". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Hopefully, it will be what has become an annual tradition: New Year's Eve at the home of our long-time artist amigo who some years back became a fully initiated houngan. We have come to having a Haitian New Year's Eve. Last year the loa came down too.

Vaquero came back from recording a piece for a program on the great big local NPR/public radio station about Cuban Jazz and the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. "It's snowing," he said. "I don't think it will accumulate. But it is really cold."

He went off to Da Office. Now I'm hearing on the same radio station that we are to expect temps around 17 degrees and 30 - 40 mph winds by tonight. Woo. I had some outside plans for today, but I think I'll just workout and make a pot of posole. Eeek. I will have to go out, to a degree, to get a bunch of fresh cilantro. But that's only a block. Hope he has no trouble coming home.

However the weather will likely not deter the million + crowd that begins gathering around 5 PM at Times Square for the midnight ball drop. I cannot figure these people out. Particularly since 2000 there are these baricades, within which you are not allowed to bring anything to eat or drink and once you enter, you cannot leave again -- at least I think if you leave you can't re-enter. Whatever. Crowds as herds. I have never had the least interest of participating in this event, even before moving here. People always ask if we do this for New Years. But for years on New Year's, Vaquero's band was playing. If you are a musician New Year's Eve is your biggest working night of the year. The really hot players pile up as many gigs for that night as they can. We've known Puerto Rican players to either fly in for NYC gigs after playing Puerto Rican ones, and the other way around too.

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