Laetitia Sadier in Conversation with Victoria Legrand



Laetitia Sadier in Conversation with Victoria Legrand


Laetitia Sadier in Conversation with Victoria Legrand

Niela Orr
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It’s rare to get to talk to purveyors of a thing that doesn’t really exist. Like neo soul after it, dream pop (or shoegaze) is a somewhat vexing term used to describe a genre of music that lives in the hearts and minds of some fans, critics, and record-industry gatekeepers, but not necessarily in the heads of the “music makers and the dreamers of dreams,” to quote Willy Wonka. Laetitia Sadier, of Stereolab, and Victoria Legrand, of Beach House, are makers, dreamers, and intergenerational analogues in a continuum of acts that includes, depending on whom you read, George Harrison, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Julee Cruise, David Lynch, and Angelo Badalamenti. Dream pop is characterized by vaguely psychedelic instrumentation, experimentation, progressive musicianship, esoteric lyrics, and, based on some of the writing about the genre, either the sensation of incense circulating slowly into the air, or the feeling of being buoyed by a floatie in a wave pool. But then again, it’s also not these things, and for Sadier and Legrand, the terms are more or less just labels, and don’t matter much. Legrand and Sadier make smart, stylish indie pop that resists easy categorization.

Sadier, fifty-one, was born in France, but relocated to the US with her family for a few years during her childhood. In 1989 she moved to London, and a year later she formed Stereolab with Tim Gane. Known for their avant-garde sensibilities, Stereolab produced ten studio albums that have been hugely influential in contemporary music, inspiring artists like J Dilla, Pharrell, and Tyler, the Creator. Sadier’s four solo albums in particular have been praised for their surrealist and situationist bents. Monade, the solo project she began in the late ’90s, is a perfect outlet for the kind of psycho-political rapture her writing conveys. A song like “Tout en tout est un” (“Everything in Everything Is One”), from Monade’s third album, Monstre Cosmic (2008), is an elegant collage, and Sadier in essence: it contains doo-wop’s circular melodies, acid jazz’s in-the-pocket groove, electric wit, play. In 2009, Stereolab went on hiatus, but they are set to reunite for live performances this summer.

Legrand, thirty-eight, who was also born in France, formed Beach House with Alex Scally in 2004, after a stint in theater school. In response to the ways that her music is often perceived, she told The Guardian that her band is “loud” and “not abrasive” and “not soft.” Those might be good ways to describe her key-playing and songwriting, which often undercut the airy-fairy, overly whimsical associations with Beach House’s seven records. Their latest album, 7 (2018), is propulsive, lush, and haunting. On its centerpiece, “Drunk in LA,” Legrand’s feverish imagery—of “strawberries in springtime,” “darkened dead-end rooms,” “skinny angels making eyes at cameras,” and a lovelorn, Eiffel Tower–climbing, sky-writing protagonist—is superimposed on Scally’s grinding guitar riffs. The shimmering, slightly ominous quality of Legrand’s keyboard melody undergirds all of it, like a dark notion you have yet to acknowledge.

This year, on the cusp of spring, I moderated a phone conversation between both musicians. We talked in English, and both Legrand and Sadier occasionally peppered their phrases with French. Over the course of our conversation, the conference line gradually morphed into an intimate space, like a backstage green room or a two-top café table. We—but mostly they—talked about band names, the machinations behind genre labels, bilingual songwriting, flowers in bloom, group dynamics, the gendered distribution of control in the world, Brexit, and France in the 1980s and ’90s.

—Niela Orr



THE BELIEVER: You have something in common, which is that you were both born in France, and then as children you moved to the United States. I’m wondering how that transnational experience informed your musical tastes.

VICTORIA LEGRAND: This is a good question, because this is tied in to my beliefs of what my home is, which are very vast and abstract. It’s hard for me; sometimes people will say, “Oh, well, you’re French. You were born in France.” And at the same time, I feel like I’m many things. I currently feel very American, whatever that means. But when I’m in France or in certain situations, I feel the French side of me emerge. I think because I was so young when I left France—I was five—I don’t have many memories. I have the memory of being one day in France, in Paris, and the next day being in Rising Sun, Maryland. I have no memory of learning English. I think I just started speaking it overnight. All I have are stories from my parents. And the feeling that I get when I’m back in Paris is this sort of abstract, magnetic hold that one feels when they are in the place where they came out of the ether and into the universe. The place where you’re born, I think, always has a thing in your body.

