Drunk Saturday, 2012

PARTY UPDATE — Yes Party People, tomorrow is the day before Mother’s Day, meaning, if you are in Philadelphia, it is Drunk Saturday Time.  Drunk Saturday is the PartyBlog’s favorite bar crawl.  Here’s the itinerary from the Organizer himself:

Irish Pub 2-5
Oh Sheas 4:30-7
Drinkers/Noche 6:30-12
Kite & Key 11:30-2

Giddy up!

PartyBlog’s Abridged Recount of Drunk Saturday 2011:

Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse is crowded with a mass of humanity in red shirts designed in Phillies colors with the P upside down as a d and the shirt reads drunk saturday. Names and numbers on the back of shirts read “Updog,” “da robbie bears,” a guy much bigger than I am has a shirt that says “Polish Princess.” “Updog” sees me from the other end of the bar waives me over, and greets me with a shot of tequilla. Uhhh…struggling to get it down, as “Updog” polishes it off nicely, wipes his chin and declares, “That’s how it’s done.” The shot stays down and “it gets a litttle crazy,” aka Sully smacks me on the face and yells, “Where the fuck you been Ike?”  Ike is my Drunk Saturday name which I acquired last month when I bumped into these guys drinking outside of at Parc Rittenhouse on the first nice day of the year.   I was like, okay, I’ll stick around for one but then I have to go to work.  Hours later “Noodle,” aka The Organizer had almost made his way through  through 8 of the 9 specialty drinks on the cocktail menu but at no. 9, “The Hawaiian Banana” he hits a wall.  A large amalgam of half drank wines and beers are spread across the table.  For some reason these guys are calling me Ike.   “Up dog” aka Aikman is stopping every girl who walks by and sniffing at them and saying, “You smell that?”  Most agree out of politeness or the illusion of suggestion, “Yes, something does smell funny…”  He says, “You smell that?  Up dog, smells like up dog…”  They inevitably fall for it, “What’s up dog?”  “I don’t know DAWG, what up with you?” Aikman yells at one of the variously scantily clad women as the entire table of starts laughing and once they are gone he yells, “Blue Set BLUE!” because after all, today on the first day of Spring he is called Aikman for a reason due to his uncanny resemblance to Troy Aikman.  By now we’ve all forgotten Updog’s tale of traveling that weekend in an airport and getting frisked in the air port security line for having a blade in his bag that he claimed wasn’t there when he packed his suitcase.  I suspect that Updog’s tale is a tall one, yet this is the life we lead in corporate America, traveling from town to town, various airports without ever having the chance to rest, and the possibility is there that a blade gets slipped in or that we believe the story in a post-Tyler Durden-esque, post-Sept. 11 world.  “Blue Set Blue, I’m gonna get you Ike Reese.” He yells at me.  “Why am I Ike Reese?”  “Because your tackling is as suspect as your drinking.”   Noodle has given up on the last drink and Updog starts pouring everything on the table into Noodle’s “Hawaiian Banana” a poor excuse for a Mai Thai with 99 Bananas added to the mix .  “Finish this drink and you can come party with us at the shore house.”  The drink is purple and it smells bad, but when partying with new people, hazing is to be expected, no welcomed, because if you’re not getting hazed it means they don’t really like you, or at least, you have to try to impress with stupidity, because if you fail, you may never get another chance.   It’s a dominance thing.  Although I almost finish it in a swig, it’s too gross, the gag reflex kicks in.   Updog continues, See Ike, I knew you couldn’t drink…offer is rescinded.

Zero Chances I’m Sober

Yes, although I have arrived late, Drunk Saturday has started, and I quickly grab a beer from the bartender, who is only serving bud, budlight and lager at the discounted price of three dollars. “Uhhh, do u have any hoppy beers?” “Yeah, she wrly says, we have an ipa.” “Sounds good. Ill take one of those.” “Okay. Three bucks.” Ahh the sweet feeling of belonging, a drunk saturday miracle…Work is done it’s time to party.  “Updog” yells at one of the dressed red shirts, tuck your shirt in nerd.

So after 9 pm. An hour past the halfway point of drunk Saturday, 2011,  a six dollar Drinker’s burrito and 80 oz of beers in, I’m starting to feel part of the party.

