I just got back from a love fest at Motorco.
I know, sometimes people say “love fest” and it comes out with a bit of snark. I’m calling it a love fest, in all sincerity, because that’s what this event was about: voting against North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One, and the people onstage were John Darnielle from The Mountain Goats, Mac MacCaughan of Superchunk, and Greg Cartwright of Reigning Sound. They were all fabulous, taking the stage round-robin style, occasionally chiming in on backup guitar or harmonies for each other.
Things got to be really fun when the guys started taking requests from the crowd, in exchange for cash towards the cause. Lyrics were pulled up on IPhones. John Darnielle got to a chorus and said, “Wait. I have to scroll.” They played a handful of songs cold, for the first time ever, as they picked them out onstage, leaning into the audience for help with the words. There was an Iron Maiden cover, and a bunch of covers I’m not nearly cool enough to have recognized, but turned out great. These guys were great sports. They were game. They made it look easy.
At one point, the disco ball cranked up, and lit up all the faces in the crowd with a magic happy glow. Everybody agreed to go out and vote against Amendment One, tomorrow if possible, or during the early voting event on Saturday where you can catch a rickshaw at Motorco to ferry you to your polling place, then back for beer and food trucks. Durham is just That Way.
But not just Durham. This is America, y’all, because as long as everyone involved is grown-up and consenting, we get to love anyone we want to love here. I doubt if anyone would complain if there were more love in the world, and after all, “pursuit of happiness” is one of the first things we wrote down when we decided what this country was about.
I hope we keep it that way, and that this silly time-wasting piece of legislative nonsense is voted down on May 8. If it passes, out of ignorance or fear- mongering, it won’t last long; that tide has turned, and it’s a sad little last-ditch battle cry for people who can’t handle change. I still believe it will turn out fine in the end, sooner rather than later.
Until then: I say, go love somebody, just because you can. You. Finish your coffee, and then get started. If you’re at your desk, fine, wait until your lunch break if you must; but by happy hour at the very latest. Male, if that’s your thing; female, if you’d rather; love whomever you like. Pick someone who is nice to you, who makes you want to write songs and make out on porch swings and take drives at sunset with the radio blaring. Someone who is already wearing your wedding ring, or someone you haven’t met yet. Someone you’ve had your eye on for ages, but haven’t talked to; someone whose path you cross every day, someone who knows all your secrets, or someone standing next to you in the crowd at Motorco or Pour House or Shakori Hills or Slims. Get at it. I plan to. Do it, because you can. God bless America. Go forth, and love someone.