120 Minutes

Man… this week has been lousy…

I’m supposed to post three times a week… this is my first… and it’s Saturday.

I’m screwed.

I’ve really been uninspired lately…

I was gonna do a piece on local pornography but I kept getting side tracked(?)…

Then I was all about the whole property taxes and Charlie Crist (our new gov’nah) stuff until I found it absolutely boring as hell…

Then I got all hopped up about how stupid all these “4/20” festivals were… and stupid they were.

It was all in vain my friends… I was just too lazy….

Wait…. let me rephrase that…

I AM lazy.

I need a flame to ignite some sort of fire within so I can write.

I must admit, being required to stick to the goings on of South Florida in writing for this blog is a bit hard for me… there is a lack of combustible material for my much needed spark here in this town.

I began to think about this.

Hmmmm…. lack of sparks…. lack of inspiration…. Miami…. South Beach…. Ft. Lauderdale… flames…. fires…

CULTURE!!!!!!

I am always bitching about this…. culture and the lack there of. I’m always down on this town… the void we have here of anything new.

Okay…. “art deco” did originate down here and, I must admit, pastel buildings randomly placed like building blocks on top of each other with those weird little geometric shapes are quite cute… if this was 1984 and I was Don Johnson.

The other weekend though, I went down to an art show that made me a bit proud. The gallery was called Anti-Kulture and it sits among a lot of little art galleries in a district called the Wynwood Arts District. this particular night at Anti-Kulture they were actually having a “Grand Opening” party with a cool exhibition by a great artist by the name of Francesco LoCastro.

LoCastro is a great guy… not only is he a big part of the “Low Brow” art movement (for more info about Low Brow…. check out Juxtapose Magazine ) as an artist but he also is very influential as a curator of this art…. bringing down cool underground art and it’s creators to our swamp land.

I can only imagine how much of a challenge that is.

Our city was all right once upon a time ago… South Beach flourished with cutting edge clubs such as the Kitchen Club, the Cameo, and the Junkyard. Walking down Collins or Washington Ave. you would see a mix of punk rockers, heavy metal hair, and aspiring actors and actress’. The bars were pool halls and juke joints… the vibe was cool. Fights were happenin’… Washington Square was always opening their doors to let the loudest sounds of local bands fill the streets.

Lincoln Road was a ghost town… and dangerous as hell.

Art was a pretty big part of the underground scene. Band fliers killed two birds with one stone… promoted the band as well as the dude who drew up the flier. Galleries opened all the time and usually they had a band or two to draw a crowd… local curator Nina Arias was pretty cool with that.

Somehow though… the scene died.

Music ceased to be important in South Florida. Electronica with pretty boys and skinny girls took over our streets. Lincoln Road became a mall dedicated to overpriced jeans and gellato cafés. The cops on Washington Avenue cleared out the live venues…

Prince, Madonna, Micky Rourke, and Sean Penn all bought property and opened up high class, velvet rope dive bars on Collins Avenue.

Broward faired no better.

Art festivals became Pottery Barn catalog subscribers popular destinations … ya’ gotta love the paintings of the oranges with the apples… how intense.

Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale has a Cheesecake Factory and a Guy Harvey gallery.

Support your scene kids…. make it last…. make it grow… and not in your typical high school back pack wearing, patches on your jean support either… give it real support. Make it a point to head to some local shows… art and music. Buy your music at places like the C.D. Collector and not at F.Y.I. Music stores or Borders.

Go to local coffee shops like the Wallflower Gallery and the Atmosphere Café and Lounge… these places give local songwriters a chance to let their stuff be heard.

Head to used book stores and thrift shops…. support the small guys…. if your into that stuff.

The underground climbed up the ladder and took center stage…. and all of a sudden that $7 Black Flag vinyl l.p. at Tim’s Far Out Records now costs $17 on c.d. at the Virgin Super Store in Coconut Grove… and Tim no longer has a Far Out Records.

Little skate rats traded in their boards for roller blades…. M-TV has terrorized our airwaves and the deregulation of the media in the early ’90’s has made our options of alternatives minimal at best….

The revolution has no chance of being televised anymore…

So… as much as I hate to be the one to demand support for poets and artists and songwriters and the so called “creative” types (all so very very pretentious)…. I must say that if it wasn’t for their contributions to the social and culture (and anti culture) scene of my town…. I would never have ever heard of Sonic Youth or have been able to see the art of Coop.

If your mediocre… it’s cool. The scene needs people like you. Your the reason why people go underground…. so they can see and taste and hear things that you won’t ever get near…. until they start selling it in the mall (thank you Hot Topics) or your local J.C. Penney.

We need to recognize that art, be it spoken or sung or drawn, breathes life into a stale world. We need to understand that plastic flowers and perfume samples will not satisfy our hunger for creativity. We need the avant garde… we need the perverted and the erotic…. the violent and the blood… the peaceful and the poetic…

Right now we are running scared…. but we don’t have to. Take a ride and see the sights. Make plans. Grab your Zephyrhills and walk down to your local cultural mecca… buy a ticket…. give it to a kid….

If you get this ramble than good for you…. unfortunatley it wasn’t written for you…. it was written for them.

Do yourself a favor…

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