Thriller comes on around 10:30, which has been wildly popular since Micheal’s death, in the crowded bar that is Drinkers, and the whole place has turned into a dance party. I haven’t moved around the bar for hours, but have stayed standing by leaning on my chair and shaking my butt, but it is hard with a broken foot.  Two weeks ago, I’d gotten in a fight outside of Encore, a guido nightclub in old city, for calling a guy’s girlfriend mannish.  All I had done was ask for a smoke.  Instead of being polite, she started yelling expletives at me for wearing a sweater that read “NYC” on the front:
(Outside of Club Encore, Old City, the nicest neighborhood in Philly where people get shot)
Don’t you know this is Philly!  Get the Fuck out of here with that shirt! I bet you have never even been to New York! (instead of responding I divert) “Oh clearly someone has a fine grasp of the English language, limited to monosylabic threats and curses…”  Hey asshole, go fuck yourself…My brother Zeek who is next to me soon chimes in and tells her to fuck herself instead, which prompts her diminutive boyfriend to step in and say:
“Hey, you guys better cut it out, or else your gonna get your asses kicked.  I got all these dudes around here.  You fags better go over there.”  And he points towards the corner of Second and Chestnut.
(In response) — You fags go over there.
Confused, having heard what he just said, he responds “No, I said you fags go over there…”
“Yes,” I respond, “You, fag, and you, fag,” (pointing to his girlfriend) “go over there.”
(Party Note: PartyBlog is against the “f” word.  It is never party appropriate.  Thus what ensues.)
He and his friends quickly jump me.  Seven guys are tackling me into the street as I go over a trashcan.  Stumbling but with superhuman adrenalin-inspired strength I get back to my feet, about to swing, but  suddenly cops surround.  Not worth continuing the fight due to the risk of detention, all the culprits run away and into the adjacent bar (they are likely regulars, know the bouncers, or sell steroids to the clientele).  My shoe is in a pile of trash, left foot hurts, but because of the adrenalin I can still walk on it.  The juice of fighting is pumping through my veins and I want to lay chase after these seven Jersey thugs, but neither club will let us in, so my brother Zeek and I go to Buffalo Billiards, hand the bartender bills with traces of scabs and blood from my hands scuffed up from the sidewalk, and the next day my left ankle proves to be fractured.

Scab Hand

(PARTY TIP: This is why, partypeople, when partying, be very careful, and remember that Jersey Trash are not like normal human beings, they are like caged up animals and when they get out, these guidos simply look for fights, that is their goal, and this is why drinking at night can be rife with dangers.  Be smart, stay coherent, and WALK AWAY FROM FIGHTS!)
(Back to Drunk Saturday)
Drinking is the opposite of time warp. Its like time zap. Time moves faster, not slower, pushing u into the future at light speed, screaming at light speed, and finally u understand the meaning of Drunk Saturday, and why it’s like Christmas for all whom attend. Because there are people in your life that u love, like your mother, or your brother, or maybe some random new drunk friend at the bar. Drunk Saturday is an excuse to get together, everybody just getting together again, and this is why people even meet and start dating on Drunk Saturday, maybe even getting married eventually.  Because Drunk Sat not an excuse to party, its an excuse to be alive.  This is the day before Mother’s Day, baby, so it’s time to be happy and celebrate life, think about those whom we love, and cherish existence.  A young brunette is smirking at me so I hop over on one foot to to talk to her, and make some awkward joke about a sex change operation, or how I’m waiting on mine, or her’s certainly looks better than mine is going to, and she shakes her head, confused, but smiles back politely.  Although I’ve totally blown my chances, it’s fine, doesn’t matter.  This is Drunk Saturday.  You can say whatever you want…The bar is starting to thin out and I realize I haven’t even been upstairs to Noche.  I try hobbling up the stairs to Noche on me crutches, but soon Noddle is running down, saying it’s time to go to Kite & Key — across town we go…
With two bars, the Noche-Drinkers establishment makes every other bar in the city with premium real estate look stupid for not having an upstairs.  Just as I make it back down the stairs, thinking that this bar is amazing for treating drunk kids like kids with copious amounts of money that will spend it all with just a touch of sensitivity (mainly because when you are injured everyone is nice to you), as I walk outside a guy named “Ben” gets grabbed by the bouncer and thrown on the ground. I hobble over to him, oh too familiar of what happens when someone gets into a fight with a bouncer…

His flip flops are laying on the ground as Ben is livid, screaming, having been pushed down by the bouncer, a man larger than he, who could easily snap his neck if such motivated. The level of calm by the large black bouncer is a subtle insult towards Ben’s loud and angry protest. His buddy Drew quickly comes to the rescue and pulls Ben away.   As I balance on my crutches to grab his flippy floppies and crutch towards him, too aware of the repercussions should it escalate, I remind Ben of the Fourth Party Rule – Always be nice to bouncers…they can make or break your party… 

Luckily, Ben doesn’t have a broken nose, cracked skull, or worse, just a bit of a scare…he is black out drunk but Drew is talking him down, doing a good job, convincing Ben to walk away and fight another day.

A fine cabby stops for the cripple standing in the middle of the road. I hop in. Hey man, how’s it going? Pretty good. I can’t complain. Yeah man, I feel you…I don’t understand how you deal with drunk people all the time…I couldn’t do it. Yes, it takes patience. Certainly patience. I have only been driving for about a year though. But I don’t mind. I used to work at the Sunoco on Walnut, you know it?  I got laid off last year as a manager.
No way, I respond…You know what? I hate Sunoco. My brother Zeek used to date the daughter of their CEO of shipping and then she broke up with him to date my best friend.
Wow. She sounds. Like a bitch.
Yes! She is!
You’re the best man of their wedding!
Hahaha, not really…well she’s not going to marry either of them. She broke my best friend’s heart just recently too, you know that?
“See, they’ll both be better.  Everything happens for a reason man. I hated working there. Now I make five times as much driving a cab.”

CINCO DE MAYO – Big Weekend in Partytown, USA (AKA PHILLY)

Confusion got you down on what to do for Cinco de Mayo? Not to worry party people, but Partyboygeezy is here to keep you informed on what’s going on in Partytown, USA this weekend (aka Philly).

