I had a good time in Montreal. Sort of. Dreams are freedom, dreams are oppression.
What I mean is that, ok, I have always been haunted by the idea that there is someplace for me out there. And there sort of is. A record store. A handful of bars and bookstores and... well, also people, though all the people in my life seem to be moving away from one another. I have a friend in most of the major cities in North America, and even some of the minor ones, but never more than one, of course.
So Montreal, and more specifically, MUTEK. Well, I knew what it was but I had to go anyways. And what is it? An underground electronic music festival catering to both dancers and chin-scratchers. I may post the whole story about it, someday.
Suffice it to say, it was pretty alienating. There is a fundamental difference in desire at work. I want one thing, many more seem to want something else. I would argue my desire is better, but it didn't matter. I was outnumbered.
The first night, I stayed all the way until the end. The next nights, no. And that was the crux of it. I sort of felt liberated, in a way. Like, no, I don't have to go to London, or Berlin, or anywhere. If most of the underground electronic scene is now dominated by jet-set nihilists, then my apartment and my record collection could be enough.
So I'm no longer oppressed by dreams, but what could exist in their stead?
Within a week of my return from Montreal, I went to the Dope Jams grand opening party. There is now a record store filled with Paradise Garage classics and weird, dark techno in a town of 638 people in upstate New York. In some ways, this is brilliant. Move out to the country, find a place so cheap, you can do exactly what you want without compromise.
And yet, isn't it one? There was a lot of joy at the party, a sense of relief. But also a sadness underneath it all. Tough Brooklyn natives in tears. Over records. Just like the "good old days", only lonelier. The psychic costs of preserving culture in this century are very high. Holding on to one's emotions in a world constantly demanding performance...
Is it bad to be addicted to a drug if that drug is one's own humanity?
No. But towards what end?
It felt good to be around people who understand me again. But what is it that we understand?
Now that I am no longer haunted by dreams, the real ghosts appear.