Saturday, December 17, 2011

“Occupy!” last night. Rock today. Occupy Onwards tomorrow.

•Well, I think the Occupiers were less freaked out by my Ron Paul button last night than the neocons were the night before.

And I gave some advertising advice to the Occupiers last night in Brooklyn (or at least n+1-affiliated people writing about the Occupiers).  They threw a party in a loft overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge to celebrate the release of the Verso Books volume of essays Occupy! and neglected to put up a big sign noting that they were selling copies at the event for a mere $5.  That’s a steal!  I got mine.  I hope they’ll be profitable at that price.

But should we even keep track of who owes what to whom?  (Hint: yes.)

A left-anarchist anthropologist who suspects not, David Graeber (ex-Yale prof and author of Debt, that book I retrieved from polyamorists and flight attendants the other night), will be on a panel tomorrow – along with Mike “Rortybomb” Konczal, my recent drinking buddy who (rightly, I suppose) chastised me for not knowing the names of real mediation firms and who appears, by the way, to have abandoned his brief reciprocal following of my Twitter feed [UPDATE: He’s back!  You can follow him too]. 

But no matter: tomorrow at noon, I’ll attend that panel of Occupy-affiliated leftist writers, 5:15-6:15 at the Theresa Lang Auditorium, 55 W. 13th, part of a day-long discussion called Occupy Onward (starting at noon) that I’ll mostly skip.

•I very briefly bumped into a notorious ex of mine, herself a product of Yale suspicious of the cash nexus’s triumph over traditional communal ties, as I was entering the subway last night to go mingle with the Occupiers.  Then, at the party, I bumped into a friend who was almost in that same essay anthology from last year that the ex and I were in but usually writes about art (and she is a tad more conflict-averse than most of my political acquaintances).  Then, returning to Manhattan and exiting the same initial subway station, I bumped into a woman who just days earlier at dinner had told me she believes meaningful coincidences occur more frequently than can be explained by random chance.

Despite NYC constantly reminding us it’s a small world, I’m not quite convinced coincidences happen more than they ought to (people are awash in info and unconsciously sift out the few nuggets that resonate – in countless areas, from religious symbols to science data), though I confess I remember believing that in childhood. 

Indeed, I remember seeing (hearing?) the first album I ever bought, Synchronicity, as musical confirmation of the concept (popularized by Jung).  Within a year, I would no longer believe in supernatural or paranormal claims of any kind – but I STILL BELIEVE IN ROCK N’ ROLL, and so, let us devote the rest of this entry (in what I vaguely recall was supposed to be a “Week of Rock”) to some great music links:

•First, my oft-mentioned favorite song of all time, “Synchronicity II” from Synchronicity, since I’ve touched on it.

Fugazi’s vast bootleggy musical archive is online, notes Ben Sisario.

•You can help kickstart Nevermind the Nostalgia: The Last Book on Punk Rock, a book which would bravely and usefully cover the less-hip punk years 1996-2006.

•Here’s an amusing summary of reasons Lady Gaga is awful.

•Two cool Missing Person songs, of which Dave Whitney reminded me.

•The Kinks sing the most conservative rock song of all time, “20th Century Man.”

And a concluding thought for meditation: the Ramones ended up a reverse-Spinal Tap – all the band members dead except a still-living succession of four drummers (and the second bassist).

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