  • May 4 (First Friday) – It is Spring time in Philly, so you know what that means, partypeople – First Fridays are guaranteed to be hopping and good times.  Head down to 2nd street and be sure to walk around and enjoy the open galleries, improptu drum circles, and street artists selling their wares outside.
  1. My favorite street artists who can be regularly seen hanging around include Northington Massaro  (and his wannabe series, see link below)http://www.northtastic.com/wanna-bes.php#
  2. And Kevin J. Cooper  whose expressionist paintings on glass I find to be particularly enticing, such as this organically-stylized painting rendering derivatives of the “Dead” bear:

Courtesy of Kevin J. Cooper - Buy this guy's stuff so he can go see Further's last run in 2012

http://phillyimprovtheater.com/tickets.html

NOW FOR CINCO DE MAYO SHEEEEZ…

SUNDAY – BROAD STREET RUN

  • Sunday is the Broad Street Run, so there should be a good party down at the Stadium on Sunday to see the run and to enjoy the basketball playoff game at that same time.  Head down around noon to enjoy the festivities or see some sports action at the Xfinity Center (if of course you survive Saturday…)

First Arrest Finally Made in BP Oil Spill

A few days ago, the U.S. Justice Dept. brought its first arrest in connection with the BP Horizon oil spill that occurred on 4-20, 2010.  In connection with the worst off-shore spill in U.S. history, the first arrest is well overdue.  However that the arrest was for the deletion of text messages is troubling.  Understand that (if true) the deletion of text messages and corresponding coverup by a high level engineer who was part of a team tasked with halting the oil spill is by no means excusable.  However, Obstruction of Justice is like tax evasion — if you don’t have the evidence for the actual crime, often times you get ’em for the cover up or the failure to pay taxes.  Serious crimes, indeed, yet the convictions are not based upon the ultimate crimes we really care about as a society.

That the worst environmental disaster in this century, and the worst oil spill in the United States’ long history in oil refinery and production, has resulted in just one arrest of a relatively high level employee, yet who is by no means the boss.  A senior engineer who deleted text messages from his phone.  After 11 deaths, upwards of 70 billion dollars in economic damage, and an intangible amount of environmental damage, a single arrest for a senior engineer who deleted messages from his phone, makes Kurt Mix seem less like a scape goat and more like a scape blue whale.

As noted previously – burning down the house is Party Foul # 1 –  and while the rigs’ explosion leveled devastation upon states, families, businesses, the person that is “BP” (because businesses are people) walks free while its low level employee looks at 20 years of jail time, even though Mix likely has little to do with causing or preventing the ultimate explosion.  If corporations are people, shouldn’t the corporation be arrested when crimes are committed?  Or those responsible for the ultimate criminal negligence?

We have noted a disturbing trend occurring in American society which is that corporate interests and corporations in general are being increasingly granted the privileges of citizenship and the protections of the Constitution yet without the corresponding responsibilities or accountability that goes with citizenship.  While corporations increasingly have the right of free speech, free association, and corporate interests play larger roles in political discourse through the “corporate capture doctrine” (aka regulatory capture), the externalities produced by such activities often have a devastating effect on the surrounding communities and economies, who simply are so disbursed or poorly funded that those affected by the harms or delicti simply go overlooked.

The choice therefore, becomes ours as a society – do we simply want to allow certain corporations to continue to unleash harmful consequences onour planet, for short term benefit that may result in poluted lakes, air, streams, rivers, oceans, all of which not only cause various diseases and ailments but are also litterally cooking the planet, or do we promote corporate accountability in a manner that can encourage free enterprise and protect the planet’s future?  While the second seems like the logical choice, the argument in favor of the first is that the planet is inevitably moving towards “green” energy sources, and that we are simply “bridging the gap” and we all use energy, so we are all responsible for its damages on the planet.

This argument is simple sophistry, logical trick.  We all use energy, yet we all do not profit from it.  The devastation of a planet which belongs to all of the natural or human world, to which we owe our lives, should not be encouraged for any reason – even for profit – if for the simple fact that such an approach will do us in at the end.

Economics is called the dismall science because of its basic approach to human nature — essentially that humans act in a “rational way” as first proposed by Adam Smith and his “invisible hand” — dictates humanity’s ultimate downfall because there are not enough materials to go around and eventually humans will eat themselves to death (like the song American Eats Its Young, by Funkadelic).

However, this rule is based simply on the primacy of the dollar, that humans act in ways to promote their short term gain in terms of profitability.  In the late 60’s Garrett Hardin pointed out the Tragedy of the Commons, namely that humans frequently act for short term benefit in ways that do not serve the long term interest of the public or even the individual.

Economics, at the end of the day, is simply a social science – it makes certain assumptions as to how humans act, and postulates, through models, what to expect into the future. Modern economics simply presumes that humans act in a way that holds the dollar above all else. While considered a “science,” it is simply a Darwinian social model developed out northern based societies in which humans were often at odds with their environment, and viewed their environment as hostile.

This self-defeating psychological paradox that is the Tragedy of the Commons (i.e. that humans who  can effectively look to the future would act in ways that are negative for long term survival) displays how economics truly is the “dismal science.”  It envisions a world in which we act for the short term dollar above all else.

The rationale is as follows: namely, that we have to use so many resources to stay alive, and the decision is ultimately based upon the notion that others are taking the resources, so I should too.  The lack of a governor leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy – the fear of depletion implies that I must deplete as quickly as possible.

