Originall written 12.11.2000:

I’ve been home maybe 48 hours and its already been a whirlwind. I went 70 mph the whole drive home (its funny how there are never highway patrolmen around when I decide to drive the limit) but was still able to make it home by 4:30. That gave me just enough time to unload and pick up Tim before heading out to Philly to go to the Flogging Molly/Anti-Flag/Avail show. The show was pretty teriffic. Flogging Molly’s punked-up irish folk songs are always a good time. Anti-Flag always plays an intense set, but they seemed a bit off at this show. I suspect they might have been ill. It was unfortunate that there were a couple of hecklers in the crowd at the show, especially when they had nothing better to say than “shut up you emo fag”. I don’t mind people who disagree with Anti-Flag’s politics, but these kids possessed a gross misunderstanding of the issue. First, I noticed one heckler was wearing a Boy Sets Fire sweatshirt. I don’t know about Anti-Flag’s policial affiliation, but I know for a fact that at least some of the members of BSF are communists, and BSFs music is every bit as politically charged as Anti-Flag’s. I guess that kid should try actually listening to the music before he puts on the sweatshirt. I had another kid shout “well you’ll sure as hell take my money” at the band trying to somehow impeach the band’s credibility with respect to consumer issues. Well, I’ve seen Anti-Flag play enough shows in tiny venues in small towns for little cash to know that they’ve paid their dues and even the $10 cover for the Philly show was pretty insignificant. It just goes to show what happens when dumb rich kids hang up their Abercrombie and go to punk and hardcore shows. A punk rock, straightedge, or hardcore idiot is still an idiot. Avail played the best set of the night. They have so much energy its amazing. Their blend of rock and roll, hardcore, and punk rock always stays musically interesting but never loses intensity. I think that Richmond must love the rock and roll music as even River City High, a band that is good but a million times wussier than Avail, has a penchant for the rock hooks in their music. Avail plays straight ahead music with little pretense, but at the same time maintains deeply thoughtful lyrics. Again, they were great. Go see Avail, buy their CDs, you’ve got to hear this band.

Yesterday, I went to watch Tim’s quiz show appearance. He totally destroyed the other team. His knowledge of trivia is astounding. He completely blows me out of the water. For most of the game he dominated scoring almost all of the points for his team. In the last round, he slowed down a bit, but some other team members were able to pick up the slack. Its really unfortunate that the quiz team can totally kill but gets no respect of support from the school administration. I heard an unverifyed statistic that our district has the lowest poverty rate in the area, but despite that, I find that the district has done a terribly poor job of utilizing its assets.

I had a long discussion with Varu and some of her roommates the other night about education policy and other political issues. It was very cool. It was the kind of experience that renews my faith in going to school and reminds me that not everyone is a beer guzzling whore. Varu was going to teach me how to cook Indian food, as I love it but have no clue how to cook it. She made potato curry, and it was really good, but her idea of cooking is throwing a bunch of stuff in a pot “to taste”, which makes it rather hard to replicate. After dinner, some of her roomates came down and I told them about my girl rating system which amused them for a while. Then this other kid showed up, and started the whole liberal vs. conservative debate. Luckily, this kid had half a clue, and it was a good discussion. I hope that the conservatives I know are indicative of the rest of their clan in my generation. It seems that for the most part young people agree on the importance of various issues and just disagree on the best mechanism to accomplish those goals. I hope that is indeed the case, as I feel that those differences are much easier to reconcile. One of my friend’s other roommates proved quite discouraging. When the discussion turned to politics she annoyingly tried to shift the topic of conversation before exiting the room stating “my head hurts”. It was blatantly anti-intellectual and really frightening, considering she was a journalism major. I think her attitude is indicative of a great number of young journalists which is why I really dislike mtv style, substance free, pop journalism which tends to gloss over the important issues and encourages the vapid escapism displayed by my friend’s roommate.