Friday, August 06, 2004

It is festival time in our fair metropolis. Overall, this is a great time of year. The weather is usually tame and the constant activity tempers any lethargy one may feel. I have been out a few times. The shows are too expensive, but freebees can be found. The other night I went to a pub playing folk music. If you've seen any john wayne irish films you'll know the scene. Drunks around a table all playing instruments while other instrumentless drunks nod and sing along. It is a very pleasant atmosphere, but this is festival time. So, of course, I had a whole family of performers for some show trying to shake me down to buy tickets. At first I was very pleasant. Saying I would not be able to go, but their constant insistance required me to bluntly tell them unless they are passing out free tickets they might as well take their flyer back. Shame too. It looked like an interesting show, but once again too damn expensive. My understanding is that the venues charge so much that the tickets have to be that much. Today I bought some tickets for a band, "Flight of the Conchords". Right now tickets are almost reasonable with a two for one deal. The next few days will be a mad rush to see the shows before they go up to tourist prices. While I was waiting to buy tickets, several people walked by carrying five foot toothbrushes. This is what I really like about festival. I am much happier at a pub and when the booth next to me is occupied by two men in swan costumes talking about scoring with chicks. I am at peace when the world visually confirms to me its absurdity rather than its usual and more subtle manifestations. The festival can also have its drawbacks. I have already mentioned how pushy the show barkers can be. By the end of august, your pockets are filled with flyers. You can't talk to strangers for fear of a thirty minute sales pitch on their play about Rasputin's genitals. This bit troubles me an extra measure. Artists in any medium hold a very high position in my esteem, but during this tradeshow they call the festival I can have no illusion that their business is a business like any other. They have a product to move. It can be disheartening for a layman such as myself that perceive these people as pursuing a trade more noble than mine. My advice to anyone is never meet any of your idols. I have met two of mine and was disappointed on both accounts. A lesser nuisance is the sheer volume of mediocracy. Last night, I was at a show. I walked in and the musician was singing, "Let's invade Latvia". I was instantly excited. Yes. Lets! Everyone knows how smug those latvians are. Alas, I misunderstood the lyrics. He was singing about all night until the morning light or some crap like that. Ah well, Maybe someday someone will put those damn latvians in their place

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