". . . 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

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We'll Hafta Throw Our Own Party If We're Going To Get the Dance Music We Want

We have tinsel all over the place.

Great Christmas party at N&B's. By the occult forces of serendipity, having linked yesterday to the NY Times article on the Howard Zinn documentary on the History Channel tonight, among the people we met last night were MT and her parents (Ms. T performs two readings in the Zinn project). People we've met previously at N&B's were there again, besides the extended family members who have all wended their way to this West Village town house for the holidays. The Roger Sterling and Don Draper actors and many other, mostly television, actors were again guests. I met for the first time CB, who played Frank Sobatka in the second series of The Wire, "The Port." Now that was awesome, since "The Port" is my favorite season of The Wire, and it is because of Frank Sobatka's character. To me, this season is true tragedy. Unlike JS who plays Roger Sterling and JH, who plays Don Draper, CB wasn't surrounded by hordes of women, so I got to talk with him. Let's see, there were also guests we've known for a long time, like DB and SB. Then there were all the fashion industry people and the fashionistas, with whom I made no contact at all.

The models (they weren't the supermodel model, but on the order of the models designers employ to drape their creations as they work out their lines) were all dressed, again, in the mode of Mad Men, which is more attractive on television than in a room, maybe? This isn't 'vintage' clothing, but custom made, of beautiful materials, thus not tacky, so that isn't why it doesn't seem so attractive, to this viewer at least.

Interesting thing about the fashionistas, male or female -- they cannot dance, and seem to lack any musicality, at least judging by last night.

When the dancing began, despite all the efforts of Vaquero and N's bro to get real dance music, the dj would NOT play the cuts. Particularly he hated salsa and other latin dance music. He wanted Michael Jackson and the same old exhausted MoTown hits. Periodically Vaquero and J wrested the dj system into their control and we had fabulous dance experience (and oooooh, how MT's parents can dance -- her father used to attend the old, original, one-and-only Palladium in its heyday of latin dance, like Bill Graham, who he knew back then). But dj would always get it back, and we'd retire. The fashionistas never even heard any music at all. Until ... he put on "Billie Jean." Then they all squealed, stopped posing and went into the dance room, in which they performed the most embarrassing herkjerk movements you ever saw -- and not even in time with the rhythms, such as they are in "Billie Jean." It was astonishing. Kind of entertaining in an embarrassing way ....

However, it was dancing that was the highlight of it all. The N&B household-family have evolved an annual Christmas Party tradition that began in their house in Ohio when they were little kids. They call it the Christmas Swan Dance, which is performed to "The Blue Danube." The deal is all of you must have vast handsful of tinsel when the "The Blue Danube" begins to play. You freestyle to the music, placing most energy into the arms, waving the tinsel about in the colored lights of the otherwise darkened room in which inhabits the Christmas tree. You become more and more silly (frenzied?) in your movements as the music continues, until compelled to pelt someone with some of your tinsel. This goes on and on and on, accompanied by hysterical happy laughter, while minions flit about refreshing everyone's tinsel suppy, until everyone and everything is dripping in tinsel. It kind of reminded me of Mardi Gras and St. Charles and the beads layered everywhere, dripping from everything.

So we flung tinsel with the best. And then we came home. Draped in tinsel. Which is now all over our apartment and which we'll be gathering up for weeks. I'm neither shamed nor sorry.

Our apartment is nothing compared to N&B's townhouse (in more ways than one!), in which all five stories are tinseled.

(By the way, N&B's place is very close to the one that stands in for Carrie Bradshaw's apartment building in Sex and the City. I just realized that last night, for some reason. Duh.)

Then talk about a very different culture, tonight it's a Haitian music party in honor of the Alan Lomax recordings issued in a ten disc boxed set, that includes videos and other matter as well.

Happy Blue Danube Tinsel Swan Dance to you!


K. said...

We went out for Thai food last night.

Foxessa said...

And so you should have! Isn't Premium T working her etcs. off in this season?

Good Thai food is wonderful.

Though I do admit to having enjoyed the seldom eaten ham, for instance, provided by our hostess's groaning board.

I'm just so relieved that Vaquero's shoulder and arm are back to normal.

Love, C.

K. said...

She has indeed been working her etcs. off! Plus a nurse friend of ours had passed a certification exam and wanted to celebrate. I'm lukewarm on Thai, but this place is good. Terrific martinis, too!

Nice to hear that everyone in your world is healthy.

Foxessa said...

Ears prick -- martini? someone said martini!

I could use a martini, but instead rum seems to have taken over these last weeks ....

Love, C.