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Monday, August 22, 2005

everything ends

Another august, another Indian Market. I walked through The Plaza yesterday, circa 5:30 pm, and surveyed the rubble, of which there was much. City workers must have had a long night cleaning (or an early morning). I'll have to ramble over later and see if the grass survived. I should have something more profound to say about the city's largest tourist event but I do not, except that we did not go to the Cowgirl Saturday night because there was a $5 cover even to EAT DINNER, which was somehow directly related to Indian Market but I never did figure out how.
I did go to the Frogville Music Fest for a bit Saturday night, which was well attended and lots of fun and my timing was fabulous as I got to hear 100 Year Flood who I think are awesome and are always even better than I remember everytime I hear them. Felecia Ford's voice and entire performing energy really blow me away. They should be famous. Soon! And as a testament to how much I like them, I still like them even though I met the second-worst person I've ever met during one of their shows one time. But music always transcends these things.
Friday night a crew of us drove to Dixon and ate at La Chorola, which was yummy, and heard Ruben Martinez sing (he writes, he sings, he was good!). My old Rio Arriba source Ike DeVargas was there and I got to visit with him for a while, which made the drive worth it times 10. Ike is a norteno legend, but beyond that, and beyond all the great stories he's told me over the years, he's just so interesting and smart. I love going up north to Rio Arriba. Anyone who doesn't spend some time there is missing out.
This morning whenever I've left the office I've run into people who say hi and when I say hi back they say, "you don't know who I am, do you?" As mentioned before, I have very bad face memory. Once I have a name or, sometimes, a few pieces of information, I'm OK. You know, something like, "I'm the guy you wrote a story about 10 years ago who saved those 40 cats from the river," or "I used to go out with the guy who built his entire house out of license plates" or something. But I never recognize people out of context unless I know them really well. Even then I'm not so hot. I was reading name tags at my five-year college reunion and there were maybe 50 people in my graduating class. This is one reason I could never run for office (one of about 1,000 reasons actually, including the reason that I would never want to do such a thing). Anyway, usually I'm very good at faking recognition until I can figure it out, but that doesn't seem to be working well lately. Partly I've been making a conscious effort to smile and look welcoming when people say hello as opposed to scowling and looking like I have a migraine headache. The smiling seems to be giving me away.
Anyway, the headline of this post refers to last night's final episode of Six Feet Under. (I've never so looked forward to something I've loved ending, it's weird). I was disappointed throughout the 75-minute finale because it was so insanely maudlin, and it's never been a maudlin show. Emotional loose ends were being tied up left and right, ghosts were visiting, all the characters were having crazed dreams. I always think an over-use of magical realism is an indicator that the creator of a piece, whether it's literature or TV (not that magical realism is used very often in television) doesn't know how to deal with things. You need a good balance to keep things in the speculative but not ridiculous realm. Anyway, it was just too much, and just when I thought, well, this is ridiculous, they can't have this much resolution for all these crazed and complicated characters, life isn't like this, they spent the last 15 or so minutes in this long and very beautiful montage that showed all the characters' entire futures, including their deaths! It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen in a visual narrative. And it was profound, because here was this show that spent five seasons saying, over and over again, "everyone dies" while at the same time pounding in the other truth which is that a realization of mortality doesn't guarantee happiness, not even close, not even if you're so close to death that you're a freaking mortician. And then the conclusion flipped it and the characters did find some happiness and then they continued to live. And then they all died.
And you know, you can't really argue with that.
Actually, here's a really good review of the final episode from The Chicago Trib.