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jello biafra at the knitting factory

my god, what a show.

i’ve seen some amazing spoken word performances in my life. henry rollins. utah phillips. hunter s. thompson. jim carroll.

nothing compares to jello biafra, i have to say. although all those other guys come close, in their own way, jello edges into the lead due to sheer stamina.

onstage at 8:45 PM. one fifteen minute break, two and one-half hours into the show. offstage just after 1:00 AM. by my count that’s four continuous hours of dialogue.

and every damn minute was compelling.

you got some “greatest hits” (loved the imitation of his weirdly swedish high school geometry teacher), but also an awful lot of extemporaneous conversation, mostly about iraq. it’s tough to say what was the best, or what was wonderful, because of the sheer volume of ideas. the best i could do was to take away a general feeling of reflection and renewed commitment and enthusiasm for doing the right thing again.

it was an affirmation, too. i’m doing the right thing in a lot of ways. giving back a significant portion of my income to microloans via finca. registered to vote, and actually voting, and actually voting in all the odd primaries and local races. and just generally giving a shit.

i admire people like jello biafra, and larry kramer, and all the other people who can keep that fire burning intensely for so long. the normal human tendency is to soften with age, become more conservative with age, compromise with age.

seeing someone like jello biafra gives me hope that everything might not be completely lost. thank god he’s still fighting the good fight.

dinner at mocca espresso lounge–loved the food (fried halloumi cheese, veggie burgers, tilapia, house-made cheesecake), great service, excellent italian sodas and espresso martinis. worth stopping by if you are in the area.

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