LAETITIA SADIER: We have a little bit of an overlap in our situation, though it’s quite different. It overlaps in the sense that I did live in America as a child. My dad worked for a big corporation, and we traveled quite a bit. And I lived in America for two, three years as a child, and that impacted me a lot because America is so big, and the sky is big, and the streets are big, and the food is big, and the people are large, and the animals are so much bigger than in France, and I know that impacted my psyche. When I went back to France when I was twelve years old, I just felt étriqué [“inhibited” or “restricted”]. I felt like two types. I just didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in anywhere. And I felt that to be very alienating. And also I happened to like a certain type of music that was not represented on the charts, so I felt quite different. [Laughter] So I have a deep sense of alienation, and of just not ever fitting in and being the freak, you know?

But later on I think it did serve me, because I’m very happy with where it’s led me. I moved to the UK in 1989. This year is actually thirty years of living in the UK for me—so I’ve lived more than half of my life not in my native country. But having said that, I don’t miss France at all. And I’m kind of baffled by that. I miss my friends, I miss my family, but I do not miss the country. Though I need to go back there at least twice a year to energetically recover. So I need to, I don’t know, take in the cheese or the air or the land. I know if I don’t go there, I won’t feel well. But ultimately I feel very happy living in London. I feel that London and the UK have much more of an open mind to music, to a variety of music, and that corresponds with my taste much better. What came out of the UK musically—and to a big degree out of America as well—was always the more interesting, left-field side of the music. In France in the ’80s, trying to form a group was rather difficult.

VL: Absolutely. It was so stiff—not being able to have English on the radio, and there were just so many crazy laws and regulations that seemed to stifle any kind of underground. Everybody, including my father, who still lives in France—when he was a teenager and he was in a band—everyone was going to London to try to make a career, you know what I mean? It was very hard to just stay in France, even in the 1970s. If you wanted to do something on a certain level, you had to leave, basically. In the early 2000s, when I went back to France briefly after school to study theater in clown school—oh god [laughter]—I left because I realized that what I missed personally was playing music in America. The energy, the humor, the garages, the sort of idea that you could just do it anywhere; it didn’t matter. You could just be in a rock band; you could drink beer. These are clichés, but these are things that are so fundamentally American in terms of being in bands that I was not having in Paris in 2003 and 2004.

Paris has changed, because now I feel like there’s shows all the time, and there’s all these little micro-scenes, like little indie scenes, and a lot more venues for people to have shows, but in 2003 or ’04 there was really nothing. Anyway, I feel you about the detachment from the place that you come from. And also I think that we have something in common, because I do agree that America, once you’ve gone there and you’ve lived there—it does do something to you. It just changes you. You went back to France, but I stayed in America and just basically became fully Americanized. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to be a preadolescent and going back and forth—going from this huge, fat culture to a very small, pointed, critical, and narrow culture. But, anyway, I’m glad you stayed in London. I’m glad you found your heart in London. [Laughter] Your big artistic heart. The biggest one of all.

LS: There’s a little bit of a situation here, with Brexit. And we’re like, So what do we do? Can we stay? Do we have to go? We’re stuck in uncertainty regarding that. But, I mean, luckily, we have musical family here in the UK. We had a musical family out in Chicago, and we had a musical family in Germany. It took me a long, long, long, long time to find my musical family in France, but I did find it. And what was going on in France was that people just had a huge complex about their ability to create original music. There was a big fear around that, around being oneself and being original and sticking your neck out, so you had to copy other forms of music and sing in English because no one sang in French in the ’80s and ’90s. No one sang in French like in the underground pop scene. It was a big no-no. You had to sing in English. Since then, things have changed a lot, because now most people sing in French, actually, which I’m kind of glad about. It’s like, OK, just accept yourself, embrace yourself. Listen to me, who fled!



BLVR: You both come at this question of how being bilingual affects your songwriting, or affects your approach to language.

