Monday, April 11, 2016

Stories of the Week.


Thursday 7 PM, Pinch Club 14th st NW.  

Saw about 5 HC punk bands.  On the walk down I saw  a Cooper's Hawk. Interesting to me,  while over 10 years ago I was very much into HC punk, after a point of time I got very tired of it.   It seemed totally derivative (people seemed to have no new musical ideas or interest in creating them---they just sot of played the same chords and did same style as had been done since HC strted in the 80's).  It also seemed more like a sports, fashion and popularity contest.    

People were seeing who could play the same chords faster than anyone else, be the hardcore stage diver and mosh pit thrasher, be the most cute and stylish, and more 'politically correct than thou'---prove your cred as a radical activist by wearing circle A aymbols (which goes back to the 70's---crass and sexpistols...) and declaring 'I am  a revolutionary  anticapitalist, antiracist anarchist----which is why you should buy my CD and t-shirt, pay my gas bill so we can get to the next gig, don't vote since that legitimizes 'illegitimate authority' (the government, which does pay for my day gig via a Pell Grant and a road to tenure in a State University).  "Anti-racism' extended as far as the club door (typically in mostly black , poor, gentrifying neighborhoods). The black people were hanging out front on the street; anarcho-punk is one of the most racially uniform scenes in the world --- ranks with many of the yuppie bars. GoGo music scence is similar---except its typically like 99% black.

But after 10 years (i had switched to GoGo and i was like the 1%) I've checked out a few HC punk shows and was favorably impressed.  I didn't even think it existed anymore but seems quite similar to the 'heyday' when i liked it.

My personality tends to be like this --- if i like something, even one particular song, I might play it 1000 times in a row---a theme song.  And then I decide I hate that song---don't want to every hear it again.  This went for jazz, velvet underground, rolling stones, classical and fold music. Then it seems cycle changes and i go back.

I left my backpack on the floor to take a walk outside.  Amazingly at these punk shows I have never had anything stolden even if I leave it on the floor and take a walk.  This is not the case for GoGo shows---i've asked people to watch my jacket and when i come back I notice the pockets are empty. This may be both a poverty and race issue.



I did a volunteer session at Food and Water watch (anti-fracking, pro-GMO labeling, etc. in world resources insitute building).  They wanted me to vet their web site.  I said it was fine. I didnt say its totally generic.  How many web sites do we need saying the same thing---its like brands of potato chips or cogarettes of burgers. I guess the fill niche markets and create identities.

They were showing me a new book they have on fracking.  I probably could write most of  that book. They also wanted to know 'how would you use our web site if you wanted to give 5$ /month, or 10, 0r 100 or 300.  i showed em---its easy, and generic but i am unemployed and may even know more than  you on some of these issues, and dont want my money going to starbucks---which it does.

     GIO Caught the show at All Soul's Unitarian.  Met quite a few people---just small talk. Once again a good show.  In elementary and middle school I used to take music lessons there.

 I went to only two sunday services at All Souls---one for christmas.  And one to see Cornel West.  That was enough.

Malignant platitudes to a large extent.

My mom goes to Unitarian church in  Hawaii---same one Obama went to. Old timers remember him.  I visited Hawaii---went to 2 services; quite pleasant but not my cup of tea.   The preacher mentoned one time Sherry Turkle of MIT ---his and her message was 'try turning off your cell or smart phone for an hour---technology wont fulfill you'.   .  I dont think this applies tor Turkle--she is sort of the technoethicist of MIT---a small bit of their NSF funded supercomputing projects and other things is devoted to her salary.

I didnt even own a cell phone (but my family loaned me one, since after services I'd catch a bus and go try to climb Hawaii mountains---I couldnt get back in one day---those mountains are hazardous---so i'd call them and say I was staying the nite on top). So how could i turn it off? I didnt want one either.

The other service was on 'spiritual economics'---a set of books, which are non objectionable, but redundant and hence somewhat unnecesary---i'd already read some of them.  . I don't need some gay preacher explaining this to me---maybe I should be explaining something to him. (Interestingly when I sortuh came out as partially gay to my family for some of them it was 'no way'. When i told some in the gay community i was partially straight it was 'no way'---choose a side, and devote your life to the cause.)  Things have now changed in  my family, though its a bit too late to alter the damage.(My famly liked my interests in sceince, ecology and nature. But not my music--unnaceptable---basically banned).


Saturday.  Another punk show---part of same 'damaged city fest' (on youtube).  This day i may have made a mistake.  At nite 2 people I know came by my place when i got back---at like 3 AM and then 5 AM--they throw rocks at my window and want a place to crash, maybe party. I didnt open the door. A sortuh greedy attitude but sometijmes they get on my nerves and I want some privacy so i can study and play music.

I have told them this is not a homless shelter--its one half a 'home' and one half an 'office' (work at home).

Missed about half the bands since they started early, and missed the after hours show since i was tired.  Saw 4 people i sortuh knew---organizer of the event ('positivie force dc), a young woman i'd talked to at the pinch, one of the member of 'post-teens ' band, and one from a hacker group i'm basically banned from (partly because i brought my own can of beer rather than buy one there---saves on the money).  He actually is writing an APP to locate the various birds during migration season in DC area, and other seasons.  (The organizer i think noticed i had a beer in my jacket pocket and told me thats not allowed here--it was in a church. I wasnt the only one doing that.  His group is always asking for volunteers---pack up bags from the food bank and deliver them to seniors. He has a degree from JHU.

I did that for awhile.  
Easy.  Nice.  But the Punk /activist/ social justice scene has approximately Zero use for any complex thinking such as science and math. All these people do is work at soup kitchens, get a PhD in history or post-anarchsim , read jacobin, and read the bible apart from being poverty pimps on the side  to make a wage.

They do service---for example, you can a free sunday meal.  This solves hunger issues. They are happy to give you a free meal, and tell you next week we will give you another one, so just hang out till then.
   I didnt go to after show since i wouldnt get back until 3 or 4 am and also know the next corners---i'd have to walk--have had a fair amount of violence there and i'd have to walk by.

-Sunday.  Cafe Philosophy.  It runs from 1-3 pm.  I'm always prompt so I got there at 3. It was on 'coincidence'.  i talked to one retired mathematicians about zeta-functions. That is a pretty good topic for discussions of coincidences, correlations, and causes (including spurious ones--- eg )  there is really nothing to say about this except by using relativisitc quantum theory but i dont' have energy or really skill to go through details.