|The Days We Had
|You can think of gentrification as a slow, invisible process, or you could see the new Montessori school almost ready, across the street from an abandoned building, and realize that sometimes it's a physical and moving boundary.
|There is an oatmeal cafe across the street from the station where morning drunks still pretend to be waiting for buses.
|Victories at Sea
|A Place To Stay 5
|The oatmeal cafe chose not to name itself Oat Cuisine, which seems tragic to me, but I assume they have a story about why.
|This is a probably a glib sense of "tragic" compared to the stories of how the people pretending to wait for buses ended up there.
|And of course "ended" is such a mundanely presumptuous word.
|"Want You Back"
|Tomorrow, fortunes will be found and lost. Mostly maintained, of course, but collective social intertia obscures individual variation.
|Full Of Hell
|Oatmeal cafes, like streaming music services, are absurd luxuries for people so complacently sure of their own survival that they can spend their time on other things.
|A Pregnant Light
|"A World to Touch"
|Devotion Unlaced 4
|But when we talk about human "progress", this is what we're ultimately talking about: reducing the precarity of individual and collective survival to the point where people literally don't have anything better to do than argue about whether savory oatmeal is any stupider an idea than putting ketchup on potatoes or putting numbers on houses, or lacrosse.
|The Monolith Deathcult
|"Seven Months of Mysticum"
|Boston and New York are not very far apart on any absolute global scale of social development, but it's still enough that I am aware, when going from one to the other, that New York has reached a scale and insularity that allows for a qualitatively different level of specialization.
|But not only do I think this is good, I think it's even the point.
|"Love Is the Remedy"
|Opponents of globalization sometimes claim to be defending diversity. Nominal proponents of nationalism, hilariously, invoke States' Rights.
|This is, of course, patently insincere, and almost invariably deployed in an attempt to justify denying fundamental human rights to other humans through a toxic mixture of power, fear and spite.
|Claiming that humans in Alabama have different health-care imperatives than the ones in California is idiotic and offensive. Same for China and Yemen and Mars.
|"Here Today, Gone Tomorrow"
|The only differences are the quanitities of impunity that different bullies have managed to hoard.
|Around the World and Back (Deluxe)
|The owner of the oatmeal cafe will be lucky if the place lasts a year, lucky to keep a few people employed, lucky to get a few people to try sriracha and avocado in their oatmeal and learn a tiny new thing about themselves.
|"Car Crash Cinema"
|All the oatmeal cafes and small-batch breweries and chapbook publishers in the world will disappear into round-off error compared to the stock-option windfall of the poorest health-insurance CEO if the Republicans manage to let them turn down sick people.
|Oatmeal cafes, like records where people who can't sing insist on opening their mouths, are not a betrayal of freedom, nor its price.
|Blood On The Dance Floor
|"Resurrection Spell (feat. Brat Pack & Jennifer Hill)"
|They are the point of freedom.
|"Am I Dead yet?"
|New Kind of Normal
|If you can predict everything that the people around you will do, it's because they can predict it, too, and if you can all predict how your world will never change, it's probably because you have no choice.
|Made For Broadway
|"Hell Is Right Here"
|Or you think you have no choice, anyway, and it's sad if you're right but also sad if you're wrong.
|Set The Score
|It is a quintessentially American irony that a person who epitomizes social privilege can get elected President by tricking the less privileged into thinking their constraints are things to be defended.
|"Let It Rain"
|This is a man who has spent his life selling status symbols to the statused, with occasional disasterous attempts to sell fake status symbols to the unstatused.
|If the world is just, this is the man who has finally irrevocably poisoned the whole concept of golf.
|If this country were less great, or more thoughtful about its greatness, none of the bloated Trump spectacle would ever have been possible.
|Unleash The Archers
|And yes, New York is a capital of this, too, of all of human knowledge and achievement marshaled for the building of "homes" to be sold exclusively to people with many homes they don't live in already.
|Sins In Vain
|It is where you put the stores that sell things that do nobody any good.
|It is where my company's offices have nitro cold-brew coffee on tap, and parking lots have concierges, and the shadows of the cranes lash back and forth over the homeless.
|Motionless In White
|If you have a crazy idea, you can try it in New York. Including the crazy ideas that are terrible.
|Alexander Hamilton designed, Federalist 68 and DC bargains notwithstanding, a cheerfully New York machine that could both pave a contintent and coddle an idiot demagogue.
|Kingdom Of Giants
|All The Hell You've Got To Spare
|And we knew that already and yet we didn't fix it,
|"Shape of You"
|because the same machine that allowed his gilded immunity will reclaim it from him and turn it into a lesson.
|"Breathe Into Me"
|Asking why the Electoral College or the Democrats or the filibuster couldn't save us from this misses the point.
|Lights & Motion
|"We Only Have Forever (Quiet)"
|We Only Have Forever (Quiet) +1
|New York is loud and dangerous and parts of it smell terrible and parts of it will smell far worse when the seals inevitably break.
|"Here Comes the Wave In"
|The system is not intended to save us, it is intended to make amazing things possible.
|It is not intended to keep a single terrorist from leaving Yemen, it is intended to recruit millions of people with their own bizarre and half-thought-through plans to join us.
|"The Half Remarkable Question"
|The Half Remarkable Question / Ride Ride 2
|It will let some of them build new gaudy palaces for hypocritical plutocrats.
|Magic Me +1
|It will let some of them open baldly fraudulent "universities" that purport to teach you things you should know better than wanting to know.
|Locked and Loaded
|It will give some of them jobs for which they are unmistakably unqualified.
|"An Underlying Problem (The Lost City)"
|It will let some of them marry for money, or for citizenship, or for the defiant belief in implausible joy.
|"BLOOD OF THE COVENANT"
|Freedom means you get to pick your issues.
|Even more importantly, freedom means you get to not take on other people's issues as your own.
|Freedom tolerates dissent without punishment, but so do some autocracies.
|The distinguishing quality of freedom is the potential for lives motivated by curiosity, not conflict.
|This is the country where you have a billion better things to dream of than being Donald Trump.
|"Fjällets mäktiga mur"
|So of course we love traditional values. We have the best collection of them, probably anywhere in the world, definitely the best. Beautiful.
|Did you know that some people eat slices of pizza with a fork and knife? Did you know that in some cultures it's considered undignified to use stairs instead of escalators, or to read books?
|Desire / Sorry 2
|Don't you wonder why?
|"The Monster I Am"
|Don't ever ask how somebody can live with themselves if you aren't ready to hear the answer, because if they're still alive, it's not a rhetorical question to them.
|"If You Don't Care / Fake It"
|And yes, you are entitled to hope that they will in turn be curious about how you live with yourself,
|but that is their work, not yours,
|"Ett par kalla till"
|Första var gratis
|and you have enough.
|The system will probably preserve this country, I think. I suspect it will also even perserve this species, although admittedly it seems even less obvious how it's going to do the latter then the former.
|How can I have this much faith in our government when it's so obscenely fucked?
|"Slow It Goes"
|That's not the system I'm talking about. Or, at any rate, it's only a tiny part of the system I'm talking about.
|Ті, що падають вгору
|"Душа в душу"
|Десь там в небесах
|We are the system I'm talking about, and we are still singing, and I mainly believe we will keep singing because nothing has stopped us from singing yet.