Luv Doc Recommends: Second Annual Freak Show Festival
Fourth & Waller, Saturday, October 15, 2011
Well now that we've had some rain, there's not much to bitch about anymore except the economy. Have at it. Chances are your social circle is far too small and your voice much too weak to reach someone who can do something about it. Like rain, the economy is either going to fall or it isn't. Sure you can scrawl out a pithy message on a cardboard sign, march shirtless through the financial district, and spew vague, long-winded, accusatory diatribes, but in the end, your words and actions will have about the same effect as a small puff of silver iodide in a nascent rain cloud. Yes, there are some real rainmakers out there, but unfortunately right now they're comfortable enough to ride out this rough patch and see what happens. You can't expect America's billionaires to blow their great-great-grandchildren's nest eggs on risky investments just because a whole generation of middle-class liberal arts grads can't pay off their student loans. OK, that wasn't fair. Fine arts grads are similarly screwed – it's just that they were expecting a good rogering. At least they have the sense to settle for menial service-industry jobs that make them wish they had majored in Spanish. Of course, some would say that these legions of the overly educated unemployed are an indictment of the utility of higher education. We have Google, goddamnit – isn't that enough? Besides, educating people doesn't necessarily increase their happiness or satisfaction. If anything, it only makes them more keenly aware of things like gross financial malfeasance or shocking social inequity. What good does that do for the economy? Protesters aren't big spenders. Instead of spending their time spending money they spend it rummaging through dumpsters looking for cardboard that doesn't smell like rotting lettuce. Ultimately, this type of nonconsumerist activity plunges America even further down its wormhole of economic uncertainty. It sort of goes without saying that public protests erode consumer confidence, which, in turn, creates a hostile investment climate. Think Greece. Of course, really diabolical investors – the type of people who made bank on Dow Chemical during Vietnam or on Halliburton during Desert Storm – are probably snatching up shares of Newell Rubbermaid, which owns Sanford Manufacturing Co., the makers of Sharpie-brand permanent markers. You can't find those in a Dumpster … and even if you could, chances are the juice wouldn't be worth the squeeze. In fact, Dumpster juice isn't worth much at all other than being the signature cologne of the pariah. Most people would rather cough up a pint of plasma than go hogging for that kind of needle in a haystack. Plus, once you've cashed in on your blood donation, you get an even better buzz from the Sharpie fumes. That could explain the erratic and sometimes incomprehensible nature of some of the protest signs. The same could be said of a lot of the protest rhetoric as well. Being mad at the bankers and businessmen plays well on the evening news, but the bottom line is that they're not the policymakers. They are simply playing by the rules that they bought. They are accountable to no one but their shareholders. Members of Congress, however, are accountable to their constituents. Sure, you can make a lot of noise barking up the wrong tree, but that won't put dinner on the table, and eventually you'll get tired of barking. For an example of how to really occupy a street, check out the Freak Show Festival, "a one-day, outdoor festival combining the Performance Art of the 'Circus Freak' with Rockabilly & Psychobilly Music." The festival will take place this Saturday at Fourth and Waller. Yes, it's crazy and confusing, but at least they're selling tickets to it, which can only stimulate economic growth. Isn't that what we really need? Well, that and a fresh pack of Sharpies. Here's the music lineup: Mad Sin, Devil Doll, Koffin Kats, Calabrese, Pickled Punks, and the Danger*Cakes. Plus the freaks: 999 Eyes, Brass Ovaries, Dolls From the Crypt, Minor Mishap Marching Band, and Aztlan Arts. Have at it.