". . . 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, October 16, 2011

Occupation, Music & Friends

I was social three times this week and now I'm trashed. I can hardly walk. This is not good.

Wednesday I walked and ate and talked with friends from out town. I didn't feel very good the next day, so I was quiet.

Friday in the daytime I was out doing errands. Naturally a woman was riding her bike here on the sidewalks that were packed with people doing the Friday thing. She had her dog on one of those expandable leashes. The dog had no training. He would suddenly cut out to run up to another dog, or pee on garbage or try to eat a piece of trash -- whatever. She would suddenly brake and stop, or slew her stupid bike right around blocking the entire sidewalk. I told her it was illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk, that she was a great danger to everyone else, her dog and herself. Her mouth fell open in complete idiocy. And then she rode the wrong way against the light right through the traffic. So my conclusion is that I don't care a thing about her, and she is too stupid to live. Except, she WILL take down innocents with her. She's definitely one of the 1% -- the world is me and me and me and more me, period.

Friday evening we went out fairly early to meet up with a bunch of music people including the journalists before the kick-off to the Arturo O'Farrill AfroLatin Jazz Orchestra's season at Symphony Space. They were so good. You know how good they had to be for me, non-musician, to get how good they are: 5 saxes, two of which players doubled on flutes and soprano sax, 4 trumpets, 5 bones, a set of 5 congas, Arturo’s piano, another set of 3 congas, bongos, drum kit, timbales and the assorted other percussion small things like clave sticks, shakares, and so on, including Jerry Gonzalez having brought one of the kids from his group in Spain, Antonio Linzana, who sang flamanco AND played sax (every woman in that audience whatever age she was swooned), an upright bass, and then Andy Gonzales playing upright and doing vocals too, when so moved. Also three great vocalists who danced. These are verily the gods of AfroLatin jazz. I'm so glad I got to be there.*

Yesterday was the Occupy Wall Street march up 6th Avenue to Washington Square Park, sort of a preliminary march to the occupation at 42nd Street (which seems, by many accounts, to have had many cops and surveillance people pretending to be Occupiers. They wore t-shirt proclaiming them Occupy Wall Street, among other things, and nobody connected with this who is sharing the effort has made Occupy Wall Street t-shirts. These guys were noticed after the event, wearing orange wrist bands as well as having the t-shirts, and talking intimately with the cops. When challenged they claimed to be city sanitation employees but there were no city sanitation people in the area.

During the 6th avenue part el V started chanting: "Take Back the Sidewalks. No bikers! No restaurants! Sidewalks for Walkers!" He was delighted that the marchers in his vicinity immediately backed him up on that. The privatization of public space has tipped way over beyond tolerance. No matter how small the private, the bitch on the bike, takes over the entire sidewalk from the pedestrians; the vendors on the sidewalk from out of the city and anywhere and everywher; the restaurants' sidewalk cafes; the scooters, you name it -- they are all private and they get right of way. Zuccoti Park was public, but now it is private. There is talk of a serious occupation later this fall of Washington Square Park. That is city property, but you wouldn't know it for NYU regards it and treats it as its own, and shuts out the pubic whenever it so desires for its private events and use. There will be blood if the Occupiers go into WS, one thinks.

Last night we headed up to 245th street for S's home cooked by herself! fabulous Puerto Rican dinner, and guitar playing among Puerto Rican theater people and musicians.

Now I’m sick, or feeling like I’m sick – and this is entirely without any alcohol, eating sensibly.  So many aches and pains.   It’s that hard on me to be in social situations of prolonged sitting and standing.  This stupid back condition. I’m going to be very quiet for a while now. But -- it is the season, which is merely heating up now for through the holidays, most of which I missed last year due to not being here.

* Review of the concert by Ben Ratiliff in the NY Times here.

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