Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Contact High

I have always thought of myself as a free thinker. A liberal. A radical. A real bad ass. However, after this weekend I feel about as young, hip, and wild as Dick Cheney.

Believe it or not, Ryan's favorite band is Rage Against the Machine. Yes, that's right. By day he's a mild mannered, debate centered academic, but by night he's a "damn the man," fist pumping, Nader voting free thinker. Because I love this dichotomy of a man, I decided to get him tickets to the "Rock the Bells" concert in San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary. After all, what says love like a day filled with Wu Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy and Rage? Little did I know what I was in for.

Young people hair.

The moment we arrived at the arena I instantly aged ten years. I have been feeling rather old lately anyway, ever since a young associate producer at the station told me her mother was turning forty. She is 22. I am now closer in age to the parents of my colleagues than my colleagues themselves. And I was definitely older than the crowd at the concert. Estimating conservatively I would say the average age was 23. The average occupation? Pot smoker. I have never seen so much weed, so blatantly displayed, ever. Now, I know that I have always been naive when it comes to drugs, in college I wouldn't have know where to get pot if it was growing in my backyard. But I have always thought I was open enough to accept other people who like herbal refreshment, even if I myself do not partake. In this instance though any semblance of tolerance was washed away as I walked through the crowd with my mouth agape, wondering why none of these people were worried about getting caught. I wanted to ask each one of them if their mothers knew what they were doing. Of course, in a couple instances their mothers were there smoking grass with them. And I was older than the mothers.

This was a small joint.

Social outrage was the theme of the day. Every artist complained about something. One was angry about race, most were pissed about the war in Iraq, and one had an especially passionate hatred for 1980's soft rock. All preached a gospel of fighting the power, smoking the ganja and buying their albums. However, I got the distinct feeling the revolution has been compromised. Maybe it was the fact the social protest groups were handing out slick, two sided cards nicer than brochures for most colleges. Oh, and that those cards invited people to a "barbecue and potluck." Maybe it was the fact most of the crowd had never worked a day in their lives and their main source of income is their rich, white, upper middle class parents. Maybe it was the fact that beers were seven dollars, and bottles of water were three dollars. Or maybe, just maybe it was the fact that Rage Against the Machine t-shirts were being sold for fifty dollars. I think a shirt that expensive bearing your band name technically makes you part of the machine. I mean, unless the money goes to the Black Panthers. But I don't think it does.

Wear orange. But only if it's designer.

Despite the watered down message the music really was outstanding. Blackalicious was truly funky, Sage Francis displayed his biting wit, Flavor Flav danced around like an escaped mental patient and Rage played their songs like the world was depending on them. The crowd got a little rowdy, and I don't just mean drunk frat boy rowdy. One guy climbed the lighting tower and only came down after four security guards wrestled him down. The crowd wasn't much help, they kept yelling at him to jump, and one guy threw something at him trying to knock him down. Then a girl jumped on stage when Rage was performing. She misjudged how far it was back into the crowd though, and hit the barrier trying to escape the guards chasing her. Physics is such a bitch.

The reason we were there.

For me the best act was Ryan. He danced and sang and shouted leftist slogans with the vigor of an 18-year old philosophy major who just learned about Che Guevara. I moved my feet and did what could pass as dancing in some Amish circles, but Ryan was on fire. And it made me feel young. After all, how old can I be if I'm married to such a vibrant, angry hottie? Next time though I'm taking a lawn chair. My aching knees can't stand for 11 hours any more. And I need to wear more sunscreen. And a support girdle. And a cane to wave at those no good kids if they come into my yard.

3 comments:

Amanda said...

Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins
Homer Simpson, smiling politely

cate said...

NARC! Don't commit your hate crimes here.

mom said...

Lib, Lib, LIb, you merely suck in the air, hold your breath and upon exhalation murmur "wow"