It's evolution, baby!



Raras vezes poderosas canções do rock uniram-se a incríveis vídeos bem escritos e produzidos. Do The Evolution, lançado em agosto de 1998 pela banda estadunidense Pearl Jam, é, talvez, o maior exemplo de como um videoclipe é capaz de carregar visualmente a mensagem de uma letra através da explosão de imagens marcantes, como se fosse um curta-metragem. O grande mérito de Do The Evolution é que a animação produzida por Joe Pearson e Kevin Altieri contou com a colaboração do cartunista Todd McFarlane (conhecido por Spawn) e do próprio Eddie Vedder - vocalista da banda e autor da letra desta música (composição, aliás, que merece ser lida com atenção: "I'm ahead, I'm a man / I'm the first mammal to wear pants, yeah / I'm at peace with my lust / I can kill 'cause in God I trust, yeah / (...) / I'm at peace, I'm the man / Buying stocks on the day of the crash / On the loose, I'm a truck / All the rolling hills, I'll flatten 'em out, yeah / It's herd behavior, uh huh / (...) / I am ahead, I am advanced / I am the first mammal to make plans, yeah / I crawled the earth, but now I'm higher / 2010, watch it go to fire").

Numa entrevista realizada na época do lançamento do disco Yield (1998), Vedder afirmou que a ideia central da canção não surgiu do nada. Do The Evolution foi fortemente influenciada pelo livro Ishmael: an adventure of mind and spirit, de Daniel Quinn. A história do livro é a de um rapaz que observa um anúncio de aulas de um professor no jornal (direcionado a pessoas que querem "salvar o mundo") e o procura em seu escritório pelo simples fato de desejar ter aulas. Ao chegar no escritório, descobre que o professor é um gorila extremamente inteligente, batizado por um judeu como Ishmael, que o provoca com reflexões filosóficas e sua história de vida. O diálogo abaixo, do original em inglês (p. 14-16), é ilustrativo. Nessa parte, Ishmael havia acabado de contar ao seu novo aluno como saiu do Oeste da África, aprendeu a língua humana nos circos e foi parar nos Estados Unidos.


There are times when having too much to say can be as dumbfounding as having too little. I could think of no way to respond adequately or gracefully to such a tale. Finally I asked a question that seemed no more or less inane than the dozens of others that occurred to me.
“And have you had many pupils?”
“I’ve had four, and failed with all four.”
“Oh. Why did you fail?”
He closed his eyes to think for a moment. “I failed because I underestimated the difficulty of what I was trying to teach—and because I didn’t understand the minds of my pupils well enough.”
“I see,” I said. “And what do you teach?”
Ishmael selected a fresh branch from a pile at his right, examined it briefly, then began to nibble at it, gazing languidly into my eyes. At last he said, “On the basis of my history, what subject would you say I was best qualified to teach?”
I blinked and told him I didn’t know. 
“Of course you do. My subject is: captivity.”
“Captivity.”
“That’s correct.”
I sat there for a minute, then I said, “I’m trying to figure out what this has to do with saving the world.”
Ishmael thought for a moment. “Among the people of your culture, which want to destroy the world?”
“Which want to destroy it? As far as I know, no one specifically wants to destroy the world.”
“And yet you do destroy it, each of you. Each of you contributes daily to the destruction of the world.”
“Yes, that’s so.”
“Why don’t you stop?”
I shrugged. “Frankly, we don’t know how.”
“You’re captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live.”
“Yes, that’s the way it seems.”
“So. You are captives—and you have made a captive of the world itself. That’s what’s at stake, isn’t it?—your captivity and the captivity of the world.”
“Yes, that’s so. I’ve just never thought of it that way.”
“And you yourself are a captive in a personal way, are you not?”
“How so?”
Ishmael smiled, revealing a great mass of ivory–colored teeth. I hadn’t known he could, until then.
I said: “I have an impression of being a captive, but I can’t explain why I have this impression.”
“A few years ago—you must have been a child at the time, so you may not remember it—many young people of this country had the same impression. They made an ingenuous and disorganized effort to escape from captivity but ultimately failed, because they were unable to find the bars of the cage. If you can’t discover what’s keeping you in, the will to get out soon becomes confused and ineffectual.”
“Yes, that’s the sense I have of it.”
Ishmael nodded.
“But again, how does this relate to saving the world?”
“The world is not going to survive for very much longer as humanity’s captive. Does that need explication?”
“No. At least not to me.”
“I think there are many among you who would be glad to release the world from captivity.”
“I agree.”
“What prevents them from doing this?”
“I don’t know.”
“This is what prevents them: They’re unable to find the bars of the cage.”
“Yes,” I said. “I see.” Then: “What do we do next?”
Ishmael smiled again. “Since I have told you a story that explains how I come to be here, perhaps you will do the same.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, perhaps you will tell me a story that explains how you come to be here.”
“Ah,” I said. “Give me a moment.”
“You may have any number of moments,” he replied gravely.

A letra de Vedder, musicada pela sua banda (Pearl Jam), também destaca os efeitos nefastos do projeto civilizatório ocidental, que ignora a cultura indígena de respeito à terra. É clipe é apocalíptico e explora cenários pós-industriais. Um deles lembra Matrix, com máquinas dominando homens e nutrindo-se de sua própria energia. Outro, muito mais próximo da realidade hoje (2012), mostra centenas de homens lado-a-lado de frente a computadores - e não justamente isso que ocorre com os usuários do Facebook, todos conectados no mesmo ambiente virtual gerando energia ao sistema?

Essa obra monumental (o videoclipe) é uma provocação à sociedade em geral. É certo que o homem atingiu um estágio único - "está a frente, está avançado", como diz a canção -, mas será mesmo que a evolução deve ser conduzida com esse apetite destrutivo inerente ao homem moderno?

Ou "fazer a evolução" é apenas um chamado de uma traiçoeira e sedutora morte?

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