The most recent examples seem to be highlighted in energy policy.  Deepwater Horizon’s explosion was facilitated by cost cutting and questionable oversight, and the results from the explosion were devastating.  If corporations are people, then corporations should be responsible for their negative effects.  They enjoy the benefits of doing business, so they should also have to deal with the burdens.  The Tragedy of the Commons, namely that the commons in England were overgrazed because it was in each individual sheppard’s interest to keep their flock as large as possible and graze as much as possible, until the commons became barren, can be avoided through taxation or resource management.  Simply, if you enjoy the benefits of labor, you also have to account for the burdens as well.

Horizon is going to take upwards of 20 years (potentially) before it is cleaned up and dealt with, and it is impossible that all of the individuals who were harmed will be fully compensated (if simply they lost their jobs and livelihoods, this psychological damage can never be recouped).  Fracking has been proven problematic (see the EPA’s finding in December, 2011, that horizontal hydro-fracking resulted in contamination), mainly because those engaged in the extraction of natural gas do so through using highly toxic chemicals that are pumped directly into the ground and inevitably leach into the ecological systems around the drilling areas.  The approach therefore, is simply, create a system in which actors are encouraged to prevent negative consequences or participate in effective oversight.

Here are some approaches:

  • Create a system of environmental policing whereby state or federal authorities can impose regulatory penalties  upon actors that pollute the air, water, or ground.  By transferring these costs away from the public at large, the corporate actors are encouraged to do business and extract minerals or other resources responsibly.  The EPA has authority over water, yet its powers have been increasingly limited recently, it is exempt from directly regulating horizontal fracking, and conservative / industry favorable politicians, including various Republican presidential candidates, have expressed desire to further limit the EPA’s authority.
  • Require companies to account for their polution or create limitations to the amount of air polution corporations are permitted to release.  The Clean Air Act currently covers polution, as regulated by the EPA, yet it continues to be under attack from industry proponents.
  • Since corporations are people, those individuals who failed to remedy or take investigatory action should be held criminally liable, such as the individual directors or officers.  Sarbanes Oxley, in the wake of the Enron scandal, constructed criminal liability for those engaging in accounting fraud for any publicly traded businesses.  Likewise, fraudulent or negligent activity in terms of the environment should be met with criminal consequences.
  • Create a reward system so that employees (aka “whistleblowers”) who report negligent activity or questionable business practices are encouraged to come forward in ways that can protect the environment.  For example, in Pennsylvania, there are no whistleblower laws protecting individual employees who might report violations of good standards or potential polluting activity.  In fact, the new laws passed in Pennsylvania prevent doctors from disclosing with the public what potentially harmful chemicals are in fracking fluids.

Ultimately, for humanity to succeed in the long term, we need to recognize that all are responsible for their actions, and that all are equal, in the law, at the party, or otherwise.  If corporations are people, it is time for them to hold the same responsibilities as well.

Possible Options for 4/20

That time of year again party people.  Whether you partake in cannabis or not, party people, you must acknowledge that 4/20 has become a phenomenon in the US, Canada, Nederlands, and anywhere else where there is a party. I have read various stories about the origin of 420, the most humorous and interesting posted here, on Huff Po.  Whether you buy that story or not, Ryan Grim did do a good job of reporting the phenomenon.  The PartyBlog agrees with the premise (whether we agree with the factual argument or not), that most likely, 420 represents the time of day when classes or sports let out and was likely popularized in the 1970s.  One recent aphorism we have popularly heard, is that 420 is the time at UC Santa Cruz between the day classes and the night classeys.  Basically, day classes finish up, it’s 420, you eat mounds at the cafeteria, then go to night classes.

“420 fest at UC Santa Cruz’s Porter Meadow”

What is left out from this whole notion of the Huff Po story, however, is that by simply limiting 420 to the cannibus culture that has sprung around it, or more appropriately, created it, one truly overlooks the mystical quality of the date / time / number.  There is something numerological about 420 – all the numbers perfectly divide or multiply into each other and the date falls perfectly in the spring time. 

To the PartyBlog, 420 truly represents a quasi-religious, non-denominational, possibly pagan celebration of the onset of spring, freed of the limitations of Passover, the various Easters, or other organized religion’s spring festivals.  In truth, what 420 represents is a celebration of life, and an invitation to question the status quo.  Most particularly, it should be regarded as the national holiday dedicated to the protest of prohibition, and its failures, by getting out and having a good time.  The day has become much larger than simply a celebration of THC and its various forms of consumption.  The celebration of 420 should be encouraged and celebrated by all who tire of strictly religious spring feverishness or severely outdated, draconian drug policies promoted by the fear and loathing of racial stereotypes, at the behest of a political or corporate agenda.  In reality, the prohibition that still rules the land is ineffective, and has trapped swaths of society into the prison system from which there is little hope of escape, instead drawing our own people into recidivism and assisting in the decline of urban communities in America.

Instead, PartyBlog eUncourages all to celebrate 420 by going out and having a good time.  Be smart however.  Don’t do anything stupid in public or harmful in general.  Don’t get too intoxicated, keep your cool, and remember that if you are doing something illegal in public around “the man” you are likely to get arrested, fined, and that badge follows you forever

The federal government denies federal financial aid to those with any drug offenses, and applying for jobs, college, grad school, or trade associations becomes a major pain in the a** too  (b/c you have to check the “no-no” box even for something you did when you were 16!!!). 

This is why, even if we disagree with the laws, here at PartyBlog, we encourage you to follow them for your own safety and protection.  Remember that dancing and socializing releases the same endorphins as sex!

