Everyone's a Critic
The Observer's culture blogMonday, June 28, 2021
GEEZERS AT SONIC LUNCH, by Jeff Duncan
At the Sonic Lunch Concert Series
Ella Riot playing one day,
a band of five, all in their twenties, doing their thing,
electro, techno, funk, fusion, rock--
don’t know exactly what to call it--
and people of all ages were there
digging the sounds,
swaying, clapping, dancing, singing, smiling--
in a word, grooving,
everyone having a good time--
but the ones having the best time by far
were some homeless geezers,
seven or eight of them in a cluster,
all dressed in scruffy, hand-me-down motley,
all gaunt and wrinkled from the wear and tear of time and the street,
from the cigarettes and booze and drugs that keep them going,
sustaining and killing them at the same time
(but hey, that’s life, is it not?
consuming us as we go, until we go for good?),
and already buzzed they were, not wasted, mind you, but just a little high, it seemed, a little tipsy,
clapping their hands and waving their arms to the beat,
and at the climax of every crescendo jumping up and slapping each other on
their backs, hooting and hollering and laughing,
and dancing, too, in a stiff, hobbling sort of way,
shaking their booties,
gettin’ down, gettin’ sassy--
behavior most unseemly for men their age, to be sure,
but these guys were losers with nothing left to lose,
no appearances to keep up,
no dignity to maintain,
no reputation to keep intact,
no pride to go before a fall
for they had fallen already,
fallen about as far as a fellow can,
and therefore they were free to turn themselves loose,
to out-and-out lose themselves in the music,
to let themselves altogether go
and clap and dance and shout like the kids they once were,
and for a blessed hour or so like the kids they now were once again.
Wow -- you've obviously not met many extremely poor people who are without homes. They certainly have dignity and self-respect and pride and have not "fallen as low as a fellow can". Mental wellness is the issue for most and it is disrepectful to not only infantilize them and at the same time shame them as "geezers". This is one of the reasons people with homes remains an intrangient problem.
August 20, 2021, 10:14 p.m.
Jeff Duncan replies:I was writing in the geezers' praise,celebrating their celebration, As for infantalize, I wrote plays for children for years,with Wild Swan Theater--to me remaining childlike is a ticket to heaven, as Jesus said.
August 22, 2021, 7:24 p.m.
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