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Podcast 038 - Discussion on Art and the Summer Solstice in Seattle

Adrien Lapointe
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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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Credit: D. Logan

A discussion on art and the Summer Solstice in Seattle has already been in progress, butPaul decides it is important enough that it should be recorded. Jocelyn Campbell was invited to a solstice event and Paul asked what sorts of things they were doing at it. She replies about the various visiting, drumming, snacks and other activities. Paul prompts for what his response had been to her own, specifically the singing and drumming. Some joking clarifies that he really wasn't interested, but would go because she wanted him to. “But you can't make me like it!”

They get there and it is a large number of people asking about farming and permaculture. One person had an area overgrown with blackberries that revealed rows of blueberries once they were cut away. For three years they produced greatly before a fungus overtook them. The man questioned Paul about how it might be resolved. Paul asked bout PH in the soil
and noted to start by checking that and then gave a list of other things to check or try. Paul's previous answer was organic specific, but he had noted about the man doing it the non-permaculture way. This
prompted the man to further ask how he would have done it the permaculture way. They continued to
discuss, though Paul expressed concern about separation from the rest of the group.

The non-profit heritage garden group called for everyone to join a larger circle for singing, though Paul stayed to the back working on emails, website, etc from his blackberry. <recording drops for a moment>After the work-related activities, he began playing Solitaire (which he feels is not that much fun, but is better than drum circles for entertainment) because the activities didn't interest him.

When he was noticed, he got called out by name, being asked if he knew a song 'from Montana'. It was meant to engage him, but it mostly confused Paul who wasn't prepared. After thinking for a time, he picked a rude and obnoxious song to contrast all of the other songs up to that point. It was a song from his high school rock climbing club. Rock climbing was fun for Paul, but he wasn't any good at it and often they sang songs on the way there. The group strove to sing the song as badly as possible.

This is the song Paul chose, singing it off key (despite being able to hold a tune), and loudly. Afterward, the hostess actually asked for more. Apparently the others in attendance enjoyed the humor, but it is noted that it did shatter the 'sacredness' of the moment. He and Jocelyn joke about singing abilities and the other song choices of Paul. Returning on track, Paul notes that he had been very interested in talking with the man about the differences between organic and permaculture systems, but instead hadn't been allowed to talk about that.

It is noted that they were probably relieved when the two left, but also invited Paul to return for Sunday. They move on to talking about attending the Fremont Solstice Parade, with Paul mentioning the many naked people on bikes in attendance. He failed to bring a camera, but did have on on the cellphone. He ended up not taking any pictures of the naked people because he has gotten so familiar with it every year of attendance that it's become un-noteworthy. The two discuss how it is entirely focused on art, without any form of advertizing or politicizing allowed.

Paul did take pictures of a giant dung beetle pushing a ball of dung. This leads into discussing a friend who would talk a lot about animal poop. They then discussed the beetle's activity in the parade. Paul states that they didn't go last year, and almost didn't go again this year, because of the rude activities of many people in the crowd. The only reason they decided to go this year is because the friend of one of Jocelyn's friends was having a documentary made about them and other naked cyclists.

Thanks to the weather, there were half as many cyclists as there normally would have been. Paul noted gratitude to the police in Seattle for allowing it despite the technical letter of the law. When the cyclists pass, they make a point of looking for illegal activity somewhere other than where the cyclists happen to be. The event (nudity) is allowed to continue beyond the cycling for that day alone. A lot of this is attributed in the discussion to the economics tied up with the event and tourism.

Paul thinks it speaks well of the 'substance' of that community.
The conversation ends as Jocelyn must go to another appointment. Paul makes a quick statement that we need to talk more about community and art. He mentions they may need to do another podcast when they go to Portland. They both hope that Jimmy Pardo will finish his song, “We're all a bunch of f***ing weirdos.” Lastly, listeners are invited to visit Permies and the section of the forum on Art, Music and Aesthetics.

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