Joe Strummer : The Future Is Unwritten

People can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks. I am one of them. But we've all gotta stop, just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything. This is something that I'm beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other. It's because they're being dehumanized. It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain't going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people, you're nothing. That's my spiel." - Joe Strummer

It's a wonder it took me this long to get around to watching this documentary. I won't claim that Strummer's music has impacted me as much as others, but as I age, something about Strummer's music and art, both with The Clash and The Mescaleros, seems to grow within. The more I replay the records, and the more I dig in, the more meaning and inspiration I find.

The Future Is Unwritten is a pretty fantastic retrospective on Joe's life. Instead of painting him as a saint, the film actually shows the many sides of Strummer: his almost unbreakable principles, his weaknesses and insecurities and perhaps most importantly, his endless curiosity that often posed internal challenges. He had a punk's spirit and the fists to take on any fight, yet he couldn't help but feel drawn to hippie culture, techno and just about every art imaginable. He tied himself down yet broke free time and again. And that back-and-forth often led to internal turmoil.

This documentary is so good that even an appearance by Bono didn't turn me away. And actually, aside from his last short interview, he actually had some interesting things to say. Captain shades aside, Joe Strummer injects life into the listener and viewer. The man lived fucking life and he almost demands that you do the same. If you've ever questioned going after what burns inside of you, this documentary may push you forward. Because in Joe's eyes, the future is indeed unwritten, and it's our responsibility to write it.

I decided to only follow music forever. That would be the way to live - Joe Strummer