Friends, well-wishers and seemingly politically-validated trolls snooping around looking to make sure that we’re up to fire code: The year is over. And what a year it was. Not to imply that it was all bad, but we definitely took our lumps. Of course, there were some high points as well – travel, inspiration, opportunities, etc. but then there was also the last two months to account for. Pauline, the Oakland fire, my grandmother passing all in less than two weeks time. It’s currently 5:30 in the morning and I’m up primarily due to explorations of cat and wiggles of baby – we’re trying to sell the notion that her own bedroom is much cooler than ours, but that of course invites the thought of “if my room is so cool, how about you hang out in it with me? Why would you want to go back to yours?” So Pau and I have been trading shifts hanging out next to Xime’s bed so she at least gets the notion that a parent is still in her cool room with her and eventually, int he long run, we get more privacy and a happy, autonomous bambina.
Let it be known that the news feeds are possibly more disturbing at 5 AM when you’re still in the pre-coffee grog and the chirping bird app still has a sheet over it’s cage. Most disturbing read this morning came from the Washingtonian stating that the creepy alt-right 4chan/reddit freaks who only learned of the various venues and cultural subsets that I spent a good part of the past 15 years inhabiting by way of a fire that killed a couple of our friends have been snooping around the Takoma Park art space where I’ve been teaching workshops, taking pictures and looking for fire hazards. Just a little invasive. Thankfully, according to the article, we supposedly “checked-out,” but even so, invasive. Having run a space or two in the past, it makes me think about the general notion of openness – as in where do you draw the line when you’re building on the backs of the all-ages scenes of generations-gone-by? Can you restrict openness? Dark times ahead – especially since the seething entities looking to shut this stuff down are traveling the same information highways that we’re using to build and harbor our own communities. Even creepier to think that there might have possibly been one of these dudes hoofing around as I was teaching with Xime napping in the back room and I was completely oblivious. Let’s hope that’s not the case. Though it makes me wonder – if not for art spaces and the like, what do these folks deem as acceptable artistic outlets? Honky-tonks? Amphitheaters? Stadium shows? Demolition derbies? Unfortunately, as Pau pointed out before heading to her Xime shift, it could very well be that the outlet of this particular subset of intolerance may actually just be trolling the web and trying to undermine culture, community and anything else the hive-mind deems inappropriate for the sheer hell of it. Good for them, I guess. Here’s hoping the turn on themselves and self-implode quickly – if only for the sake of me being able to veg out on the web in peace between the cat knocking things off the dresser and shifts spent curled up next to the humidifier, which is of course, totally cool. So much cooler than a nice, comfy pillow-top mattress, fluffy pillows and the few, spare hours where it’s just Pau and I together. Because it’s cool to sleep in your own room? See, mommy and daddy’s room is cold and boring. And so on.
Or something like that – not to be too personal or nihilistic. I’d normally save a statement like that for something a little more social, but fact of the matter is that social media kind of scares me at the moment. Case in point – a mutual friend receiving death threats due to a mural he painted at a pizza place that had since been painted over but was somehow a clue to some sort of torrid baby-trafficking ring. Maybe I’m paranoid, but the thought that all it takes is one errant chirp and you’re suddenly the subject of collective, communal rage doesn’t sit well for one trying to raise a family, make art and build instruments, especially when we’re still going through the whole immigration thing – which of course is another target of the previously-mentioned politically-enabled populism folks. Gotta keep it cool and fancy for the sake of the big picture. But at the same time, it helps to say your piece when you can. Have issue? Request discourse? You know where to find me. A bold statement, but fact of the matter is I’m pretty suburban these days. Good luck with that.
In the meantime, it’s the holidays, with exactly one day standing between me and some highly-needed rest, relaxation and catch-up time on all the projects sent to the back-burner as the crazy commenced. There’s also a few new projects waiting in the wings, but the bench is full again, so space needs to be made first. Also, three new VF Industrial releases drop tomorrow. More on that in about 18 hours, but I figured I’d at least offer what happy tidings I can to you and yours. But in the meantime, it’s now 6:30 – an acceptable time to begin making coffee, so I’m going to do that now. Hang in there, everyone. We’ll make it through this.