Shane Koyczan’s self produced video poem “Dear Ocean”.
A few weeks ago I was in line at the post office doing a few mail outs. In the line were a group of four, I assume, recent graduates. They spoke about which schools they had been accepted to for continuing their education. I missed the transition, but the conversation turned toward the elections. One of them was excited to participate, but the other three didn’t seem to care. They sighted reasons of pointlessness and hopelessness. I understood how they felt… it often feels as if we can make no real difference. My grandmother is fond of saying, “No matter who you vote for the government always gets in.” My grandmother says this, but she still votes. There’s so much money being thrown around trying to convince us who to choose, but very little put into reminding us why the process is vital. I hope that one day we will have a better system in place… one that lets people feel and experience the changes they are making, but I don’t think we can get there without choosing our path. I don’t think everyone has to agree, and I’m not going to insist that anyone vote a certain way, but the more people vote the clearer we see the path we are taking. If 100% of people voted… regardless of how they voted… we would see a clear choice of what the nation wants. Even if I was on the losing end of the choice I would feel more confident knowing that everyone was part of that choice. Of course this sounds simple… I know it’s harder now. I understand. We used to vote based on leaders pushing the virtues of their path. Now we have leaders who tell us little about their plans in favour of diminishing the legitimacy of their opponent. I just wanted to write something to remind people that they have strength. This didn’t cost tens of thousands to create. I wrote the piece on a napkin (it was the only thing handy at the moment), I made the music, recorded the vocals, and created the video on my computer. I grabbed some stock footage from the pond5 website and Dean Warner helped with tracking so that words would sync up with the vocals. All told I’d say this piece cost about 150 bucks to produce. The real cost was my time. Learning how to use the programs, the writing, the recording, the editing, etc. I consider that a worthwhile investment. I don’t know if this will inspire anyone to vote, but today I can say that I tried and that’s 100% worth it to me.
– Shane Koyczan