Like, flies away
This takes me way outside the FreeDarko comfort zone, but fuck it, I've got to speak on this.
Fixating on NOLA legends was an entry point into the broader human and cultural cataclysm at hand, but holding vigil for Chilton—not in any way, shape or form a symbol of New Orleans—made it into a tragedy of stars. The irony, of course, is that Chilton has spent much of his life connecting, often quite convincingly, with the music and musicians of his native Memphis. As my brother pointed out today, Big Star is the exception that proved the rule of roots in his career; were Memphis going under, Chilton would mean something more than himself. For most of those who spent the last few days lighting up the internet with concern, though, he's primarily the guy that fronted Big Star, which has very little to do with Memphis's local color—much less that of another city.
I know that what I'm proposing is a little inhuman: of course, we can't help but feel a personal bond with musicians who hold some significance for us, and it's not as if Chilton's life became less important because, as a white transplant who should have been able to get out of town, he didn't fit the profile of a NOLA hurricane victim. Still, he is only one man, and in the face of this much death and destruction, it's equally insensitive to not find a way to honor the entirety of the city in your concern.
And I realize that including this soundfile makes it seem like I'm trying to demonstrate my moral superiority, but I can't stop listening to it and this seems as good a time as ever for me to post something. It's from NOLA, haunting in both its melancholy and air of menace, half-dreamt with uneasy dread, meaningful on a bunch of levels despite obvious problems of contradiction, and just generally evocative of where things are at.