Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Grand Jury Prize 2011

"The Grand Jury Prize" is an alternative to first place in my annual "Favourite Things" lists. It did seriously take me  a year to decide on my choice for 2011's, which you'll note was two years ago.

I suppose I'll also have to do one for 2012, but here's the long-overdue selection for the year previous:

Here is a video of a human being hearing sound for the first time. Sarah Churman was born deaf, but was outfitted with a cochlear implant. It's called "Esteem" by Envoy Medical, and I have since found other videos of people experiencing the ability to hear for the first time. People who were once incapable of hearing music are now free. Free to enjoy the sounds of Rush Limbaugh and J-Pop.

"I've made a terrible mistake!"

You might be asking why this, and not something big or important on the grand scale of things. Why not the Occupy movement, or the song "Rich Man's World"? Both of those were important things. The answer will likely be disappointing: My annual lists, and the Grand Jury Prize should not be about the "best" things, but about the things that inexplicably affected me.

Very few things can move me. Very few things in the last couple of years have made me think that the world isn't such a cruel and awful place. So little of the news I hear is good news, and not nearly as much of it is as uplifting as people would like to believe. And yes, there is the grim possibility that videos like this could be faked or staged for some nefarious purpose I can't understand. That is a risk we have to live with. Schemers have been around longer than the internet, and they aren't going away.

The Occupy Movement and "Rich Man's World" by Immortal Technique remind me just how much the deck is stacked against us. But videos like the one with Sarah Churman remind me that even a rigged game is worth playing. That we can do some good for people, that one or two things aren't hopeless or impossible. I am grateful to anything that can thaw my heart enough to remind me that it still beats.

Immortal Technique, Occupy.



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