April 18, 2004

Ode to Masculinity, cont'd ... ovation for nature. Sarah offers an addition to my Ode to Masculinity, which involves guys running down State Street in the rainstorm last night:
Some are screaming because they're bothered by the rain, but others--disproportionately male--are cheering the rain. One guy actually yelled, "bring it!" Yes, that's right: he yelled at the rain for the rain to "bring it."

Yeah, that definitely belongs on the list. Something about the high spirits tinged with ridiculousness/stupidity. (The larger the ridiculousness/stupidity tinge, the higher the dorkiness ranking, but you need some of that tinge--in my opinion--it's not a bad thing.)

She also recalls another nighttime rainstorm, on Halloween, when "[h]undreds of people--whose costumes were ruined by the burst of rain--stood in the street cheering for the thunder. ... Each and every time there was thunder people screamed and applauded." Well, that gives me an opportunity to do one of my I-remember-back-in-the-60s things. It was August 1969 and, no, it wasn't Woodstock. (I didn't go to Woodstock because I didn't have $17.)

It was before Woodstock, the Atlantic City Pop Festival, the one no one remembers, because there was much less suffering--no mud, bad acid, traffic jams, or fence-jumping. But it was pretty cool. Joni Mitchell got mad at the audience for fooling around too much and not paying appropriately folky rapt attention to her. She told us off and quit, then skipped Woodstock too, then wrote a song about Woodstock as if she were really all into the chaotic love-in atmosphere. Ha ha!

The festival took place at the race track and there was a nice open air stage. (I remember it had a big red peace sign right in the middle, which my pal Bruce said was like a pimple in the middle of a forehead. Did you know that in the summer of 1969, the peace sign was considered embarrassing (quite aside from actual political preferences about war and peace)?)

Anyway, there was an amazing lightning storm. No rain, just vast networks of lightning branching over the whole sky. Oh, did the audience enjoy that light show! The screams and applause for nature went on and on through the night.

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