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small red square Local DC/Maryland news picked up this weekend:

  • The Silver Theater will be taken over by the American Film Institute (AFI). Thankfully, the little streamline-modérne strip mall at the intersection of Georgia Ave and Colesville in downtown Silver Spring won't be destroyed and this its cinema is to be reborn! No word on the fate of the great AFI Theater at the Kennedy Center.
  • The 'Vous closed. (This news courtesy of a Lieutenant I got to talkin' with in the sauna on-base). This bar (the "Rendezvous") was a fixture at the corner of Route One and Knox Road <1> when I was a student twenty-five years ago. Its cross-street competition in that long ago era was the "Varsity Grill", which didn't even make it into the 1980s.

small green square Been thinking about Punk Rock and its attitude's appropriateness as the response to millennial fears of the End of the World. Been listening to the Sex Pistols after that humorous sequence about The Great Rock and Roll Swindle on KFJC yesterday morning. The end lyrics of their "God Save The Queen" especially tweaks my nihilistic but amused, "who cares?" elation:

No future, no future
no future for you
No future, no future
no future for me
Coming up to that fin-de-siècle line things'll get hairy but the trick is to keep snickering and sneering as we slouch into oblivion, alive in the moment and who knows? The other side may be even better.

small blue square I was there at the beginning and didn't quite catch it. Actual quote from my travel journal, the entry on the scene in the UK May 1977, from a summing-up of my recent experiences during several days in London:

The musical scene I'd always imagined was non-existent. Totally disco, Elvis, and the "new wave" - whatever that meant. Punk Rock, I suppose.
This from half a lifetime ago; when I first breezed through England. Oblivious to things happening around me then as now, I find out Sunday (today) that Laurie Anderson did a show Friday night in nearby Saratoga. Why wasn't I informed? The same thing with Joni Mitchell sneaking into town two weeks ago with Dylan, and this week's "This American Life", which was taped "live" sometime recently in the City at Yerba Buena Gardens near the SF MOMA. To compensate for her missed performance, here's some Laurie, transcribed:
...and the other thing it reminded me of were all the attempts during the Gulf War to outwit the terrorists, and I especially remember an interesting list of tips devised by the US Embassy in Madrid, and these tips were designed for Americans who found themselves in war-time airports. The idea was not to call ourselves to the attention of the numerous foreign terrorists who were presumably lurking all over the terminal, so the embassy's tips were mostly a list of "don'ts" - things like:
  1. Don't wear a baseball cap
  2. Don't wear a sweatshirt with the name of an American university on it
  3. Don't wear Timberlands with no socks
  4. Don't chew gum
  5. Don't yell "Ethel, our plane is leaving!"
I mean it's weird when your entire culture can be summed up in eight characteristics.

small yellow square Three bicycling vignettes from my life:

  • early Autumn 1982. It's the weekend of the Latino festival in DC's ethnic Adams-Morgan neighborhood. Booths are being set up on the sidewalk and the parking lane, but it's still early this Saturday morning as I ride my bike down Columbia Road, past the Safeway. Suddenly a large buzzing insect materialized in that space between my glasses' lens and my eye. By means of a violent involuntary head-shake I managed to dislodge the bug, but this action's reaction was my literally falling off a moving bicycle and landing all akimbo on the urban pavement. Ouch! Fortunately traffic was light at that hour, and U's apartment (which I'd moved into less than a year previously) was only a few blocks away.
  • 1990 - workaday lunchtime and I've just finished my tasty grilled chicken from the Wiki-Wiki Teriyaki in Manhattan Beach's mall. As I made my way back through the parking lot to my black VW beetle, glistening in the SoCal sunshine, three native boys on bikes whizzed past and one shouted "Outta my way, Chrome Dome!"
  • the present moment, 1998. I rode my bike over to Shoreline to see "The Truman Show". Commentary will be delayed.

SF MOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
SoCal - Southern California
DC - (Washington), District of Columbia

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<1>the intersection which Kendall once called the Great Magnet Back

<2>from "The Ugly One With The Jewels" (1996) Back