I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

September 23, 2013 - 6:35 p.m.

Shake it Up Chicago

Wow, it's 5:49 and I'm only starting to write, the blogging machine almost broke down today. I just couldn't find the time between classes or between class and therapy. Then it took me forever to get going after therapy. Now I have to make up for lost time. Ackk, I have a show to go to at 7:30 and I have to travel to it. Why wasn't it there when I looked this morning? The irony is that it is right by my shrink. Why did the event I went to yesterday disappear from Facebook? It was the something something Sound and Movement festival at Littlefield. The reason I went is that it started with three short films. One of them was Fanfare for Marching Band, the Mucca Pazza movie. Yes my favorite circus punk marching band has a movie! All Pazzafarians need to see it. It IS the band. It's totally Dada. Mucca Pazza always makes me think of Quantum Mechanics. They exist at the Planck Wavelength where virtual particles are continuously created and annihilated and smooth spacetime becomes quantum foam. Yes they are the best thing in the world.

I heard about the show from Susie, she is one of the trumpet players and she pretty much starts in the movie. She's the first one you see and she keeps reappearing. I spotted Justin only twice. He's her sig other. Of course she's a cute girl and I can't see that well. I did learn that I can recognize her from just her legs.

The movie is them playing in random places in Chicago including a bank and Union Station. They were on the steps you see in The Untouchables! I loved recognizing that.

Here's a video I took of them at Lincoln Center.

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once. Mucca Pazza is the antithesis of time. But here's a big thing that people don't get, what makes it all work is that the musicianship and composition are great. They are making real music. Everything else is a joke but the music is the real thing.

I have yet to find a friend to go with to see them perform but Katherine joined me yesterday. If things can be worked out she'll join me next time they play here. You should join me too. You all should. But for some reason others don't think a circus punk marching band is the best thing ever.

The next thing at the festival was a conceptual art/dance piece. To me it was the epitome of the "idea is everything school of art." Being told about it is all you need, experiencing it is secondary. It starts off with some hand drawn not exactly animation. It's words following each other along with some pictures in a time lapse photography montage while two people just stand there. One is not in the light and you can barely see him. It eventually moves into dance but they had lost me by then. The sound was like listening to a bad sound system. It wasn't music. It was noise.

My reaction was. "Ugh, post-modern art." They've been doing this for years and it had never caught on. It only appeals to a small sliver of people and a small sliver of people will like anything they think is cool.

Then I had the revelation, you can say exactly the same thing about Mucca Pazza. I can't get MY friends interested. This isn't the general public. These are people with an educated cultural palette. So maybe I'm just missing something. And I don't have an educated palette for dance. I know more than the average person but that isn't saying much. I will say with confidence that the music was bad and the video pointless but perhaps the dancing was good, at least once they started dancing. I know I would have taken more kindly to it if I hadn't had to sit through the part where they were just standing there.

Here's the thing; Katherine loved it. And what she loved was the dance. It spoke to her. And Katherine is not one of the people that will like something because they think it's cool to like it. So I'm betting that terpsichorically there is a there there.

But there isn't always a there there. And sometimes you can rake people over the coals for liking pretentious pseudoart. My RA in college was in a grad student who was in charge of the movies in his undergraduate college, one of the small liberal schools. One week they didn't have a movie so as a joke he posted that this week's movie is Andy Warhol's "Dark Screen" and he wrote a review of it. It went something like "The house lights come down but nothing comes on the screen. It truly is a dark screen. Nothing is projected. After a while you start to see flashes of light, but those are in your head. Everything is truly dark.. Running time 2:03." He thought that was clearly a joke but guess what, Some of the faculty hired baby sitters and showed up. I told him that he should have charged them admission and had them sit in the dark theater. They'd have gotten everything they were told, the only lie being that it wasn't a work by Warhol. The content would have been exactly as advertised. Those people who showed up deserve to be mocked, and should be mocked, to get people to question their blind quest to be hip.

But where do you draw the line? And that's my usual point you don't know for sure. Be generous of spirit and realize there's a difference between something not speaking to you and something being crap. BUT don't forget that there really is plenty of crap out there. You have to use judgment and you'll get things wrong. It took me almost 20 years to learn how great the Ramones are. That's a humbling experience. So mock but be nice and give others the benefit of the doubt and never call them idiots, even when you know they are. OH and of course anyone that doesnt appreciate Mucca Pazza is a philistine with no right to an opinion.

I feel bad because I didn't talk about the other films which I enjoyed, especially the one about dancing in the gazebo in Central Park. But I also left out what we did afterward and even what I ate! So you know this is about time and space constraints. Wow I wrote this fast. Sorry that the blogging machine broke down but that gives me the chance to post this, talk about Dada.





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile September 23, 2013
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