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Sunday Soul – HIGH & DRY
Year 11 – Playlist 26/52 – For the week of October 12th 2014
I’ve been down in LA for a few days hanging out. I caught up with some friends, and spent some time with my family. My mother hosted an event and I turned up to help run the photo booth and draw charicatures of about a hundred ladies at a hawaiian themed party. I love people about as much as I hate them, and so it was a pleasure making women in their golden years feel girlish and beautiful. It was especially a pleasure to wind up coming in third place in the hula competition. I think I won more for my courage than my hula abilities (seriously.)
Los Angeles is a strange place. I’ve been thinking a lot about leaving my home town of San Francisco for a while now. I spent my entire summer tour imagining myself living in Berlin, Stockholm, Barcelona, Paris, and even New York City. I had this idea that somewhere else might be different. While it’s true that other places have other features – language, custom, attitude, and history – everywhere I went searching I found the same corporate occupation, and commercial coopting of neighborhoods, culture and posture in some digital quest for authenticity, heartlessly displacing the people of everywhere I went. It seems that everything is for sale, and as long as we buy the garbage they’re selling we will continue to be pushed further and further out from the center. Now how the city became the center again I don’t understand. San Francisco is a bedroom community for the suburban workforce who were raised in the suburbs, and now long to live in a newly resurfaced urban environment while they continue to work in the suburbs.
It makes me angry. It makes me sad. It reminds me of the early 80’s when suburban kids found out about punk rock and bleached their flat tops and came slam dancing their way into what was once a predominantly gay, art student and intellectual movement of protest and performance art, forever turning punk rock into “hardcore” and stripping the vitality and love from it. Punk rock today is stale, meaningless man-anger. Like the boring rock and roll that it intially replaced. Regimented, stupid, and as angry as ever. There’s no there there anymore.
I’m asking myself how the city – arguably every city to one degree or another – has let herself become a whore for the investors, and capitalists who buy up her stately houses, apartment buildings, and store fronts – reworking and displacing generations of working class people, culture, values, and lives so that the facade of priveledge can pay ten times the rent for the same space, and flood the vibrant, diverese, and beautiful refuge of the city with the purchsed, and false banality of suburban expectations. I noticed this more than a decade ago when people would come pouring off the freeways at christmas time to shop at the same stores in the city that they had in their suburban malls. “Why would they come here for more of the same uni-crap that they have in the suburbs?” I asked. My answer at the time was that the city is awesome. A trip into town is dangerous, glamerous, and exciting. Now that the danger is repaved with the exact same plastic from the suburbs I am asking different questions. Questions like “Why am I still here?” and “Where do I go now?”
I don’t forget much, and I am definitely sentimental about things which mean something to me, but I am not a man of the past. I am a person of my own time, and above all else, a dreamer. I look ahead from here and endeavor to imagine the cartography from here to there. I am brave enough to stay and fight, I am brave enough to forge ahead. I am no more afraid to stay behind than I am to move on without you. I don’t want to re create what used to be, but I deeply cherish what once was. The painted corner I find myself in today is the result of economy, politics, technology and class and the lies I’ve been fighting my entire life. I can shake my fist at counterfiet liberals all I want, feeling smug that I was right to point out that this is all just Reganomics (feed the rich and take no responsibility and trust the recipients to employ and do right by the poor, the opressed, and the working class) and there has been no representation for liberals, socialists, laborers, or Americans in America since Carter left office with his tail between his legs. By modern standards, Richard Nixon – deteseted as a fascist in his day – was a far left liberal compared to our current leadership. We have continued the tradition of selling our national and cultural obligations for profit, and as the result we have lost water, power, airwaves, education, community, and more… there is no end in sight, and no truce or surrender. We have allowed this to happen by playing dumb, staying down, and talking to ourselves in our cars as we sit in traffic. We only want to hear positive things. We can’t save the world, so we’ll settle for saving ourselves. And in the process, without a social compact, a moral authority, or a spiritual compas in place to guide us, we have lost our souls, and lost everything. In our desperate grab for authenticity in a world of ever increasing nothingness we have left ourselves high and dry.
As distracted as we are, as smug as we are, and as escapist as we have become I can assure you that there is no “there” over there. Just as sternly as I would preach that there is no “them,” and there is only us, I insist that wherever we go – north to Alaska, or south to El Salvador, we are the foot soldiers of the corporate empire. Wherever you go comcast will follow. Your community radio will fall beneath the weight of Hulu Plus and the local knitting circle and clothing swap will fade in the ever increasing glow of your mobile phone. It isn’t them… there is no “them.” It’s us. The only thing evil about technology is the capitalism behind it, and how it’s used. How are you using technology? Are you using it? Or is it using you?
Delete your facebook account today. Don’t undertake an alternate social media outlet. Just delete it and let it go. Meet your next date in real life – if you’re too busy to meet people, then accept the fact that you are a workaholic, and need a therapist, not a boyfriend. Toss your cell phone into your toilet and hook up a land line – think of all the time you’ll get back to actually pay attention to the world around you (your wife, your children, the sun, the stars.) Never ever buy another app again for anything. Disconnect your comcast, and buy a $20 digital anterna for your television to receive
local, terrestrial broadcasting. Delete your MP3 collection and visit a record store. Go to the library and get your first library card, introduce yourself to the librarian and ask about Melvil Dewey’s decimal system and why it’s so fucking confusing. Read the newspaper (and while you’re reading it, consider the skew of what’s being said to you – who owns this paper? Who wrote this article? Why are they saying this to us? How does the publisher or author profit from this article’s subtext?) Grocery shop at a local market and cook dinner at home tonight. Sew up your socks instead of throwing them out and buying new ones. Promise me you will never shop online again. Shop locally, and pay a little more for service, love, community and life. Choose life. Choose your community. Choose the real world. If you don’t like the real world, if you can’t bear to look right into my eyes and smile, or say “hello,” then I suppose you can have all of your virtual misery and convenience back. What have you got to lose?
Thank you for listening. See you next week.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: HIGH & DRY
1. Right Never Comes – Rhye
2. Shape – Darren Clark
3. Planet Caravan – DJ Steef Edit – Black Sabbath
4. Lovin’ – Ryan E Shaw
5. Maybe Tonight – Lovelock
6. Ida y Vuelta – Savannah
7. Love On The Line – MTE Edit – Barclay James Harvest
8. A Broken Heart – The Glue
9. Master Plan – CaseyDC Remix – Church Williams
10. The Last Time – Pezzner’s Native Language Reprise – Codebase
11. Your Love – Club Mix – Mark Knight
12. Four Million Miles – Sunshine Jones
13. Soul Touching – Sunshine Jones Remix (revision) – Statedlife
14. The Captain of Her Heart – Sunshine Jones Re Edit
15. Sunday Soul – Program ID
16. Crave You – Bxentric Remix – Flight Facilities
17. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 26|52
12 October 2014
Total Running Time: 01 Hour 50 Minutes
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.