Monday, September 30, 2013

must I paint you a picture

So me and homie went down to see Billy Bragg last night, after hanging out on my front porch awhile, and decided we weren't interested in the opener so we wandered around Kent and I geeked out over all my old haunts and how much it's changed down there... the apartments where Devo lived are gone, the "pet sematary" art installation that me and my roommates loved is replaced by a big house, the swings on the playground that we used to haunt have been replaced by park benches to keep The Children safe, my old grotty house on College Street is still there, but the street was really quiet that night. We loved hanging out down the river, walking along in the darkness along the paths, something I would never do on my own, and bailed over a fence across the railroad tracks to get back like the punkass teenagers that we sometimes still feel like.

Maybe we were in the wrong mood the whole night, maybe it was the comfortable chairs and the relative affluence of the general demographic. Maybe it was that we're economically hovering a few grand above the poverty line and can only afford a reasonable quality of life because we live in an extremely economically depressed region, so it's hard to hear about "power in a union" and the "working class" when your experience with unions has been so negative and someone's singing about it who probably hasn't been in one for decades, and you're trying to figure out what to do as winter comes and work gets slow and you wonder how you're going to make ends meet.

Maybe because you know too much, and there's something a little embarrassing about watching a guy justify his kissing the Queen's hand because his mom likes the Queen, and talking about his cowboy boots and authentic western shirts, and lambasting the usual easy targets and talking about the working man and how England is so much better at everything, which is kind of crazy because even though it's got healthcare, it's still pretty damn anti-immigrant.

So Thatcher's dead, but there's a lot of other scumbag powers that be that are still alive that you could go after, but heaven forbid you offend that demographic by suggesting that the current administration might suck as much as the last one so let's just talk about crazy wingnuts right? Because both parties aren't pretty much the same or anything. It's hard for me to believe in power to the people when the majority of people are selfish mofos who don't care much for their fellow humans as long as they get what they want. Yeah, healthcare's important, but last time I checked your country and my country were getting cozy about surveilling on dissenters, but who wants to hear about that? We want to feel good about feeling smart and progressive! I do have to give him props for dissing Dawkins, but otherwise. Low hanging fruit's already been picked clean.

It's awkward and strangely hilarious watching an old punk rabblerouser try to validate himself and act like he's all radical when he's got a big mansion in a crackerific oceanside town and writes get-off-my-lawn screeds in the newspaper aimed at those skateboarders who get in the way of big developers. And then to see the audience hanging on every word without necessarily questioning anything, and I wonder what the hell happened to me, have I really swung to the left of this guy? 

 And so  we're sitting off to the side, happy to hear the occasional song we wanted to hear, but feeling like it's not terribly fair to our fellow concertgoers ( no one was really sitting too close to us) if we're going to whisper snarkitudes to each other and be bent over trying not to laugh out loud, so we leave about halfway through, take another spin through the town down the sidestreets and past the grain elevators and drive back to Clevelandia laughing to stay up way too late again.

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