The Autonomist
Just Another Snowbunny Rockin' The East Bay

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The Autonomist: Gymnast, Revolutionary, Youth Counselor

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Jolly Pirate Party

"Maybe I'd have more credibility if I'd gotten here on a freight train".

Those are the words of a jaded old FNBer I work with. There's probably a grain of truth for where she was at. It seems like most everyone in the circle of people I'm hovering around used to be into punk rock, but now they are more likely to be learning the accordion, fiddle or banjo than a 3 chord bass.

Last night at the Long Haul an amazing puppet show entertained a packed crowd. The lighting, the music from a nerdy looking girl playing a saw, the intricately decorated puppets, the masks, the old folk accents, and the wine with lavender that was passed into the audience was all so amazing and overwhelming that I didn't even pay attention to the dialogue.

Then a tight 3 piece punk band played. But even though every member of the group knew what he was doing, I and their parents felt compelled to clap so as to save them from a painful silence after each song. A handful of hobos stood quietly as if they were harking back to another era they had been a part of, but no longer had the energy for.

But then the puppeteers got out their drinks and instruments: fiddle, accordion, banjo, saw, a boy with his drum, an instrument that looked like a giant bow... and within seconds there was a crowd dancing, glass breaking, laughter. It was like all of a sudden I was transported back to the 1600s as these poor souls in this world of concrete and strip malls took us to a place they'd rather be: perhaps out in the woods around a camp fire full of friends each from far away lands, or in a small port town that is almost dead when the pirates are at sea but a never ending festival when they sail in with their stolen booty from the conquistadors.

I don't know. Maybe 10 years from now I'll be able to look back on this time and see the cultural shifts going on in the underground. But right now it's hard to say. I remember when in the 90s it seemed like a huge shift in attitudes towards gay folks was underway. Now that's most everyone's observation yet it was hard for me to say at the time because I had just moved from Winfield Kansas (: doesn't that even sound rural and backwards?) to Lawrence-perhaps the activist capital of Amerika right now.

So maybe its just me and where I am heading, not so much the rest of the world. The time I checked there was a huge line of patched up punks outside Gilman and Kerry signs in the rich neighborhood here.


Monday, August 09, 2004

Sucked Deeper & Deeper In

I have been helping out with East Bay FNB less than 2 months and being coerced into more and more responsibility (see post from a couple weeks ago). Now it appears that the Wednesday meal will be a simple beans and rice instead of the usual 4 or 5 options unless I step in and pick up the bike cart, ride it over to Whole Foods, and then drag it and the donated food up a steep hill to a place called Lothlorien Co-op.

It might not be so difficult but the food is supposed to be picked up at the latest by 10AM, which probably means waking up some hippies at 9:30AM to get the FNB bike cart. Also, if you've been reading this blog for a while you know I have knee problems but have managed to ride bikes almost pain free until now. I have been feeling some minor irritation when I ride the last week or so. This has happened before and it went away, so hopefully (God, I hate cars....), I'll still be able to ride or figure out a way to ride that doesn't hurt. And hopefully my new 10 Speed that I found in Rockridge will get me at least to the foot of the extra steep Lothlorien driveway. (sigh)Ï