In the last week or so Adult Swim has run the first episode of the second season of The Venture Brothers a couple of times. It’s brilliant, especially the opening which uses a wordless montage to bring us up to speed on all of the major characters in the show and also manages to make us feel genuine sympathy for the mid-life crisis of Dr. Thaddeus Venture. (VB has followed a similar arc to The Simpsons: at first the show was going to be all about the kid characters, but then it shifted into an examination of the father)A big factor in creating that sympathy is the fact that the whole thing is set to the keening hi-nrg of Rozalla’s Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good). I’m so hooked on it that it’s made me dig out my copy of her single, which is playing now. Every mix of it. Loudly.
It’s a song I’ve toted along on just about every DJ gig I’ve had, and never played. It’s a song that I will for ever associate with the final hours of the ’93 march on Washington, when I sat on the Mall with my friend D-L (that’s him in the babushka drag on the right side of the photo). Th sun was slanting, people were dispersing from around the various screens positioned around the lawn. It had been a long day. Rick was with us (that’s him mugging next to d-l), but I don’t remember where Phil had gotten to; maybe back to his parents? Phil and I are together on the left in a picture taken at the beginning of the day before all the marching and listening, before crying at the quilt, before crying at the simple speech of Allen Schindler’s mother at the rally, before the weird mediagenic shit that is the bread and butter of most political gatherings. At the end of it all, Rick and d-l and I were collapsed on the lawn and Rozalla was announced. We were too hip and queercore to be at all interested in some flavor of the week house singer. And then she was singing “Everybody’s freeeeeee to feel good, Everybody’s freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee to feel good!” The cameras on the stage are panning the crowd, throwing the image on to the big LEDs. In spite of everything it works: people are begining to spin, the center of the all of the crap that is the US suddenly feels like it holds a promise, a promise of freedom. We do a little ceremonial dancing together, link arms and start the walk back to the subway.
Thinking about all of that tonight I started poking around online and unearthed the document that follows. Looking through everything that was going on around the event I can’t help but feel the loss. Take a look through it for yourself…
Brother and sister
Together we’ll make it through
Some day a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting but I’ve been waiting to be there for you
And I’ll be there just helping you out
Whenever I can