Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, March 20, 2005


In the “Fourth of July” movement of his “Holidays Symphony,” Charles Ives musically depicts two village bands marching from opposite ends of town, both playing, and meeting. It’s quite a sound.

I thought of this today (Saturday -- I haven’t gone to bed yet) at the anti-war march. Lots of volunteer percussionists of varying ability, competing chants, rehearsed percussion ensembles, and all of it echoing against the glass towers of downtown Seattle. I love the random percussionists, with their callithumpianism. The rehearsed-sounding percussion ensemble, when I finally saw them after hearing them for 45 minutes, turned out to be mostly teen-age looking white punks -- they made a nice sound. The sonic highpoint of the march came when a group of people singing the old spiritual “Ain’t gonna study war no more” overtook the rehearsed-sounding percussion ensemble, both groups playing in different tempos. I tried to sing with the spiritual singers, but I was 40 feet away from them and couldn’t always hear them to stay in synch. With the random percussionists adding their accents from wherever, the melange exhilarated.

Good turn-out in a good Seattle daylong steady rain -- well more than a thousand. Bumped into several friends, as expected. Festive. The 2-year-old mostly slept, in his stroller, kept dry from the rain by an attached stroller-roof fashioned out of a plastic dropcloth by my spouse.

We skipped the loooooong and haranguing pre-march speeches and took the two-year-old on his first Ferris Wheel ride, which he dug. And a couple carousel rides (the march started at Seattle Center, which has a permanent fairground). The speeches seemed designed to depress the marchers, drain the energy from the event, and alienate everybody -- supporters, opponents, and people on the fence. Wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Richard Mellon Scaife funded them.

A really nice day, nice family outing.
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