(Now that we have gotten the “party at your own risk” warning out of the way — here are some good options so far that the PartyBlog has uncovered in the northeast to dig your partyfangs into for 4/20.)

420 PARTY OPTIONS

  • BASSNECTAR / BASS CENTER V- 4/20 @ the Liacouras Center (Temple U.), in North Philly.  Here’s what was posted on Bassnecter.net on the event:

“It’s time for another of our massive Bass Center meltdowns, as the Bassnectar crew brings the VAVA VOOM TOUR 2012to Philadelphia, PA at The Liacouras Center on Friday, April 20th, 2012.

This is sure to be another sold-out bass frenzy of epic proportions, so don’t delay in getting your tickets. More details coming soon…

We are excited to welcome A-Trak and VibeSquaD to the line up for this event!

This is an All Ages show.

Doors: 6:00 PM”

http://www.bassnectar.net/2012/01/4202012-bass-center-v-in-philadelpihia-pa/

Tickets are still available but not for long.

  • Shpongle – 4/20 @ The Roseland Ballroom (Times Square, NY, NY).  DJ Set (w/ EOTO + Phutureprimitive)

PartyBlog’s favorite duo and purveyor of techno-jazz-godmusicawesomeness is playing Time’s Square in one of New York’s finest party venues.  Tickets can be purchased here, and for $40 is a steal (Note: we have paid three times as much to see Paul Van Dyk at the Roseland in 2008, which was also an amazing show, and went until 5 AM, nobody parties like those int’l djs, which bodes well for Shpongle):

http://shpongle.frontgatetickets.com/choose.php?a=1&lid=65231&eid=73971

Showtime: 9:00 PM

Dirty Ghosts @ phillymoca. 4/20/12

http://www.philamoca.org/

Doors: 8:30 PM

Spring Shakedown @ theblockley (3801 chestnut st. Philly PA)

http://www.theblockley.com/event/105719/

Feat. Splintered Sunlight (Dead tribute), Control for Smilers (Phish tribute), Cabinet, Philly Funk Hustle.

Doors @ 8.Make sure to arrive on time b/c Funk Hustle, one of Philly’s up and coming funk bands are playing at 8. Last time Funk Hustle played the Blockley to open for Perpetual Groove on St. Paddy’s Day, Funk Hustle killed it, and arguably stole the show.

(NOTE: The PartyBlog will continuously update this post as we come across more promising parties for 4/20, but please comment on this post or in the public comments section to update us with other parties worth our while.  While many places and venues in the area are doing their own 4/20 thang, so far, these seem to be the most promising and therefore get the coveted PartyBlog “PartyStamp of Approval,” and the PartyBlog won’t waste your time by telling you to check out budge shows.)

 

ONE NIGHT ONLY – TONIGHT – BERNIE WORRELL

Bernie Worrell TONIGHT AT THE BLOCKLEY (38th & Chestnut, Philly, PA 9 PM). Tickets – $15 at the door.
http://www.theblockley.com/event/104175/The Woo Wizard Himself Bernie Worrell, one of the first funk masters, a truly innovative genius to which we owe so much of the development of electronic and funk music due to his wizardry and mastery of the Moog Taurus (bass) keyboard, who singlehandedly and fundamentally altered the progression of modern music and thereby culture at large, best exemplified by transformative basslines and key strokes in songs such as FLASHLIGHT and the MOTERHSHIP, IS PLAYING TONIGHT ONLY BY SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT AT THE BLOCKLEY POUR HOUSE!!! OH MY BOD, PRAY FOR ME, THE FUNK SAVES!!!Even today, over 30 years after Worrell first pioneered his legendary sound, his style is still futuristic and exciting. This is the funk baby. It’s what we live for.

Why lack of grand jury might be a good thing for Trayvon

If you have been reading the news, which the PartyBlog always does, you have been watching tv, or just generally don’t live under a rock, the lost city of Atlantis and/or at Walden Pond, you likely have heard about the tragedy that is the Trayvon Martin case.  Yes, it is a tragedy, regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of the issue.  It is an undeniable tragedy.  An unarmed teenager walking home (or more accurately to the house in which he had been invited to by his father’s girlfriend and therefore legally had the right be at the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in Sanford, FL) is (by what PartyBlog has surmised in the media) shot without having provoked an encounter with a neighborhood watch block captain George Zimmerman, who had been informed by 911 not to follow and not to initiate contact with Martin.

Such an event occurs, with no arrest, and there will inevitably be calls for the Zimmerman’s head.  Two factions have predictably emerged.  While the more conservative wing has come out in support of Zimmerman’s right to defend himself, the overall tragic nature of this event has seemingly been missed by those who are quick to defend Zimmerman and vilify the ultimate victim here, the teenage Martin.  The other wing may also be guilty of portraying Zimmerman as a gun nut, a vigilante, taking the opportunity not to mourn this tragedy, yet making a politicized episode calling for changes to the Stand Your Ground law and Florida’s gun-happy policies in general.

Sadly, these two sides seem to miss the point.  Here are the facts — there is no dispute that a youngster, walking around in an area where he was permitted, unarmed, was shot and killed.  This itself is a tragedy of grand magnitude, and as anyone would acknowledge, if Martin were your relative, brother, boyfriend, son, or friend, you would be calling for Zimmerman’s arrest as well.

