Radio Quarantine – Kris Baha: Palais


KRIS BAHA — Imported from Berlin… There is a place in my brain that tells me that this is what Berlin sounds like. It’s only a small part of a big story for sure, but in my head Berlin isn’t a place, for example, where SCHLAGER gets a lot of play. Allow me to live on in this delusion. I’m not hurting anyone. Nobody really reads this stuff anyway. Let me be.

There absolutely must be perfect spring days with no clouds and nothing but warm breezes and birds chirping and all that but it suits me better to imagine a technocratic, concrete expanse where it’s always gray and chilly. Winter is always coming. Wheels of banking and industry are always turning. There are no rounded edges. Everything is precise and angular and sharp and hard and militaristic.

Okay, I’m done there. That’s just where my head is at with most things. Don’t mind me.

I’m not going to deny that my mind works in strange ways, but it’s sure as shit no more strange than the rest of the world right now. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade did happen the other day, but as a bizarre, little media spectacle in an area around Herald Square blocked off by police barricades. People did show up to view but weren’t allowed beyond the barricades. They were held back by masked policemen. Black Friday must’ve happened mostly online so Jeff Bezos will be all the more wealthy. The streets of Manhattan were oddly empty. Many shops in Soho were still shuttered and there were no throngs of shoppers moving about. It wasn’t the weather. Weather never stops holiday bargain shoppers. It was just… Corona. Even the outdoor dining shelters in the East Village were mostly empty. Are people getting smarter or are they just weary? The percentage of people wearing masks, though there are fewer people about, seems higher. They keep them on even when there is nobody near them. It looks almost like an act of defiance more than having simply gotten used to wearing them. Whatever the motivation, it’s not a bad thing.

It creates an odd vibe, for inveterate people-watchers like myself, to not be able to see and read peoples’ faces. There are other cues to go by. There are nods of acknowledgement when people pass each other going in opposite directions. The squint of the eyes could be a smile or a grimace but it’s hard to tell which. People tend to just look straight forward going wherever they’re going, and walk faster. That latter part is funny, if you can only imagine how fast New Yorkers usually walk.

Fuckface L’Orange is still battling the election results and says that Joe Biden will be required to prove there was no fraud before stepping foot in The White House. That’s backwards but it’s what’s being tweeted. There is no burden of proof on Joe Biden. That falls in the laps of the accusers and if they stick to these words they’re going to end up seeing violence the likes of which haven’t been seen since the New York Draft Riots from almost two centuries ago. It’s a mess.

I can’t even engage in the political discourse with people. It’s more spectacle. All the definitions have been perverted… Conservative, Neo-Liberal, Leftist, Extremist, Radical… None are being used the way the rest of the world defines them, so none of it really means much except that people will be battling over lies or half-truths at best. We are The United States of Dystopia. It’s a nation more strange than Huxley or Orwell would have dared writing. Fiction writers are required to make consistent sense for anyone to read them. Liars aren’t held to the same level of accountability.

In light of all this the strange fictions of my imagination are pretty harmless. If the sky above us was any reflection of what’s happening here on the ground it would constantly run only the range between foreboding gun-metal gray clouds and insane storms. The sun would only rarely show it’s face like a desperate child trying to peek in on his parents when they’re having a fight, but really frightened of what they might be saying and the outcome. It is wondering if it should call 911 and which parent it would prefer to live with if things really go south, if either. Living the life of an orphan might be preferable, the poor child.

Time to move on though and see if I can muster the nuts to actually accomplish something today.

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