I've seen the lights go out on Broadway...

I've seen the lights go out on Broadway
I saw the Empire State laid low.
And life went on beyond the Palisades,
They all bought bright Cadillacs
And left there long ago.

We held a concert out in Brooklyn
To watch the Island bridges blow.
They turned our power down,
And drove us underground
But we went right on with the show...

I've seen the lights go out on Broadway
I saw the ruins at my feet,
You know we almost didn't notice it
We'd see it all the time on Forty-Second Street.

They burned the churches up in Harlem
Like in that Spanish Civil War
The flames were everywhere,
But no one really cared
It always burned up there before...

I saw the lights go out on Broadway
I watched the mighty skyline fall.
The boats were waiting at the Battery,
The union went on strike
They never sailed at all.
They sent a carrier out from Norfolk
And picked the Yankees up for free.
They said that Queens could stay,
They blew the Bronx away
And sank Manhattan out to sea...

You know those lights were bright on Broadway
But that was so many years ago...
Before we all lived here in Florida
Before the Mafia took over Mexico.
There are not many who remember
They say a handful still survive...
To tell the world about...
The way the lights went out,
And keep the memory alive...

Miami 2017
(Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway), Billy Joel

Music for today’s column came about unexpectedly (actually, that's normally how these headers come about). I’ve had enough of the news — I can’t believe they were airing the Billy Graham thing in San Jose live. So, I turned off all incoming, and put on a Billy Joel CD – Turnstiles – Billy Joel has always brought me great comfort in times of trouble in my life. He can always bring me back to being 14, a fabulous year in this woman’s life. A time of dreaming of young love and fabulous thoughts of becoming a writer. Yes, that was a great year, and the real beginning of the world is my oyster thoughts….

So, I put the CD on. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I had a man over last week who insisted on messing with my stereo (unbeknownst to me) while I was getting ready to go out. This man will go unnamed to protect his pride, but he did manage to make my CD player play the first track over and over again on a cycle I can’t seem to break it of. And, although I will be the first to admit it, I’m pretty unaware of all else when I’m writing, so I could listen to one song all day without it doing much annoyance. I found that I can get around the glitch (until I get around to reprogramming the thing) by hitting “random” on its remote. I forgot to do that when I put on Turnstiles, so Miami 2017 was the first song that came on. When I heard the lyrics I knew for sure this would be the song de jour.

I used to be a huge Billy Joel fan (still am now that I think about it). I remember one night my parents taking me out to an Italian restaurant…I think I was about 14, it was somewhere in Burlingame. I was eating dinner and then all of a sudden I saw this man come in, he looked just like a young Billy Joel. I was instantly in love. I carried three pictures in my wallet Billy Joel, Woody Allen and Larry Bird. This Billy Joel-look alike was there with a gentleman who was probably his father. I took my ever-present notebook for jotting down musing out of my purse and had the waiter carry a note over to him. I can’t remember exactly what it said, but it was something to the effect, of, “I could be in love with you, please call me,” I closed the letter with my number. He gave me a big, flattered smile (remember, this guy was probably around 25, and my parents were quite disturbed about the way I had confidently called the waiter over to nonchalantly pass my love note. But they would have never dreamed of stopping me, my parents raised me quite liberally). Although my parents are quite liberal, I’m sure my father would have had him disappeared if he had ever thought about calling. I had a part time job and wrote English homework assignments for my fellow students for cash at the time, so I had my own phone. I waited by the phone for days, and then I got a call from Darrell, or was it Darren? (such long time ago), asking me to go to a Billy Joel concert and my heart was immediately mended. Resilience was amazing back then. It may have been such a long time ago, but I still remember that Billy Joel-like guy and his warm and wondrous smile.

Well, here it is all these years later, I put on Billy’s CD and the content seems so parallel to what’s going on. I couldn’t believe it, those lyrics are spooky. When Broadway shows finally did open again since 9/11, they did turn off all the venue lights on Broadway before shows, it was eerie.

The WiWoWo (Wild Women of Wonder) group was amazing last weekend. Although we didn’t hold it because things were being cancelled left and right, we thought we’d have it just because we needed some unity in our live amidst all of this chaos. We did and it was fabulous. A great deal of synergy – lots of opinions and sadness, and thoughts about the future. It was a great way to face this thing. I great way to pull ourselves away from our TVs.

On Saturday night I went over to the CyberArts.org show. Lots of familiar faces: Bruce Damer, David Traub (who recently had one of his amazing gatherings) and lots of people from those multimedia/tech/science circles. There was great performance art and fabulous company. Met some new cool people: Hal Josephson (EMMA Foundation), Charles Ostman (Institute for Global Futures), Spencer Lindsay (etribestudion.com) Eva Way Koningsberg (e-acumen.com). Allen Lundell and Sun of (www.pleasureisland.com), Andrea Moore (Digital Video Media Group, www.dv.com), Rafe Needleman (www.redherring.com), editor of the Catch of the Day and David Duberman — check out his multimedia newsletter at www. 3dlinks.com/spectrum ) Kitty and Frank Wells put up a tribute alter to NYC, it was fabulous. Michael Land and I helped take the installation down — Frank’s shoulder was in pretty bad shape. I wish we could have left it up somewhere in San Francisco where many others would have drawn comfort from it, but like all installations, it had to come down. I also had an opportunity to meet Robert Gelman, producer/director of the fabulous event including the weekend CyberArts conference last weekend. He is a tremendous force and I enjoyed meeting him. I don’t normally hug strangers, but I was overwhelmed to do so to thank him for not canceling the event when it would have been the lemming thing to do. There was a great deal of community at that event and I am looking forward to attending Bob’s future events.

I had way too much caffeine (they had red bulls at the event), so Michael being the cool friend he is indulged me and we went to Mel’s for a late dinner (I think it was about 2:30AM or so, then over to Ocean Beach — as always there were quite a few bonfires going. It always seems so purposeful to go to the ocean when the world is falling apart. It makes everything come into perspective — the ocean has been here millennias and shall be here long after all of us are gone. It was cold and misty. Cutting back through the park so Michael could drop me at my car back in SOMA, we pulled up to the Golden Gate Park windmill — it hasn’t worked for years and Michael had never seen it before. It was an amazing thing to see, but it is badly in need of some repair. The mechanical engineer inside me wanted to start work on it immediately; to take it apart, assess the damage and bask in the success of getting it back online. It seemed like the sane thing to do in the middle of all this stuff we can’t fix. And although the windmill is on public property, I thought better of trying to make the thing work in the middle of the night. I opted for sleep instead. On my way home the sun was coming up and it was beautiful. It was life affirming. It was the right thing for the sun to do. I didn’t bother turning on the TV before sinking deeply into my bed with purring cats and falling asleep.

I woke up on Sunday to Dubya on TV; man that guy is in a state of constant hard-on (no doubt in my mind that I know from which pole this guy’s flag is hung) about this issue. I think he would do well with a few injections of estrogen to help him get back to an even keel. I miss the contemplative days of Jimmy Carter, a man who I have met and feel is perfectly capable of great things. I hope they bring him into the process, he has learned from his experiences with the Middle-East. I’m still trying to get a flight out of the country somewhere near Afghanistan, I may end up flying into Africa and taking a ship over. I’m still waiting for word about which harbors are open. If you have any information, please pass it on. I’ll keep you posted.

Also, check out these foreign press links brought to you courtesy of Dave Winer (scripting.com) davenet.userland.com/


Miami 2017 has played for about an hour without stop, time to hit “random” on the remote, and get back to writing FutureNet to meet its upcoming deadline.