Alright you people. I'm writing this thing right now because when I try to speak funny, it's not. So, I'm writing this. I have to find someway to let loose. I find that if I don't just write anything that comes to mind that I don't do anything. And, if I sit in front of a camera or a microphone and talk, then I'm left to clearly hear how unfunny I am and that's just too painful for this particular moment. I'm going to have to show up all week so I can build up enough of something for next Friday.
Okay, so, you know how old people smell, right? The smell of their cologne or perfume? It's awful, right? It's like there's brand called "Old People". "Old People Smell: for when nineteen fifty feels like yesterday. What year is it? I have to poop." But, yesterday, I realized that I love it when old people smell terrible because I met a really old man that smelled amazing and it weirded me out so hard. This eighty year old Asian man smelled delicious. Old men are not supposed to smell delicious.
Lindsay and I went to see the Gogol Bordello and the Pixies last week and it reminded me of when we went to RiotFest two years ago in Humboldt Park. I was reminded because we were sitting at the Hollywood Bowl noticing the strict social enforcement of economic status and realizing this was not going to be the best way to see Gogol Bordello. If you don't know who they are, they play music that is Eastern European/Latin American folk (polka, gypsy music) mixed with punk music so their shows were designed for tight rooms where you come home covered in other people's sweat and despite that you don't care at all.
When we went to RiotFest we were expecting a very similar show to the one's we'd seen in close quarter but it got way out of hand. We'd seen them in a small venue in St. Louis that apparently had the perfect sized pit and RiotFest couldn't handle what Gogol did to the crowd. As soon as the show started, side to side movement went from a couple feet to like six or seven feet of lateral movement as jackasses on the edges pushed hard on one side and jackasses a hundred yards on the other side pushed back. Meanwhile, the people in the middle were absolutely packed so hard that our feet had nowhere to step. I ended up falling down a couple times with like fifteen other people. It was crazy.
I remembered before the show in Chicago the characters we met. There was a guy that had the ultimate wine and cheese intentionally sophisticated sounding NPR voice I've ever heard. He said, "you, my friend, are in for such a treat," to this other guy who lived in the area and waxed the shit out of his mustache. I just stared at NPR voice observing the juxtaposition of his voice and state school sweatshirt. That visual and auditory cultural conflict was the only thing that made him tolerable.
I remember that moment because I like to imagine him saying, "you, my friend, are in for such a treat." And, remember halfway through the show when the shearing made me step to the side and I felt my shoe rubber ripping the hairs off somebodies shin as it slid down and looking over to see mustache guy scream. First, "You, my friend, are in for such a treat." Second, mustachiod abject terror.
Things got way out of control. And, I ended up not wanting to repeat that experience. But, at the Hollywood bowl, the front row didn't even stand; there were too many tables, chairs, wine, and cheese; this wasn't a concert; it was a way to feel special by being in the front; it was the kid that took the basketball during gym class for not other reason than to have the nice ball not realizing the only reason it was better is because it had air; they didn't even dribble it; and there were fifteen body guards between us and the stage preventing any aspiration of getting to the stage. The enforcement of that social hierarchy absolutely killed the show. Nobody could go up front that wanted to be there. Gogol was kind of swallowed by the size of the place without the crazy people up front. It was crazy. And, I know I've been harping out enforcement of social hierarchy by institutions, but at one point there were balloons going around and a security guard grabbed one out of the air ten feet away from me and popped the thing like he was making an example out of it. Possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen. That security guard got sadistic with a balloon.