Last night's show at Luckies was fun, excellent to see Tom Nunes and Ezra and friends. As always, grateful for the folks who come out to see us play: Dave P, Crystal, Kregg, Sebastienne, and others. At the end of the night I was deeply hurt and confused and bewildered by the disappearance of the steam bun cart on Broadway. Last time I played Luckies, with Red Jacket Mine, I took a life-changing walk down the alley in the back, toward all the youthful street commotion, and hit the steam bun cart with Lincoln Barr. I guess they were sold out last night. The phad thai bun was something I had intended to revisit, and was helping me stay til the bitter end, along with the rocking power pop of Throwback Suburbia. They had bad-ass Eastwood guitars. I want one.
I am revisiting Janwillem van de Wetering, starting his first book in the detective series, Outsider In Amsterdam. I love how you can feel the influence of Buddhism in the writing. Tracy and I met a guy in Amsterdam when we visited who dismissed his writing as quaint and old-fashioned. But there's nothing quaint about mindfulness. It's radical every time you give it a try, even in a book where, supposedly, you are trying to sort out who killed whom and why, and vicariously crossing boundaries of proper human behavior for the sake of suspense and entertainment. If you took the police work out of these books and they were just about De Gier's cat and Grypstra's wife's pink curlers, they would still be fun to read. And I like how the characters take time to be lazy, play drums and flute, and talk about nothing much at all.
Here is an interesting post about his writing.
I also blasted through The Hunger Games and then we rode our bikes and saw the movie yesterday. Boy, there is a seriously crackling hatred of privilege and aristocracy glowing like a hot wire in that book that became even more clear in the film. The capital city looks ready for an old-fashioned guillotine party. Alot of purple-haired fops askin' for it!
On the upside--in the real world, wherever that is--more and more people seems to be recognizing that some of the best features of our society are at least partly socialistic, and that gutting the social commons is a bad idea designed to make a privileged few richer than they already are. It's important to go out of your way to reject the idea that it's okay to abandon a certain percentage of society. You have to kind of mechanically do this nowadays because our culture is, well, so fucked up and competetive and neurotic and crazy-making and exhausting. The culture of fuck-you cynicism and conservo bootstrap suck-it-up is just that: a culture. And cultures, like moldy yogurt left in the fridge, change. Red state, red mold. Blue state, blue mold.
I write this on the anniversary of my friend Joe Carioti's death due to drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness and homelessness. He didn't have enough money to go to Serenity Lane. There was no way to really keep him safe, at the end. I also think of my friend Steve whose brother expatriated to Holland and died there after many decades as a citizen. When he was ill, the state helped him move to a downstairs apartment so that he would not have to climb the stairs. They made housecalls. They took care of him, and did not shame him for being a vulnerable human being, or for not having money. And it wasn't a big deal, because dignity is what we owe each other.
On that very serious note, I am going to go to the store to get coleslaw fixins for a party at Snider's. Yeah!
“You are eight years old. It is Sunday evening. You have been granted an extra hour before bed. The family is playing Monopoly. You have been told that you are big enough to join them. You lose. You are losing continuously. Your stomach cramps with fear. Nearly all your possessions are gone. The money pile in front of you is almost gone. Your brothers are snatching all the houses from your streets. The last street is being sold. You have to give in. You have lost. And suddenly you know that it is only a game. You jump up with joy and you knock the big lamp over. It falls on the floor and drags the teapot with it. The others are angry with you, but you laugh when you go upstairs. You know you are nothing and know you have nothing. And you know that not-to-be and not-to-have give an immeasurable freedom.”