Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prague Addendum (Velvet Anniversary)

              Because I was sleepy, I napped through the parade. I dreamt I was sitting on the end of a bench at the bottom of an escalator, whistling. An attractive young Czech woman dressed as a construction worker reached the bottom of the escalator, tripped, and stumbled on to the other end of the bench. The whole display appeared very contrived and purposeful. The rest of the construction crew exited the escalator smoothly and continued walking, disappearing into the crowd. I kept whistling, the same three or four notes over and over, and noticed the girl becoming agitated, until she abruptly stood, now visibly angry, and walked away. Instantly, it became clear to me that she had wanted me to talk to her. I got up and searched, but I couldnt catch sight of her. I only heard her mocking me, her whistle getting fainter and fainter.
              Czechs hate public whistling, but I dont think thats why my dream woman was angry. I have been told the parade ends near the Narodni Trida metro stop, which is where I will be going soon for a celebratory concert. I expect the music to suck. Or, at least, if it doesnt, it should suck, because that would be the most accurate depiction of what has happened in the past twenty years - if at Narodni, with one of the many fast food chains or clothing stores ("be surprised by seven floors of shoes¦") in the area as a backdrop, Miley Cyrus got on stage and everybody rocked out. Much of the city space and youth culture is now controlled by corporations. And, getting back to my dream, if I were Czech it would piss me off that so many people - even though it is right in front of their face - seem content to keep merrily whistling through the day anyway.
             Now I am heading over there, but when I catch the parade, I dont think it will just seem like Im celebrating the fall of communism. It will seem like Im also celebrating the rise of capitalism, and I will feel like a liar.


  1. Editors note - I cant figure out apostrophes on this keyboard, thats why theres all these typos.

  2. As Jerry Jeff Walker said;

    "Shut up and drink your beer, and be thankful you live here"

    I think the older Czechs probably have a large dose of ambivalince but they can choose to control daily lives. Can't they?