VL: I’ve written almost zero songs using French, except for one on the last record called “L’inconnue.” But I will say that it has become much more comfortable and natural for me to write lyrics, or anything, in English. It’s like automatic. Automatic. Automatic. If I hear words in my dreams, I don’t even know what language it is, but it’s probably English or some kind of boring language. I think the natures of languages are very different. They completely occupy, in my eyes, a very different connection between the mind and the feeling. So for me, there’s more effort when I wrote these few things in French, because of the significance of the words and the rhyming and the rhythm. The rhythms are much more fun in French. They’re different. Like, English can sound cooler in ways, like if you say certain words. But in French… I don’t know. They have these very different qualities, and I think being able to use both is definitely an incredible gift, and, Laetitia, as a fan of what you do, I think that you are absolutely the queen of being able to do all of them and do them perfectly. [Laughter.]

LS: Thank you, thank you. That’s very nice to hear.

VL: I’m sounding like a teenager. You make them sound both so cool and like it’s not a big deal. [Laughter] Yes, there are intellectual things in there. Yes, there is culture. Yes, there’s a lot, but it’s beautiful. They sound so fluid together. It’s hard to do that.

LS: I don’t know how big of a deal it is. Probably not a big deal, you’re right. I don’t think I’ve ever really analyzed my relationship to a particular language, English or French. I would say that maybe in French I tend to be a bit more intimate, and in English I’m more out-there. But there are probably dozens of songs that would contradict that. Strangely, for me, I’ve always been counterintuitive. I don’t exactly know what dictates whether it’s gonna be French or English, but I had a rule where I would start writing in English, and when I became too comfortable with it, I would switch to French. And that would be difficult. And, again, when that would become comfortable, I would go back to English. I must say, it’s always a bit difficult to write lyrics, because it’s so easy to sound naff. [Laughter] And, of course, you don’t want to sound naff. You want to have some kind of depth. Particularly with the words that one chooses, I think the intent is not necessarily naff, but you can easily sound awkward, so it’s always a very big challenge. And to that challenge, I would naturally—and I don’t know why I would do this—add the challenge of the language. If one language became too easy, OK, we go to the other one.

BLVR: How could you tell when you were getting comfortable, or that one of the languages was becoming too easy for you?

LS: Maybe it would come too quickly, or… I don’t know. I like to look behind things, and [sometimes when I look, I’ll think], Well, there’s nothing to look at behind here. [Laughter]

VL: For me, that happens often in English; you run out of words to describe the feeling. Like saying somebody is “nice” or the day is “lovely” or something. Or when you’re playing guitar and then you decide, You know what? I’m sick of playing these chords. I’m going to the piano. I’m going to just play the piano for a while. In French, there are multiple ways of saying, like, “to love someone.” There are so many more ways of saying one thing.

LS: Yeah, exactly. And you’re looking for inspiration. That’s exactly the phenomenon at work. You just want to be inspired.

VL: And it’s an intuitive thing, which, clearly, I think you have. I think maybe we share this a little bit, as well: I feel that instinct and intuition guide you very strongly, and I think that even something as simple as seeing which language feels more in-the-moment, more in-the-feeling, and more inspiring will always be your guide. It’s always a little gut feeling. What usually makes things feel very strong in the end is that we know the person who made the thing followed their gut. And you’re lucky you have two languages to pick from, like guitar and piano. You have two instruments.



LS: The album I’m writing at the moment—I want it to be much more key-driven, although I can’t really play the piano.

VL: It doesn’t matter! I don’t really play guitar very well at all, but I think if you just put your hands on the instrument and just start moving your fingers, you’ll find the things… Like, that’s happened to me on guitar, where I’m so sick of the piano or the keyboard, and I’ll just pick up a guitar, or a bass guitar, and just start playing, like, one string or two strings until I find melodies that please me. I never think about what the note is or what the chord is, because I’m terrible at music theory. I’ve always just written based on what I like. Even though I studied it, I completely flunked. I’ve just never been the kind of musician that’s good at it.

LS: Yeah, yeah. Again, it’s very intuitive work, and that kind of work is oftentimes much more precise and beautiful than [work that was thought-out]. Some people can really think music, as well, and be very impressive, but music is something that should be felt, also. So if you can do that primarily, and also think it, then you’re really in business, because you can be much more efficient about it and write much, much more. [Laughter] I’m having to wait sometimes because I can’t necessarily think the music theoretically.

