Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tompkins Square Park

At a recent Saturday concert in Tompkins Square Park, a group of around 50 or so people stood in front of the small wooden stage to hear the headline act, the punk band Star Fucking Hipsters. Toward stage left, a large contingent of the audience hurled itself around, in a circle, colliding off each other, people twisting and turning in the air on the crowd's upturned hands, jumping on and off the stage one or two at a time, singing along to the words. During a previous set by the band Mischief Brew, a small dog ran away from someone sitting on a nearby bench and into the crowd, and people in the middle of the crowd hoisted it in their arms and passed it around.

During one of Star Fucking Hipsters' final songs, someone from the front of the crowd jumped onto the stage with a small American flag, the kind attached to a thin stick. Pulling a lighter out of his pocket, he lit the edge of the flag. The flag refused to ignite. After several seconds, he jumped back down into the audience and laid the flag flat on the stage, working at trying to get it lit.

"They make them so they don't light now," Stza, the band's singer and guitarist, remarked in the middle of the song.


"They make them so they don't light now."

The man in the crowd began tearing at the flag and biting it with his teeth. Eventually, with help from a woman standing next to him doing the same, he managed to tear it into several pieces. He then threw them into the air like confetti. Some of the pieces were visible on the ground later, after the crowd had dispersed from the park and the crew was dismantling the stage.

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