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First night volunteering at The Vera Project. I did security at the door, which means that I basically just checked people's stamps, looked in their bags for alcohol, drugs, weapons, etc..., made sure nobody went in the back room that wasn't supposed to, and helped the bands figure out where they were supposed to go.

My feet fucking hurt.

The show was part of LadyFest, which I think is pretty alright. The first band rocked hard and that was alright too. Somewhere between the second and third band there was some spoken word jive, and the girl spoke pretty harshly against those of us with external genitalia, and that kinda bugged me, but I talked to her later about music and stuff (she had a necklace that had a silver 45 adapter on it) and she was pretty cool, so I forgive her. It wasn't terribly harsh, and I missed a lot of it, so I probably misinterpreted it.

After the show, I stayed for a little while and helped clean up. I realize that this isn't the traditional sort of volunteering that people do - that is, I know I'd probably be doing the world a better service if I took care of senior citizens or animals or something - but it still feels pretty good to contribute to something like this. I feel very strongly about the importance of all ages live music and it is so rare in this town that it's ridiculous. I am honored to be able to help Vera do what they do.

I guess the reason this is so important to me is that this sort of thing really helped steer my life. I spent many of my evenings between the ages of 15 and 23 or so at "alternative" shows in Phoenix. Most of them were all-ages, which I should be eternally grateful for. Instead of becoming another stupid mindless follower kid who went to party after party getting drunk and stoned and not really giving a fuck what happened to me, I went to show after show, became creatively inspired, learned how to express myself, learned how to interact with all kinds of different people, and talked to bands and heard their stories from where they were from and where they'd been. I saw people who were only a few years older than me embracing their individuality and doing what they loved to do. I felt like I could go on to do whatever I wanted and that felt pretty cool.

So.... I want kids that are now the age that I was then to be able to have these experiences too. I want them to have an alternative to whatever the standard protocol for an American teenager's life is supposed to be. I want them to be inspired and I want them to respect this art form and I want them to perpetuate it. Most of all, I want them to realize that the vomit that's force-fed to them by mainstream radio is not what they are limited to.

So yeah.. That was a bizarre sleepy rant, but I just wanted you to know that I'm glad I get to volunteer at Vera.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 29th, 2003 07:41 am (UTC)
you are an amazing human being....inspiration, individuality and respect....words to live by...i am proud and grateful to know you as my son....
Mar. 29th, 2003 10:41 am (UTC)
you rock!

"that is, I know I'd probably be doing the world a better service if I took care of senior citizens or animals or something"

bullshit, and you know it. anything you can do for the kids--really for the kids--increases the possibility that after we're dead the world will continue on an upward path, culturally. (okay, so we're fighting a mass-media cultural black hole but fighting the good fight.) but even aside from ensuring there's diversity in music in spite of Sony and MTV, as you write, kids need places to feel like they can be individuals and do something creative and valuable. and to have fun not in someone's basement. these people will grow up to be the ones who're writing novels and songs and -- artists, in short, and the world needs art. and the world needs people who can think; people who have courage to stand up for themselves, their opinions and ideals; people who realize that there is a LOT to lose if we opt for safety.

haha, i'm being melodramatic today. but the world inspires it. seriously: it's not the suburban mommies and daddies fighting this war. it's the idealist city mommies & daddies--and us "younger" types--who realize we have a lot to lose.

anyway! it's amazing to me how many people, especially in Seattle, hit 25 or whatever and start to really hate kids and to forget that all-ages music is essential.

so. thanks for volunteering at vera.
Mar. 29th, 2003 02:03 pm (UTC)
Heh... you're welcome :) And thank you for the kind words...

I started to slip into that same thing at around age 23 or so where I actually started getting annoyed at all ages shows because of so many kids, or it being hard to get alcohol and see the band at the same time, etc... But it sunk in that that was me once and it was a really good time for me, so I started to not mind as much.
Mar. 31st, 2003 02:07 pm (UTC)
I pretty much hate people unless I have reason to feel otherwise about them, direct evidence that they're smart or interesting. So the thing is that "kids" don't bother me any more than "adults," and in fact I'll take the annoying teens dancing on the sidewalk outside the Vera Project on Saturday night over the FUCKING IRRITATING people inside and hovering around and blocking the sidewalk outside Tini Bigs any night.

And the teens weren't really very annoying. A little. But only because I wanted to be annoyed because Seth told me the Vera Project is the Stranger's darling all-ages group. They always have to have a darling something.

But so anyway. Yes. I think I can get over my annoyance at anything but open mics and spoken word (the delivery turns me off instantly). Those will annoy me to the end of my days. Although sometimes, for glimpses and moments, they can be fun, too. I like teenaged melodramatic poetry, but not stoner poetry, also.

Apparently I'm babbling again today; not so excitedly as I was on Saturday, but babbling nonetheless.
Mar. 29th, 2003 11:25 am (UTC)
whoa! i volunteer at the vera too! weird. i am probably going to be volunteering there tomorrow (sunday), and have at a few shows in the past.
Mar. 29th, 2003 02:03 pm (UTC)
Cool! I'll be there too, probably doing door security again... Neato :)
Mar. 31st, 2003 08:08 am (UTC)
It was all those Luna bars, dude.

Steve: "There for women??

K-named Girl: "Yep"

S-named Girl: "Says so right on the package, Steve."

Steve: "Damn! I love those things!!

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )