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[whitespace] Massive Attacks

A long night's journey into day

By J. David

Not unlike many of the kids I saw at this party tonight, I am unemployed. Most of the time I am at home, studying. Once in a while I get out to check in on the massive. Not long ago, I was at the Kabuki for a Sound Session of the Future Primitive. Peanut Butter Wolf, for a second on the mic, related the inimitable presence of those assembled. Most bowled. The girl I met there and I relaxed on the side, taking in the well-selected rhythms. "The pleasures of the dialogue," she said in my ear, "are infinite."

Unfortunately, she left early. I kicked it for another hour before catching a cab home. "The primary goal of Marx's International," the cabby complained, "was proletarian control of the means of production. Except today we more closely resemble some terrifying service sector from Perpetual Peace." There was a sensuous tone in his voice so I interrupted. "Tragedy," I quoted Milosz, "is no longer our specialty." He agreed. That night I dreamt of break dancers and kung-fu artists.

The SF massive instinctively connects, sets up, connects. At a summer event on Pier 84, five dancers from Flyaway Productions helped us reimagine the daydreams of long-gone longshoremen. For a few moments, three human forms stood out silhouetted against the sky, leaning off the Copra Crane over Islais Creek. My companions of the afternoon and I couldn't help but be impressed by the movements.

"Every prior Dyonysian eclectic," one said, "involves some inspired hallucinogen, the rage of a lost rite or the rumor of a cataclysm that somehow explains a disappearance." There was quiet for a second.

"I keep meeting dancers," I said.

"It is no wonder, then," another responded, "that no matter where I go I discover one more collective dropping method."

We carried the party over to the roof of some outer Mission flat, where we could have been found consummately drinking as the sun set and the city lights came on. It was a birthday party. Darkness settled in before the ecstasy of the evening led us downstairs, where the candlelight was just right, half a dozen DJs were taking turns spinning records, and the wine was delicious.

The International gathered at around 3am to smoke. Having been taken by the turntable antics of one fly DJ in particular, I agreed to carry her records home for her. "It is not far," she said. It never is.

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From the November 8, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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