I know we were going to talk about the process of how we write. For me, it is a process of collecting ideas all year long and recording them on iPhoto. I record and I film the rhythm and I collect, I don’t know, dozens of these recordings every month or every year, and then when it’s time to make an album, I fall back on this little bank of ideas. And then I start the work of unfolding that, and see what can come before, what can come after. But I’m at a stage now where I’m starting to regret not having learned all these things properly, because I feel I would be more efficient in my life. But maybe that’s a capitalistic trait that, you know, Oh, you have to be efficient about it. [Laughter] It’s more about being able to extract ideas, and to add new ideas or be a bit more cerebral about it, and to be able to experiment more. I wouldn’t say “take out the emotion,” because I think emotion should be central to music. Because if I don’t feel anything in music, I may as well go and peel potatoes in a restaurant. But I certainly want to be able to contort it more and see what more can be extracted from this art form.

VL: I think that is the artist’s lament. I mean, you’ve been doing it a lot longer, and so I’m definitely not negating what you’re saying at all. A lot of what you’ve just said obviously resonates with me as well. There’s always been in my, so far, fourteen years of being in Beach House—

LS: Well done!

VL: Yeah, thank you. We are still doing it. We still love it, and we still get along very well. We’re closer to one another than I think most people are with their families. But I think there has always been this feeling that no matter how good we feel writing, or recording, there’s always this little voice that says, Should we just have had more time? Should we have experimented more? Or should we have held the songs for another year, then released it? And I always say, “No, we have to let them go. We have to let them go.” Because so much of our rhythm, and creativity, and writing has been about the process of letting go, of getting to the top of the mountain and then going back down and then going back up, and then at one point you just have to throw the thing off the mountain. For me, as long as the feeling, the original emotion, the élan, the ember, is in there, I think the story is still intact. One thing I’ve been always very afraid of getting caught up in is the cerebral, the production. You do that, but there’s a point where you have to just stop because it could go on forever. It could be fifteen years; it could be like My Bloody Valentine.

And so for me, I think, there’s a balance. There’s always a balance between what you do naturally, what you do passionately, and then the part of you that is clinical and a perfectionist, which is a synonym for a destructionist, in my opinion. There’s a joking, perfectionistic quality, and then there’s a kind of belief that prevents people from ever showing anybody their work. So I feel you. But I think that—not to be creepy, but I saw an interview with you and Tim [Gane], and you were speaking about how you were kind of waiting for the music to be finished, and then you were writing on or in the music once the music was done. And I’m very curious about that dynamic in Stereolab. How did that work? How did that feel? Was that on every album? Was every album different? I could imagine that being at times—

LS: Frustrating?

VL: Frustrating, yeah, because I think you described it as not a democracy at some point, and I feel like for me and Alex, it’s the opposite. There’s just two of us writing. But we do it back and forth, so it’s never one person who does it all.

LS: That’s wonderful. I would dream of such a dynamic, but Tim wanted to control every aspect of the music, but because he couldn’t write lyrics, he left that up to me. So I had to come up with the lyrics to all the songs, which was great, but there was a part of me that wanted to write the music, and that’s why I had to go off and do my own little side project in the form of Monade. The little story is that I was together with Tim in a band called Stereolab, “stereo” being two, and I went off and did my solo project, Monade, which means “unit,” which means “one,” so I thought that was quite funny. It took me three years to realize I had called my project “unit,” you know, “mono.”

But, yeah, that was an outlet, because Tim was really tightly gripping the control over this music, and I had to constantly fight to at least be there in the mixing, and, you know, bring ideas wherever I could. And it was extremely frustrating for me, and I wish it had been different, but it wasn’t, so I took myself and started Monade, and I’m now writing my eighth album.

It’s not bad. It’s great, you know. And I’ve had great adventures doing that as well. I’m collaborating a lot, but I do really, really like a kind of real collaboration, like you and Alex have, where you do a bit and the other does a bit. And a real composition with coproduction. I think it’s great, the idea of a couple and the alchemy, the dynamic. It’s so exciting, because it can be a bit lonely out there with your songs, you know. I do integrate as many people as I can, but I am still in this dynamic of Tim’s School of Music, which is you’re alone and you control. And, paradoxically—I learned this quite early on—making music is about relinquishing control, because when you want to control, you’re boring. So it’s only if you let go of the control that Ah, things happen! And those things are much better than if you’re trying to force them. I think that music, or any creative process, has laws of its own, and that we’re more or less inspired enablers. We just channel this stuff, which ultimately doesn’t even belong to us. [Laughs]

VL: That’s what I mean about the letting go. The letting go is the magic moment. It’s the moment where you surrender to the universe and say, I’m just a human in this world, but the thing that I’ve been feeling and this thing that I wrote was inspired by the universe, but I’m giving it back to the universe because it’s not mine to keep. It’s not mine to keep. And, like you said, this idea of ownership is foolish. I hate to say this, but I think that [being controlling like this is kind of a] male trait, whereas women have this more innate connection to the earth—maybe it’s because we menstruate. You know what I mean?

