriter brought in a lot of new artists and it was fresh and entertaining. On top of that one of the original bands played a big finale that everyone loved. Again a lot of women showed up for a day, without buying food or drinks.
But the next festival was different. The new songwriter Roger wrote a lot of experimental songs that were really badly composed and they threw completely drenched logs on the bonfire, for which they compensated with a lot of gasoline. Some new female artists were hired in the hope that new women would stay for more than one day and maybe buy food and drinks, but as sweet as they were and as good as they performed they couldn't compensate for the cheesy lyrics, inconsistent rhythm and bad melodies. He also got the most beloved artist from the first three festivals, but instead of classical rock he had written death metal for him. He warned Roger that a lot of people wouldn't like that, that the change from classical rock to death metal was too much, but he didn't listen. And because the artist was a professional, he played the death metal perfectly. They also got the beloved jazz singer back, but she only played a couple songs, and the DJ completely distorted her voice for one of them, which sounded terrible.
A lot of hipsters got press passes to advertise for the festival. They might have really liked the music, didn't want to admit that the experimental songs weren't really that good, or they were afraid that they wouldn't get press passes next year. Regardless, they told everyone that the music was fantastic. When people attended the festival, they had mixed reactions. Some of the people really liked it, but most of the people didn't. They complained about the bonfire being too hot and smokey, the distorted voice of their beloved jazz singer, the death metal, the bad music that the new girls played, and they said that the festival was ruined. These were the people who had always shown up, bought all the drinks and food at the festival and always took a lot of friends with them.
And then something strange happened. The group of women who came to the festivals for just a day, because of the posters that said "The bonfire is female!" all had synchronized periods and took everything personal. They grabbed some megaphones and started shouting really loud: "All you men are racists and sexist, you just hate women and rappers!" while completely ignoring the women and rap-enthusiasts in the crowd. And the crowd shouted back: "No, remember that jazz singer with her beautiful voice? We loved her! Remember the rappers from the other festivals? They were awesome! This was just bad music!"
But they didn't listen to anything the crowd had to say. They called them racists and sexists so other people wouldn't listen to them either, and Jason did the same on stage. Then Roger grabbed the mic, told everyone his music was perfect, and explained some of his experimental choices, but they still didn't make any sense. Then all the hipsters joined in and publicly shamed them.
This got the attention from the people who liked the experimental music, and they started to join the mob that was shouting and screaming at the crowd, and te mob sneered that the crowd was ruining the festival because they shouted so hard that they didn't like the music.
Suddenly Roger started mocking the crowd and, naturally, everyone in the crowd felt personally attacked. This went on for a couple of months. Nobody from the organization stepped in to tell them not to attack the people who stayed the entire festival and paid for additional food and drinks. In fact the people from the organization backed them up, and more of them joined in to mock the crowd on stage. And during all of this, Kaylee was nowhere to be found.
Roger had arranged that he could write the songs for three new festivals in the future, but shouted on stage that they needed more female songwriters. The hipsters kept mocking the crowd, saying that it was only a small fraction of the people, that they didn't matter, and continued saying that they were the ones who were ruining the festivals.
And then they organized another festival just 5 months later. The crowd stayed home and told a lot of their friends to do the same. Most of the women stayed home as well because they didn't like festivals that much anyway, and the ones who did show up brought their own food and drinks again, while not bringing any additional friends. The guys who had gone to all the festivals and always bought the drinks and food there, were not able to save this festival from losing a lot of money.
The hipsters pretended that the failure had nothing to do with the angry crowd which had been antagonized by the mob and organization. They could not believe that the crowd was responsible, because the organization had said on stage that they were just a small fraction, and they were too afraid of saying that the organization might have been wrong, even though the organization didn't get angry when they said the festival wasn't that good.
The crowd was happy that the festival failed, because that would surely make the organisation do better in the future.
And then some people noticed that a really sweet artist from Roger's festival was nowhere to be found. Immediately they blamed the crowd for the fact that she left, without actually knowing why she did. (Edit because some people can't read properly: Yes it's possible that this was the reason, but it's also possible that she had another reason.) "She is gone because the entire crowd bullied her!" they shouted. And then Roger chimed in: "Thése were the people I was mocking all these months! Most of the crowd and mob had fun debating the festival respectfully!"
Written by: Joel "Mith" Storms