The PartyBlog was confused by the decision announced by special prosecutor Angela Corey on Monday, April 9, 2012, not to charge Zimmerman before a grand jury.  However, after reviewing numerous articles about the issue, it seems that by avoiding the grand jury, it also prevents the prosecutors from “passing the buck” of a politicized case to a non-public, non-accountable grand jury to answer the question, and possibly to condone not only Zimmerman but the Stand Your Ground policy in general that has gripped the entire country, regardless of which side you lend your support.  By the nature of this case, the decision of whether to prosecute has taken on so much more meaning, especially in the shadow of an upcoming presidential election, after the president himself has given public support to Martin’s cause, the same president who has been effectively branded as an anti-gun advocate despite having failed to pass a single piece of legislation that would point to such a conclusion.  Yet, the ultimate message that seems to have been lost is the simple tragic nature of this case.  We have a killing, potentially done in cold blood against a young man, who was unarmed, therefore the decision to prosecute should be an easy one, so that the family of this fallen victim may have their day in court.

Unfortunately for the Martin family, this tragedy occurred at a time when Florida, by way of the “Stand Your Ground” law, promoted by lobbyists when it was passed, likely against the perceived threat against gun ownership in this country, has essentially turned traditional self-defense law on its head.  Under the common law, self defense was only available as an affirmative defense, meaning that if you undoubtedly killed someone, it was your duty to prove that you acted in self-defense.  Without engaging in an in-depth legal analysis of the “Stand Your Ground” law, it appears that the Florida law provides that if a suspect claims self defense, and makes a minimal showing in support thereof (for example, by saying “I was in fear of my life”), it becomes the duty of the prosecutors to prove it was not the case (this is a simplification, but this is how the law seems to operate based upon reporting on the issue), a challenge once the victim is dead.  Certainly, many experts of the Florida law have even stated publicly that the Zimmerman prosecution will be a difficult case to win, especially due to the contradicting stories, which, if true (that Zimmerman’s head was in fact “slammed” into the pavement by Martin, or that Martin punched him while Zimmerman was on the ground) would indicate that Zimmerman may have acted in accordance with self defense per the Florida Law (even though, having been around and involved in many street fights, PartyBoy Geezy never feared for its life in such a situation, even when getting slammed into the ground, obviously, because a PartyBoy doesn’t need to carry a gun to make noise, and it would follow logically, that only an individual intending to use a gun in a fight would feel threatened with one’s life once the fight turns against him, because the cheapy-fighter who resorts to gun battle in hand to hand combat would probably assume the other party would use the same type of dirty tactics).

Again, however, the PartyBlog wants to highlight problems with Florida’s self-defense law, for it does not seem to discourage aggression.  The main issue the PartyBlog has with the Stand Your Ground is that it does not discourage an individual from acting aggressively in an explosive situation.  So in any type of situation, including fights in da club, once fists break out, guns can quickly break out too, and the shooter can walk free.  The entire purpose of the self-defense in the common law is to discourage fighting and the use of deadly force – to invoke the defense, traditionally, one could not be the aggressor, or initiate the contact.   Like abortion, it should be rare and necessary.  Once Zimmerman allegedly gives chase to Martin, it would seem that common law self defense would not be available to Zimmerman, because Zimmerman seems like the aggressor and Martin seems like the one defending himself.  Under traditional self-defense, you cannot be the aggressor and the individual privileged to act with deadly force.  Are these not questions that should be decided in a court-room, as opposed to a public debate which has devolved into arguments about the victim’s facebook account, thuggery, and vigilantism?

Ultimately, this case is rife with questions:  Why would Martin run away, only to return by swooping around Zimmerman’s car to attack his would-be pursuer? Who is telling the truth when Zimmerman claims that Martin was on top of Zimmerman punching him and slamming his head into the pavement when witnesses have told the press otherwise?  What about the calls for help heard on 911 that witnesses claimed belonged to Martin but Zimmerman claims to be his own?  If Zimmerman was defending himself in accordance with the Stand Your Ground law – this case has raised to the surface the a law that the PartyBlog would deem a sheer and utter failure in preventing violence (the ultimate purpose of these laws) by permitting an individual to start a fight or chase somebody then claim self defense after the shooting occurs.

It is the opinion of the PartyBlog that due to all of the bad reporting, questionable circumstances and contradictory stories surrounding this story that the most appropriate venue to determine the propriety and reasonableness of Zimmerman’s actions is a court of law.  For that reason, the decision to avoid a grand jury was a good one, eliminating the the risk that a grand jury would make the political decision to throw out this case.   Under normal circumstances, a grand jury proceeding is like a rubber stamp for the prosecution.  Do not be fooled, however, this is not a normal case.  Everybody has an opinion, and it’s getting ugly.  One side seeking to demonize an average teenager who may have made mistakes in his life yet certainly was no thug, the other side seeking to demonize Zimmerman who is innocent until proven guilty, the Florida Law of self defense, and possibly the Sanford police that let Zimmerman walk. Ultimately, even a grand jury might let their prejudices (based upon which camp you are in) dictate the decision.  Best to wait until a public trial to let a jury decide the matter.