There’s so much complexity to it all, but I’ve always felt natural in my dynamic with Alex—that we are yin-yang. When one is erring on the side of controlling, the other one is pulling the other way, and vice versa. I think we still work together and still get along so well because we are flexible. I’m obsessed with this idea of balance, because to me it’s tied to the perfection that exists in imperfection. There is no perfection; there is just a perfect balance: when enough of the things are wrong in the right place or right in the wrong place. That is why I still do it: because I don’t want it to be a perfect, controlled, manly, masculine hellhole of order.

BLVR: You all have been having this wonderful meditation on control and what that looks like individually and interpersonally, and also in a band setting. I’m curious to know what you think about control as far as the music press goes and the ways in which it has used a term like dream pop to describe the music made by both of you. Victoria, I know you don’t like that term.

VL: Well, it’s inevitable. I think it’s a thing that was created to organize things so people can browse in a store. They’re like, Oh, I want jazz. I want new wave. I want post-punk. I want this one. I want that. So I’ve always thought of genre as just a label, just a stupid label. And I’ve never let it define what I do, what it sounds like, who I am, what I appear as. I don’t actually—and have never—cared what I look like to other people. I know that people’s perceptions of me are going to be good and bad and stupid, you know what I mean? I just think the best way to be is to not care too much about what other people think. I’ve joked in the past, when I was younger. I used to say stupid things like “Yeah, you can call us…” And I would make up all these other terms. I would say “‘something’ pop.” I would just make up random things because we were just doing what we were doing and not thinking about it externally.

When we’re making music and art and jamming and writing, we’re not going, We’re going to make a punk song now. We’re going to make a “this” song. So genre, to me, is a little thing. We don’t know what the future is going to be, so why don’t you just say we’re “alternative music”? Because we’re not in the Top 40, we’re not going to the Grammys, we’re not Ed Sheeran, we don’t fit into whatever the hell the mainstream is into, which, at this point, is insanity.



VL: Peng! is one of my favorite albums of yours, and I listen to it often. This morning I was listening to “Enivrez-vous,” which ties in to this idea of relinquishing control and asking nature what time it is. Look at the bird, look at the sky, look at the tree, look at the water. Get outside of your little self, you little shit. [Laughter]

LS: Oh, you’re so funny. [Laughs] Yeah, well, it’s just that the bird, the water, and the tree have the right time. The trees are blooming right now, and it’s this absolutely extraordinary spectacle. It’s beyond anything that a man could make. The reality, the surreality of a blooming tree with sun shining through it—it kind of kills me in a way, the intensity of the beauty. And I think that, here, we have perfection. Perfection is in nature, in the sky, the clouds. We’re so small with our little drawings, our little paintings, our little songs. So, yeah, why not—as you were saying—why not relinquish and just offer it to the universe? OK, you dictate because you know better, and I’ll just serve you. I’ll serve you. I’ll be in service of this here.

And I think maybe this idea of being in service of is not something that men are very comfortable with. And yet it’s a shame, because there are actually certain traditions, like the Taoist tradition, or the Tantric tradition, where men are meant to be in service to women. And the woman—the happier she is and the more she blossoms, the more she inspires her man: she inspires and takes really good care of her children. These are real mutual harmonies, which were perverted somewhere, sometime in history. Now it’s like ladies and women and the earth should be in service to men, and I think that’s why everyone’s feeling so screwed-up and can’t find their place in the world. It would be nice to bring back the balance of serving this beautiful nature and this beautiful universe for all the abundance it has to give us. But that means respecting it and not exploiting it so much.

