Friday, July 17, 2009

These are my people

We've got a pretty predictable cast of characters in our neighborhood. There's always gentle, homeless Rick, whose sclera is the color of a bruised banana and who spends a lot of time reminiscing about his salad days as a dealer in Virginia. During the weekdays, we've got herds of state employees and investment bankers, all stampeding the hot dog truck around lunch time and giving their extras to Rick. Friday and Saturday evenings, the kids are out at the clubs across the street - some at Club X for hip-hop, some at Club Y for table service, some at Club Z for house. On Sundays, the yuppies come in from the 'burbs, braving the mean streets with their double-wide Bugaboos to score some fresh local produce and a curry pocket from the farmer's market.

But on some days, a distinctly different crowd creeps toward my little block - they are the children of darkness, and they have come to see the death metal shows at Club Z. I told you about Death Fest 2009 back when I thought that sort of thing was merely an annual occurrence, but it turns out that minions of Satan are pretty much regulars in these parts.

As I was on my way to the gym yesterday, I passed young lady with a complexion like white out. She wore an ill-fitting black satin dress that looked hot-as-balls, crusty blood-colored lipstick, and cat ears. It was, like, noon. Then I noticed all the Painfully Pale Princes of Pain streaming toward the club and I began to wonder. Why? Didn't death metal cease to be transgressive or shocking or subversive a decade ago? I remember being afraid of Marilyn Manson when I was in middle school, but now if I saw him walking down the street I might suggest that he take some supplements. "Whoa, gramps! If you want to cut your chest with that broken bottle, I'm going to insist that you take some iron first."

So if you're not listening to death metal to make a statement - which, I don't think that it does anymore - are you listening to it for the.... um... musicality? I mean, otherwise, you're just an angsty kid from the suburbs wandering around in half a halloween costume for no real reason. Am I right? Or am I an old fart? Either way, we're happy to have the Mephistophelian masses - they're unfailingly polite and they always give Rick a few of the cigarettes they used their fakes to buy.

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