Saturday, December 22, 2007

Unholy Night

Unsilent Night Baltimore - December 21, 2007

Bringing unquantized bliss to the streets of the Mount Vernon neighborhood and good cheer to Penn Station.

First of all, major kudos are due to Brian Sacawa for organizing this year's Unsilent Night event. With a small mob of friends and strangers carrying boom boxes through the city streets this experience struck the right balance of communal cohesion and subversive intent. In a season dominated by the piped saccharine of pre-fab carols and high-consumer experience Phil Kline's softly ambient composition provides an odd counter attack. One that renews the senses dulled by isolated consumption.

The decidedly retro artifact of the boom box takes on an almost antiquated feel of caroling and hand bells. The crab pizza and wings waiting at the end of the parade route at Joe Squared is the new figgy pudding. The phenomena of the Unsilent Night unfolding in 26 cities worldwide this year suggests that new traditions can supplant old with invigorating results.

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