VL: It’s this beautiful, very simple and deep harmony that takes a gentle understanding. It’s something very powerful that nature just has innately. Sometimes I find that maybe all art is just trying to imitate the perfections that exist so effortlessly within nature: like you said, the blossoms in the trees. I think the best thing all us human beings can do that would be as beautiful as that would be finding that balance between the beautiful thing, the pure thing, the blossoms, and the people around it. There can be structures like a wall on which a spray of purple flowers are existing: they’re supported, they’re hanging on the wall, but the wall is not hurting the flowers.

LS: I was being very romantic, talking about the blossoms.

VL: It was beautiful.

LS: I’m talking about them because they’re out now, but, of course, art is more far-reaching than just trying to emulate the blossoms in the painting, because there’s so much more than what the eyes can see. And just because we don’t see, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. The art can reveal a lot. There’s also mathematics and the laws of physics, which, you know, are very similar to art insofar as trying to articulate and explain the laws of nature. And then there is all that we have in our unconscious—the collective unconscious. I’m thinking about the surrealists and what they explored through art, and the preoccupation with being as honest as possible, as brutally honest as possible, and disturbingly honest. And also the idea of putting a big kick up the ass of the bourgeoisie with their blossom art and paintings. I think that the beauty, and the strength, and the power of art is that it can go anywhere. It can be as disturbing as you very well like—that’s its goal! I see art at the forefront of society, actually. And the artists—because they can imagine and they can visualize, they can experiment—can have a safe environment where they are allowed to do whatever they want.



BLVR: Laetitia, you mentioned Brexit earlier. Do you find that Brexit is impacting the UK music scene?

LS: Well, to give you an example: the beauty of living in London is that basically 60 percent of the city is foreigners—so not many Brits left, sorry. [Laughs] But I have some friends who are being chased by the Home Office. And if they get caught, they’re being immediately thrown out of the country. So they are in big fear, and they’re already organizing an exit because it’s too risky now, too dangerous. The Home Office is extremely brutal with people. It’s not going to look twice unless you are rich, then maybe they look at you differently. A lot of people are having to find other places to live. I have a friend who moved to Margate recently. It’s a seaside town; a lot of artists now are migrating to seaside towns: Hastings, Ramsgate, Margate. So you’re clueless, and it’s happening slowly but surely.

Also austerity measures, which kicked in in the early 2010s. This is kind of nine years on. We’re starting to really feel it. It’s not a very good climate, I think, for artists, and for people in general. But if you’re trying to make money here and there with your art, it’s not very secure these days. And especially when you also don’t know if you’re welcome in this country or not. So there is that side, and it’s on the rise. On the other hand, you also have people who show a lot of solidarity around these issues. And it’s quite good to see that there is this other side, also. Who’s going to win? I’m not too sure right now. We’re all tiptoeing around the topic.

VL: There’s a lot of that. The feeling in the world right now is that things are going round and round, and when will they go down the toilet bowl? It’s this feeling of waiting, and it’s back and forth, and unfortunately, I feel that there’s this hatred that everyone’s tiptoeing around. What it really is is just the horrible racism against lots of people. We’re having it in America, and we’ve had it, and it’s never gone away.

LS: Yeah, I’m really happy that Stereolab is re-forming. I mean, sorry, I’m bringing it down to my personal level and what I can do, because it can be very demoralizing, what’s going on. It can be very daunting and scary, but I think the last thing we should do is freeze on this spot from our fear. We have to keep on moving because, OK, we are in a cold lake, and there is this threat of being frozen over completely. And we can keep on moving with our creativity, with what we have to say, expressing ourselves and talking to people and just being active, not retreating at home just on your computer or whatever, but being active out there. No. Move, live, live. Keep the creative nerve taut. Do.

VL: And also act. Get off your computers and interact with people, like, real people. Go dancing. Go talk to strangers. Reach out and be kind. Because if the world just becomes a big technology sphere, and we become more and more detached from one another, it will become harder or impossible to connect, really connect, because every human is starved for love, and there is so much pain. The only way to help that is to, like you said, bouge, work, continue to create, energize—

LS: Connect, connect. Indeed.

VL: We must never lose that, because love, in the end, is actually something very simple. And, Laetitia, you are very eloquent, and you said it beautifully, and I’m not meaning to repeat it, but I do think that art, music, going outside, being physically affectionate with people, not being afraid to look strangers in the eye and find some sort of way to communicate, is all we have, literally. And I agree. We should not freeze. We should not let the evil and the hatred freeze us.

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