Part of this afternoon really, really sucked and I was in a very bad mood, one of those moments where the poverty of my language and the wealth of my emotion bring endless murky musings, where in the face of some unexpected frustration my undeveloped intellect becomes filled with impotent and static rage. You know what I mean, it’s one of those times when you feel like %&$#*%(&)$%@*%)*&%(65($8%$#&3(5(&%)9%9$868.

So I held the baby and I called Jeff to vent. He listened well and commiserated then talked about other stuff. This downgraded my mood to just annoyance. After I hung up, on Jeff’s advice I had a beer. Then I checked my email and found an electronic ray of sunshine through the dark clouds of my employment related anger, a comment by someone named Guy on this old post of mine about Fugazi – a post written in an analogous state of mind, about listening to Fugazi when in a bad mood and then feeling better. I’m posting Guy’s comment below. (Thanks Guy.) I think I’m going to go play a Fugazi record now. I should blog about (and listen to) Fugazi more often.

Guy’s comment:

the only time I have ever seen Fugazi was in Singapore, in 1993 or so, when they were touring for that album. One of the best concerts I have ever been to, and definitely the strangest. Singapore at the time was a terribly repressed country. A benevolent dictatorship controlled by one political party for 30 years (and still is). No free speech, and draconian laws. Performance art, of all things, was banned when I was there. In fact, the government loved banning things. Exactly one week before Fugazi played at a tiny community centre in a far off suburb, Henry Rollins played at a bigger venue in the city. While I’m not a fan, it was mental. Slam-dancing, crowd-surfing, Rollins punching and kicking the fans and the next day my best friend was pictured on the back of the main tabloid, crowd-surfing in front of the stage, with the headline “WOULD YOU LET YOUR CHILDREN DO THIS?”

Within a few days it was all over the news, and the government just as quickly banned slam-dancing and (as they said) “all forms of anti-social dancing”. I’m not joking.

One week later, Fugazi arrived, and I guess the government had been keeping tabs on the indie scene because there were more police than fans in attendance. Police vans, dogs, riot cops, the works. The actual gig was in a gymnasium, and if my memory is correct, I remember that there was a line of cops, locked arm in arm, along the second floor balustrade that made a ring all the way around the gymnasium. And the gym was only maybe a third full of fans…. who had heard of Fugazi in Singapore? Not that many.

Ian Mackaye came out and explained that there would be no inappropriate dancing so “find a new way to dance” and that the lights had to stay on and that they had to stop exactly at nine. Everything was so tense you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. And I think we all wanted to see something riotous happen…. but Ian said, hey, if everybody could just behave then they wouldn’t need to waste time talking between songs and “everyone can have a good time”. And that’s what happened. And it was amazing. And when they stopped silent in the middle of songs, as they like to do, we all stopped silent as well, in the full lights of the gym, and stared at the cops. By the end everything was very intense… but the last song Fugazi played was Sweet and Low, from In On the Kill Taker….. and we all behaved and smiled lovingly at the (literally) hundred or so police standing in a ring around us.

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