Saturday, March 04, 2006

MS joins the Flarfistes

Spent a few hours today at the headwaters of Flarf: yes, the Florida Renaissance Festival, squatted down – with its hordes of wandering minstrels, busty wenches, moody teen-aged goths, frivolous teen-aged pseudo-faeries, strolling jugglers, relentless tchotchke hawkers, and so forth – only a half-dozen miles south of Culture Industry home base. Noted:

•Most of the guys playing what look like "lutes" have them tuned to regular 6-course guitar tuning. The bouzouki players favor the easier G-D-A-E tuning over G-D-A-D (& so do I...).

•These sort of events really are the last refuges of what they call the "variety arts": where else can you see an act that involves trained dogs jumping thru hoops and a husband and wife juggling machetés on balance boards while playing a harmonica duet of "When the Saints Go Marching In"?

•If you wear a Guinness t-shirt, you don't actually have to say anything when you go to order beer, but can just point.

•One doesn't go to the RenFest to get back to the 16th century; one goes in order to enjoy the spectacle of a bunch of people playing a really dizzying range of dress-up – goths in high-techno black kilts, serious reenactors in big bucks Elizabeth farthingales and pearl-studded head-dresses, fools and jesters, Samurai, faeries in green paint, horns, wings, and little raccoon tails, even one or two Wild West gunmen this time around. A hell of a lot more postmodern than Fight Club (which I finally watched last night, for the first time, & found wanting).
The knowledgeable Keith Tuma pointed out to me that I'd misremembered the author of Oh as Norma Cole in my last post, when I should have written Cole Swensen. My bad, but don't bother checking, as I've changed it. Norma Cole is someone whose work I admire rather much, tho I haven't read all her books; Cole Swensen is someone I'd like to read soon. The whole business reminds me of "My Three Songs," a little game show the "alternative" radio station in DC used to run every afternoon: they'd play three songs by different artists, and the winner was the listener who could figure out (and explain) the thread of continuity among them. A memorable example:
•Depeche Mode, "Route 66"
•U2, "Night and Day"
•Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, "Perfect Skin"
Any takers?


Kathrine said...

All remakes?

Archambeau said...

Too easy, man: these are three songs sung by people who have never been in my kitchen.

(The only famous people ever to have been in my kitchen are Stanley Fish and Andrei Codrescu, but their kareoke version of Route 66 is best left unmentioned...)

Jordan said...

Gosh, the lyrics' speakers all are inside thinking about/hearing/hiding their eyes from the road? A little Invitation au voyage around the room, maybe.