noche en vela: generation z(zz…?)

31/03/2011 § Leave a comment

Nowadays, we don’t expect romance on candle-lit nights.

We are over it. We search for truth in the strange and obscure.

That’s what our all-nighter art festivals are for. Last weekend, we danced through La Noche en Vela — an art festival in Buenos Aires that starts at 7PM and lasts until 7AM, similar to Toronto’s Nuit Blanche.

So it goes, nowadays, we live by the night.

To start a long night, a friend was having a small dinner party and three of us arrived for the hugs and shrimp etoufee — a real, southern-, Louisiana-dish. We were greeted with wine-glasses and some cleanly clad: Cardigans, slacks, tulip-shaped skirts, the freshly shaved and perfectly curled, the finest bottles (not boxes) of Argentine wine, an abundance of bread&cheese, salad made with the richest, greenest-redest ingredients, slap your mama hot-chili sprinkling, Tabasco (rare for this part of the world).

For a moment I wished I had received a message about attire, but soon re-realized that no one cares whether one is jeanly clad. We do how we do because they are only our covers.

“Don’t you feel so grown up?” asked a friend.

“Yeah, I guess so. We just walked from the hostel with roadies in hand and I know we are ‘legally’ adults, so that means we are grown-up-ish, right?¨

She laughed saying, ¨Yup, however you do.¨

Our generation is told that we don’t care. We are ignorant and apathetic. We are sooo over it. We go through music, fashion, art, literature, all things cultural because of our complete instant access to it all. It’s what I keep hearing, but I don’t think this is so.

What’s new, what’s exciting, because there is a rise in ADHD!

If you think that is apathy, then some people didn’t get to know us.

Yes. We can be everywhere with the slide of a finger across a thermal-sensitive piece of plastic.

Yes. We embrace all of the everything and nothing that we have.

And, yes. We know how to live by night or day or in-between.


At night, a human’s vision is deceiving. Although we can see a lit-candle a kilometre away, we are blinded by the dark, relying on our other senses. It makes me wonder about wandering around all day, becoming too dependent on the sun, too into what we see.

Feel the force. Think not, do.

We have grown up with those mega-mantras — glorified by Hollywood, those kids in the 80’s who embraced anything technologically synthesized (Quantum leaps and Warp speed included), and George Lucas’ mystery release dates of Episodes I, II & III.

We embraced the mantras, we felt them, we cut them down and created our own magical tours of mystery.

Do you remember the night of December 31st, 1999 when the year 2000 was to be rung in with apocalyptic fever? I remember the energy of the world hung onto the “what if” of “what might happen” when our world would fall into the literal dark ages of no technology. I remember the daily evening news reeling the This Just Ins and headlines of our impending demise: The Roman calendar on the lower right hand side of our screen was going to restart our society because of our failure to encode what “00” meant. Our techno-foundations were going to be leveled because of a human oversight. Bank accounts, personal information, insurance details, report cards, everything was going to go back to zero, zero.

New Years 2000:

“Yo, guys we have to turn on the t.v. or the radio or something! We have to watch the countdown and see what mess this world will fall into!”

“B-man, it’s 12:15. The world is exactly the same. Nothing happened.”

And just like that, I was over the drama.

And the Cynicism seeps in.

The build-up of something epic to happen, getting ready for it, organized, planned for with emergency kits and celebratory glow-in-the-dark shot glasses was all for a New Years just like every other.

That was something worth celebrating.

So it was, the New Year of 2000, all of us were over it. We were left in the dark of what it all meant even though all the lights still worked.

Think not, do.

“I think therefore I am” was for a time. Even, “I am therefore I think” wears thin. Nowadays, we live in an age of “I am who I am and I am open to change”.

The other generations may look at us and may not get it. We look like we are going through a continuous identity crisis — never fixed to ideals or places or things — and we talk horrifically.

Yet, nowadays, we genuinely care about people, about life, our rights, our freedom (true freedom), our love (true love), our truth (true truth which exists in the outer space).


La Noche en Vela: we left the comforts of wine-induced somnia at the door and danced the night away in brightly lit city squares. Without candles. Without romance. With cans of beer purchased from a girl on a bicycle selling empanadas. With legs made wobbly making dancing easier. Dance, dance, dance…

Now a daze, the spin, can’t see a thing. Our generation’s night-out captured in one phrase. (To the eye of the beholder.)

To the beholder: We could be everywhere at once which means we are nowhere at all. At the end of the night, with our wholesome hearts in hand, we dance into the morning light of infinite space. The final frontier.

We are not asleep. We are waking up.


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