Last Friday night, every conversation seemed to revolve around the death of Tom Waits, as if it were any surprise that the hard livin' 'Rain Dog' could keep it up forever, if not all night long, partying like a rock star.
The rumor proved to be false, but the expressions on the faces of those who 'loved' the man, mirrored the expressions of many of local denizens the day the once mighty koruna fell sway to international speculation, and given the irrational ditch nationwide.
A lost-in-thought, almost 'something-has-been-taken-from-us' look, each face showing a tinge of incomprehensible guilt, mixed with a furious contempt for the leadership that would let this happen.
I would suggest the crown is as alive as Mr. Waits is at the moment, slightly more so, yet I did see a glimpse of something else that's on the verge of dying. It is something that may have been the most positive legacy of the former regime, no longer in power since 1989.
A set of values only flirted with for the first time in the US in the 1960's. It takes years and years of frustration and an ever tightening power structure, exchanging trinkets for votes, to induce nonmaterialistic concepts into political struggles, and even more energy and discipline to sustain the fight (see discredited American New Age movements like the San Diego cult suicide for example, not that suicide is an answer, but it reflects on all those who seek self determination and non alienating relationships, pun intended).
On the other hand, it only takes half of a generation to remove much of the non-fetishistic, sexually-liberated, sublimity, and relative solidarity, enforced with a certain brutality to be sure, left over from the days of 'enemy' occupation. Maybe this is all too convenient for a child of high capitalism to impart, but, cheer up.
May was lousy, better to get this all over with before the sun comes out this month, guaranteed! There is so much going on in June that your ears are going to bleed, you're going to feel like it's A Clockwork Orange (buy some shades), and every beverage is gonna be laced with hormones. Best thing is that now with the slippery Crown, it's all gotten cheaper!
And, since it may devalue further, you should spend all your crowns NOW!
Go to every performance, disco, record store, bar, restaurant, even museums you bums, send Tom a bottle of Chivas Regal, or two, express mail (DHL), wishing him another couple decades of unsavory experience, at least. Maybe he'll decide that since we're all broke, loving each other, and leading a rather teetotalling ascetic lifestyle in July he might even come over and play a free show!
Don't THINK twice, do it.
FOOTNOTE: Fellas, be aware of the rather unusually high number of sexual harassments, some of them serious, screwing with our previously rather gender ambivalent street safety (another progressive local inheritance). Ain't no one gonna deal wit' it if we don't put a foot in their asses, keep shit cool.
- Peace. KK