The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Monday, July 7, 2008

Parades and Rock Stars

Post Fourth Catch-up.

Gee, hope you had a nice weekend. I certainly did, although I regret not having the chance to blog much. On the holiday I went to the Amherst parade, where as usual the geezer peacers The Raging Grannies were singing. They seemed cute and clever when they first appeared in the area several years ago, but now their act is getting old.

This is the first year the parade has been run by rules set by the town, as opposed to the private group that used to run it and which used to ban political signs. Now signs are allowed, and sure enough just as the parade started two people carrying a peace banner darted out of the crowd and ahead of the parade marchers.

People cheered, but what would have been the response had people carrying a McCain for President banner jumped out in front of the parade? This is exactly the sort of nonsense the old parade rules were designed to prevent.

This protester got personal by attacking one of the former organizers of the old parade by name.

The Republicans were represented by a colorful candidate for State Senate.

Not surprisingly the local politicians were on hand, such as John Olver and Stan Rosenberg, among others.

And of course some Devines had to horn in on the act.

It's a shame that the parade couldn't be the simple, patriotic display it was in the past, rather than a divisive politically tinged event. But it was still a fun parade just the same.

That night I went to see the Amherst fireworks. I was wondering whether the light meter for my camera would be too confused by the stark black and light contrast to be able to work.

It was no problem.

The next day I was at the Amherst Farmer's Market when I thought I recognised someone. Not just anyone, but a very famous someone! Sure enough, it was J. Mascis, of Dinosaur Jr. fame! No one besides me seemed to recognise him, and I was hesitant to do anything to draw attention to him lest I violate his privacy. But I couldn't help myself. I quietly approached him and said in a low voice, "Jay, I think you're great. Can I take your picture?" He shrugged and said, "Sure." I took a shot, softly said thanks and started away. He gave me a wink, as we successfully completed our encounter without revealing to those around us the celebrity in their midst.

So that was how I happened to get a picture of an internationally famous rock star eating a popsicle at the Amherst Farmer's Market.

From the Wikipedia:

Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, the son of a dentist, J. Mascis formed the short-lived hardcore group Deep Wound with Lou Barlow and Scott Helland in the early 1980s. He started out on drums, but moved to guitar when he went on to found Dinosaur Jr. with bassist Barlow and drummer Emmett Jefferson 'Patrick' Murphy (aka 'Murph') in 1984 and achieved national success. His vocals have been described as "Neil Young-like" and his guitar riffs as "monolithic." His wife Luisa is from Berlin, Germany. They reside in Amherst, Massachusetts and in September, 2007, they had a baby boy named Rory.

"I prefer cynical people, Nice guys grow on trees."

--J. Mascis

Here's some amazing footage of Dinosaur Jr. playing outdoors at UMass in 1993.


Mary E.Carey said...

Tom -- The private committee ran the parade this year. Next year, the town may run the parade, although at least one Select Board member, Alisa Brewer, said she doesn't want town money and the time it would take town employees to organize a parade spent.

Anonymous said...

Hmm...why WOULDN'T there be politics in a parade that celebrates the most political of all acts - REVOLUTION?

You have a strange take on this. Sounds like you'd rather not have certain viewpoints expressed but won't cop to it.

And no point bashing liberals because you WONDER what would have happened if conservatives appeared in the parade...that's just pure BS.

Anonymous said...

"It's a shame that the parade couldn't be the simple, patriotic display it was in the past, rather than a divisive politically tinged event."
Were we at the same parade? Your analytical skills don't seem too sharp today, the parade was run by the private group and I thought it was very respectful. I didn't see a single "Impeach Bush" or "9/11 was an inside job" sign at all. By the way, the police chief kicked out those people with the peace-sign/music clef. I guess you can't believe everything you read on the internet, right?

Tommy said...

The parade may have been run by the old group, but not by the old rules, which used to forbid such signs. The people with the peace banner were not thrown out while in my view. There were indeed 911 theorists waving signs as well as Impeach Bush demonstrators, although along the side of the road rather than marching in the parade itself.

For the record, I am a First Amendment absolutist, favoring no restrictions on speech whatsoever. However, I also regret that the parade has become politicized, because I think it was nicer when it was not.

Mary E.Carey said...

Tom -- I forgot to say you got great pics! The 911-was-an-inside-job people and some of the other participants you noticed and others did not seem to have been to some extent confined to that block where you and I ran into each other -- before the main intersection in town where the police chief was standing.

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