Fact of the matter is, if Florida declines not to prosecute, Zimmerman can be and likely will be prosecuted by the Federal government.  So it is better to allow Corey to make the decision herself, without turning a grand jury into a referendum for the country-at-large.  Ultimately, if Corey is the reliable and tough prosecutor she’ll see what the PartyBlog sees, that this case — with the contradictory accounts and the questions surrounding this tragedy, which left a young man, who was unarmed, dead within moments of being shot in the chest on the front yard in a quiet subdivision — should be handled in the good old fashioned American way, in a court of law and not in the court of public opinion.  Also, party people, be aware that what happened to Trayvon can happen to anyone caught off guard, in the club, honking at the car in front of you while frustrated at traffic.   It reminds us partiers to keep our cool, and be prepared to try to defuse a situation if someone else is the aggressor.  Because if you fight back, you don’t know who knows [insert racial group here] “judo” (as the inappropriate and racist joke goes)…judo know I gotta knife, judo know I gotta gun…the joke seems funny until it’s not a joke anymore, and you realize it’s both really offensive and really scary because judo know whose got one – white black yellow Peurto Rican or Hatian.  And above all else, partypeople, recognize this whole politicized debate as what it really is, an American tragedy.

 

PARTY UPDATE — as of April 11, 6 PM, special prosecutor Angela Corey has charged Zimmerman with 2d degree murder.  This means that the prosecution believes it can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman acted with the intent to harm without regard to human life, and that Zimmerman did not act in accordance with Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, but the murder was not pre-meditated.  Often prosecutors will seek the harshest punishment possible, and then juries may downgrade the crime to a lesser degree, such as manslaughter, in order to split the baby.   Second degree murder is the harshest penalty Florida prosecutors may seek in this instance, without convening a grand jury.  Feel free to comment or ask the PartyBlog and its legal experts (by way of comment) any questions you may have about the ongoing developments of this case. 

Camp Bisco Line Up Released

Last week, the line up for Camp Bisco 2012 was released.  Here is the response I received from Corbisco Rodisco:

holyshitholyshitholyshit, the lineup is better than I could have possibly imagined.  Amon Tobin!  Bassnectar!  Skrillex!  Big Boi!  Portugal the Man!  It’s settled, I’m going.  Pretty sure my friend Steve is going too.  Who’s in??

Well, Corbisco, I’m fairly certain that about 30 thousand other people are in, as are the results Party People.  From the looks of things, this is going to be the best Camp Bisco yet, and if you haven’t bought your tix yet, maybe time to start saving and do it before the prices go up.  Considering that Shpongle is going to be there too, and if you have seen their tour this year or listened to their new album, “The God Particle,” the reasons not to miss Camp Bisco keep growing…Let’s just say Shpongle just played the e-factory this past weekend, and they certainly did not disappoint!  Yes, PartyBlog thinks it is time to bear witness to Camp Bisco, despite the fact that it is also guaranteed to be a total hippie crack fest.  Remember kids – do music, not hippie crack…

 

PGroove Plays St Paddy’s Day Show In Philly

Hey Paddy People –

Make sure not to drink too much beer today so that you can’t make it out tonight…Party Blog’s favorite modern rock band – bringing you sweet synthetic sounds to make you more organically inclined and environmentally connected – Perpetual Groove – is bringing their special sound to Philadelphia for a one night engagement on the day St. Paddy fixed the snake problem in Ireland.  PGroove, as affectionately called by its fan base, features live rock, looping, ambient trance, and heavily percussive bass and drums.  It’s similar to watching a DJ, hip-hop, old fashioned hoe down, jazz, and classic rock show all rolled into one.  Come out for the drink specials, stay for the band.

Also featuring Baltimore favorites – Segway – and four other East Coast acts, tonight’s party is guaranteed to be a St. Paddy’s Day for the ages.  The show is tonight at the Blockley, music starts at 5 PM, cover is $15.

PGroove’s former keyboardist, Matt McDonald, returned this year after a nearly 4 year hiatus from the band.  PartyBlog is extremely excited to hear the band’s second reiteration with Matt on keys, because it was with Matt that PGroove really found its chops and proved itself to be truly one of the greatest live acts today, and therefore, in the history of mankind.  Come ring in the Spring with Brock and the Boys at what will prove to be the last great party of the Winter Than Never Was.

In case you are not convinced, consider the following.  The greatest PGroove show we at the PartyBlog ever experienced was in 2007 at their annual festival concert – Amberland – an annual event taking place every Memorial Day Weekend.  2007 was the first year the event was held at Cherokee Farms, and it proved such an epic success that every year since the band has returned to keep the party going, and to ring in the summer in appropriate fashion.  If you are not convinced, then by all means, keep reading.

Over Memorial Day,2007, PartyBlog first attended a three-day party called Amberland (available for free download here on archive.org; information for this year’s Amberland available here – currently only $75 for the entire three days of camping, music, yoga, and fun that will change your life).  During the annual event, located at Cherokee Farm in Lafayette, Georgia, modern society transitorily morphed into a new dawn of peace, love, and acceptance, thanks to Perpetual Groove, who, every Memorial Day, becomes the biggest band in America.  It represented a moment in time of sheer fantasy and joy, having desired to achieve such a state of mind during my entire existence on Earth, yet unable to do so thus far.  However, at this event, everyone was truly on the same page, accepting our joy for life, our hatred of fascism, and unifying in a desire to save the Earth and create a more harmonious, free planet, where love binds us and not fear.  In 2007, the music was so good and so loud that neighbors complained and the cops threatened to shut it down on the final night.  The decision all fans there had to make was – do we insist on partying all night and risking jail because the moment is more important – or do we leave out of fear of the industrial-military complex? Those who stayed, witnessed the earth shake as angels and aliens watched from the heavens above, made possible by a collapsing universe, a singularity generated by the sheer power of the music on stage, where for a moment, not only were all partiers connected, but the entire universe connected as well.  Keep Playing!  The fans urged.  You’ll be the biggest band in America!

