I’m notoriously bad at travelling. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of visiting foreign lands, far off worlds, and experiencing new cultures, I just prefer to do it from the comfort of my own home. I’m soft like that.
For instance, the notion of spending my holidays at the Geneva Freeport — a six-storey bunker-like institution in Switzerland whose sole purpose is to store and warehouse valuable works of art and priceless collectibles — sounds utterly intriguing. I’m imagining afternoons on walking tours of storage lockers. Spa treatments amongst Botticellis. Dining while admiring the Salvador Dalis; My own sense of importance, prominence — even potency — heightened by merely being in the presence of such vaulted works of art.
But I don’t need to actually go, thanks to Toronto art-rock trio Absolutely Free. Their brilliantly absurdist take on such a fantasy is the basis of “Geneva Freeport”, the title track of their forthcoming EP. The band poses some deeply philosophical questions while repurposing one of modern music’s most iconic lyrics: Just what kind of world have we created where everything from toothpicks to topiaries is assigned monetary value? Where even our very lives have a dollar value attached? It’s a wonder society doesn’t just lock the door, hunker down under some heavy blankets and never go outside ever again.
To a hermit like me, that doesn’t sound like such a bad way to live. But it’s not really living now, is it?