The logic was that if the band accepted their fate as noise violators, and played until arrest, surely the world at large would take notice, in local news and then the word would get out.

Man, you hear that P-Groove was so outta control the whole party got arrested? 

The whole party was ready for a would-be showdown between the new-aged, sun-glass wearing at night, burnt-out hippy fan base and local gun weilding police.  Everybody had run through their stash, fireworks had already been discharged, there’s was nothing left to do except engage in an old fashioned riot. The rage of years of unjust wars, a lying president, a country having lost its way, suspicious surveilance programs, and a government encroaching on individual liberties had been pent up too long, and the skinny college and graduate school-aged hippie liberals in pajama pants were ready to run, stick their feet out, trip the cops, thumb their nose at the establishment, all of which would have likely resulted in hundreds of arrests among a loyal fan base and landed the entire party in a small county jail.  What a scene it would have been with glow stick hula hoops, oversized sunglasses, sequined shirts in the local county jail overrun with so many hipsters and new agers that there wouldn’t have been any room for the DUI or drunk crowd.

The Walker County jail could have never handled the party – even though everyone was ready to sacrifice their lives in a mass showing of Civil disobedience[1]. An appropriate Washington Generals v. Harlem Globetrotter-esque full out showdown between nouveau liberals running like Bugs Bunnies away from the Elmer Fudds and Yosemite Sams of the world in an appropriately comedic fashion, with the little skinny kids sprinting back and forth along the farm’s fields away from their would-be captors, not tiring due to the sheer adrenaline pumping through their veins after 3 days of heart pounding and mind-expanding music, overcoming physical limitations of the mind and body.  Such a scene, done appropriately, could have thrust P-Groove into local then national folk lore.

Did you hear about that band PGroove and their festival Amberland?  I heard they played so dangerously good, made the heavens ring so loud that everyone had to go to jail!!

But the band wouldn’t do it.  They wouldn’t put their own interests above their fans.   Risking massive arrests of their own fans was not the manner the band wanted to make it.  Even if humanity needed it so that the whole world could find out…The band could not, however, sell out its people…So they sacrificed their own fame for the interests of those who love them.

“They couldn’t do that – they couldn’t sell out the fans,” explained Big J.  “People
would hear that everyone got arrested at Amberland.  No one in the scene would want to deal with them after that.”

“No way man,” replied Partyboygeezy. “We were all ready to get arrested.  We were ready…”

“Yeah, I know.”

So instead the band stopped at the height of the party…“Sorry folks, the law says we have to stop…”  Chants broke out on the farm late Sunday night — an impromptu NWA dance party…Folk the Police!  Folk Folk Folk the Police! This is why you can trust PGroove when they are in charge.  Cooler heads prevail.  The people on stage knew damn well that you never know with cops.  Often they do not understand nor necessarily accept their role as catalysts to revolution, and are liable to start shooting…

Stemming from such experiences, PartyBlog always felt on the cusp of something special.  So for these reasons, we keep partying, and going to PGroove shows, and at some point more people will make it be known whose the baddest party band around…



[1]
Becoming an enemy of the state, when there is no longer a protective shield between you and the evil forces of power that strive to control the status quo in defiance of a natural world that demands growth and evolution.  Appriopriate Civil Disobedience is the greatest, most revered, achievement of all revolutionaries.

PO PO DROP PARTY

Check out everybody’s favorididdy Pakistani, Zeb Malik, and his family’s brain child – PO PO’s – release party. The album dropped earlier this week. Party is on Mon. March 5. 10 PM. M ROOM. 15 W. Girard Ave.

http://www.maddecent.com/events/philly-mad-decent-mondays-the-m-room-w-po-po

PartyBlog used to party with PO PO’s brain child way back in the day, when people first got licenses to drive and whatnot, starting fights at high school dances, peacocking, dance competitive-type stuff and Zeb would always win.  Malik the elder has always been the weirdest cat around.  We’re talking Zappa-like type visions that only the big man can create in his wild, whirling, dervish cacophonous musicianship.  Come check out my man’s drop party and buy some t-shirts. YO DUUUUUDE I SAY!

PARTY UPDATE:

Big Zeb played a few tracks from his new album, closed with a classic, and did not disappoint.  PartyBlog’s favorite track from the evening was the second song, featured below.  The central piece of the song was a repitition of the chant – “What we do…” which begs the question.  The open ended nature of the statement implies meaning of itself in its own existential context.  What is it that we do as humans?  What is the meaning of our time on Earth?  Do we even care about our long term impacts, do we care about society as a whole, or simply do we care about ourselves.  These existential questions that pushes the observer into a trance-like state while watching and traveling with Big Zeb are what make Po Po’s music interesting and compelling.  What is it that we do – most I would surmise to say – don’t even know or necessarily think about it.  And in the words of So-CRATES, PartyBlog’s favorite philosopher, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”